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    • Over the years I have used New Year's Day as an excuse to wander with my camera, visiting places that provide a calming environment for contemplation. Yesterday's wander was in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island (along the northeast coast of Massachusetts).

      As I walked the beach late in the morning yesterday the wind grabbed my hat and threw it into the ocean. The ocean kindly returned it to me on the next inbound wave. It was crazy windy out there!

      It was mid-way between high tide and low tide, with running water on the beach making it a challenge to get to the ocean's edge. The wind was howling at 30 miles per hour and higher. Sand was swirling, hitting exposed skin. Walking to the south was easy while walking to the north was a bit of a challenge. Regardless of the conditions, it's always a good day to walk at Parker River!

      Does anyone here share my wandering habits? Where were you on New Year's Day?

    • There were places where it was reasonable to cross this fast-moving water without wet feet; this wasn't one of them!

    • The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is really a special place. It's a nesting area for the endangered piping plover, and the entire 6 miles of beach there closes on April 1st each year for the piping plover nesting season. The refuge remains open but the beach is closed, reopening only after the birds are done with it. In 2018 a small section on the north end and a small section on the south end opened in early August, with the remainder of the beach opening later in August.

      I volunteer in the visitor center, and I try to visit often in the non-nesting season.

    • Thank you Joan! It's amazing how much the seascape changes in different tide cycles and different weather conditions.