Foggy Day at the Beach Gooseberry Island

Foggy day along the shoreline of Gooseberry Island

The unusually warm December day found us at my favorite spot on the shore, Gooseberry Island, Westport, MA. The difference in water and air temperature created an impressive fog bank as we drew closer to the shoreline. The air was still, the water like glass. We could see only a few feet off shore when we started walking. We could hear, but not see, a boat a distance off shore. How far was impossible to tell. Sounds carries well over water, but we had no visual clue to help  us out, the fog was so thick.

Sandpipers hunting along the shore in the fog

Soon we began spotting a few birds–5 eider ducks quite near shore floated along, seeming to take a rest in the calm of the early afternoon. Then sand pipers showed themselves along the shoreline, 30-40 birds all busy pecking away amongst the rocky shore, hunting for tasty tidbits. 

Uncooperative birds refused to pose helpfully

My birding skills are not up to snuff–clearly these are in the sandpiper family, and the piping plovers have migrated south meaning these fellows are something other than piping plovers. I”ll have to check with my birding expert buddies.

Yup, there’s an opposum hiding in there, looking right at us

An opossum startled us as it scurried away from the surf, right past us, and quickly dodged into the scrub brush on the edge of the sand. He was too quick for us to get a good picture. His fur looked rather soggy. Swimming, perhaps? It had rained earlier in the day. Perhaps he (or she) was simply drying off.

Seagulls
Fog beginning to lift, creating stunning skyscapes

Seagulls and grebes became visible as the fog began to lift. The wind picked up only slightly. This is perhaps the calmest I have seen the shore in a long time. At the far end of the island is a point of land I always enjoy standing on, watching the waves collide form each direction on either side of  the island. On days of rough surf the power of the waves’ collisions is impressive. This day, the currents met with hardly a ripple.

Where lobster traps go to die….

The days are short now, before long we realized the sun was close to setting. In the west we spied glimmers of light working their way through the cloud cover. Time to head back. As we strode along the middle path that bisects the island, I shed several layers. The scrubby growth on the island shelters visitors form the windy shoreline, and I often get overheated on our return trip. This time I was able to enjoy the walk more, avoid getting overheated, and spotted animal paths into the bushes. Clearly deer and other animals, beside birds and opposums have found a safe haven on this small outpost of land jutting into Long Island Sound.

HInts of sunset

Till next time. Happy trails!

Marjorie

beech cliffs 2018

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed three guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, “Easy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,”  “More Easy Walks in Massachusetts,”  and edited “Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed.” A native Floridian, she came north for college and snow! Marjorie is a Certified Legacy Planner with LegacyStories.org, and is the producer of numerous veterans interviews for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s History Project. http://www.marjorieturner.com

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Walks-Massachusetts-2nd-Northbridge/dp/0989204340

More Easy Walks in Massachusetts

Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed

 

2 Comments

Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

2 responses to “Foggy Day at the Beach Gooseberry Island

    • marjorie561

      Thank you. Hard to know how they will turn out on a day that is not exactly what you think of as a beautiful day. But t captured the feel of the day. Thanks for joining me!

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