Winter on the Beach

I'm a southern California gal so my thoughts about beaches are diametrically opposed to what the shores of the #OlympicPeninsula have to offer. And you say, "Well, yeah." Warm sand (even in December), sunny skies (always), and gentle breezes (unless there's a Santa Ana brewing), that's what it means to experience the beach down San Diego way. But we're not in SoCal or even Idaho anymore. Nope! We've swapped our flip flops for hiking boots and our t-shirts for down parkas. But lest you think I'm complaining, let me show you what our beach what was like this morning.


#DungenessSpit on the northern tip of the Olympic Peninsula

No, it isn't snow but it looked like it this morning. That's heavy frost icing that log and it was quite beautiful sparkling in the sunlight. Turning around to face east this was the view in late morning.


#Mt.Baker is sparkling in the distance and across the "pond".

As we near the winter equinox, the earth's angle to the sun makes for some startling shadows, creating patterns that capture the imagination. It seems the sun is always in the eye these days as it daily dips lower to the horizon. We wear our sun hats now to shade our eyes so we can see where we're going.


But those interesting shadows highlight things we might have missed under a sun hovering directly over our heads. Such was the case as we strode back the way we'd come with the sun warming our backs.


Deer tracks in the sand.

The first time I saw deer walking along the beach I came to a sand-sliding stop with my mouth open. To get there they have to come down a very steep bluff, just like the rest of us. But I was more surprised by their presence because I couldn't understand why they would be there. Surely food would not entice them. And they would be inclined to drink fresh water, yes? I still haven't discovered the answer. Perhaps, like the early residents of the Peninsula, the beach is their open highway. It may be the quickest way to get from one stream to the other. Two miles west and they would come to #McDonnellCreek where they can roam undisturbed by humans. It's just a theory for now.


What's this have to do with writing? Quite a lot, actually. It's where I've found inspiration, solitude and #wonder this past year. It's a place to reboot the brain. It certainly gave me the inspiration to come back and share with you the sites that make me wonder if beaches are still places to go and decompress and soak up some rays. Be they warm or cold, it seems we're renewed there.


What perspectives have changed for you this year?


Samantha St. Claire

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