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Posts Tagged ‘Grass Roots Garbage Gang’

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Black Lake, Ilwaco

We had to get up EARLY for us, and even then we were twenty minutes late for the Grassroots Garbage Gang beach clean up.  We might have made it on time, for once, had we not been distracted by the end of the Black Lake Fishing Derby.  We had to stop and take a few photos of the last of the boaters at this annual event for children; it had started at 7 AM.  The lake had been stocked with nice big fish the previous week.

Black Lake

Black Lake

fishing from shore

fishing from shore

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Beach Clean Up

cleanup

We started our clean up from the Seaview beach approach, as my knee had been hurting a lot the evening before and even though a wilder area would be more fun, I did not want to have to walk in on a half mile long trail.

check in point on the Seaview approach

check in point on the Seaview approach

looking northeast from the beach

looking northeast from the beach

Looking north, we could see lots of trash-pickers up toward Long Beach, so we turned south.

Looking north, we could see lots of trash-pickers up toward Long Beach, so we turned south.

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We like to see beach cleaners starting young.

Despite the dramatic light and clouds, we were spared any rain or wind.

Despite the dramatic light and clouds, we were spared any rain or wind.

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looking south toward North Head

looking south toward North Head

The beach was strewn with piles of little dead jellyfish, the blue sailed velella velella which had arrived in droves recently.  As they die off, they can create quite a stench.  Fortunately, that part was over.  They were still slippery and squelchy, though.  A book in my collection, Beachcombing the Pacific, says that when velella wash ashore, debris from Japan is not far behind.  Nowadays, debris is likely to be from the tsunami and thus associated with sadness rather than the romanticism of finding a glass fishing float.

drifts of velella

drifts of velella (Allan’s photo)

from Wikepedia.  They are stunningly beautiful when they wash ashore.

from Wikepedia. They are stunningly beautiful when they wash ashore.

From a local Facebook page

From a local Facebook page

drifts of dessicated velella

drifts of dessicated velella

The gulls seemed to find them quite tasty.

The gulls seemed to find them quite tasty.

DSC00189

Allan’s photo

Allan walked along the edge of the dunes seeking (and finding) debris that had washed up that far in last Thursday’s storm.  We did not find as much debris as usual, however.  Later, the clean up organizer, Shelly Pollock, told us that this length of beach has been adopted by some regular volunteers who have been reliably collecting all the big stuff.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

wild beach peas, Allan's photo

wild beach peas, Allan’s photo

Horse riders are a common sight on our beach.

Horse riders are a common sight on our beach.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

horses

The beach was covered with tire tracks; perhaps there had been clamming earlier in the day.  I do not like driving on the beach for ANY reason other than to pick up trash.  One of the big arguments for beach driving is that seniors and disabled cannot get out there on foot, so perhaps there could be a section of beach open for vehicles with “handicapped parking” stickers.  That is as far as I can concede on that topic.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo:  These are the sort of tracks I do like to see on the beach.

photo by Rose Power: deer tracks

photo by Rose Power: deer tracks

Eight city blocks south of the Seaview approach, Holman Creek flows into the ocean.

creek

looking up Holman Creek

When I lived in Seaview in 1993, this was my favourite place to walk.

When I lived in Seaview in 1993, this was my favourite place to walk.

It is shallow enough at low tide to wade across, with one's shoes off.

It is shallow enough at low tide to wade across, with one’s shoes off.

This time, we did not wade it but instead turned upstream to trash pick along the edge.  Again, we found not much trash compared to previous beach clean ups.

a little further upstream

a little further upstream

Note the car to the right. probably on a valuable mission to pick up the trash bags left by volunteers.

Note the car to the right. probably on a valuable mission to pick up the trash bags left by volunteers.  Any other day, I would feel that having a car there wrecked the photo.

looking south

looking south

gulls having a bath

gulls having a bath

gulls

gulls2

gulls3

a flock of noisy birds flew overhead

a flock of noisy birds flew overhead

Their swirling flight pattern made me think they were something like sandpipers.

