I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, August 2, 2010

Oooh! August? Already?

I didn't get to the beach today until after sunset.

That's unusual for me, on a Sunday---often a family day where we all hang out on the high tide line, keeping cool through the hot summer afternoons.

It was kind of nice though, mostly just me and the seabirds. My camera tried to compensate for the darkness, and the different shutter speeds made these oddly
interesting shots.

At one point a young man came down with his surfboard. Not a child, a guy in his twenties, I'd guess. Alone. Night surfing...and despite the calm and glass-like ocean, he paddled out on his classic longboard and somehow caught a few rides under the stars. I pictured him a young guy with a job, responsibilities---and here he was, determined to have a bit of surfing before he went back to his 9 to 5 day job.

A very elderly couple followed him down to the shore a few minutes later. They too watched the young man surf, and they quietly held hands. Maybe the elderly man remembering: glory days? And good times.

The purpose of my walk, besides fresh air and excercise was to check on my nesting sea birds after the weekend beachgoers had gone. I am thinking the black skimmers have already left, on their way south to Chile or wherever. Often they stay til early October, but I don't see them at night anymore. When their chicks are young the adults feed them 24 hours a day, countless missions back and forth to the marsh, a half mile to the notrth. They never return without a fish in their beaks. It must be exhausting!

But I was fooled by the suddenly much earlier darkness that rolled in by 8.30---a harbinger of dark autumn evenings soon to come. It was too dark to see any skimmers, they are short and, well, black! All I could make out were hundreds of terns, all facing east, in perfect formation. They are very aggressive so I steered clear.

On my way home, in the sudden deepening twilight, I saw the sudden scurrying movements of our little Long Island Beach Toads (not their real name, I don't suppose.) It has been so dry, and the swales are empty and growing grass, so  I think at night the tiny toads come to the outdoor foot-shower to drink and cool off. 

They didn't like having me take their pictures!

And so...the second half of summer begins. No need to feel sad---it will be warm until November, we must remember that...

enjoy your summer days!



            ... back from the beach