On Wednesday, Spooky and I went to Moonstone Beach. It was the first time we'd been there since footage for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir trailer was being filmed in mid October. It was good to be at Moonstone. In Providence, the day was warm, in the high seventies. At Moonstone, the wind off the Sound was cold enough to turn the ends of your fingers red and make your ears ache. But that was good, too. When we arrived the day was sunny, bright and clear. I could easily make out the grey-blue silhouette of Block Island ten miles to the south.
One of the first sights that greeted us was the trunk of a large tree, bleached white and marked with the borings of shipworms. We'd never seen anything like it at Moonstone. Before we left, and on the banks of Card Pond, one much larger. One that must have been an enormous and ancient tree when it fell. All were the same silvery white, a little like an oyster. Also, the beach has pushed farther back towards the ponds than I'd ever seen it, and the opening from Card Pond to the sea was blocked by sand. If some coastal cataclysm occurred, we missed it.
I speculated that perhaps the tides had been unusually high, or there had been a storm that we'd forgotten. I speculated that such a storm had fetched up the carcasses of trees felled by the "Long Island Express" of 1938. Recall what Constance said in The Red Tree, that the hurricane brought down billions of trees across coastal New England. Billions. Many of them are still out there, some buried just offshore, ghosts waiting to be briefly washed ashore before they're dragged into the sea again. I think these were of those trees, torn down and drowned seventy-four years ago.
Birds were oddly scarce. We saw only two or three seagulls, including two Great Black-backed gulls (Larus marinus) on Card Pond, both in their first winter, along with a lone swan (Cygnus sp.). Lone swans are a melancholy sight. There was a pair of Piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) and a single Least tern (Sternula antillarum). I saw a single Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax cargo) diving about in the waves. There were a few crows.
We walked farther east than we ever had before, almost past the eastern shore of Card Pond, before turning back. By then, the sun had vanished behind a rapidly advancing wall of pea-soup fog. The temperature plunged, and the air grew so damp my hair felt wet. The sea turned choppy and low breakers slammed against the sand and cobbles. The walk back to the car was bitter cold, though the sight of the fog lying over Trustom Pond was beautiful. Afterwards, we had dinner at Iggy's in Narragansett (first time this year), then stopped to see Spooky's parents on the way home. There are photographs, behind the cut:
The first of the great logs we encountered. My sweater is the same one Imp (Nicola Astles) wears in the book trailer.
It could be the corpse of an albino sea beast, normally found only in the abyss.
Detail of above.
Another of the logs, where Card Pond usually flows out to Block Island Sound.
The claw of a spider crab (Libinia sp.).
A tiny and unidentified amphipod.
As the fog rolls in, view eastwards towards Narragansett.
Walking westwards through the fog.
The fog over Trustom Pond.
All photographs Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn A. Pollnac and Caitlín R. Kiernan
An article that needs to be read, especially by anyone who thinks I'll be apologizing at ReaderCon 23 for anything I have or ever will say: From the NYTimes, "Please Stop Apologizing."
* No, I didn't see the Twilight films, but I did try to read the first book, so I did have a point of reference from which to begin. Also, I saw the trailers for all the films. Also, Stephanie Meyer is a douchebag, and I'm a hypocrite, so fuck off.