Tuesday, June 23, 2015

At the Point: the Bay


The glacial erratics tumbled from the bluff and headlands east of the village.

They and the scarp and point are all that remain of the moraine that once reached the continental shelf.

We walked the ramparts to the lighthouse. The coast guard moved the light from the crumbling embankment a decade ago, razed the gunnery tower, then turned over the property to the local conservation trust.

The fishing village and the salt hay farm are gone.

The narrow dirt road to the point is busy, during summer, with the comings and goings of cottage owners. They litter the brush with discarded beer bottles until autumn, when they close up their houses.

Robins overwinter here. They feed on staghorn sumac and take shelter in the plum bushes during the heavier storms.

The martens had already bored holes into the face of the cliff. The air was cold and damp. The forecast called for snow. It would melt quickly. This barrier beach is warmed by the ocean, and lies far from the mainland and its colder forests.

Inland of here lie coastal bogs and scrub pines hollows. The falling snow will accumulate the already thick snowpack, and won't melt until April.

We pried open the hatches of the kayaks and unloaded the tent and and dry bags and stoves. After we set up camp in the dunes, we used the handheld compass the to mark ranges between High Pines Ledge and Standish Point, between the Gurnet and the Pilgrim monument, between the Bug Light and the Saquish mooring field, where the rip was forming. So began the first of our five nights on this narrow remote point.

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