Friday, January 2, 2009

January 2, 2009 - Sunset Point, Hull, Massachusetts

Sunset Point is one of those oddities of geology: a peninsula off a peninsula. It juts westward - hence the sunset tag - off Hull towards Hingham. And it has represented many things to many people over many, many years.

The WBZ radio relay towers loom over everything in the area, red-and-white-striped like candy canes that never accepted their twists, and never got the bend at the end. The marsh below is partitioned from Hull Bay by "the dike," as we knew it as kids. In the distance the Strawberry Hill water tower, Hull Wind I, the Fort Revere Water Tower and more define the horizon.

There were ice chunks in the bay as I started my walk near the Sunset Point camp. That brought back an early winter memory, when the bay froze over so thoroughly that a friend and I tried to walk to Bumpkin Island on the ice floes. I just hope that my son, when he turns eleven, doesn't rationalize things the way I did back then.

Around the point, looking out toward Crow Point, the Hingham Harbor Islands and World's End, eiders and goldeneyes floated on the surface. Two horned grebes, arched their necks and dove, searching for food. I passed the home of one of my heroes, Papa Lou Anastos, who in 1942 charged into the Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston and pulled an estimated fifty bodies from the flames. I met him as a twelve-year-old, when he brought out a plate of homefries to me at the counter of his restaurant, to quell my hunger as my dad, brother, sister and I waited for a table. He's gone now, but I'll never forget him.

Farther on, I walked down Clifton Avenue, which switches to Edgewater Road. Twelve roads run from Clifton/Edgewater to Nantasket Road on the other side, numbered First through Eleventh, and then "Osmundsen." Young Arthuir J. Osmundsen gave his life in service for his town, state and country in World War II, and all we have today with which to remember him is a sign on the less traveled end of a short cross street.

By the time I finished walking, my minutes spent matched the degrees in Fahrenheit: 33. And it was actually warming up. Onto the weekend.

Time: 33 minutes

What else I accomplished today: Co-led a three and a half hour bird walk (which explains the ridiculous list below); dinner with friends Joe and Sarah.

New critters for 2009: Mammals: Gray squirrel; Birds: Brant, Canada goose, Mute swan, Gadwall, American black duck, Mallard, Common eider, Surf Scoter; Bufflehead; Common goldeneye; Hooded merganser; Red-breasted merganser: Wild turkey; Horned grebe; Great blue heron; Sharp-shinned hawk; Red-shouldered hawk; Red-tailed hawk; Merlin; American coot; Dunlin; Herring gull; Great black-backed gull; Mourning dove; Red-bellied woodpecker; Hairy woodpecker; Blue jay; American crow; Black-capped chickadee; Tufted titmouse; Red-breasted nuthatch; white-breasted nuthatch; Carolina wren; American robin; Northern mockingbird; Yellow-rumped warbler; American tree sparrow; Savannah sparrow; Song sparrow; White-throated sparrow; Dark-eyed junco; Northern cardinal; House finch; Pine siskin; American goldfinch; House sparrow.

1 comment:

  1. Missed you by that much. Ran a similar route down the coast this afternoon. Merlin at Nelson and 2 shorty owls at DW at dusk!