Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 2, 2009 - Fire Station Beach, Quincy, Massachusetts

The question was a simple one. Could I provide public nature and history programming on Fire Station Beach for the citizens of Germantown?

I looked around and told Margaret and the Councillor what I thought. First, at my feet, there were shells. Shells of so many varieties. Mussels were the dominant species, but I could see razor clams, hermit crabs, even a horseshore crab, all kinds of shells. Yes, we could talk about shells.

The skyline was amazing. Hough's Neck was to the north, but then, over that, so was the Prudential Tower in Boston. In the distance was Hull, from the observation tower on Allerton Hill to the WBZ radio relay towers. Wessagussett, a section of Weymouth, was right across the Fore River. And I could see Raccoon Island. I had stories to tell about the skyline.

The beach was backed by saltmarsh. The locals used to gather the saltmarsh hay for various purposes. We could talk about that. There used to be a gunning stand out here for duck hunters - oh, the stories I could tell about coot stew. There was a farm, and even a golf course. I could certainly talk about what used to happen here.

And I counted eighteen species of birds, including a green heron, great egrets and several types of warblers. I'll bet that in migration these mudflats are teeming with shorebirds, and that in winter, ducks float on the water's surface. And I'll bet that the grasses on the water's edge are great for young fish trying to stay alive long enough to become big fish. We could talk about that.

So I answered, "Yes." I certainly can help the people of Germantown learn about this special place, and I look forward to doing so.

Time: 55 minutes.

New species: (Wildflowers in Bloom) purple loosestrife (43).

Stranger hellos: 3 (335).

What else is going on: Full day at work; more work on the book that is killing me from the inside out!

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