only on vashon – the weely rundown 08/13/2021

It’s been a hot week, and people are looking for the best place to go swimming. We’ve been rating the beaches based on how crowded they are and what the jellyfish situation is like. Beaches are nowhere near as crowded as they are in cities, where you have to pay to park, walk two miles from your parking spot, claim a sliver of sand by planting your umbrella. But maybe we’ve come to define crowded as “I can see four people and three dogs.” As for the jellyfish, they’ve been out in force. Someone even got stung while swimming alone, and had to wash with vinegar. 

The sound is basically a wet ball pit full of jellyfish. 

credit: nbc news 2015

No one mentioned Fisher Pond as a swimming hole, although a dog got free and swam in it, which seems like a hearty recommendation. A good rule of thumb in life: if the dog likes it, it must be good. This is why I eat garbage.

Fun story: Many years ago, a boyfriend brought me home to meet his parents. His dog jumped all over me, and the mom said, “Well, the dog likes you, so you must be all right.” So I asked, “You trust your dog’s judgment more than your son’s?” She gave me a pitying look that, years later, I realized I should have taken way more seriously. 

Ok, I don’t really eat garbage. And I don’t think you’re allowed to swim in Fisher Pond. 

There have been numerous coyote sightings. The coyotes come close, even during the day, and only leave when you make a lot of noise. They may be lone hunters, or they may be scouts ready to report back to the pack with updated intelligence on how to open the chicken coop. 

Many group members reminded us that coyotes are always around, whether you see them or not. There’s probably one behind you right now. 

What’s the best way to handle the coyote situation? Comments ran the gamut from instructing us to shoot them, to reminding us that this is the coyote’s island, not just ours, and we should respect their space. 

The only time-tested solution is to paint a road that appears to disappear into the horizon on a boulder.

Acme Corporation: 1 star – products explode prematurely.

In all seriousness, if you see a coyote, you can report it to the Vashon Nature Center. They are keeping track of the local coyote packs.

And here you can see detailed information about the packs on Vashon Island. 

Wildfires have left a haze over the island and affected air quality. The smoke may be from the Schneider Spring Fire. 

A bear was seen napping on the side of the road. He was holding a sign that read, “FREE.” It’s an interesting statement about the difference between humans and animals, in that animals are inherently free, whereas people have developed an extraordinary amount of ways — economic, political, psychological — to not be free. But, are the animals losing freedoms as they contend with a world of intense human influence and human-made climate change? Is this bear holding onto the idea of his inalienable freedom, even though his freedom has been very aliened from him? Is it a statement about the American mantra of freedom in contrast to the American experience of precarity? 

The bear looked pretty rough, and some assumed he was just sleeping off a bad night. 

Either way, he disappeared, along with the chair he was on. 

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” – This bear

Maybe the bear went to the sheriff’s office to get help. It’s easy to get assistance there. Just right he bell and… oh wait… nope. Nevermind. 

Anna Shomsky
Author: Anna Shomsky

I'm a former teacher and a data engineer living on Vashon Island. My writing has appeared in Five on the Fifth, Women on Writing and on the Post-Culture Podcast. I wrote and produced the radio show Whispers of Vashon for 101.9 KVSH. I’ve had short stories published in the anthologies Island Stories and Chicken Scratchings, as well as through the Open Space Literary Project.

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