the sea teaches me

10.11.20 ~ Avery Point Light, Groton, Connecticut

Sunday we took my favorite walk by the sea at the Avery Point campus of UConn. It’s good to visit on the weekends because parking isn’t restricted like it is during the week when students are in classes. There weren’t many people out and about, though, and the few people we encountered gave us a very wide berth. I think everyone is more cautious these days because southeastern Connecticut has become a coronavirus hot spot in the state, our numbers have been going up dramatically.

“Artefactual” by Eliza Evans

This sculpture was left over after the open air exhibition a couple of months ago. All the cairns were gone, however.

great egret taking off

I need the sea because it teaches me.
I don’t know if I learn music or awareness,
if it’s a single wave or its vast existence,
or only its harsh voice or its shining
suggestion of fishes and ships.
The fact is that until I fall asleep,
in some magnetic way I move in
the university of the waves.
~ Pablo Neruda
(On the Blue Shore of Silence)

great egret fishing

Flowers by the sea…

Project Oceanology Enviro-Lab Research Vessel

Although the main focus of Project Oceanology is educational, they do offer some public cruises. For years I’ve dreamed of taking one of the harbor seal watch cruises in March or April…

Canada goose ~ probably the closest I’ve ever got to one!
bee and two bugs

‘Twas a lovely hour-long walk all over the campus and now we’re tucked in for some rain. We might get an inch from the remnants of Hurricane Delta but we’re eleven inches behind normal. Our drought was elevated from severe to extreme. We’re going to need a lot of storms to catch up.

waning summer

9.13.20 ~ Eastern Point

Beach season ended with Labor Day weekend. We took a walk down there the following weekend and were greeted by this solitary gull on the rocks.

On the ocean, gulls are good luck. Gulls are strong, brave, commanding. They are harbingers of land, of fish just below the surface, of a coming storm. Legend has it they hold the souls of drowned sailors and fishermen, so killing one is bad luck.
~ Sara Anne Donnelly
(Yankee, July/August 2020)

nonbreeding adult laughing gulls

When we got down to the sand we found a large gathering of gulls hanging out. They have reclaimed the beach! I was delighted because the tiny laughing gulls were actually on the sand, which is a much more appealing backdrop than the asphalt parking lot where I usually see them. There was quite an assortment of sizes and colors.

juvenile laughing gull and nonbreeding adult herring gull
laughing gull, second winter and nonbreeding adult herring gull
juvenile laughing gull
nonbreeding adult laughing gull
nonbreeding adult ring-billed gull
laughing gull and herring gull, both nonbreeding adults
these two seemed to be great friends
At first I thought the large one might be a great black-backed gull because he seems pretty huge, but he doesn’t quite fit the description. I dusted off my “Gulls of the Americas” reference book and discovered that there has been some cross-breeding between the great black-backed and herring gulls. Maybe that’s what’s going on here…
perhaps a version of yoga tree pose
nonbreeding adult ring-billed gull
juvenile laughing gull
waning summer
weed and post art
jellyfish!

There really is a kind of insane beauty around us all the time. It’s just a question of learning to slow down, take a deep breath, and meet the moment.
~ Graham Nash
(Eye to Eye: Photographs)

It was fascinating watching this creature propelling itself through the murky water. It moves so fast I was surpised that some of the pictures actually came out!

The bars are still closed in Connecticut and now that the beach gate is open I’m sure it won’t be long before people start returning to the beach to socialize, bringing their dogs and leaving their trash, cigarette butts, and empty beer bottles. We will probably return to the woods soon, and try to do a better job of avoiding the poison ivy. Enjoying the autumn weather!

a fine day for fishing (and walking)

“Hobbes’ Claw – Unsheathed 4” by Stephen Klema
9.5.20 ~ Avery Point
Open Air: An Exhibition of Sculpture & Installation Art

We enjoyed a lovely walk at Avery Point on Saturday morning. The weather was perfect! (The weather was wonderful on Sunday, too, but we stayed home and did some painting with windows wide open.)

“Azucar” by Christopher Wynter

We discovered quite a few people fishing down on the west-facing revetment, and then spotted dozens of new cairns along the top of the south-facing seawall.

cairn close-up
lots of cairns on the revetment, stretching from the tree to the lighthouse
cairns by the sea

But as we were admiring all the little sculptures we heard some gulls squabbling and turned around to investigate. A great black-backed gull was in possession of a large fish, perhaps he caught it but he may well have stolen it from a nearby herring gull. Either way, he wasn’t about to share it.

