Just a Glimpse of Summer

Digging for Clams

Newcomers to Pittsburgh are often unprepared for the number of gray days we experience. Likely the one area with most similar weather is the Northwest Coast–Washington and Oregon. We felt right at home there.

Late September found the Oregon coast bereft of users on a weekday save for the hardy few clam diggers hoping to fill a pail or so with the sea’s bounty. It was chilly, the sun cast over by deep clouds and the wind quite sharp. We strolled the rocky shores for quite some distance without encountering anyone. Oregon’s coast is publicly owned, so shore visitors have ample room to spread out but sandy beaches are few.


Despite the cold there are some things I do love about winter. I awakened at 5 per usual when I’m feeling okay, and the light snowfall yesterday laid a fresh coverlet over the landscape. The light it reflects back, even on the cloudiest nights, is amazing; it’s so easy to pick out all the broad details of my surroundings. In the clear sky of the last full moon it was astounding, the pergola’s shadows sharp on the snow. Through the bare trees I see the lights of the various houses all across the valley and hill behind me as their occupants arise and light their ways inside, and I watch the lights of cars coming down the distant section of PA 910 about a mile away.