Labor Day Eve at Forest Beach

It was Labor Day Eve and I wanted to get to the point at Forest Beach before the crowds.

Passing by the far osprey nest I heard a lone chick, still being fed at the nest, crying mournfully for his favorite sushi.


And along the shoreh I discovered new shells scattered on the grainy, sunlit sand; treasures that the sea had washed up overnight.


I heard the voices of two fishermen preparing their lines for what looked to be a full day of fishing.


While an eager Skipper called urgently for the launching of his own vessel; clearly not pleased with the delay.


Just then I noticed a fisherman of a different shape and size, diving and surfacing, diving and surfacing.

And though I knew that his business was all about finding fish, he seemed as curious about me as I was about him!  😉


Further up the beach, sandy-bottomed canoes and kayaks, dragged into the dunes, now awaited their turn at sea…


While chairs set up along the channel; awaited the sunbathers who’d staked out their favorite spots the day before.


Several early swimmers were already taking an early morning dip; their squeals piercing the quiet as they realized that the water was colder than they’d expected.


I arrived at the point at last and sighed a long, deep sigh, Labor Day was finally HERE.

I pulled the quiet stillness tight around me; an old, familiar blanket whose comfort I had been missing for a long, long time.


Out on the flats, flocks of Laughing Gulls, Black-backed Gulls and terns preened and chattered as new arrivals landed every minute.


Two Black-backeds were causing a real ruckus about something or other (as gulls so often do)…


When all at once up popped the cutest tiny Song Sparrow onto the jettie in front of me, whispering, Now what’s all the fuss about?


I got a few shots of the rosehips along the edge of the marsh; ripe and ready for someone with a great jam recipe.


I’d have stayed there all day, yet I knew that the crowds would be moving in.

Heading back along the beach I noticed that my fisherman friend was busy at his fishing still, whiskers to the sea breeze…


And that the Tern families had finished their preenings and were heading for the shoreline and some fishing of their own.


Peeking over the dunes I spotted a large flock of Great Egrets and Snowies, fishing in the tidal creeks.

Our salt marsh ballerinas, and more than usual this year which has pleased me.


Just before the final jettie I met several young Black Ducks, busily jabbed their bills into the frothy waves in search of their own Labor Day breakfast.


Yet as always with Black Ducks who are never too busy to be polite, they wished me the nicest, Good morning! and I did the same.


I simply could not have imagined a better way to welcome the end of summer, out among friends sharing the beauty of the sea.

Happy Labor Day, one and all!

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Full Sturgeon Moon – Arising

“We all shine on…like the moon and the stars and the sun…”


We all shine on…

Come on and on and on…”  ― John Lennon


Full Sturgeon Moon at Forest Beach, August 26, 2018

 

Sun Rising at Forest Beach – August 7, 2018

I hadn’t been to Forest Beach to see the sunrise in a long, long time.

And yesterday’s rising, did not disappoint.


At that early hour, you could juuust make out the shapes in the far osprey nest in the marsh.

By the time I had made my way down to the shore, the sun had cleared the treetops and was lazily hovering over the houses that line the beach.


Its glowing radiance echoed in the gentle waves spilling toward shore…


In the windows of a nearby beach house…


And on the bellies of the stints that were feeding and preening at the water’s edge.


It was the kind of sunrise that made you so grateful for the quiet.

The kind you can only truly relish, when all is still and hushed.


When I finally headed back to my car, I could see the sun out beyond the marsh, continuing its slow rise through the hot, humid air.

Oh to be an osprey, I whispered, Out there in the marsh!


Wakening to such magic, each and every morning…  ❤

Hitting the Beach Once Again

It was blissfully quiet as I headed up Forest Beach early this morning.


Just me and the ospreys out at the far nest, who by the way have a very full house for the summer.


And the same Willet I’ve been noticing in the dunes who sure looks all the world like he’s guarding a nest somewhere close by.


And then of course…


The terns!

Least Terns, clearly still very much engaged in their courtship rituals…


Which always seemed to include the offering of tiny fish!


Sometimes it worked.

Sometimes not.


But regardless, they all seemed to be having a good time, and the air was filled with their conversations — and WINGS!  😉


As I walked back down the beach, I couldn’t help remembering that years ago I was a typical sun worshipping Cape Cod girl.

But thanks to this tiny camera of mine, I have discovered a whole new reason to slather on the sunscreen and bug spray — and hit the beaches once again.

It sure feels good to be back.  😉

Catching Up with the Piping Plovers of Forest Beach

Now that the Piping Plovers at Red River Beach have all fledged, I’ve been sifting thru’ a month’s worth of photos from my trips to the other local nesting areas.

The Forest Beach chicks appear to be a couple of weeks behind the Red River brood, and I was thrilled to capture this tender moment when a young chick who’d been scuttling all over the beach in search of aquatic bugs…


Suddenly needed the familiar comfort and warmth of the parent plover.

In the quickest of moves, under those soft white breast feathers he crawled…


Disappearing completely from sight.

Having watched these families for weeks now I can usually tell when one of the adults, nestled down in the sand, is tending to a chick. There’s a certain “plumpness” and stillness to them that you begin to recognize.


And then, if you watch closely, after just a few minutes…

The tiny chick is usually up, and ready once again to rock and roll!


The chicks grow quickly and won’t always need their parents in this same physical way.

Which is what I find makes these tender, early moments shared between them, so incredibly precious.

Aren’t Piping Plover families the best?!  ❤

Wintry Transformation at Forest Beach in Chatham

Yesterday I peeked in at Forest Beach, just to see what it looked like after our extreme cold here on the Cape.


Along the shoreline, bits of frozen seaweed floated in a slow-moving milkshake of chunky ice and slush.


Gazing out toward Stage Harbor Light I felt almost as if I could have walked across the frozen surface, right from the spot where I stood.


I knew it had been cold.

Still, I was not prepared for the breathtaking transformation that had taken place…


To the sea-and-landscapes I know so well.

It took my breath away.  ❤