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Shifting seas

Updated: Feb 10

One of the highlights in our coastal year is the announcement of opening day for Dungeness crab fishers. This comes in winter, when the crab are deemed to have filled out their shells sufficiently so the catch is of good quality for the market. While the fishing community hopes for an opening before the major holidays so they can meet demand, it often comes later.

Once that happens, the fishers head out to sea, usually at night when their prey is more active. They are offshore but still close enough that we who live on the coast can see the twinkling lights of their boats on the horizon.

And it's during this same time of year that the low angle of the sun and other atmospheric conditions produce spectacular sunsets, deep reddish oranges contrasting with the midnight blue sky and water. In my opinion, the best sunsets of the year. Our little secret, only seen by those of us who live here year-round.

I started this piece thinking about ocean acidification, one of the unseen effects of our changing climate, and its certain effects on local shell-bearing species. Dungeness crab, mussels, clams of all types... the shells are thinning and their future is uncertain. I wonder about the fate of all these animals we take for granted, and the local people whose livelihood depends on their population.


16"w x 21"h

Perdomo (Mexican) glass smalti, 24k gold smalti, stained glass and tinted epoxy

Available at Volta Gallery in the historic Taft district of Lincoln City, Oregon.

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