We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
AVI reminded us that the Cape Cod National Seashore turned 50 this week. That Sponge-headed Science Man loves the Cape as much as we do. The Farm is wonderful, but being inland has always made me feel a little claustrophobic. I like access to sea and sky.
Pic above of a stretch of South Beach, with our group of intrepid birders. We hopped down from Wellfleet to Chatham last week to catch a Mass. Audubon birding trip out to Monomoy Island (about which we posted recently). Monomoy is designated a National Wilderness. The size and shape of Monomoy is constantly in flux, as is its intermittent connection with Chatham's South Beach (which is an extension of Nauset Beach - the Cape's southern barrier island group which now reaches down towards Nantucket.
We ended up boating down to lower South Beach instead of Monomoy proper, due to tidal water depth. Our guide du jour, Ellison, an expert birder, led us on an arduous 4 mile barefoot (watch for sharp shells) hike through mud flats, soft sand, and sharp-edged marsh cordgrass - and non-stop biting marsh bugs - to check out the early migrants and the breeding shorebirds. Ya gotta be tough to be a birder.
Bird list and more pics below the fold -
Out there, we saw Snowy Egret, Northern Harrier, White-winged Scoter, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover (by the thousands), Piping Plover (plenty), Killdeer, Oystercatcher (plenty, including a chick), Greater Yellowlegs, Willet (lots), Whimbrel (a few), Hudsonian Godwit (a handful, here from Alaska), Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper (plenty), Least Sandpiper (plenty), Short-billed Dowitcher (plenty), Laughing Gulll, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Roseate Tern (one), Common Tern, Least Tern, Horned Lark, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Savannah Sparrow, Salt-marsh Sparrow, Grackle and Red-winged Blackbird.
The entire barrier beach is a 16-mile long complex of dune and mudflat, surrounded by miles of flats like you find in the Keys. Beautifully desolate and wild with nobody there but our little group.
We had an early seafood lunch at the good old Chatham Squire after taking our own little tour of the Morris Island preserve before the Audubon boat was to depart. Where else would you stop for a simple seafood lunch in fancy-pants Chatham? Cape Cod Red Ale, Chowder, Lobster Roll, and Fried Oysters. It's a no-brainer.
Stage Harbor, Chatham, with clammers:
The drive along Shore Rd in Chatham is charming as heck. Did not have time to do a photo architectural tour, but it would make a nice one. Here's Chatham Light.
I really enjoy your blog B.D. I thought you would be interested in the blog of the minister from the church we belong to.
He is travelling around the world mostly on trains.
the reason for the name.
I have found it very interesting.
Grew up in Ludlow, and used to go to Chatham every summer for a month, late 50s to mid 60s. Then mom moved to Cummaquid in the 90s, and so I got over to Chatham everyonce in a while, until she moved to Virginia. First time seasick was off Monomoy. Great memories.