Their swirling flight pattern made me think they were something like sandpipers.

Allan was still up at the edge of the dunes.

taking a photo of the flying birds

trying to get a photo of the flying birds (didn’t turn out; he says it was just blue sky)

He did get this photo of a woolly bear in the dune grass.

He did get this photo of a woolly bear in the dune grass.

He says he hoped his flying bird landing would be as clear as Mr Tootlepedal's photos.    No...

Later: He says he hoped his flying bird landing would be as clear as Mr Tootlepedal’s photos. No…

Allan

Allan, back to trash picking

grass

beach grass trying to colonize a new dune

Again, we did not find as much trash as usual, even though we did not see the back-and-forthing footprints of any beach cleaner who might have walked ahead of us.  Finally, along the grassy edge of the dunes, I found a treasure trove of small plastic bits.

lots of little bits of plastic in these grasses

lots of little bits of plastic in these grasses

Just walking on that bit of rough ground got me knee in an uproar.  Fortunately, Allan found me a perfect piece of driftwood to use as a cane (and I used it all the way back!).  A little bird kept us company from the top of a nearby beach pine.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo:  This little bird regaled us with song while we picked up little plastic bits.

Allan’s photo: This little bird regaled us with song while we picked up little plastic bits.

Warning, sad bird carcass photo below, posted to illustrate why we pick up the little bits of plastic. Birds eat them and dead birds have been found with a gut full of plastic bits.  Because they cannot digest the plastic, a bird can starve from eating it.

DSC00198

little bits of plastic, Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

Nearby, we saw a woolly bear on the sand.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the bear in question

the bear in question

Just as I was about to pick up the woolly bear and take him to the dune grass, a hummer drove up with a volunteer who took a full garbage bag from us.

guy

guy2

DSC00210

Allan’s photo

A lot of erosion took place on the dunes along the creek estuary over the winter.

A lot of erosion took place on the dunes along the creek estuary over the winter.

On the way back, more gulls eating velella.

On the way back, more gulls eating velella.

Some more volunteers were just arriving.

Some more volunteers

These folks speculated that the reason for the lack of trash was that Thursday’s windstorm had buried it, so they walked along poking mounds of sand with their pick-up sticks.

people2

people3

We met a little dog named Ellie or Alfie.

Of course, I was smitten.

Of course, I was smitten.

The dog was tied to a tonka truck which “slowed him down”, according to his people.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo (omitting the car that was parked right next to this scene)

Just about then, I recalled that I had forgotten to rescue the woolly bear from the sand.  By now, it was seven blocks back, so that mission was abandoned.

Leaving the beach, we drove north to the Peninsula Senior Center for the soup lunch provided for volunteers.

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inside the center

inside the center

volunteer soup servers (Allan's photo)

volunteer soup servers (Allan’s photo)

DSC00230 - Version 2

Allan’s photo

dessert.  Someone made fudge, and I do dearly love iced animal cookies.

dessert. Someone made fudge, and I do dearly love iced animal cookies. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Rose Power is in blue.

Rose Power is in blue and is, quite thrillingly for Anglophile me, originally from England.

We sat at a table with local artist Rose Power and shared our best finds.  Ours were both paper.  We had been amused to find, on the beach, a grocery store receipt that spoke of a beach trip.

Note the three pails and shovels and sandwich making food!  And Doritos, of course.

Note the three pails and shovels and sandwich making food! And Doritos, of course.

Allan found a paper brochure for hospice care in Hawaii; it can’t have washed all the way from there!  He also wishes to know what that white piece of plastic is for:

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Allan’s photo

Rose Power found the coolest item: a bottle with a message in it.

Rose Power found the coolest item: a bottle with a message in it.

Rose had gone out to the Klipsan beach and had found much more debris than we had.

Rose picked up all this.

Rose picked up all this.

DSC00241

beach

Three hundred and twenty five people had signed in at the check points to clean the beach, and we are sure that others had walked out from their beach houses and resorts without signing in.  That is an impressive turnout.

Because the Senior Center is conveniently located right next to Golden Sands Assisted Living, we went to work right after lunch…but that, and a large number of photos of Ed’s new puppy, will be the next post.

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Saturday, 24 January 2015

(January outings, part two)

beach clean up

Today was beach clean up day…

clean

This meant that after turning into staycation night owls, we had to get up EARLY (for us).  It was not easy, but we managed to get to the Seaview beach approach only 20 minutes late.  Our plan had been to access the beach on a roadway further south…till I realized we had forgotten garbage bags, so we had to go to an official check in point.

Allan's photo: I was met by a cute black labrador.

Allan’s photo: I was met by a cute black labrador.

Allan's photo: signing in

Allan’s photo: signing in

At the check in truck, a photo on display showed why we pick up all the teeny tiny bits of plastic.  Birds eat them.

It is sad.

It is sad to see a bird with a belly full of plastic.

The night high tide had slid up the beach approach almost all the way to where the truck was parked, so there was trash to pick all down the approach road.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo: We found several of these.

Allan’s photo: We found several of these.

Allan's photo: The pile of rope was too big for us.

Allan’s photo: The pile of rope was too big for us.

3

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan picking trash

Allan picking trash

When we are late, and thus walking behind other cleaners, we pretty much end up picking up mostly little plastic bits.  We know it is good for the birds to remove them, yet I always feel it is such an endless task as there is so much more out there in the ocean.

bits

Allan’s photo….so many plastic bits that birds ingest.

Because we are used to bending over and picking stuff, we moved fast and got ahead to where we found some larger items.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a pile left for pick up

a pile left for pick up

bag

2

That kelp would make great garden fertilizer.

When a cleaner fills a bag, s/he leaves it at the high tide line, and cleanup volunteer vehicles come by to pick the bags up.  This is the ONLY time I do not mind seeing driving on our beach (which is, most unfortunately, a state highway…which I find appalling).

3

Usually, seeing tire tracks just spoils a good beach photo.  Today, they are there for a good purpose.  (The only other time I might concede to not minding the beach highway being open is on clamming tides when I suppose it does make the clams much more accessible to hundreds of clammers.  And I think it would be ok to have ONE section of beach, preferably not scenic Seaview, maybe in front of Long Beach, open so that people with disability permits could drive out to see the sea and the sunset.)  This is a terribly controversial point of view to have as beach drivers are adamant about not giving it up and often gets furious at the very idea that maybe the beach would be a more beautiful place without vehicles.  Today, however, I really appreciated seeing the drivers removing the piles of debris.

Volunteers in a cute old truck.

Volunteers in a cute old truck.

Maddeningly (for us), this driver told us he had found glass fishing floats and the orange plastic floats a couple of miles south,  just where I’d been thinking of going till I realized we did not have garbage bags with us!  Next time!

just part of the cool haul

just part of the cool haul

After two hours of picking, we walked back.  By the approach road, we saw two volunteers attacking that huge pile of rope.

rope

rope2

(Allan's photo) A volunteer loads up the dumpster.

(Allan’s photo) A volunteer loads up the dumpster.

Just up the Seaview beach approach road sits the Sou’wester Lodge (between J and L streets) and then The Depot Restaurant (corner of 38th and L), two of our favourite places.  I’d noticed on the drive in that the Depot window box annuals had finally died back.  Allan remembered that I wanted to stop after the beach clean up to clean THEM up.

I have been waiting for these to die!

I have been waiting for these to die!

Tidying those windowboxes had been the very last thing on the work list for 2014.

Tidying those windowboxes had been the very last thing on the work list for 2014.

We then drove about 15 miles or so north to the Moose Lodge in Ocean Park where some regular patrons were already drinking at the bar. The beach clean up volunteers were treated to a soup feed in the dining room.

the Moose Lodge

the Moose Lodge on U Street, Ocean Park

I want a sticker like this for the Grass Roots Garbage Gang website.

I want a sticker like this for the Grass Roots Garbage Gang website.

Three kinds of soup were served.

Three kinds of soup were served: clam chowder, split pea, and chili.

thanks to volunteers

thanks to volunteers

beach volunteers dining

beach volunteers dining

food

Kathleen had come down for the weekend and joined us at table.  Allan tells me I was chewing in all the photos so we won’t see that.  Well, the split pea soup was mighty good.  Okay, just one:

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We made a stop at Klipsan Beach Cottages to see the garden and to deliver Denny’s very belated birthday present (the traditional six pack of Alaskan Amber ale; his birthday is shortly after Christmas.)

looking in the garden gate

looking in the garden gate

snowdrops

snowdrops

Above, you can see a hole in the decorative deer: storm damage from a fallen branch.

a fine little clump

a fine little clump

crocus

crocus

Although I had no intention of working, I did have to cut some old leaves off of a couple of hellebores.

hellebore

hellebore

hellebore

hellebore

primroses

primroses

primroses and pieris

primroses and pieris

red azalea and stems of 'Tiger Eyes' sumac

red azalea and stems of ‘Tiger Eyes’ sumac

Early narcissisi (maybe 'February Gold' already blooming in the A Frame garden

Early narcissisi (maybe ‘February Gold’ already blooming in the A Frame garden

on our way out, saying goodbye to Mary of KBC (Allan's photo)

on our way out, saying goodbye to Mary of KBC (Allan’s photo)

Golden Sands and Long Beach

We made a brief stop at the Golden Sands Assisted Living garden to just quickly bung in some peony starts that I’d gotten from MaryBeth.  (The best ones had already gone into my own garden.)

Golden Sands courtyard in winter

Golden Sands courtyard in winter

It didn’t look too bad although a couple of the quadrant beds could sure use some mulch.  Later!

On the way to Long Beach, we had a lovely tea break at Kathleen’s Midway cottage.  I was feeling so tired after a mere five hours of sleep that I did not even think to take a photo.

In Long Beach, the planters are showing bits of colour.  I’d made note on the way north that three of them had dead Erysimums so we attended to those on our way through town.

crocus in a Long Beach planter

crocus in a Long Beach planter

planter with crocus and heuchera

planter with crocus and heuchera

The last daytime mission was to take some photos for the Niva green Facebook page.  There is always much of interest in Heather Ramsay’s New, Inspired, Vintage, Artful and ecologically green shop.

outside NIVA green

outside NIVA green

items made from license plates

items made from license plates

decorative items

decorative items

a robot dog lamp sort of thing.  K9?

a robot dog lamp sort of thing. K9?

gifts

one of Heather's lamps

one of Heather’s lamps

On the way out of the Long Beach, I just had to check on Fifth Street Park.  Woe betide us, it looked rather a mess.

Sedum Autumn Joy blocking the view of very early narcissi and crocus

Sedum Autumn Joy blocking the view of very early narcissi and crocus…and a carpet of shotweed and the ever annoying little wild allium mixed in with the catmint

fifth2

and quite a messy tangle of ornamental grass on the lawn...

and quite a messy tangle of ornamental grass on the lawn…

Sadly, I felt that this would compel us to emerge from staycation before the end of January as I simply could not stand the thought of it looking so bad.  (That night, in fact, I dreamt that the park was a mess before two crucial late summer holiday weekends.)  We’d wait till a weekday, though.

Meanwhile, we drove on home where we had a very few hours to relax before going out again to another musical evening at the Sou’wester.

 

 

 

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5 July:  I think Friday was the longest day…We had to get up early (for us) to get to the beach clean up, and yet we were half an hour late as we always are, rolling in to the sign in point at ten instead of nine thirty.

