Archives for the month of: February, 2014


I hate styrofoam. There, I’ve said it. I just cannot stand to see it washed up on the beach. Every day. I can’t let it sit there and I can’t let it blow around so I am constantly stuffing my pockets with all the annoying little pieces and gathering up the bigger stuff and hauling it off the island. I can only hope that my obsessive need to pick up the beach is somehow helping or at the least is therapeutic for me. Not likely, as I can only try to keep up with the bits brought up by the wind and waves all year long.

Some cities have banned the use of styrofoam in carry-out containers and thankfully many of them are on the West Coast. But the pieces I am finding on the beach seem to be from old coolers, floats, and cement covered pilings and it’s likely that these are coming from off the boats and the docks around here. Why are they still selling this stuff? The plastic that washes up is bad enough (don’t get me going on that) but I just learned that styrofoam takes 500 years to decompose. It breaks apart, into smaller and smaller chunks, then into particles, then into a dust. It gets into the rivers and oceans and mingles with the plankton where fish ingest it. So it seems that if you eat fish, you’re also eating styrofoam. So much for our healthier lifestyle.



The northeast winds came in and they stuck around this week. We get battered by that wind here on the tip of the island and have to haul our hardiest boat up on the dock and tie it down to ride out the waves. No way off the island without a boat, so we are stuck here riding it out too.


Getting stuck means my schedule gets thrown off and I simply have to slow down and notice what’s around me. It’s not only the visual awe and fear of it, it’s the sound of a constant, relentless wind that heightens the senses. Especially at night, there is such an intensity in hearing it, without seeing it. Just what is all that cracking and thumping and whistling out there?

This powerful winter wind is fascinating. Keeping my head down, it makes me notice the small things, With as cold as it is, it’s kind of hard to believe there will be spring, yet there are new ferns and daffodils poking up through the hard, crunchy ground. And although I can’t hear anything over the crashing of waves on the rocks, there are so many different types of ducks are out there surfing the whitecaps. Were there this many last year? Brandt’s Cormorant, Guillemot, Bufflehead, American Wigeon, Hooded Merganser, Harlequin Duck, Blue Heron, Grebe, Canada Goose, Kingfisher. I remember there seemed to be an orderly cycle of ducks but can’t recall which ones when. And then there are those that I still can’t yet identify: Scaup, Scoters, Teals, Pintails, Murrelets. The northeastern wind may be blowing furiously but it’s slowed me down. Not so bad to be stuck on an island, thumbing through all my reference books and discovering a thing or two.