Saturday, September 18, 2010

Here and There (Orient Beach State Park)

Pictures from an afternoon's outing.

Orient Beach Sate Park occupies a long spit of land that lies just west of the New London ferry landing. It's probably a two-mile drive (or walk or bike) into the parking area, then another two-plus miles to walk to the tip.

Shells in the trees. In other words, one of the great delights of beaches everywhere: environmental art.

The seagulls were having a fine time with crabs—blue crabs, spider crabs. The pleasures were certainly not mutual.

Off the tip of the park: Long Beach Bar (Bug Light) Lighthouse. First flash in 1871, burned by arson in 1963, rebuilt 1990. I'd read you could walk to it at low tide.

I could see Bug Light in the distance from the shore in Orient, where I was staying. There was something wonderful about getting close to it. This was as near as I could get and still make it out of the park by closing time.

Turning my back on the lighthouse, I point my camera across the spit to the North Fork, thus closing the circle between home and the beacon. For me, there's some sort of primal satisfaction in making connections like this. I was there, and now I am here.

Also near the tip: an empty osprey nest. The young have fledged, but I see the birds perching (nostalgically, I imagine) near the platforms. The sheltered water between the North Fork mainland and the state park is known as Long Beach Bay. Nice for kayaking and watching birds and crabs and fish and clams and scallops and mussels and snails and even diamondback terrapins!

Turning back.

Somewhere along the way, I realize how great this place is.

The basics.

Home: Looking back at the lighthouse, to where I've been. There. And here.

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