We had plans to visit Plum Island months ago, but when my gallbladder decided it was time to leave the premises we had to cancel. We talked about going this summer, but everything we read said not to go in the summer because of bugs called “greenheads”. We don’t know what they are and decided it best not to find out. We tried to go a couple of times this fall but it always rained. Finally, today was quite sunny and warm for November which, as it happens, is an excellent sort of day for an adventure.
We went to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, located on the southern part of the island. There’s an ocean beach on one side, and saltwater marshes on the other side. Both are equally beautiful and interesting in their own ways, and I can’t even imagine how chaotic the place must be in warm weather! I also expect the bird watching in the spring is fabulous, and I’d love to be able to see the seals that hang out on the beach. We didn’t see a whole lot of wildlife today, but it’s late fall so that is to be expected. Here’s what we did see:
These plovers, along with the gulls, leave these funny little footprints in the sand which amused me greatly:
After a bit of a walk on the beach we decided to keep driving down through the refuge. This guy and his pals stopped traffic for quite some time:
At the end of the refuge, we visited another part of the beach. This area was quite a bit more rocky, more so because of low tide, and the rocks were covered in little barnacles.
A discussion ensued as to whether this most resembled a cat or a pig. We’re leaning towards pig.
On the way out, we stopped to take some pictures of the sun setting on the marsh side of the refuge. The VEB noticed some herons fishing in one of the pools, and since the sunset colors were just NOT registering correctly on my camera I started taking pictures of the heron. I don’t know how I feel about these pictures, but I do like the shadows…
Last but not least, I turned around and saw the giant full moon rising!
I made the VEB race back to the beach side so we could get a few last pictures in before the refuge closed for the night. It was SO beautiful but alas my camera just couldn’t handle the rapidly changing light, plus it was getting cold and I wast starting to shiver. These pictures don’t begin to do it justice, but will give you a taste of what we saw:
We spent about 3.5 hours there altogether and barely scratched the surface; we didn’t explore any of the hiking trails and only walked a couple of stretches of the beach. Also, we discovered there is a state park at the end of the refuge, which we did not explore. If we are lucky to have an unseasonably warm day over the next few months I will definitely lobby the VEB for a return trip. Otherwise, it’s on our to-do list for 2014!