The Coast Walk Project

Coast Walk 13: Hunters Beach to East Point, Seal Harbor; Part 4

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Dec 4, 9:30am. 33ºF (0ºC). Light breeze from the south. Sunny with puffy clouds after a couple of days of rain, so water was running everywhere. 4 eider ducks (2 male, 2 female), immature loon.

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What a difference three months makes!

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I had received permission to walk privately owned land on East Point, and the best access to sea level was back through the MCHT property you saw in the last post, so I headed back through familiar territory:web-_DSC2101-Edit

It was 44ºF colder in December than in August! The breeze was spotty, so I’d get really warm in the sunny spots, shed my hat and gloves, and then in the shade or when the breeze picked up, suddenly I’d be freezing again. The bushes were loaded with winterberry (above) and bayberry (below.)

web-_DSC2378-Edit The morning sun was a little bit blinding, which made photography tricky. You’ll see a lot of flare in the photos – low tide rarely coincides with great lighting conditions! When I want to photograph a place that isn’t part of the Coast Walk, I often use an app called the Photographer’s Ephemeris to look at how the sun hits it at different times of day. (It also shows me sunrise and sunset at different times of year.) That way I don’t end up like this – shooting straight into the sun, with harsh shadows hiding half the landscape. But for the Coast Walk, the tide chart trumps the sun.web-_DSC2113-Edit

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I kept a lookout for the poison ivy that was all over the place last visit, but didn’t recognize it without its leaves until I saw the berries.

The white berries of Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) in its leafless winter state.

The white berries of Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) in its leafless winter state.

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Once I reached sea level, it was a bit of a scramble over the rocks,web-_DSC2158-Edit

but the tidepools were great!

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Basalt intrusions in the pink granite made the most beautiful stripes:

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And then I found a small sea cave! (You guys know how obsessed I am with caves, right?)

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One side of it was covered with a greenish lichen or mold. The landward side of the cave was wet with groundwater seepage, and the mold only grew there.

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As usual, I reached a point at which I couldn’t travel along the tide line; usually I go up and around, but this was such a sheer cliff I had to turn back.  web-_DSC2257-Edit

 

 

I found so much interesting poop on this walk that I gathered all the photos here so you can see the variety:

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I think this must be racoon or otter:web-_DSC2353-Edit

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I keep hoping someone familiar with animal scat will read this blog and interpret for me!

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I’m trying to catch up to myself here on the blog (in real life I’ve reached Seal Harbor Beach) and at the same time trying not to rush through these solo posts. I’m fighting the temptation to just throw up a bunch of photos to get through them quickly, but there were so many interesting things to look at and I want to share that with you. I’m not doing as much research, I will admit that. Last summer I would have scoured books and the internet to figure out what the mold on the cave wall was, but now I’m trying to find a balance between investigating and moving forward. As soon as I catch up, I’ll work on getting permissions for the next few miles, and also start researching again.

Can you believe I thought I could do this in two years?

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2 thoughts on “Coast Walk 13: Hunters Beach to East Point, Seal Harbor; Part 4

  1. Carol Duda

    Hi, Jennifer! Please, please don’t rush. I love all your posts, photos, captions, comments and pictures of poop. I don’t want to miss any part of what you’re doing. It’s an amazing project and well worth documenting one step at a time.
    Thank you so much for sharing your work with us!

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