This is what spring looks like on the Oregon coast

March is unpredictable on the Oregon Coast. Sunny one day, stormy the next. When I took this picture yesterday, it was windy, drizzling and cold.  Today, we have sun, but rain is forecast for later. People are flocking to the beaches for spring break, but I wouldn’t spread my towel on the sand just yet. Go to the aquarium, blow a glass float, visit our art galleries and museums, or try our clam chowder, marionberry cobbler, and locally brewed beer. Don’t forget your hoodie.

All winter, our berry vines have looked like dead sticks, but they’re coming back to life. These salmonberries are determined to take over the space between my deck and the fence. Meanwhile, the daffodils are blooming like crazy despite the rain and wind. Trillium decorate our trails, and in local creeks, skunk cabbage plants are starting to spread their giant leaves and send up bright yellow flowers that do indeed smell like skunk spray.
Happy spring to all. May your storms ease, your snow melt and the sun make everything bloom.

But I didn’t miss the next storm

Mother Nature is obviously pissed off at Oregon. Otherwise, why would we have so many storms in a row? Yes, I missed the big snowstorm of March 12, but I sure didn’t miss the storms that have followed. We haven’t gotten any snow lately, but the rain and wind keep hammering us. There’s no time to recover. During the last two days, we actually saw the sun for a few minutes, just long enough to leash up the dog, head out for a walk and get soaked by the next deluge. It’s a good thing we didn’t get all of our fallen trees and broken branches cleaned up because we keep getting more. We got almost 20 inches of rain just in the month of March. The rivers are overflowing, landslides are blocking the roads, and another wind storm is predicted for 2 p.m. today. Enough. April Fools Day is over.

None of this bothers my dog Annie too much. Occasionally she takes a chew off the ragged end of one of the fallen branches near the fence or laps up water from the uncovered spa (blown-off cover still lying on the lawn). Now full of rain water, it’s the world’s biggest water bowl. Yesterday we had a short break from the rain. After some running around and chasing a bumblebee, she sat on the deck for the longest time, staring at the robins pulling worms out of the lawn. Now she’s curled up in front of the pellet stove again.

I feel for last week’s spring break visitors who found the weather here a little problematic. It was whale-watching week, when volunteers staff whale-watching stations along the coast and visitors are encouraged to watch the gray whales migrating by. At this rate, you’d think even the whales would say, forget it, we’re staying in San Diego. But the robins, whales and tourists come every year, no matter what. The trillium are blooming and the salmonberry vines are turning green, a sure sign of spring. Beyond the clouds, the sky is blue. Come visit the beach. Just wear your raincoat.

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