Which brings us to yesterday, June 9: I went to the ocean.
IJ asked for pictures of elk. No elk by the highway on Beaver Prairie. I drove via the side loop past Quillayute airport. No elk on Quillayute Prairie either. Only once have I seen them out on the prairies in the summer. Don't know where they go...
Except for one eagle sitting in the river, the only wildlife at all at all were the itty bitty flitty birds singing in the woods behind the beach. Never saw a one of them, but they were rocking out all afternoon. The only little birds I know by ear are white-crowned sparrows and canyon wrens, and it wasn't them. Even had I seen the little dudes, I'd probably not have been able to identify them. Happy enough just to be an ear tourist.
There was a lot of kelp on the beach, each big mound a single plant— but brown kelp are not plants, they are in the Kingdom Chromista (1)(2)— torn loose and bundled up onto the shore. Wonder just where, out there, the kelp beds are. Plenty of nice waves. The tide was coming in. I thought I didn't have the energy to run away from the waves outbound, or scramble through the drift on the return; so I turned back from my walk after a while, and sat on a log and read. Got so absorbed, a wave sneaked up and washed up my legs and into my hiking boots. Eeek.
Later I decided, oh I might as well go home; but when I got to the parking lot I realized, 'I can't leave now, the ocean is still making the sound of waves.' On this silly thought I went back out onto the beach in the other direction, and sat on another log. Pretty soon it occurred to me that if I can't leave while the ocean is making the sound of waves, I'd get to stay there forever. Oh, well, maybe that won't work, huh...
The whole train of thought was so entertaining and silly it made me smile, and pretty soon I was smiling and feeling quite contented. I slid down off the log and sat in the sand and among the smooth stones, since the tide should by then be going out. A wave washed really rather close, however, and looking REALLY close since I was down at eye level with it.
Eventually I did come home. I presume the ocean is still making the sound of waves.
Shout-out to @shinyinfo , usually in urban Michigan, right now in California for a librarian convention and Seeing the Ocean while she's there. She inspired the act of will that got me on the road, late late late but hey I got there. Also: thankyou, Olympic National Park.