On the drive down – which takes about 40-45 minutes, from the driveway – I read early Philp K. Dick: "Stability," "Menace React," and "Roog." The writing in the first two is, frankly, awful, though Dick's imaginative potential is already in evidence. However, "Roog" is actually good (written in late 1951, then published two years later in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction). Dick would have been twenty-three. Yesterday, I also read "Albertonectes vanderveldei, a new elasmosaur (Reptilia, Sauropterygia) from the Upper Cretaceous." By the way, Albertonectes has more cervical (neck) vertebrae than any other known animal, seventy-six. By comparison, almost all mammals have only seven (including giraffes and camels). Oh, on the way down, Spooky saw a bald eagle (exceedingly rare in Rhode Island). Reading, I missed it. Anyway....
We got to Beavertail about 4:30, and spent some time walking along the trails parallel to the shoreline. The sun was blinding off Narragansett Bay, but there was the expected cool breeze, making the air temperature quite a bit cooler than in Providence. However, the trees and underbrush on the trails sheltered us from the wind, and in the tunnels of branches, Queen Anne's lace, wild grapes, raspberry, nightshade, greenbriar, milkweed, and cedars, the air was, paradoxically, pleasantly cool. I imagined taking the iPad in there and trying to write away from the desk (if I had MS Word for the iPad – it's the only program I can compose on, so no suggestions, please). We checked out the steep descents to a few other coves. However, we backtracked to our usual cove. And, cut to the chase.
The tide was much higher than our last trip, and near the shore, the water quite a bit warmer. The farthest I swam out was (I discovered this morning using Google Earth) ~47 yards, far enough I was entering the actual bay, where the water turns from the crystal Coke-bottle green to a murky ocher green, and I began to think about the great whites recently sighted off Cape Cod. However, all our seals are up there this time of year, so I didn't worry much. The water was wonderful, both the frigid and warm. I swam in schools of unidentified fish (but three species). There was a rather comical moment when I spotted a starfish (Asterias forbesi) about six feet down. I went to pick it up, and it immediately wrapped itself about my hand. I had to shake it free.
I swam for about an hour, maybe an hour and a half. Spooky was in the water for a much briefer time. Then we laid out on the rocks and warmed up. We left Beavertail about 7 p.m. A huge moon was rising. And...that's enough for now, because I hope to write something, but there are photos behind the cut (we so need something with a decent zoom):
Wild raspberries. We get great macro.
On the trail.
This was meant to show the whole tattoo, but...
Floating! There's a sea cave behind me, leading into the next cove north.
I found and removed this large chuck of potentially dangerous lobster pot.
Shelter below a ledge.
Two women sunning at the head of the cove (play where's Waldo), view to the northeast.
I was sitting in the parking lot at Eastside Market back in Providence, getting a beautiful view of the moon through the monocular. Tycho Crater was stunning. Anyway, I got this shot by looking through our digital, with the lenses braced against the monocular. It's blurry, but I'm surprised it came out this well. Actual visibility through the monocular was about 4x this sharp.
All photographs Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn A. Pollnac and Caitlín R. Kiernan