SOLSC14: What’s That Smell? Not Teen Spirit.

I am on beach time in Seaside, Oregon so it’s a belated post. There are more slices at Two Writing Teachers.

My family stays in Seaside every summer for five days. My husband grew up in this tradition so he’s been coming to this community for over sixty years.

We are fortunate to have a perfect beach cottage to rent with in walking distance to the beach. This afternoon all have gone to the sand which gave me time to slip away and write.

When we arrived on Monday, an odd smell assaulted our noses. Dead animal? Actually dead anchovies. Millions of them. The parade of migratory ocean animals has been impressive this year. First, the gray whales and then the orcas followed by the dolphins and porpoises who were heralding the the massive school of anchovies. You may have seen them on the news weeks ago in Southern California.
Well, the anchovies in a desperate attempt to flee being a meal swam into the Necanicum River, a fresh water river with not enough oxygen to support the million of fish. So there was a massive die I missed hearing this as I was out of town.
It’s been told to me that this created an amazing phenomenon with birds flying in from Florida and the Arctic to feast. I went up to the estuary to see the birds but they had left guess it was just a weekend get away. However, it still provided for some photo opportunities. Apparently this kind of die-off happens every decade but for some reason this die-off was particularly large.


Necanicum River estuary. Tillamook Head in the distance.

Feather treasure.

Craters of the moon? No, air holes for clams.


Despite not seeing the thousand of birds that were here over the weekend. It still was magical.

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4 Responses to SOLSC14: What’s That Smell? Not Teen Spirit.

  1. Wow, your photos! I especially loved the ones of the air holes for the clams. If you hadn’t captioned it I could’ve been convinced it was of the moon!

  2. Ramona says:

    Five days at the beach. What a treasure! I would want to reread Gift from the Sea with my writing notebook in hand. Your pics have the magical feel of your time at the beach.

  3. Linda Baie says:

    I love estuaries, beautiful sightings of all kinds of things. Sorry you missed the rush, but as you said, sure it was still lovely, Jone. We’ve started going to Florida every year, wish I could think that my grandchildren will continue down the years. What a lovely thought. Love hearing about your husband going back for so long.

  4. margaretsmn says:

    I hope you had a lovely time despite the smell. I was hoping to see whales near Seattle last week but they did not appear for me. No matter, it was a wonderful get away. Now on to the school year!

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