Wednesday, January 6, 2010

One foot in sea and one on shore, to one thing constant never. Shakespeare

Leg 17 took me from Rhinelander's (now Lowry/Rodrigez) to Elisofon's yesterday, January 5, at mid morning. Although the Crockett River Road was ice covered I took my bike figuring if Brian Meehan can ride around all winter so can I. I left it near the Elisofon driveway and drove the mile or so down the peninsula to Rhinelander's. I'd planned this walk at low tide thinking all the snow we had recently would make walking along the upper shore and, when necessary, through the woods, more difficult.
As soon as I stepped out of the deep snow and onto the shore I encountered this fellow, denizen of the bimodal intrusions, heaving himself up from the everlasting fires to urge me on.

The sedimentary rock, fractured virtually every few inches and covered with seaweed, made it difficult to keep my eyes on the views, one perfect vista after another. This, of Rockland and the Camden Hills is between Dogfish Island and Crockett Point. The Drunkard monument is just visible beyond the latter. Every step taken while looking at this instead of at my feet was a mistep.

Having learned to identify the five intertidal zones, I know that this very compact and luminous pile of mussell shells is occupying the uppermost, the Spray Zone, of this tiny cove. Why they are so concentrated here but virtually absent in nearby nooks that seem just as inviting is a mystery.

Denizon of the Spray Zone.

The concentration of mussel shells above was a mystery and so was this. Every surface of this exposed ledge is covered with small barnacles while similar areas elsewhere had only spotty communities.

About thirty years ago a friend and I looked together at this place, at the foot of Tip Toe Mountain which was for sale for something like $25,000. We offered $23,000 or so but they wouldn't come down so we stormed off in a huff muttering 'we'll show 'em'. We did too, showed 'em how many more astute folks there are out there than the two of us.

All along this difficult shore folks have found a way to get to the water. In this case there was no room for a shoreside dock so the stairs lead right to the (summer) ramp.

I took someone up to Tip Toe around 1960 and told her I loved her but I can't remember who. Neither can she.

The reliable animal trail I've referred to before circumscribed this inlet and led out to a little promontory for this view back up the cove. The path reached a dead end at this viewing spot so whichever critter came out here had to turn around and go back to resume it's walk. Clearly, from the beaten down path and evidence of lingering at this spot, other species, besides my own, enjoy this view and often. A roaring brook is gushing beneath a wall of ice just beyond but I couldn't reach a place from which it could be photographed. The source, I think, is Dyer Pond, above and beyond on Middle Mountain.

Leg 18, probably this weekend will take me up and maybe around Whitmore Pond

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