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Odd & Beautiful Day at the Beach

bonus: the mountain was out

A got new waterproof  boots on Friday and wanted to visit “Mud Island” at Stinky Beach to celebrate. I’m sorry I don’t have pictures of what happened 30 seconds into our visit to the deep mud of the estuary…A had both of her new boots stuck deep in the muck and her sock-footed self standing next to them almost immediately, then M waded out to see what all the fuss was about and got herself stuck, too. I pulled both of them out, but M still managed two face-plants, one into the mud and one onto the barnacled rocks.

Muddy M rinsing off in the stream.

M wanted to head home right away, but then she was distracted by the stream running down the beach to meet the low tide, and by the clear air and late afternoon sunlight – Sunlight! No rain! Blue sky!

I promised the girls we’d head home just as soon as I found one earplug. A said “No way! That’s not enough time. You have to find at least four!” During our past year of trips to the beach to collect plastics, we have never, not once, failed to find at least one earplug; we almost always find a handful, easily. We find so many, every time we arrive at a beach now, M cries out “It’s National Earplug Day!”. We’ve asked around and researched, but we still can’t figure out exactly why there are so many plastic earplugs on every beach around here.

This day, though, was the very first time we haven’t found a single earplug. I did find a piece of one, but we decided that didn’t count.

20 minutes of plastic

Instead of earplugs, I found 13 plastic net bags, almost all of them white, each what cut cleanly on one end. Also, a green and black toy frog, a squeaky ball for our dogs, a white sake cup, Ziploc bags (parts and whole), bits of fishing lures, the remnant of a child’s bucket, pieces of fireworks, an unbroken bottle of red wine vinegar – The usual suspects, minus the earplugs. I had to admit defeat and rounded everyone up and head for home without meeting my quota.

The mountain was out, wearing a lovely lenticular cloud, and we passed three cars and a bicycle stopped to take photos of her. I’m starting to trust that spring really is very nearly here.

But I still want to know: The earplugs, where do they all come from? And where were they last Friday?

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