We did the same thing yesterday that we did last January 4th. Maybe this is the beginning of an annual pilgrimage. Maybe it's only a coincidence (yes, I do believe in those). We drove from Providence to Conanicut Island, to Beavertail State Park. Like last year, there was snow. Actually, quite a bit more snow this year than last. And colder, I think. And I wasn't dressed as well for the weather. All that ice and snow made it too treacherous to attempt to make it down onto the rocks. But we watched gulls and murres, cormorants and crows.
Last night, in a moment of weakness, I bought asparagus from Peru. That's fucking insane. Asparagus from Peru. How much fucking fuel was burned, how much C02 released into the atmosphere, to get that asparagus some 3,500 to 4,000 miles from Peru to Rhode Island? We have perfectly good asparagus grown right here in the state, a few miles from our house. But it's not asparagus season in Rhode Island, and I had a moment of weakness. This civilization (and much of the present biosphere) will fall at the mercy of a trillion trillion moments of seemingly insignificant luxury. Seemingly insignificant, that is, when each is considered alone. It's not so much the big things that kill worlds; it's all the little fucking things that come before the big, inevitable things.
There are photographs from yesterday:
Crossing the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge to Conanicut Island. View to the southeast.
At Mackeral Cove on the island. View to the southwest.
Beavertail Lighthouse in the snow. View to the southeast.
A half-hearted snowman built on the rocks north of the lighthouse.
Looking back towards the lighthouse. View to the southwest.
Snow on Cambrian-age phyllite. View to the southeast.
More snow on Cambrian phyllite. View to the northeast.
The author and her walking stick. View to the northeast.
A gull track in the snow.
North of Jamestown, looking southeast towards the Newport Bridge.
The old windmill north of Jamestown. The blades were removed recently due to a windstorm, and presumably will be replaced soon. View to the northeast.
All photographs Copyright © 2010 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac