Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Copalis Ghost Forest

Thanks to Don Trapnell and Dave Agner for informing me about the Copalis Ghost Forest. I had commented on these extensive stands of dead trees along the Copalis River in my earlier post about kayaking on the river. These trees were once mighty cedars and spruces killed by a massive earthquake in the year 1700 (estimated at 9 points on the Richter scale) that caused the land to drop and saltwater to reach the forest.

The Friends of the Copalis River Committee of the North Beach Community Improvement Association is planning a small festival on July 25, 2009 along the river and some future improvements (kayak launch, nature trail). The Copalis Ghost Forest, it turns out, is one of the finest examples of its sort in the world.

We Saw a Whale!

Finally, after all these years of hearing about whales along the coast, we catch sight of one (sort of). This was late in the afternoon on Sunday, June 7, 2009. We drove down the beach from the Roosevelt Beach Road to the Iron Springs area. We had been painting the deck all day, so I wanted to let the kids have some beach time before driving home. We brought our bicycles on this trip and rode around.

Suddenly, a fisherman standing out in the surf started yelling excitedly and pointing out onto the ocean. Once I paid attention to him, I saw a cloud of spray above the waves, which must have been the exhaled breath of a whale. For a fraction of a second after that, I think I saw a fin. My wife watched the scene longer and saw several exhaled breaths.

This was perhaps a straggling Pacific Grey whale from the spring migration. It must have been small, since it seemed to be fairly near the shore.