Monday, February 22, 2010


Leg 26, Feb 22, 2010, the north shore of Perry's Creek from Lamson's to the smelt brook.

More memories here but not as relentless as those accompanying the last two walks. I had moments, a few, betwen recollections for idle thought.

This was the longest walk yet. I was a little optimistic in thinking I could cover the entire north shore of the Creek in as much time as I'd allotted and still be observant.

As I've already mentioned, my Dad used to do all the work at Saltonstall's, often under the direction of their devoted caretaker, Danny Pendleton of North Haven. Danny was memorably stoic and dry and wonderful company. Each fall involved towing their floats around Hopkins Point and putting them away here in a place we called the nursery, a supremely sheltered area tucked in the east
side of Orchard Cove, where several caretakers in the area put away their charges for the winter. Paths from this area lead back through the woods to the several nearby estates and throughout the winter those responsible come down here to check on things.

A little color is certainly in stark contrast to everything else at this time of year. I spotted this juniper from quite a distance.

A gift of land in 1986 on Perry's Creek from the Saltonstall and Byrd families to honor their parents, Senator Leverett and Alice Saltonstall, was a prime impetus for the formation, that year, of the Vinalhaven Land Trust. Since then, the Land Trust has acquired all the land on the north shore of Perry's Creek and now maintains an enchanting system of trails that weave throughout the area connecting one exquisite place with another.

The ever present animal tail continues along the shore. I'd promised in an earlier posting to include a photo of it in each entry but the trail, although always there, doesn't always lend itself to being photographed. It's very apparent from the ground however.

Approaching the deep recesses of Orchard Cove I heard the crows. They weren't making the usual sounds, the caws I associate with them, more like chuckling. When I rounded the bend I saw about fifty gathered on the flats near. I've never seen that many in one place. From my distant vantage I couldn't tell whether they were feeding. It wasn't apparent however; it looked more like a lodge meeting. I took a picture but the distance was too great to gain any resolution. Eventually my movement caught their attention and they flew off, first about half, then, as I came a little closer, the remaining birds. They lit in the nearby trees and for the next hour and a half, accompanied me, flying sorties from one wooded or open waterfront area to another, as I walked up the Creek.

Looking back out toward the entrance and Calderwood Neck beyond.

This smelt brook, emerging from a substantial wetland just above, was the most popular of the half dozen or so brooks we frequented as kids. Indian Ladder, a little farther south in this same Creek, was nearly as productive. Smelting was a great activity. A friend lived just above the Creek in DyerVille, a tiny enclave on the North Haven Road and it was only a ten minute walk from there through the woods to get down to the brook. Next to his house was an abandoned building we'd turned into a sort of clubhouse and we'd often fuel up there for an evening at the brook and return there again to spend the night.

The next walk, leg 27, will take me from the brook along the south shore of Perry's Creek and out to Smith Point, later this week.

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