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    • When I walked to the south I could see only sand and water; heading north I could see some other beach walkers in the distance.

    • I seem to have created a tidal pattern of my own. When I arrived at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge yesterday - just a few days before the annual many month long beach closure - it was about 2 hours after low tide. With the tide rolling in I tried to keep an eye on the ocean with a plan of keeping my feet dry. The air was chilly at 49 degrees F and the wind was howling. I stayed dry but I did see someone walking in the water, brrr!

      I volunteer in the refuge on Sunday afternoons. I'm hoping for one more beach walk before I head to the visitor center. The weather wizard says it is going to rain on Sunday - here's hoping it's light rain and not a downpour.

      I love the patterns in the sand!

    • A short section of the beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge reopened just over a week ago, from parking lot 6 south into Sandy Point State Reservation. Since at the time of the reopening the greenhead flies were still in full force, I decided to wait for my first visit. 

      If you're not familiar with greenheads, they are a type of biting horsefly that are commonly found on beaches near coastal marshes (at least here in northeastern Massachusetts). They are big, they bite, and they aren't scared off by insect repellent - even the nasty stuff with DEET in it. There are some rumors that Avon Skin So Soft works but most folks I have talked with who tried it says that it does not.

      On Sunday, I heard from three people at Parker River that the dreaded flies were gone. With yesterday's morning low tide set for 9:39 AM a morning walk on the beach sounded like a good idea. I shared the space with people and sea birds. 

      It felt good to be walking on my favorite beach again. I'm happy that the piping plovers have a safe nesting place but I'm also happy when the beach reopens. 

    • Part of the beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge continues to be closed but a new section has reopened. Parking Lot 2 remains closed, and the beach between 2 & 3 (and part of the beach between 1 & 2) is also closed. While he piping plover nesting season is over, there are still least terns nesting.

      Yesterday I was able to park at Parking Lot 3 and walk south.

      I arrived 2 hours past high tide to the sounds of a wild ocean.

      Clouds on the inland side created paintings in the sky.