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    • In this time of worry about COVID-19 I find that getting out in nature has a calming effect.

      Like (almost) everyone, my days are spent close to (or at) home. Exercise classes are all virtual and I am still getting out for solo exercise walks.

      While schools are closed and many businesses are in a "work from home" environment we are not yet under a "remain at home" order in Massachusetts. That means I was able to feed my need for the ocean Friday afternoon, heading to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge for a solo walk.

      While I wasn't the only human there, no one was close to me. Social distancing was the rule of the day.

    • That looks so much like vast swathes of the Pacific Coast that at first I thought you must be in Washington or Oregon.

      Periodically we camp on the Washington coast, usually around Cape Disappointment, and spend hours walking the beaches. I remember one afternoon at high tide walking at the high edge of the water, where the waves run in and out over the sand for fifty or a hundred feet, crossing each other in a thousand interweaving patterns. I looked out over the water, and I realized that I was looking at a scene that could have been at almost any time in the history of the Earth. Some birds appeared (a line of pelicans) and that suddenly limited the scene to only the last 500 million years or so.

      I felt very small and very blessed.

    • Your description of your afternoon walk on the beach is wonderful.

      Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is a very special place; I'm always happy when I can walk there. It's special for more than people - it is a nesting area for the endangered piping plover. Since it's a wildlife refuge the entire 6 miles of beach closes each year on April 1st for the nesting season. It usually reopens in late summer. Last year small sections on the tips of the refuge opened in early August with the rest of the beach reopening at the end of August.