May 3, 2009
Crowes Pasture, Dennis, MA - February 16
The entrance to the trail is in the woods. A break in the trees allows views across the pasture. Maple trees, some types of pine, and low prickly brushes co-mingle.
The narrow trail is solid with a fine layer of sand and moss in places. Dried leaves litter the ground. All branches are bare and stark.
The woods end to reveal a salt marsh. Reeds grow tall.
A thin layer of ice melts on the banks of a water outlet. In high tide the water will rise.
The water will rise and cover this trail of fine seagrass.
Across the trail is another entrance to the woods. Back in the woods, a bulbous mass grows out of a tree. It is dry and bumpy and grows about midway up the tree at a fork in the branches. There is a hole leading inside. Might it be a beehive of some other creatures home? It does not seem to have killed the tree yet as bark is still peeling and small bumps that could be dormant buds cover the branches.
A stonewall indicates people were here once. In spring and summer the snakes and salamanders must call this cool wall home.
Dry feathery moss grows on some of the trees, but dried leaves indicate the tree lives on.
A large tree stands in a clearing of sorts. Its branches extend long and straight. Very little grows around it. This is probably because its roots dominate the ground below and suck any water and nutrients before anything else can get to it. Judging by its enormity, it will last a very long time.
Blueberries in February? Fat, juicy, succulent blueberries in Massachusetts in February? Yes. The blueberry bushes are large and stand out as one of the only patches of green in the woods.
The woods end and the sand begins. Ascending the grassy sandy dunes, the water comes into view. The thin, wide clouds overlay the sky that is light blue closest to the water and darker as you look up.
Tide pools dot the beach. The sea grass is crunchy under foot. The water is alarmingly clear revealing seaweeds of all colors, muscles, snails, and rocks of many shapes sizes and shades. The water ripples not only with the movement of the tide but the whipping of the wind.
The water looks tropical in varying shades of blue and green. The sand is smooth and, where wet, gives under weight.
Very little litters the beach. The grass on the dunes waves with the wind.
It is low tide. A seagull scavenges for food.
A thin line of white in the water along the horizon is where the waves break.
In the dunes everything is sheltered from the wind by the water's edge. Low shrubs, grass, and ground cover grow. A peculiar, lava-like ground cover peeks out of the sand. Some brown, dry leaves are scattered here and there. Maybe they are from the shrubs that grow here. Maybe they blew in from the woods.
A lone perfect tree looks out of place, but welcoming.
Bare and barren in the dead of winter, the dune landscape looks like a coral reef, but above water.