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Shell and sand on the Columbia River

February 21, 2012

A freshwater clam shell is tumbled by ripples on a sandy beach of the Columbia River in The Dalles, just west of Klindt's Cove along the Riverfront Trail. Mark B. Gibson photo

Spring is, just barely, arriving here on the mid Columbia. Vultures have migrated back into the region, the first Grass Widow flower has already been spotted… yesterday a curled flower bud, today an open flower. There are bluebirds arriving in the hills as well. It’s the beginning of a long transition to summer here in The Dalles, Oregon.

That said, there is still snow in the low hills, it’s generally cold and windy. The photograph above was taken during a brief showing of sunshine as I explored a sandy spit at the mouth of Chenowith Creek Saturday, Feb. 18. The creek is west or downstream of Klindt’s Cove in The Dalles Industrial Park, and the sand is covered and uncovered by water, depending on river flow and wind speed. The ripples come from rolling waves pushed upriver by the wind.

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