Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Long Beach, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

I had the opportunity to accompany a small group from the  Plymouth Digital Photography Club (PDP) for a walk out to the tip of  Long Beach in Plymouth.  The good news is it was led by an expert young birder, Ian Davies, in association with the Goldenrod Foundation.  The bad news is it just happened to take place on the hottest day of the summer when the entire East Coast of the United States was locked in a 100+ F heat wave. Nevertheless, a good time was mostly  had by all.

Long Beach is a narrow peninsula that juts out into Plymouth Bay.  It is accessible only by 4-wheel drive vehicle.  There are no municipal water, sewer, or electrical services so -  the dozen or so homes must use solar, wind, or propane to provide power; they must drill wells or haul water in; and they must use an individual septic system or composting toilets.

Here members of the photo club jockey for position to capture just that perfect angle for the magic of Plymouth's very own 'stonehenge'.  If everything is just right, they can photograph the perfect shadow before it disappears at sunset - if they are not successful, the aliens who built 'stonehenge' may send a horrible ray that either eviscerates the photographer or, at the very least, takes away their big fancy lenses and gives them Kodak Instamatics with film instead - they are motivated to succeed.

Much of the dunescape above the high tide line is protected habitat during parts of the summer when the literally thousands of pairs of terns and plovers nest to raise their young.  The furrows shown above are either: mountain ranges as seen from outer space or, plowed crop fields as seen from an airplane or, carefully sculpted sand barriers made by the tern and plover parents to protect their young or, something else entirely.

As you can tell from listening to the audio/video clip above, the birds are not happy that humans walk by on the beach anywhere near their homes (even though the humans are well outside the restricted areas).  The actual sensation of being surrounded on all sides and above by these squawking birds is only marginally captured in the audio/video clip - ya' kinda' had to be there.

But all things must come to an end...... a hearty thanks to PDP and the Goldenrod Foundation.

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