The beach in Edmonds and one of the several ferry terminals in the area, are both about 3 miles from where I live.
Last Friday I made plans to pick up Gabriel, my 7-year-old grandson, from school so we could have a picnic at the beach. The weather was sheer gorgeousness and I needed the beach like I used to need a cigarette. It was my first time at the beach since before winter. The Seattle area was having an unusually splendid warm streak for this early in May.
We settled in among the big driftwood logs, Gabriel played around in the water and I sat and watched the beach action of kids, parents, teenagers, grandparents, grandchildren. Just the normal Friday afternoon at the beach during an unusual heat wave. Bliss.
I brought a couple of felt pens with me so we could draw on rocks. It was an idea I got from a photo on Facebook of painted peace signs on rocks and since I’m an old hippie who likes stuff like this, we painted rocks. Naturally, I drew suns and peace signs, and Gabriel drew interesting primitive looking hieroglyphics on his rocks.
About two hours later, Gabriel and I tossed the painted rocks in random spots on the sand and into the water, we packed up the cooler, my chair, and started to head to the parking lot. There are huge driftwood logs on the beach so we were walking slowly as I carefully stepped over the logs.
Suddenly, you know how people yell “FIRE!!”? Well, that is what I heard from a man very close to us, except he cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, “WHALE!”
I turned around to look at the water and sure enough, I saw the back of a whale dive back into the water. The whale was to the left side of this sign post in the photo shown below.
Several of us were like little kids so excited to see if it would surface again. We ran closer to shore, we watched…and watched…and then….we all yelled “THERE IT IS!” In fact, the adults may have been more excited than the kids.
The whale, a humpback I learned the next day, was about a quarter-mile out in the water and spouting water. Gabriel had the camera and we had the video going but I hadn’t hit zoom before handing the camera to him.
He filmed a speck of black in the distance. We can see the speck of black spout water and then a speck of black which is the whale tail disappear back into the water. It was our ‘whale of a moment’ and…
IT WAS AWESOME. Everyone was just so elated. Just to see a whale. Just happy to see a whale. Beautifully simple in an extraordinary way. Humpbacks don’t come into the Sound all that often.
Satiated by the experience, we picked up our things, again, to head back to the car. But…wait…there was a crowd forming nearby.
We walked over to see that people were looking at this family.
Which included six little goslings.
O. M. G.
So, we stayed to watch this new beach story unfold. Mother and Father Goose were taking their six little goslings for an evening walk by the sea.
They walked over to the logs, we followed, and I took photos along the way. We were all keeping a respectable distance from the little family. At one point a little girl went too close and Mother Goose hissed at her, at which time I gently removed the child explaining why.
Then, Mother and Father climbed over the log to the other side and stood there. Waiting…and waiting…
…while the baby goslings stood staring, on the other side, just staring at this huge obstruction in front of them. They probably wondered, “Where are our parents? They disappeared into this log!”
Mama and Papa realize that they are not going to be joined by the kids and then changed tactics.
They climbed back over the logs to the kids and decided to walk back to right where they started.
Right back where they started from, and eventhough their evening stroll didn’t quite work out like they planned, they were seemingly as happy as geese can be while living at the beach, which is a very wonderful place to land and have babies, in my opinion.
It was just about the sweetest picnic at the beach I’ve ever had. Except for that time in my cowgirl outfit at the beach in San Francisco when I was about 4…that was pretty sweet, too.