Sunday, September 19, 2010

Leg 36 from the head of Jennings Cove to Birger Youngquist's old place.

As I rounded the point at Stetson's I heard voices. Oddly, this was the first time in fifty or so walks, that I'd encountered another human being. I thought perhaps I'd interrupted a caretaker and crew hauling a float for the winter. Instead I came upon a big fibre glass whaler, high and dry, having motored in on the coming tide hours earlier and now abandoned by the receding water. Nearby were two clammers, busily engaged in the exhausting work of raking through the mud in search of steamers, gathering all they could during the five or six hours provided them, loading hod after hod into the boat. I walked around the perimeter of the cove without them seeing me. There were no niceties involved in this business, neither in the things they had to say to one another as they worked. Still, if this were the only thing left for me to do to provide for myself and my family, I wonder how long I'd last. More were around the next bend but this time the boat was not in view and they were wading through knee deep water raking what appeared to be only the water in search of I what, I could not tell. And then, as if I had not had enough of people, I rounded the final bend and came upon someone poling their dinghy (it was that shallow) out to a mooring and then heading up the River in a motorboat for North Haven. Altogether this was seven people, seven more than I'd encounted in nearly a year.

Whien I was a kid this was a common sight, dories full of nets waiting for the herring and the tide that would allow them to shut off the cove for harvest. Those though, were beautiful things, wooden, often lapstrake. These are huge fiber glass industrial things. Still this was a photogenic assemblage.
This was an early morning walk. I'd earlier warned a certain summer resident, staying late, that I'd probably be emerging in his front yard around 9am and came up from the shore looking directly into his bedroom at 8:58. The shades were all drawn back and revealed that he certainly hadn't taken me seriously. I quickly re-directed my gaze, oopting not to take a photo, and headed upland for my bike which I'/d stashed earlier next to his driveway but some distance from the house.
Leg 35, from the head of Jennings Cove and around the several little islands that, at low tide, comprise Jennings Island.

The cove and island that bear Livingston Jenning's name are all part of the windfall that resulted from his prudent purchase of the land between here and the Carrying Place Bridge. I don't recall what they were called before he acquired this land but do know they hence became known by his name and that info has found its way onto the relevant charts of the area.

I've seen this green fungus on the tidal flats elsewhere but not in such profusion. There's quite a contrast, particularly at this time, when the fading color of summer color transitions into fall, between it and the surrounding grey rock and clamflats.

This was my first walk since May 10, when the demands of approaching summer put an end to what had been one or two outings a week. During the intervening months I'd forgotton about needed protection and I simply struck out in the shorts and sandals I'd been wearing for months, a big mistake. The flats filled the sandals with broken shells and debris and when I tried to escape to the juniper festooned ledges above, my legs were torn to shreds, well not shreds exactly - that was Elaine's term when, after I returned home and hosed off in the yard, she viewed the damage.

Here at this very low tide I again enjoyed the luminescent mussel shoals I'd seen earlier at Perry Creek. It was late afternoon and the setting sun was providing just the right light to show them at their best advantage. Greys, blues, purples: mud, water and shells were very complimentary to one another.