Gopher Gulch: Feeling at one with all of it

By Inez Castor January 26, 2012 12:00 pm

By golly they can’t accuse us of having dull weather! There’s rain and then there’s rain! One morning my walk sounded like Rice Krispies and the next morning the temperature was nearly double and the combined power of wind and rain kept me indoors.

We’re apparently between fronts and one of the problems with rapid and extreme weather changes is that people can get hurt. Be extra careful when driving, walking or other high risk behaviors. Unless you’re having Mary Poppins delusions, you’re better off leaving the umbrella at home and wearing a hood.

Saturated hillsides can come crashing down in an instant and water rushing across a slanted road makes for iffy traction. Once in weather like this I stopped for a tree across the road. As I sat there deciding what to do, rocks began trickling down from the cliff beside me, speeding the decision process considerably.

And then there are the little surprises that make you smile as long as you see them in time to avoid running over them. This weather makes ducks as happy and goofy as it does me, motivating the Pekin drake to lead the little Mallard hen right into my path. They waddled happily across the road to a better puddle, apparently unaware of the car.

On Friday morning there was a break consisting of lots of warm wind but little rain. Now that’s my kind of weather! I wandered around the harbor for a couple hours, watching the fishermen moving out, casting prayers toward Great Mystery and Mother Ocean for their safety.

If you like to play out in all weather, good rainclothes are worth the investment. The guys on the boats know raingear, the sort that protects without adding heat or weight or hampering movements. You can find the best variety of good all weather gear at Englund Marine. I harvested some beautiful shells from old dock debris, but the sand weighed as much as the shells so I lay down on the dock and washed them in the bay. They’re in the front yard, on the rinse cycle. It’s the sort of thing one isn’t likely to do without rainclothes.

There were loons and western grebes snuggled in on the lee side of everything, a birder’s dream. It was a rare photo opportunity, but it was just too wet to risk my camera. Theoretically a clear plastic bag might work, but in a high wind, holding a small, slippery camera and trying not to become airborne debris, it’s beyond my current coordination skills. Besides, something in me was unwilling to look at the scene in a little bitty screen in order to remember it later through a blurry image.

I want the intoxicating scents, the scream of gulls, the roar of wind and surf, the feel of the wind on my face. I’d rather be belly down rinsing shells, rising and falling with the little dock, at one with all of it right now.

Reach Inez Castor, a longtime Triplicate columnist, at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it