Beach Clean Up  10-11:30 AM

The Grass Roots Garbage Gang has three beach cleanups a year.  The biggest one, because of massive fireworks on the beach, is on July 5th every year.

signing people in at Seaview approach

signing people in at Seaview approach

 clean

dumpster

Seaview approach road

Seaview approach road

clean

beach clean

beach clean

clean

clean

 dangerous campfire remnants

dangerous campfire remnants

Allan and another volunteer compare their finds

Allan and another volunteer compare their finds

a bag already filled

a bag already filled

clean

supervisor

supervisor

Birds benefit from having a clean beach.

Birds benefit from having a clean beach.

amazing plants grow in the sand...

amazing plants grow in the sand…

P1020616

clean

clean

clean

dumpster

As well as picking up on foot, volunteers drive the beach to pick up the bags as they are filled.

clean

We usually stay at the clean up longer and then go to the soup feed, but on this day we had too much work to do so had to go to….

Long Beach: 11:40 til 4:00

The Long Beach planters could have waited for one more day to be watered, but doing so on Saturday would have been madness.  Allan turned on the water in the Sid Snyder Drive beach approach planters (which have soaker hose) while I started watering the planters downtown.  I was hoping the street tree gardens would not also need watering, but poking at the soil revealed that they were dry, so Allan started on that when he got to town.

I can certainly see the difference in the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ that I forgot to cut back, and that has now fallen open, and the nice tidy ones that I cut back in mid May.

not cut back...and cut back

not cut back…and cut back

It is just coincidence when a burnt orange California poppy blooms with a yellow flower and a pink one with a pink flower….

happy coincidences

happy coincidences

I don’t think I have ever seen the town so full of people.

crowds everywhere

crowds everywhere

This meant we got our extra share of compliments…and also saw some extra planter sitting;  it does pain me to see someone sitting right on a plant.

o the pain!

o the pain!

The Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ bloomed just in time to look like fireworks for the big holiday weekend.  I have removed it from most of the planters, but the owner of Wind World Kites loves it in the planter in front of his shop and doesn’t mind being somewhat hidden behind it.

Wind World Kites

Wind World Kites

Cute Alert!  I was photographing a cute Yorkie for the blog (the one on the bottom step is Gilly, 4 1/2 pounds, age ten) and another puppy wanted to get in the picture.

for Judy

for Judy

The painted sage down by Home at the Beach was looking grand, as was, as always, their storefront display.

Home at the Beach

Home at the Beach

Salvia viridis (painted sage)

Salvia viridis (painted sage)

Bees were buzzing all over the planters…

Salvia 'May Night' and golden oregano

Salvia ‘May Night’ and golden oregano (no visible bees but they were there!)

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Geranium ‘Rozanne’

sedums

sedums

We have further lost the bench on the northernmost west side planter, but with bees all over the lavender and Helichrysum I am not about to cut it back yet.

Uh oh.

Uh oh.

A sad moment:  I found a big finger blight on the northernmost east side planter.  Someone had stolen the new Dianthus ‘Raspberry Ripple’ in its full beauty.  I happened to have with me three red Dianthus for Veterans Field which we had not planted because we could not find parking anywhere near there, so one of them went in as a replacement but it is not nearly as special.

finger blight! and repair

finger blight! and repair

We finished out Long Beach by turning off the soaker hoses on Sid Snyder.  All the planters used to have soaker hoses but they never got the soil uniformly wet, some plants struggled, and I prefer the quick connect hose watering method we use now on the main street.  It also enables us to wash salt wind and car dust off of the plants.

We parked at the Kite Museum where I deadheaded their garden and felt very disappointed in how it is looking.  I have not had time to check on it and it has not filled in well at all.  This is a difficult time of year to add plants, but we must…I know the staff will keep it watered.  I blame the wind…or the lack of the gardener’s shadow (said to be the best fertilizer…that is to say, we have not looked at it enough).

not satisfactory

not satisfactory

Then we were off to Ilwaco.

