Sunday, July 19, 2009

Touring a salt marsh-July 16

I have not written much on this blog site because of the family reunion. We have had lots of family to hang out with and to catch up with on their latest news. We all get together for a meal each evening(we are fortunate that this campground has a big rec hall which they have been willing to let us use). After the supper meal we gather around a campfire for devotions and fellowship. During the day each family decides for themselves what activity they choose to do;sometime joining other cousins,aunts or uncles. On Wednesday,yesterday,a portion of us took a guided canoe ride through the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center. Our guide informed us that salt marshes are among our most valuable ecosystems,producing tons of organic matter with nutrients that are foundations of food chains extending out to the sea. They are also important buffer zones between the land and the sea. As we paddled along the meandering river of the marsh the guide pointed out snowy egrets and the wilet sandpiper. There were also tree swallows diving in and out of the muddy bluffs. We started this trip around noon time, maybe if we had taken an earlier tour we would have seen more birds. It was also low tide. Looking at the muddy-wet looking banks of the river we could get an idea as to how high the water could get in the marsh once the tide came in. The guide commented that quite often the parking of the center got flooded when the tide came in. While we were out in the marsh he picked us some orach to sample. This is an edible marsh grass,which I liked very much. Today,Thursday, John and I with my oldest brother Wayne drove into the Portland harbor to take a ferry to Peak's Island. A lot of the family members had gone over earlier,but John and I had spent the morning taking our son Mike to Manchester New Hampshire to catch a plane to St.Louis. It was an enjoyable walk around Peak's Island. We took the path around the outer perimeter of the island,getting some very scenic views of the ocean and also of the picturesque summer cottages of the island. Most of the houses were quite large,several stories high. Actually,we did come to find out that quite a few of the island people are there year around. At one point in our walk around the island a woman sitting on a bench near the shore line called us over to point out a whale she had been watching for awhile. It had just gone under when we stopped to look,but as we started to return to our walk he suddenly arched up and dove back down. All total we walked about three and a half miles,which was about the total perimeter of the island. We are finally being able to enjoy some sunny warm days and this was one of them.

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