Monday, October 31, 2011

Sometimes I Stay

September 24, 2011
Cape Ann, Massachusetts

My life is like a stroll upon the beach,
As near the ocean’s edge as I can go;
My tardy steps
its waves sometimes o’erreach,

Sometimes I stay to let them overflow.
[From The Fisher’s Boy, a poem by HDT]

Before I come back inland to the wonders of Autumn in upstate New York,
there's time for one more entry about those days along the Shore !
I linger now as I lingered then,
on the morning we left for home.

Here are a few more photos of what I saw in our last two days on Cape Ann.
Let your other senses add in -- the smell of the air, the touch of the constant breeze, and that continuo of the waves which underlies all other sounds.

On our rainy museum-day in Salem, this sign outside of a church caught my attention.

Ah yes, the wonderful story of when the Lion lies down with
... the Gazelle.

And there's time for a visit to Gloucester too.
This is Half Moon Cove in Stage Fort Park.  You could hear the foghorns mooing in the distance on this foggy day.

In Gloucester, the Boulevard runs right along the edge of the sea. It's where the famous Man at the Wheel statue is, and other interesting sights.
After bending down to read this plaque, I straightened up --
and saw a ghost ship drift by.

I'd never seen a boat with such a peculiar-shaped stern before.

Turns out it was the Ardelle, a pinky schooner built in the historic shipyard of nearby Essex. They've been building vessels over there for about 300 years.  You can learn about her and her builders here and see a fascinating of her side-launch here.
She certainly looked splendid on the water.

In the outskirts of Manchester, I discovered a wonderful county trail system to explore on future visits. One went across a swamp!

Back in foggy Rockport, here is just another charming dooryard, this one by the inner harbor...

...Where the fishermen's skiffs brighten up the day.

Last morning. One last sunrise over the town. You can see it from the balcony of the hotel (on the right), but I've already strolled over to the beach.

One last walk along the beach.
In addition to the far-off scenery, there's so much to see close at hand, if you stop to look. All sorts of strange new life-forms have been cast up by the waves.

Now it's really time to leave. Can't put it off any longer.
Time to brush the sand off my toes, and put on shoes again. Sigh.

Back at the beach, I heard an echoing sigh.
Seems I'm not the only one who wants to stay...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Halibut Point

September 21, 2011
Rockport, Masssachusetts

Rockport well deserves its name--
several little rocky harbors
protected by a break water.

The houses at Rockport village
backing directly on the beach.

  HDT Journal, September 23, 1858

Despite being up for an hour conversing with the Moon last night, I awoke promptly just before dawn. At sunrise here, the sun beams right onto your pillow!

It’s only a short walk to town proper and a good breakfast.
Past the quiet inner harbor.

Then it’s up to the Headlands -- to look out to sea,
and glance back at the village of Rockport.

Eider ducks were ready for a break,

while lobstermen were just beginning a day's work.

Today Mom and Dennis went their own ways, while Jackie and I visited Halibut Point State Park.

It’s a former quarry, which must have been a noisy, steamy place in its heyday.

Now it is home to many interesting trails, and only the sound of the sea remains.

Near the Visitor Center, there are sculptures made from hunks of granite that were formerly cast aside.

We called this one "UTI Man," for reasons of our own.

We looked forward to botanizing in a new type of environment, so we headed out on the trail that circles the deep quarry-lake.
Right away, Jackie found a grass she had been searching for – here she is getting up close to it.

Her eyesight may be weakening, but her Vision certainly is not.
(As one can see by visiting her beautiful blog.)

A few steps away were some Ladies’ Tresses,

 (the Nodding variety, according to Newcomb’s.)

Meanwhile I was off chasing butterflies -
cabbage whites and yellow sulphurs were everywhere.

Among the goldenrods, still in hearty bloom here, I saw an equally hearty bee - a Neanderthal version of our little bumblebees. It was much larger, with thick hairy legs and a bald spot on the back – the Eastern Carpenter Bee.

Roses were long-past, but the bristly hips were pretty in their own way.

At an overlook, we met some visitors from Great Britain, who were botanizing, too.

We turned onto a trail that led down through

and briers

To the sea.

I thought I espied our British acquaintances, lolling on the rocks like contented seals, watching the tide come in.

That seemed like a great idea. So we took pause to look out over the endless sea, as we sat among giant slabs of granite.

Here we are, at the farthest tip of Cape Ann herself !
To paraphrase Thoreau in Cape Cod:
A woman can stand there
and put all of America behind her.