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Cold hands, warm heart

April 3, 2021

First beach walk of the year yesterday. (Over the winter even low tide is too high to walk all the way along the water.) The last time Joe and I went for a walk – and the time before – I ended up taking off my winter coat and just carrying it. Made an effort as I was leaving yesterday to put on my fleece, instead of the heavy coat. On my way to the car I realised it was cooler than I’d thought. In the car and just about to start the engine I registered that we were going to be on the shore where it’s always a bit breezy. Decided to go back in and switch to the coat. Good thing I did, because it was beyond breezy when we arrived. There was a fucking cold wind.

On previous walks on this beach (on warmer days), Joe had discovered that Georgie is just as happy to chase her ball into water is she is to chase it on land. Too cold to send her into the ocean, but there is a lagoon behind the beach where she got a couple of balls thrown into the water.

I have to say I am impressed with Georgie yet again. As soon as she emerged from the water, she gave herself a good shake. Most dogs I’ve come across in the past wait until they’re standing right beside their human before shaking off water.

Back on the beach we came across this “sculpture”…

… which someone had managed to wedge into a “standing” position.

The wind which had been at out backs was now blowing in our faces, but that was okay, because several minutes later I stopped feeling the cold, captivated by a heartwarming sight.

Last year, the last time Joe and I went for this walk, I was pleased to see a couple of star fish. There are boulders on this bit of shoreline which used to be absolutely covered in star fish when the tide was out. It was one of the things I loved showing visitors to the island. When my friend Irmani visited in 2011, she was enchanted by the sight. By the time she came back three years later there were none. A dreadful wasting disease had swept up the Pacific coast. Articles talked about the star fish population being “decimated”, but that’s not actually the word. To decimate a population means to kill 10%. This wasting disease had laid waste to an estimated 90% of the population.

So, imagine my utter delight when we got to those boulders and I saw this.

And this.

No, not hundreds of star fish, but there were scores of them – including a few coral ones I thought had been wiped out completely. God, I hope there will be a full rebound.

The plan was to head back to Joe’s place after the walk and have a beer on his newly rebuilt deck. That plan was made when the weather was considerably warmer, but we gave it a go. In addition to ball throwing for Georgie during walks, there is also ball throwing for Georgie in the back yard. This kept me entertained for a while, so much so that it took me some time to register I was so cold my hands had turned as purple as those star fish. Time to go home and warm up.

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