Posted in Air, Assateague Island, Beach, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Hiking, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Winter, Woods

A sunny day on Assateague Island

When the sky and sea are almost the same color and the horizon disappears.

What already exists immediately around us is more important than all of our anxieties about what’s not there yet. The imperfection of reality is perfect.

~ Kyle Chayka

Rivers, oceans, forests, mountains, earth, and rocks are all our body.  To protect the living environment is also to protect ourselves.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

I’ll fly away.

It seems a lot has been happening since my last post.  A lot happening in the world, in life, and even here, with me.  On the other hand, it also feels as if little has changed.  Do you think that’s just the way of life?  The more things change, the more they stay the same?

I’m beginning to think that’s a Truth.

Leaving the beach, heading towards the bay.

It’s been two three weeks since our hike in some of the backcountry of Assateague Island.  I thought I’d get around to posting about it before now.  Life has kept me busy, but not that busy.  I sometimes think I don’t have anything to say.  That’s not true, either.  What is true is that I don’t like to share my fears.  Fear, it seems, spreads more rapidly than a virus.

Many of the trees we saw are dead or dying.  Pine bark beetles have been doing their thing.

As you can see, we had a beautiful, blue-sky day for our hike.  It was a little chilly (in the 40’s, F), but the winds were light to almost non-existent.  I overdressed, as usual, and had to remove a few layers as we hiked.  I think it was one of the stillest days I’ve experienced on Assateague during the winter months.

They look almost like sculptures that a giant left behind.

The dead trees we encountered as we got closer to the bay reminded me of trees we’d seen in California, about twelve years ago, after fire had moved through the area.  Let me show you what I mean:

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, California, 2008.

The difference, of course, is obvious in the charred, blistered, and blackened bark on the trees in California.  As we hiked through the area of dead trees on Assateague, I couldn’t help but notice how dry it was out there and think that one strike of lightning (or a carelessly discarded lit cigarette butt) might cause quite a fire.  I also thought about how we might get a strike of our own, on the head, from branches or trees falling.  I did see one tree, off a little ways, fall.

One of many ponds. I think it’s freshwater, but I’m not sure.

We saw evidence of horses (plenty of poop and prints) but no horses while we were hiking.  We did see some later, after we left the backcountry and the beach.

The reflection of the blue sky on the water was beautiful.

We did not see another soul.  We heard a few birds here and there, heard and saw a few splashes in the water (turtles or frogs would be my guess), but mostly, it was quiet.  Not even the usually ever-present, underlying, hum of the wind could be heard.  I’ve gotten so used to that sound that it feels odd to me when it’s missing.

Westward, ho.

As I sort through the photos I took, I realize how fascinated I was with the standing bones of the trees.  There were so many different shapes and sizes.  I’ll spare you.  There really are far too many images of them.  I will go back through them someday and do a little culling.  Or printing of those I really like.

View from a bridge.

I’ve been on and off working on this post for a while, as you’ve probably already noted.  We’re pretty much in the midst of self-isolation now so there will be plenty of time to sort through photos, write blog posts, and visit other blogs, if I so desire.  Plenty of time to direct my mind and attention Elsewhere because the news cycle is a culture of fear at this point and fear is not going to do anyone any good.

Abandoned hunting lodge off in the distance.

Two weeks ago, we were up in Philadelphia with my father.  He’s 88 years old and had never been to hear a symphony orchestra play.  He told me that after I mentioned going to the Kennedy Center, way back in January (it does seem so long ago, now).  We jumped right on it and ordered tickets for the Philadelphia Orchestra.  By the time the day arrived, there were already murmurings about Covid-19 and I was already telling people that it was time to stay home.  I felt a little like Kassandra from Greek mythology.  Nobody thought it was something to take too seriously.   So, we went to Philadelphia, had lunch there, enjoyed the concert, and then spent the evening with my father and his friend, cooking a crabcake dinner for them.  (My father loves crabcakes and the Eastern Shore is the place to get them.  We took some up with us, along with a bunch of side dishes.)  It was lovely and I’m glad we went.  It was surprising, at the time, how many empty seats there were at the concert.  That probably worked to our advantage in terms of social distancing.

I worried, a little, about my father, but it was also his decision to go.  We talked about it before we left for the concert.  I heard from him yesterday.  He’s fine.  His friend is fine.  Everyone in my family up that way is fine.  We didn’t catch anything, either, from that trip.  Not even the common cold.  Probably because we already practice good hygiene and do a lot of hand washing when we’re out and about, especially during cold and flu season.  It’s the sensible thing to do.

