North Cape May is, according to the USGS, is fill. Just north and west of us are nice, loamy soils. Strawberry festivals, lima bean festivals, even barley festivals (if beer counts)
But fill that’s mostly sand makes for good potato gardens–some compost, some nice seed potatoes from Pinetree, a tiny bit of sulfur, a little bit of hilling, and then a ridiculous amount of fun while on all fours digging up potatoes with your grandbabies.
Yes, it’s early–they haven’t even flowered yet–but the kids are here this week, and we needed blue potatoes for a patriotic potato salad.
A few moments earlier, only a few of the critters were visible, but cued by voices humans cannot hear, they rose from the waters, seemingly in unison, to creep to the top of the tide line.
An hour later, most will be gone. A few will not return to the water, their gills a treat for the gulls.
In a couple of weeks, the high tide will help release the few of the millions of new critters that survive through June.
Most will fall prey to the ghost crabs, the gulls, the grackles, the killies and kingfish. The Audubon Society folk will praise the eggs as fodder for the red knots, perhaps easier on human eyes but certainly not nearly as interesting as these creatures from the depths of the bay.
Decades ago I stumbled on thousands of horseshoe crab babies, moments before they emerged from their now transparent shells, spinning and spinning as if anticipating their release.