The Marsh in Early October

As some of you may know, I had been looking forward to a walk in the early autumn marsh, and had picked as my destination the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge mile-loop trail in Wells.  A dart thrown at the calendar pegged Wednesday October 2 dead-center, a day on which the weatherbeans were calling for sunny and warm.  The stars thus aligning and the gods smiling, I continued with my plans, changed the batteries in my camera, packed a go-bag, asked Steve if he would care to accompany me, made plans for exploring Wells after my walk in the marsh. . .

. . .which was about the time that I recalled that the Full And Proper Name of the marsh in question is:

The Rachel Carson NATIONAL Wildlife Refuge.

A quick check of the net confirmed my suspicion. Yep, the refuge had been closed as part of the Federal Government Shutdown.

Well, phuck.

I’d really been looking forward to my little hike-and-photo-shoot, and at dinner was making a effort to reconcile myself to its loss.  Steve suggested a walk in the other marsh, at Pine Point, but I was. . .somewhat leery, since I hadn’t been able to find any information about it other than it seemed to be under the control of the Audubon Society, so perhaps might be open.  Steve suggested that we go down and check it out for ourselves.

Which is what we did.

It turns out that the trail off of Route 9 in Pine Point is part of the Eastern Trail Alliance, which connects Kittery to South Portland — 65 miles of trail in Maine.  The Eastern Trail Alliance, in turn, is part of the East Coast Greenway, which eventually aims to connect Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida.

Who knew?

So, the section that we walked connects Pine Point to Black Point — a distance of about 2.5 miles.  Since we didn’t know then the distance to Black Point, we only walked about a mile of the trail.  We had plenty of company; it was, as the weatherbeans had predicted, a Perfectly Gorgeous Day — people walking, running, biking; and also standing in one place, taking photographs.

I took some photographs, too; they’re reproduced below, for your viewing pleasure.

Looking across the marsh toward Pine Point
Looking across the marsh toward Pine Point

 

Shadow Steve on the trail.
Shadow Steve on the trail.

 

Red hedge along the trail
Red hedge along the trail

 

Shadow Sharon taking picture of Shadow Steve
Shadow Sharon taking picture of Shadow Steve

 

Spar, with rocks and swamp
Spar, with rocks and swamp

 

Milkweed
Milkweed

 

Dozing sandpiper-or-plover
Dozing sandpiper-or-plover

 

Red trees
Red trees

 

Fields of gold, with heron
Fields of gold, with heron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “The Marsh in Early October”

  1. Why am I thinking this would be a good spot for a snipe hunt? 8) It does look lovely. I live only a few miles from a Great Blue Heron nesting site, so I see them around once in awhile-a rather unexpected urban bird. I saw one fishing in the canal running across the north side of town, once. Their nesting area is in a state park formerly Fort Benjamin Harrison army post

  2. Kevin, much to my surprise I startled a snipe into flight here on our non-swamp in central Texas one very wet spring (a migrant, no doubt) and stood there open-mouthed and amazed…had never seen a snipe before (other than pictures in field guides.) I had heard the stories about “snipe hunts” as a kid, and until seeing them in bird books thought they were mythological, nonexistent birds. The one that shot up out of the tall wet grass near me and jinked wildly away making a peculiar noise was definitely a real bird. We had herons nesting here when we first moved, but the climate’s changed and the rainfall’s gone away.

    In the very rare years of abnormally heavy rain, we have enough water on the place to have crayfish, long-eared sunfish, baby bass, turtles (3 or 4 species) and lots more birds. Otherwise, dry. There’s been no flowing water in the creek for years now. I miss the water. So does everything else that used to depend on it.

  3. Sorry you didn’t get your first choice walk but it seems the substitution provided an acceptable dose of marshiness. You might have been able to access Rachael Carson Refuge depending on what ‘closed’ entails –no visitors’ centre open, barricade across parking lot entrance for instance. After all there would likely be no staff around to enforce a closure.
    In the course of my job I need access to various Library of Congress databases and though they start with prominent warning they are unavailable, in fact they are functioning just fine. Not being updated no doubt but sufficient for my purposes.
    Although political topics are supposedly off-limits to blog posts, I suppose you are aware that people in my part of the world (Canadians) think (in the politest possible fashion) that you are all insane south of the 49th parallel.
    In my part of the continent its still a bit early for optimal autumnal marsh rambling, the leaves haven’t really changed yet.

  4. My biggest worry was that it’s hunting season, and without any park rangers about, people might. . .take a little bit of advantage of all that wide-open acreage.

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