Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Low Tide

In the Pacific Northwest, during the winter, low tides in daylight hours are a rare thing. So this week is a rare occurrence, with low tide yesterday at roughly 2 pm, and today at 3 pm. I was at one of our local beaches yesterday, and will shortly be at a different one today.
I blame it on my dog, of course. I say that he misses his beach walks in the winter, so we can't miss the opportunity when it arises. And that's at least partly true. He really does (once we got him past his initial fear of water) love the beach. It was our prime exercise location when I adopted him from the shelter -- he a young Border Collie mix with energy to burn, me an aging sedentary writer with no energy to spare. Together we developed a game of herding the waves, where he runs the shoreline right at the curl of the breaking wave, till it breaks, and he barks, and he comes back to do it again. It has been a marvelous way to burn off some of that fire.
Now, at age 11+, he doesn't feel as much need to herd waves, though a particularly good surf will still entice him. But he does still love all the smells and the many birds and digging in the sand. Even his dog companion, Diamond, at age 16+ still manages to sniff out crab shells and seaweed (both of which she considers edible delights), and because she has largely lost her hearing, is no longer worried by the crashing surf.
Of course, I should tell the whole truth and admit that I am greatly attracted to beaches even without the presence of dogs. The air is fresher, there's constant movement of something, there's always a new discovery of an agate or beach glass or, on rare days, a flower stone.
So, having conquered yet another deadline (at the last minute) and facing more of them the rest of the week, we will all take ourselves off to enjoy a good long walk on the beach before dark.

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