Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, November 02, 2008

From salt marsh to ocean

I felt a need to wander today, to hear the ocean, to see fading autumn colors. I headed to Parker River National Wildlife Refuge for some walking and camera play. I haven't been back since my first visit in April; somehow visits to the ocean feel right in the cooler seasons. There weren't too many people there when I visited before, and there were even fewer today.

Walking, peering through the plants to see flitting birds, stopping to chat with the few other people who were wandering too. The trail, really the boardwalk, near the Hellcat Wildlife Observation Area kept my attention for a while. Then I headed out to the beach, a beach I wasn't able to see on my last visit. Why? It's a piping plover nesting area, and as noted on the refuge's web site:

"Each year the entire 6.3 miles (10.1 kilometers) of refuge beach is closed to all public entry beginning April 1 to provide undisturbed nesting and feeding habitat for the piping plover, a shorebird species threatened with extinction. Portions of the beach not being used by the birds may be reopened beginning July 1. Typically all sections are reopened by mid-late August."
It was a joy to walk to and on this very deserted beach. As my feet covered the boardwalk leading to the beach, I could hear the sound of waves crashing. I found an almost empty beach, miles of sand with only 2 other people within view. Sand, birds, waves pounding, water making shapes in the sand...

autumn leaves

ocean patterns