High tide gave the day a sparkling moment. I went to the beach knowing it would be just a narrow strip of beach to walk on and left to serendipity what I would photograph. No crows or birds to speak of but a dynamic late summer sun on the surf.
The next place I turned my eye was up on the bluff looking through the madrona trees to the sky and water. Here is a tree framed window looking to the sky.
The forest is a mix of twisted snags, mahogany colored trunks, and fat green leaves.
Two other events came along – ships, barges and tugs headed north up the sound and some really big bird poop. I think we should end with the poop, so here are the ships I saw. I want to point out the distance photo of the tug pulling a barge shows you how the Puget Sound fills up at high tide. Looking to the horizon it has a hill like bulge, which makes me feel uncomfortable knowing the beach is lower than sound level.
Now… the finale!! Big Bird Pooooop!!
Came around the corner of the trail and saw this big white spot. My first reaction was who threw paint or flour? But that is not what it was. It is a place under where a bird sat in a tree over and over and left lots of shit below. This can happen near a nest like the eagle nest in Kent or under a roosting tree. The bird that can leave this big of a statement is not a little robin, crow or chickadee..no this is the work of an eagle, heron or osprey.
Winter threw a strong storm at us in the last couple of days. 50 to 60 mile an hour winds howled up Puget Sound at about the same time the King Tide occurred. King Tides are the highest of high tides every year and when you combine wind with these 13 foot plus tides you get flooding and damage.
Today I walked down to the beach that many of you have seen pictures of while I document the Crows of the area and nature in general.
Here are the links to two other posts regarding the high tides and how the beach is being changed by these King Tides this winter. First is a post on High Tide Fort which was rolled over after staying put for many years – http://wp.me/p1d1cX-vx Next here is my prep post showing how things looked even before the King Tides. There had been a storm surge already but it was only a prelude to what happened this week. http://wp.me/p1d1cX-v0.
Let us start with High Tide Fort. It has moved even more now and is now just another piece of driftwood up against the bank.
My neighbors over the years built themselves a marine residence that has bulkheads, picnic tables, swings and a little shed for his tools. Here are a few pictures of what the storm did to their place. When I saw Harold and showed him some pictures he said it was to be expected. Guess over the years he has seen a lot of change come and go on the beach.
Last is how our little lawn area shows just how strong the storm surge was. This will take a lot of clean up to get it back to normal.
Down on the beach is a log we call “High Tide Fort”. Someone actually wrote that on it many years ago. It was an old snaggy log that hung out into the surf and one had to climb over at high tide. This last week’s high tides decided to re-arrange the furniture (driftwood) on the beach and HIgh Tide Fort is now pushed inward and rolled over. Not really a Fort any more.
This just goes to show how powerful the tides can be and one shouldn’t mess with Mother Nature. Here are some before and after photos so you can see her power.
Remember back in January I wrote about the King Tide and participated in the King Tide Photo initiative? http://wp.me/p1d1cX-fE
There is another one coming soon on December 15th early in the am. Not sure if I will be at my beach at the exact moment but will be sure to go soon there after to get some photos. What prompted me to research this was on my beach adventure today I discovered that the tide in the last couple of days was extremely high. I had to check if it was a king tide and found it is just a precursor.
This tide with a storm behind it got way up into things. It rearranged all the drift wood and created new log jams in the downed popular trees. Before you could walk through them where someone had cut them out. Now the area between the two trunks is packed to the max with driftwood and debris. Also on the south side it is all piled up too. Next down at what we call “High Tide Fort” which is a big snag hanging out on the beach it also had acquired a bigger pile of driftwood. Down from there the overhanging blackberry bushes had been scoured out from underneath to the point the roots had been scraped from the action. Lastly, the bluff slide looks like it has had some more movement.
Check out the pictures below. This is a good comparison for the Real King Tide to come.
This weekend was a King Tide weekend. These tides are higher than usual winter tides that happen when the sun and moon reinforce one another’s gravitational pull. The State of Washington Dept of Ecology is inviting the public to take photos to document the tides effect. They have set up a Flicker Group to post the photos on.
I did some preliminary work for my own scientific experiment by taking photos of the Ocean View Beach area under a regular tide. On New Years Day the high tide was around my walk time to the beach and it was published at 11.6 ft. The one today was at 12.7 ft.
Here are the before pictures:
The North View:
The South View – I used a big snag log that has been stuck forever in the beach. Someone years ago gave it the name High Tide Fort in black magic marker. What a great landmark to use for high tide photos.
Next we have the same views today – first to the North:
And here is High Tide Fort, the old snag log which is the South landmark:
Here is a picture showing how the tide was up in the driftwood and there was no beach to walk on. The few crows that were around (which is the small family that owns that end of the beach) had to be fed on the grass area behind the beach front.
Yesterday I went to another park here in Seattle to observe the King tide and check out a sale that was posted on Craig’s List. It said that everything was for sale in the house including fixtures. The house was going to be demolished so anything was fair game. I was all set early in the morning to get a two for one deal. It turned out to be a bust on the sale. The guy was an ex-renter who was trying to sell stuff in a house that had been condemned by King County to build a water run off pond. When I got there the house had crime tape around it and two of King County’s finest protecting the County’s assets. One of the officers I talked to called it a fraud in his Boston Accent. Yes he was from Boston working in Washington State.
As to the King tide at Lowman Park, I got some good pictures of that too. Here is a still of some cool graffiti on the bulkhead that also shows how high the tide was.
Today’s walk was about an hour after high tide so the beach crow family was up on 35th SW by the Peanut House. They started demanding their bread before I even got to the usual spot. The crew numbered about the usual 35 or so. They followed me around the hair pin corner up MVD towards the Beach trail crossing over the territory boundaries they had observed all summer. None really followed me down the trail but I heard a few down at the beach cawing. I fed a few but they were distracted by a pair of Eagles and played tag with them.
The tide was up fairly high. I had a small swatch of sand to walk down and it was pristine smooth with small pebbles. Then I saw the bunny. At first it looked so real I thought it was a dead rabbit on the beach. When I got closer it became clear it was a stuffed bunny. Some poor child is now mourning its loss.
I felt so bad for the little plush bunny I found a nice driftwood log for him to sit up on. There he can dry out and not be washed back out into the sound. Maybe some other child will find him and love him in the future.
It is odd to see something like this on the beach. The usual trash is an assortment of bottles, floats, chairs, plastic bags and tires. Never have I seen a toy like this. After saving the bunny from floating away, I traveled down the beach to see what the Crows were doing. They were still chasing the eagle but I figured I could throw some bread and see how many came. Never got to do that because when I went to crawl under the big tree that blocks the beach I found another toy. This big tree is called High Tide Fort and it has tons of driftwood hung up on it. It also hangs out so far into the Sound that if the tide is up one has to climb over and thru the logs. While I was balancing myself on the driftwood I saw her stuck under them. She is a big doll, probably 3 feet tall and stark naked. Her hair and head were stuck face down in the wood pile. Check out her poor tangled mess.
I managed to get her out of the driftwood and then pulled a blackberry vine out of her hair. She was now covered in sand and required a bath in the surf. Took her up to the junk pile we have for all the bottles and other debris we find on our beach. There is a broken up green lawn chair that was perfect for her to sit in and view her kingdom from. Being a modest woman I had to find something to cover her nakedness with. Not even a good plastic bag in sight so it ended up being a big piece of brown kelp to make her look more presentable.
Dang her hair is a mess!!
Lastly, I had to take a good picture of her poor mop.
That’s it for this Sunday. Not much on the Crows but some strange beach debris.