Today day was a rainy day on the beach and so one of reading, wandering around in the scrub looking for those last few birds, walking through a big spider web and having to remove its owner from my leg and listening to another vacationing couple have a big fight down by the sea wall.

The big news though concerns water, more specifically the lack of it – somewhere down the line the water stopped flowing, or in the words of the gal at Rosa’s “Los machinas de limpiendo no estan trabajado.” It sounds to me like the water treatment plant was on the fritz. We discovered this at morning face washing time when the faucet provided the sound of rushing air instead of a stream of water. Checking at the office we were given a schedule which suggested that it would be available for an hour at a time, three times a day. All this brought to mind a week long water outage many years ago that gave us the term “sculptable hair” due to the condition of our coifs after 5 days on the beach without a shampoo and it seems we might be heading that way again. The Rosa’s gal told us two days and that the effect was town-wide.

My walk around the hill out back to look for birds was nice, little flocks of Lark Sparrows and five or ten Cardinals brightened up an otherwise dreary day. A big plume of black smoke shot up across the bay while I was looking at some vultures. I couldn’t tell if it was a brush fire or something more substantial but it didn’t last long, the San Carlos Fire Department was on it in a flash.

An abandoned oyster farm sits around the back of the bay from here and I wandered through it today for the first time. There isn’t much left except for a few broken buildings and a lot of trash but the centerpiece of the site is a pile of shells – pink and white – and enormous. A lot of oysters met their end at this place, continuing a tradition that extends back into antiquity. Most of the bumps and rises along this stretch of beach are shell middens, created by the local inhabitants over the course of thousands of years. Sort of clams on the half shell on the patio for America’s earliest inhabitants. This pile is merely the modern contribution. Given that this place is finally gone, it appears that the designation of Estero Soldado as a protected ecological zone might actually be taking hold; the oyster farm was here for a long time and something finally put it to rest.