Spring cleaning and evaluation often leads to spring rebuilding.  This dock was getting under high water a little to frequently, so the pilings have been replaced and the platform raised a bit.  Even though lots of power equipment and tools are used, it is still somehow comforting to know that a few jobs remain which people have to perform.

Around our house, I am the people, and my updates require scraping and painting, trimming and cleaning, washing windows, and fertilizing the lawn.  I do the latter with some reluctance, but although I try to resist the stupider conventions of our society, I enjoy a decently green lawn as much as anyone around here.  Like them, I think “well, one more lawn can’t make that much of a difference.”  Hey, it’s probably good to remove carbon from the air, right?

Wall Street goes along Mill Dam park tracing _ naturally _ the ancient wall that formerly surrounded the tidal mill pond itself.  This section simply winds along the base of the sand dune heaped up by the receding glaciers.  The sand for tens of thousands of years since has been gradually covered with a thin layer of topsoil, some of which naturally washes down, and you get a few pockets of decent fertility.  This cherry tree is taking advantage of it.

Until pesticides came along, this was the poor part of town.  The marshes bred mosquitoes, so everyone wanted to live a bit farther upland.   It’s fun having learned enough to enjoy many of the ghosts of the past which inhabit  this land.

Coney’s marina has reactivated piloting yachts to their moorings in a little red gondola with orange bumpers along the side.  The dune grass is well advanced.  Still too cold for trees on the other side of the harbor to be joining into April.

This is a day that reminds me Long Island is a maritime province.  A cold northeast wind off the Atlantic is damp, raw, and wicked.  It’s hard to believe how a few centuries ago mariners would cruise through this and worse in sailing ships all the time, working the rigging, fishing, whaling.  We’ve become a very soft people, I suppose, but I for one am glad of it.

Coindre boathouse in high water, nasty storm.  This picture shows why docks inevitably become useless, just old pilings rotting in the water.  The county sure has no money to keep fixing them up, barely enough to put up fence and “no trespassing” signs _ ignored until they ripped out the missing section.  The overall color today is that of bad dreams.

With May here, the temperature (one day behind) was a scant 40.  I hate
to complain (ok, I can’t prove that for anyone who looks at my entire year of observations) but some warmth seems in order.  I know we need rain, and I really try to be grateful for it, but I’m only human.


Heavy fog as our temperatures finally return to normal for the first time this spring after extremely heavy rain.  What we have here is a chunk of marshland which edges most of the shores here above the sand.  This winter’s ice and the higher water have broken many such pieces off and stranded them as seen here.  It’s a graphic example of the decline of the local ecosystem. 

I’m not too worried about the spartina grass.  It adjusts pretty quickly and will recolonize the current lawns as the rising sea level floods them.  People enjoy discussing catastrophe as much as they can ignore its local manifestations.  I suspect in fifty years, whatever happens, everyone will have accepted the new normal.

Tides in the spring can be extreme _ very high, or very low, as seen here.  Sometimes the docks are almost submerged, sometimes so much bottom is exposed that you half expect a tidal wave to be coming soon.  This is also the first time we start to pay attention to what the winter has wrought in terms of shifting sand _ some beaches are all but gone, some deep anchorages  have filled up. 

Of course, everyone wants to keep it as it was.  Where the sand has gone away, people try to truck it back, bulldoze or shovel it around.  Where the sand has filled it, boaters want it all dredged out and dumped somewhere else.  In the meantime, the state ecology department believes that whatever happens by itself in wetlands is by definition natural and often refuses to issue permits.  No matter what, a lot of effort and money is going to result.

That boarded-up beach house will be opening in another month.  Cherry tree is in full blossom.  Dune grass is sprouting strongly.  Here we have a turtle’s-eye view up the beach, if there were any turtles left around here, which there are not, at least of the salt-water variety.  Nor any lobsters either, but the only way you know that is from the lack of piled lobster traps ready for the season, as there used to be until twenty years ago.

Weather now is often hour by hour.  A gap in the clouds, a brief cessation in the wind, will cause summer to glimmer for a half hour or more, then suddenly a chill will descend and everyone grabs coats and sweaters.  You can be taking a lovely sunlit walk or sweating crouched in a garden, and suddenly be splattered by raindrops, a shower gone as quickly as it comes by.   It’s all fine, if you plan as little as possible.







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