Yesterday, I did 1,041 words on "The Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean." I'm liking this new piece, and that's a relief after the way "The Alchemist's Daughter" derailed on me. "The Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean" will appear in Sirenia Digest #43, later this month. So far, it feels very faintly like "pas-en-arrìere" (from Tales of the Woeful Platypus), in that I think it will largely be a sort of character study. There are hints of Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard and Angela Carter's "The Merchant of Shadows."
About 5:00 p.m. or so, Spooky announced that I'd written enough for the day, and that what I needed was a trip to the sea, a heavy dose of sun and salt air, and I wasn't about to argue. We drove down to South County, to Moonstone Beach. The day was clear and bright, despite earlier forecasts calling for rain (see what I said yesterday about New England "meteorologists"). We passed fields where the corn was just beginning to sprout. When we reached the sandy bit of road where we usually park to walk to the beach, we discovered that the tide was spectacularly low, so much so that the muddy bottoms of both Trustom and Card ponds (which lie behind the beach, beyond barrier dunes) were exposed. We walked the sandy banks and gravel bars, which are usually submerged by the salt marsh's waters. We watched ducks and kingbirds, robins and crows and other birds. I made a tiny boat of a very large clam shell. There were deer tracks, and raccoon tracks, and possibly fox tracks.
After a little while, we crossed the dunes onto Moonstone Beach proper. The Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodius) and Least Terns (Sterna antillarum) are nesting, and the terns, in particular, were rowdy, trying to drive us away from nests we weren't approaching. A flock of cormorants passed by. The sea was very calm, and the air was crisp, but not cold. Not much wind. There were more fishing boats than usual near shore, and the visibility was very good. Block Island, ten miles to the south across the sound, was easy to see. I found a few pieces of beach glass. Spooky was mostly occupied with the snazzy new camera, an early birthday gift from her mom (Spooky's birthday is June 24th). It's a Canon Powershot A1100, which replaces our cranky old Canon Powershot A75, which we bought way back in April or May of 2004. I laid on the sand and listened to the sea. I tried to clear my head, and to recall the thoughts I should be thinking, rather than the petty worries that have lately been consuming my every day. We left the beach reluctantly, around 7:30 or 7:45 p.m., and drove east to Narragansett to have doughboys at Iggy's. So, yeah. Yesterday was really rather nice. There are photos behind the cut (below). I may post some video this evening.
If you've not yet had a look at the current round of eBay auctions, please do. At this point, we're probably about two-fifths of the way to covering the cost of my attending ReaderCon 20 next month, so my thanks to everyone who's bid so far. A few items that have sold will be relisted today, including a copy of Tales from the Woeful Platypus.
The little stream that connects Trustom and Card ponds, at extreme low tide. View to the east, towards Card Pond.
Looking north, out across the exposed bed of Card Pond.
View back to the west, along the stream, towards the road and Trustom Pond beyond. The water level is down at least two, and maybe three, feet.
Cobbles and pebbles (including moonstone) from the Permian rocks exposed offshore.
Spooky found this very tiny, articulated fish skeleton, with most of the skull and vertebral column still intact.
View to the northwest, dog roses on the dunes near Trustom Pond.
All photographs Copyright © 2009 by Kathryn A. Pollnac