Saturday, January 9, 2010
Small sized version and a detail. Today we start a second week of cold windy weather peppered with flurries.
I love standing near a sand dunes and am grateful that more and more people now respect them and do not trample them. You have to respect any vegetation that thrives with no nutrients and the constant onslaught of salt, sand and wind.
If it were not so cold I might venture to the west end of Jones Beach. I have less hardy, less foolish, these days - oh well.
I remember years ago in a harsh winter day walking at large the west end field because there was a rare falcon there - a gyrfalcon, the largest falcon in the world that almost always stays far north of NYC, even in winter. You find the "Gyr" in places like northern Greenland. I was roaming the West End dunes in the bitter cold when I saw in the inlet a thirty or more of fishermen in a party baot going out into the Atlantic for some deep sea cod fishing. I thought to myself that those guys were crazy and then I realized I was there myself. At least I was on dry land.
I did see the Gyr parked illegally on the Meadowbrook Parkway. Before it arrived about a hundred gulls took to the air, scared. The Gyr circled around, almost landed in a bare tree and then it was gone. It flew remarkably fast although its wing beats did not indicate much effort. I have never seen another one.