of hair, of fur, feathers, or wings, it is, for
that reason, to be of no account?
Jean Paul Richter
Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life. John Muir
Blogging about the
Traffic was bumper-to-bumper coming from Lincoln City back to the valley - those travelers from the three-day weekend thinking (erroneously) that they had a jump on the crowd heading homeward. Our trip from the valley to Lincoln City, on the other hand, was easy-breezy.
And breezy was the operative word for the day. There were 45 mph sustained winds at the beach, making the usual stroll on the sand more of a challenge than we or our two eight-year-old dogs had in mind on a summer day. Coupled with that was a troubling condition we noted in the waves coming onto the shoreline: they had a murky greenish cast to them and smelled strongly of rotting plant life. We decided to keep the dogs out of the water line where we usually walk and they love to run in the wet, packed sand. This forced us into the soft dunes of loose beach sand that slipped with our steps, making for an aerobic workout of sorts.
We grew tired. Mike scanned the hillside with its various little caves carved out by eons of wave activity, where huge pieces of driftwood become nice beach fire sites for some, and where we looked for a sheltered place to sit out of the wind for awhile. There was one such perfect spot that Mike pointed to and we headed over. Even the dogs were looking grateful for a chance to rest. And there on a rock slab in the hillside, just above where we had chosen to stop awhile, was this dead raccoon.
She had such a story to tell with her last movements, now hardened into place. Even in this sheltered spot an occasional burst of wind found the fur on her back and tousled it. The raccoon did not smell. Her dying ground hadn't attracted many flies or bugs. Abby and Bonbon showed an uncharacteristic lack of awareness that this corpse was nearby.
There was a dignity to the scene, and so we sat there only five feet beneath the slab where she lay. I took these photos so she could tell her story to you.