It takes us nearly an hour to get to the ocean from our home in south central MA, so for me it’s always a special occasion. We managed to arrive at Gooseberry Island, Westport, MA just in time to take in spring flowers in full bloom all over the island, a glorious sight!
The foggy morning was great for me–cool, few other people, the ocean calmer than most times we have visited.
The tide was low, the birds seemed to have eaten their fill and those we saw were resting on rocks just off shore.
This place has offered challenges for me in the past. Often when we walk back on the path through the center of the island, the sea breezes are blocked by the scrub on the island and I get overheated.
The slope of the shoreline is somewhat steep, so walking counter-clockwise works best for me, to compensate for the muscles in my ankle and leg that are very weak. But this is what’s wonderful as well about returning to the same place repeatedly.
We have learned what works best, what doesn’t work well, and have taken pains to figure out how to work around the challenges.
The rewards are great, so we keep trying.
This day was one of those “near perfect” days for me, not too hot, and little wind. While the sea birds were resting, the ospreys actively hunted just off shore. We spotted glimpses of these fish hawks hovering over the water, diving, pulling up before hitting the water, hovering again, then disappearing into the fog. Soon another osprey joined the hunt. If one hawk thought food was nearby, this must be a good spot, yes? And then another osprey appeared. Yes, the waters just off Gooseberry Island seem to offer great hunting. Fishermen on shore seem to agree as well.
After circling the island, we grabbed beach chairs, books and snacks, and spent another hour taking in the sounds of the waves, and watching the fog lift.
The flowers were still blooming, ospreys still hunting, as the tide continued to go out. Till next time…
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks: Finding the Sacred in Everyday (and some very strange) Places.
She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress.