Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, September 08, 2012

return to Parker River

Today was my first visit to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge since March 31st - the day before the birds took sole ownership of the beach. The refuge is a nesting area for endangered piping plovers; the beaches close on April 1st each year and reopen when the birds have moved on.

I arrived on the beach when the tide direction was changing, low tide switching to tide coming in. Usually a low tide walk is an easy walk. This one was not. I could see the high tide mark (from 6 hours earlier) much higher than the ocean's edge. The beach was slightly sloped from the edge of the sand dunes to partway across the expanse of sand. There was a steep slope leading to the water's edge, a very slanted surface for walking. I suppose it was a good thing I needed to walk that slope in two different directions to even out the odd placement of my feet! And oops! sorry - I wasn't able to capture that interesting angle in a photo.

The waves crashed on the angled beach. The wind picked up granules of sand and drove them through the air.

As much as I understand and respect the beach closure for the piping plovers (after all, it is a wildlife refuge) I'm always glad to have access again.

crashing waves, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

clouds, ponds, sand bars... on the inland side of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

A few more photos from today's visit can be found in the gallery Parker River - 2012 starting with this photo and ending here.