The South Shore is littered with biblical references. Jerusalem Road in Cohasset, Jericho Road in Scituate, and so on. So it should come as no surprise that there's a section of the latter town called Egypt.
But. from what I hear from my friends - my friends being historical anecdotes that talk to me when I visit the local historical societies; yes, my social life could use a facelift - the naming of the town had little to do with the Bible. In fact, there are two competing theories. And they're both plausible.
One story begins with a drought in the early part of the nineteenth century. During those tough times, apparently, only one section of town was producing any fresh vegetables, specifically corn. A man named Squire Pierce threw open the window to his shop one morning to see a long line of people waiting to get corn - which is the definition of the word "Egypt." "Ah, I see you've all come down to Egypt to get your corn!" said Pierce.
But, there's another story, one of which the locals would be less proud. There was a public establishment in the same section of town that was frequented by sea captains (Scituate certainly had a lot of them) where one could find corn in its most distilled state. Egypt was, in this second theory, a code word for getting corn in that form.
Either way, the village name has stuck, a century and a half later. The beach, just a short little stretch of rocks with a postage stamp of a parking lot that gets overrun by revelers in summertime, is bordered by a heavy wetland thicket. There's catbrier, autumn olive, phragmites, every freshwter wetland or thicket plant you can think of - but not a stalk of corn in sight.
Time: 46 minutes.
New species: (Birds) yellow-throated vireo (lifebird), blackpoll warbler (240); (Wildflowers in Bloom) goat's rue, creeping yellow cress, beach pea (40).
Stranger hellos: 2 (326).
What else is happening: led my usual 3 1/2 hour bird walk at work; made dinner for Michelle; some surprise Captains Guide work; book and newspaper work.