The long and winding beach

The low winter sun made the vegetation capping the cliff cast long shadows of late Matisse dancers.

Calendars mean less than they used to, though: it was in the mid-60s, and there were fresh prints of bare feet in the sand, sign of a freer spirit than I.On the left, a male Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola), and on the right, a male White-winged Scoter (Melanitta fusca), the eponymous white in the wing more easily seen when the bird flies. Look for the Buffleheads in New York Harbor, among many other places, and the Scoters (there are two other species) off the Rockaways.The central supports of this brand new staircase have been completely undermined. Sandy or the nor’easter the week later may have done the final sweeping away of cliff here, but it was only a matter of time. Ozymandias on the beach.The cliff has some luscious looking clay in it. Or is that “unctuous”? (I understand that geologists are known for tasting their samples. Their dentists must role their eyes.)Egg case string from Knobbed Whelks. Each capsule is filled with multiple tiny whelks, miniatures — who could hear the sea in them? I guess that the pale one is very recent.

4 Responses to “The long and winding beach”


  1. 1 Fork in My Eye December 5, 2012 at 7:30 am

    “The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

  2. 3 ronpswegman December 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Good post as always. I watched a trio of Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) diving in Harlem Meer during the middle of November. A very entertaining bird to watch . . .


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