Beach walk, January 5, 2020

A peek at the ferry through a North Cape May jetty

The Christmas crowds are almost gone now; the big display on Town Bank Road was not lit up Friday night. The warm holiday lights give way to the wintry darkness. The beach belongs, again, to those who need it.

A few herring gulls, a lone sand piper too busy to worry about me. If there were any scoters or loons, I did not see them in the frothy waves.

Delaware Bay, Jersey side, January 5, 2020

A nice blow from the northwest built up foam on the edge of the bay. Small pieces break off and scamper up the beach like scalded squirrels, quickly dissipating into nothingness.

If you kick along the waves’ edges, you can kick up a storm of beach foam balls, skittering up the beach. Child’s play, but my birthday is closer to the 1800s than to the new year, and anyway, no one else was on the beach to see my foolishness.

I found a small knobbed whelk shell and a large quahog shell, a piece of muscle still attached, at least a few decades old. This part of the bay was once flush with clams, and may be again someday, but not today.

Among the scattered oyster shells lay a moon snail shell.

Today the sun was as close as it’s going to get until next January rolls in, but not close enough to make much difference in the chill. I wore 4 layers, should have gone with five.

In just a few months, the laughing gulls will be back, stealing from children squealing under a June sun.

Ferry terminal phragmites

But today, I’m the only one on the beach, from Scott Avenue down to the ferry jetty, kept company by the few birds facing into the stiff breeze.

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