Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

Cape Meares was the scene of a joyful event on Saturday, June 6: The Merz family celebrated a wedding! A much larger event had originally been planned, but Kate Merz’s son, Jesse, and his now-wife, Malari, adapted with gracious creativity to current circumstances. Nine celebrants gathered at the family cabin mid-afternoon, snacking on appetizers as the women fiddled with their hair and chose their attire while waiting for a break in the weather. When the sky brightened a bit, everyone pulled on boots and dashed down to the south end of the beach and scrambled up the muddy hillside onto the lighthouse trail. Formality be damned! They arrayed themselves among the tree roots next to the burbling brook, surrounded by ferny lushness, and watched the sky spit and the ocean glisten. There was a quick exchange of vows, a champagne toast and then a sprint through the pelting rain back to the warmth of the cabin, where they celebrated with oysters, shrimp and joy. Congratulations to the newlyweds! And to the mother of the groom, our own Kate Merz.

The “no beach access” signs have been taken down at both entrances to the beach in Cape Meares. I saw a vehicle parked at the south entrance and a man taking a backpack and a fishing pole out of his trunk. I asked if he planned to hike out to the jetty to fish. He told me he was headed that way. I mentioned that my husband had caught a lingcod out there years ago, and it had been delicious! The man smiled and said, “That’s the plan.” Others in Cape Meares have caught greenling, cabezon, perch, and black rockfish as well as lingcod off the jetty rocks. Check https://MyODFW.com/fishing/marine-zone for current fishing regulations. It’s a long walk out there, but it’s worth it if it brings home dinner! Some folks ride their bikes instead, but please remember e-bikes are not allowed on our beach (except disabled persons may ride pedal-assisted bikes with a park ranger’s permission). No bikes of any kind are allowed from the start of the marked snowy plover area to the jetty.

Chris Spence and Narayan Lincoln have put in a hugelkultur raised garden bed on the south side of their house. Rotting timber and wood chips line the bottom, acting like a sponge to absorb rainwater. The advantages of a hugel bed are many, including: 1) the gradual decay of wood is a consistent source of long-term nutrients for the plants; 2) the composting wood also generates heat, which should extend the growing season; 3) soil aeration increases as those branches and logs break down, meaning the bed will be “no till” for the long term; and 4) the sponge-like nature of the logs and branches allows rainwater to be stored and released during drier times, meaning you may never need to water your hugel bed after the first year. Narayan will plant lettuces, kale, shallots, herbs, zucchini, cucumber, leeks and some flowers in the new little garden. May they flourish!

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