:: But I'm here to show you last week. A time-zone and two states away from here.
This was our fifth time razor clamming and our third with Juniper (click for the first and second). Most spectacularly, this was June bug's first time participating (Hazel taking her turn in the backpack).
I grew up combing the coasts of Oregon, plucking the empty, open, butterflied shells of razor clams off the beach. I never had any familiarity with the creatures that lived inside those shells. I am so happy that my kids will, and do.
:: This was our first spring-time dig and by far the best weather we've seen on the Washington coast.
Clam "shows" ^ about as obvious as they get.
The State of Washington has a 15 clam bag limit per day. By regulation, you must keep any clam you dig. So when clam shows are bubbling up all around your feet, you get both giddy and picky. Each of us has our own theory on how to spot a big clam. Most of us are wrong, except my brother's wife. Some say it's the biggest volcano, some say it's no volcano at all, some say it's the clams that stick their black-ringed neck out, some say look for the clams shooting water high into the air, some say look for a little divot with some shifting sand, some say go for the loners, some say the closest to the water, some say it's a crap-shoot. Anyway. June bugs would get so...as she would say... essited! at each clam hole she found yelling, "Another one! Another one! Here's a clam! Quick let's dig it!"
Juniper pointing out some clam shows (and drawing "H" for Hazel, her favorite letter to write).
And then, "I wanna take it home and EAT IT!" Or, "Awww. Look at this cute little clam. I wanna kiss it and hug it." That's our girl, the hunter-gatherer, having a love-eat relationship with the food we grow/gather/hunt/catch.
J finding a sand dollar. She ended the day with a pocketful: gifts as well as her own finds.
What you look like when the clamming is hopping:
A skosh nutty, in other words.
Washington limits their clam digs to once or twice a month. This means that clams tend to be big and plentiful, and digging is this crazy, mass conference of clammers. It isn't evident in my photos, but the beach is literally lined with people and their vehicles, parked well away from the tide-line. My mom says it's like Disneyland. You wouldn't think there would be enough clams, but there are, and then some.
Hazel Iris ^ first time walking on the beach.
:: Third morning:
What you look like when clamming is not hopping...
The third morning was slower-going than the first two days, but we did fill our limit. The post-dig beach always reminds me of a battlefield.