I have some sad news to report. I recently learned that Brooks Sanders passed away near the start of this new year. Brooks was a longtime writer for “The Oregonian” newspaper. His wife, Marti Cooksey, predeceased him in 2014. She was a retired director of clinical administration for the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center at Oregon Health Sciences University. They moved to Cape Meares in retirement and enjoyed living here fulltime. The Cape Meares community extends sincere condolences to the family and friends of Brooks and Marti.

On one of our rare sunny Sundays, a few neighbors organized an informal beach clean-up. Eight or nine individuals participated, some starting at #29 beach mile marker and some at #30. A number of pieces of styrofoam had recently washed ashore, as well as some sort of rainbow-colored mattress cover (in pieces). There was also a huge canvas bag and a big, twisted metal piece, surely washed in from a shipwreck or perhaps off a fishing vessel. Plastic water bottles are always ubiquitous and, too often now, so are face masks. A shout-out to Simon Freeman (503-457-8065) with the Oregon State Parks Dept.; he will be picking up and disposing of the trash. In addition to the impressive “victory pile” the clean-up crew deposited at the end of Bayocean Road, they left a few piles of large debris and rope on the high beach for Simon to pick up in his vehicle on his next beach check. Our beach appreciates every litter bit that is picked up; thanks for your help, one and all!

There has been a discussion of nighttime bird strikes on our social media site, Nextdoor. Anita Johanson mentioned a flock of starling-sized birds flying into her windows. Anita fosters cats, so neighbor Wendy Burroughs, our resident bird specialist, postulated that perhaps the birds saw the kittens through an uncurtained window and were startled. Ciel Downing noted that strikes on her house were by flickers and happened when she failed to put out food for them; perhaps they are training her! Pete Parks suggested that a hawk chasing the little birds could make them fly into windows. Wendy then added that the placement of bird feeders can contribute to bird/window strikes, and that Cooper’s hawks will flush or ambush birds at a feeder just as they will when they are in a bush. Depending on the distance between the feeder and the windows, the scattering birds and or the hawk will strike the window. What are your thoughts, Fencepost birders? Email me at ellensteen2@gmail.com to share your theories.

Due to recent cases of Covid in our community, the Cape Meares Community Association’s social committee has decided to cancel monthly potlucks at the Barbara Bennett Community Center until further notice. Too bad but understandable; better safe than sorry! While we are on the subject of Covid, check Adventist Health Tillamook’s Facebook page for news about free home test kits. Last I looked, it said more information should be available by the end of this month.

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