Ilwaco 4:00-8:30

Our first garden on Howerton was by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle.  Jenna has been keeping it watered for us.  I think the wind is the culprit for the state of some of the poppies, rather than finger blight.

unseasonable wind

unseasonable wind

We checked on and weeded all the Howerton gardens that we care for and the Port Office garden.  (You can tell which ones we do because almost all “ours” have Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’!)

at Howerton and Elizabeth

at Howerton and Elizabeth

After Howerton, I finally finished weeding the boatyard.  At last!  After pecking away on it all week, it did get done in time for Ilwaco’s big fireworks Saturday.  Allan had to bucket water the Ilwaco planters and then rejoined me and watered the boatyard garden.

looking good in the evening

looking good in the evening

santolina

santolina

Santolina is another way to recognize our gardens.

Santolina is another way to recognize our gardens.

pinky purple

pinky purple

looking south..the end in sight

looking south..the end in sight

Penstemon 'Burgundy Brew'

Penstemon ‘Burgundy Brew’

many weeds and spent California poppies

many weeds and spent California poppies

I clipped some of the California poppies that had flopped onto the sidewalk; they will flower again from the base.

orange and blue

orange and blue

Allan watering

Allan watering

And…the lovely view from the very end of the boatyard garden, looking south at dusk.

twilight

twilight

We just had time before dark to make a last stop at the Shoalwater Cove Gallery garden and deadhead the lupines.  We can see our house from there.   With just enough light left to water some pots and the containers in the greenhouse, we got home.  I think that July 5th now qualifies as this year’s longest work day…and the reward?  Two days off!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday we checked on a number of different gardens from Long Beach to Discovery Heights and weeded and cleaned up some of the streetside gardens along Howerton Way at the Ilwaco Harbour Village: the port gardens, the Port Bistro restaurant, and Time Enough Books.

(left) at the McD drivethrough in Long Beach, yellow Tulip ‘Big Smile’ has stood up well to all the recent storms. Note to self: plant them more thickly next year for a more vivid display.

(right) The same Tulip giving us a big smile from the boat in the Time Enough Books garden.

When we went into the bookstore to get Allan’s present for his sister Pam, we found something more exciting even than plants:  The owners are fostering a Boston Terrier puppy. Their sweet golden lab, Harper, loves the puppy and particularly enjoys trying to share the bottle, then carefully licks all the milk off of the well-fed sleepy puppy’s face.

Saturday morning Allan and I joined the Grassroots Garbage Gang’s beach clean up session.  The rain had slowed from an early morning storm and it did not occur to me to suit up in rain pants, a decision which I later regretted (as did Allan, who made the same ill-fated choice.) Indeed, the rain returned in force.  I had two winter scarves wrapped around my head because I do find hoods so uncomfortable and lacking in clear visibility.

Allan hauling soggy garbage…and a landscape design by mother nature

Because the beach between the Seaview approach and the creek had been well cleaned, we walked back via the Discovery Trail, where Allan pointed out the sort of naturescape that inspires the driftwood decoration of gardens.

We arrived at the Senior Center almost too late for the thank you lunch provided for the beach clean up volunteers; it had become quite absorbing to go just a little bit further up the beach for another cluster of bottles and cans. Then home, warmth and dry clothes and some email time and later a delicious dinner  at the Depot Restaurant.

At home the next morning I had a very slow start involving sitting in a chair by the pond for at least an hour, counting the new fish babies (fifteen or more!)  Later I pruned a large and overly rampant honeysuckle.  I found a baby offshoot of my Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’, just about my favourite plant of the year, which caused a greater shout of glee than even the baby fish because a Tetrapanax ‘SG’ costs about $30 to buy. A few more brief pond chair sitting sessions were necessary to get through the day, but I finally got my birthday present from Allan (five bales of compost!) spread in my new raised garden bed.

Allan pruning the last sword fern on the Big Rock

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