Friday, June 29, 2012


The space of Kehoe Beach feels like home ground, like our backyard. The cliff ending by descending into the water marks the end boundary of our walk. Here alluvial fans of dirt and rocks from washouts have eroded to a shelf where pioneer plants have stabilized the sand. Rising out of the skimpy dirt are three kinds of mushrooms. Two kinds of Inky Caps; one with a long pale cap, a smooth furled umbrella; the other already curling back to release spores. These disintegrate soon after they're picked digesting themselves into a black goo. We're told they're good to eat, but if eaten with alcohol they create a substance like antabuse, the pharmaceutical used to deter alcoholics. They make you quite ill, but aren't deadly. Hmmmmm, who wants to try one?

Sandpipers, a flock of more than 100, scuttle on quick legs, a moving unison as smooth and rhythmic as the wavelets they follow. The sheets of ocean glaze the sand like mercury and the pip-squeak birds double in reflection as they skitter as if one creature racing the wave line. A wave too big and they launch in a fluttering chorus, float up on the breeze and double back to work the sand. White Dungeness Crab larvae litter the wrack line. We'd had a crab feast a couple of nights before. Sea “food” “sea life.” It’s time to create distinctions. 

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