M the Younger, his wife, and the boys are going through another round of the flu.  Or, as he put it, it could be this new plague but they will probably never know due to the lack of testing.  They are all young and healthy, but it has been a rough flu season for them.  I hope whatever they’ve caught passes quickly and that all viruses leave them alone for a while.  Our oldest son and his family are all fine as of this writing.  They’ve had their rounds of colds and flu this season, too.

The water looked so blue that day.

This week, on Wednesday,  I had a colonoscopy.  It was already scheduled.  I wanted to cancel but the folks at the doctor’s office and some of my loved ones insisted I go ahead.  It’s probably good that I did, just to get it over with.  The prep, by the way, was not the worst part for me.  I know lots of people say that’s the worst part, and usually it is.  Not this time.  The waiting was part of the worst.  They were running late.  All I wanted was to get it done and get out of there.  I was surprised by how lackadaisical the nurses and staff were about the virus.  One nurse was shocked to hear they were essentially closing down the local universities, thinking that was a bit drastic.  My Kassandra-like persona stepped up and said they should have shut everything down two weeks ago.  The nurse thought that was silly.

Well, then.  Here we are, schools shut down, events cancelled.  And the day after my procedure, the hospital where I had the colonoscopy suddenly got interested in making preparations for the virus.  We’ve had months to prepare, as you know.  Our government dropped the ball, big time.  All that aside, it is amazing how many people are stepping up in a myriad of ways.  Let’s look to them, to the helpers, as Mr. Rogers said, and let’s try to be the helpers, in whatever way we can.

(On a somewhat humorous side note, I’ve been receiving a lot of emails from various places about spring cleanses and how they boost your immunity.  I don’t know about that, but can say I’ve had my spring cleanse via the prep and the procedure.)

I wonder how long it will be before the trees come back. There are already baby trees growing in this area.

The media shows the tiniest percentage of what people do. There are millions and millions of people doing wonderful things all over the world, and they’re generally not the ones being touted in the news.

~ Fred Rogers

Almost halfway through our hike.

I’m sure that’s enough from me for now.  I can’t promise to stay away from writing about current events, but I will try to bring you something to counteract that.  A little beauty from the outside, perhaps.  Or words that soothe and comfort.  As for watching the sunset, let’s meet at the Point.  There is rarely anyone out there so social distancing will be easily done.  Sunset is scheduled for 7:09 PM.  It’s warm here today, with a high expected of 74°F.  It might feel a little chillier by the water.  A sweatshirt or a jacket should keep you warm enough.

Be good, be kind, be love.  ♥♥♥

Peace at sunset.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,256)  The helpers in this world.  1,257)  Sunrises, sunsets, and all the other colorful gifts we are given from Mother Nature.  1,258)  Daffodils beginning to bloom.  1,259)  Friends and family.  1,260)  You, for your blog, for stopping here to visit, for your friendship.

Love at sunset.

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

16 thoughts on “A sunny day on Assateague Island

    1. It does us no good at all, Eliza, but it’s sometimes difficult not to go there. Thank goodness for walks and nature and all the other ways we have of calming and soothing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a lovely thing you did for your father. It’s hard to know what risks we should or shouldn’t take but I’m so glad it worked out and what a wonderful memory he has to cherish now. Wishing you and your loved ones well, Robin. Keep safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Actually, I think fear is an appropriate response to what we are facing combined with the lack of intelligent leadership from Washington. Keep posting. Keep writing. I will be reading. Also, those photos of the tree bones are utterly beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That was a beautiful hike, and I thoroughly enjoyed it from the comfort of my chair. Thank you. I’ve had nothing to say for awhile now. My last post felt forced, so I’m backing off for awhile. Probably. I’ll just follow my muse.
    No surprise, our government’s handling of Coronavirus. It’s about the same as most of what they’ve been doing – ill -prepared, uninformed, blundering through. It reminds me of a saying an old friend loved – if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautiful photos, as usual Robin. I’m glad that the concert and colonoscopy both went well without any side effects. Having to wait when you’re already tired and literally empty would not be fun. I would have been very cranky. Hope your family stays well!

    Like

  5. Our government dropped the ball, big time.

    You said it. Fortunately as you demonstrated here, a walk in the woods is a perfect antidote for this virus, and colonoscopy prep, woes. Stay healthy.

    Like

  6. I am behind in my reading of your blogs. This was wonderful, loved all the photos. So glad you took your dad to the symphony. The whole day sounds special and marvelous.
    Keep on keeping on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jane! Great to “see” you. 🙂 Hope all is well with you. You are probably not too far behind in reading my blog posts. I wasn’t posting much until recently. I’m posting now because it’s the best way for me to keep on keeping on. 😀

      Like

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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