We watched him stab and pick at his meal for quite a while, completely captivated. I wonder if any of the human fishers were so lucky that morning. 🙂

New London County now has 1,620 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 7 people are in the hospital and 107 have lost their lives. That’s 121 new cases and 4 more in the hospital since August 21. Numbers ticking up again. Staying safe (I hope) in our bubble… College students are back in town and there could be a surge after the Labor Day weekend, although it seems like there weren’t any large holiday gatherings locally. Perhaps people are becoming more prudent.

After many years of referring to “my gull friend with the mangled leg” I have finally dubbed him The Captain, after my sea captain ancestors. I went through my old posts and added his new moniker as a category so I can quickly see all the photos I have taken of him over the years. I don’t know if I will ever see him again but I am hoping that by next summer Tim & I can resume our evening meals on our bench at the beach and have him fly over to the post in front of us for a visit. I sure missed him this summer! The Captain

out with the old

2.29.16.fish
…always pleasantly surprised to see me…

This morning I took my last shower in the ugly old harvest gold tub in our bathroom. It will take three to four weeks for our contractor to rip out all the old walls and fixtures and put in new ones.

The only thing I will miss from the old bathroom is the little fish my son Jon painted on the wall right by the mirror. It’s been there for 20 years or so… As I was getting dressed each morning it was nice to see a friendly face as I started my day.

In a few days I will escape the dust and chaos and fly down to North Carolina to visit Katie and her parents for a couple of weeks. Looking forward to some good mother-daughter-granddaughter times. Tim will have to hold down the fort here.

Perhaps soon I will begin posting about all the family history research I’ve been doing for the past couple of months. Change is in the air!

 

Cumberland Island II

4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia
4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia

More wildlife from Cumberland Island National Seashore… I should also mention that we only visited a small portion of the island – perhaps in the future we will allow more time in our plans for further exploration of its charms…

The crab below was on the Atlantic side of the island.

4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia
4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia

4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia
4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia

The crabs above were on the Cumberland Sound side of the island.

Cumerland Sound ~ 4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia

4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia
a mummified fish? ~ 4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia

4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia
4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia

4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia
4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia

We weren’t sure if the barnacle-encrusted horseshoe crab (above) was alive until its tail moved. When we took a peek underneath its shell it started moving swiftly away from us.

4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia
4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia

4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia
4.9.12 ~ Cumberland Island, Georgia

Methinks the horseshoe crab was relieved when we finally left the scene.

woodpeckers, spinning wheels, mattresses

Mr. Puffer by Nathaniel Rodgers
Mr. Puffer by Nathaniel Rodgers

So, a numerologist on TV said that 11.11.11 (yesterday) was an auspicious day to begin a new chapter in one’s life. It turned out to be the day that Nate & Shea finished packing up their belongings, loaded up a U-Haul truck, and took off to make a new home for themselves in Georgia. I tried so hard not to cry, but it proved to be impossible.

Making the trip with them is Mr. Puffer (above), Nate’s petpuffer-fish. We got attached to him when we fed him while Nate & Shea were away on vacation last summer. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that he will make the thousand mile journey safely in his special traveling cooler/tank under Nate’s watchful eyes.

I’ve made some good progress this week at chopping vegetables, and then the knife slipped and I cut the index finger on my left hand, but that should heal up more quickly as it was a clean little slice. One morning I got up and rearranged the shelves in the refrigerator to accommodate storing our new food choices and am so delighted with the new sense of organization and purpose.

But I’ve promised a few more fairy tale birdhouses at the Florence Griswold Museum from October…

#3. “The Beat of a Different Drummer” by Judy Preston, based on How Drummer the Woodpecker Came by His Red Cap.

10.26.11 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.26.11 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

#5. “Spinning a Yarn” by Bill Vollers, based on Rumpelstiltskin.

10.26.11 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.26.11 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

10.26.11 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.26.11 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

#50. “Pea Snoop” by Jennifer L. Johnson, based on The Princess & The Pea.

10.26.11 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.26.11 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

10.26.11 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.26.11 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

an amazing puzzle

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The universe is a more amazing puzzle than ever, as you glance along this bewildering series of animated forms, – the hazy butterflies, the carved shells, the birds, beasts, fishes, snakes, and the upheaving principle of life everywhere incipient, in the very rock aping organized forms. Not a form so grotesque, so savage, nor so beautiful but is an expression of some property inherent in man the observer, – an occult relation between the very scorpions and man. I feel the centipede in me, – cayman, carp, eagle, and fox. I am moved by strange sympathies; I say continually, “I will be a naturalist.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Journals)