Asticou Stream, Northeast Harbor, Maine; January 25, 2018 (Coast Walk 19/Beachcombing series No.73)
Top to bottom, left to right:
Row 1: Foliose lichen (possibly Tuckermannopsis sp.), sea glass, Rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum), Common Periwinkle (Littorina littorea), broken bottle neck (not sea glass)
Row 2: Common Periwinkles, Paper Birch bark (Betula papyrifera), slightly weathered bit of broken glass, periwinkle
Row 3: Common Periwinkles, broken glass, acorn (Quercus sp.), plastic tampon applicator, Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis)
Row 4: Common Periwinkles, bird leg bone, periwinkles
Row 5: Rockweed
Row 6: Common Periwinkle, Soft-shell Clam (Mya arenaria), periwinkles
The Asticou Stream Trail starts just across Peabody Drive from the Azalea Garden and winds down to the harbor through a little stream valley. It’s not a long trail – I think if you walked straight through you’d reach the shore in 10 minutes. I, of course, rarely manage to walk straight through anywhere. I poke fungi with sticks to see if they are solid or spongy, I look hard at footprints and scat to see what creatures have passed before me, and of course, I take photographs of everything. Since it was January, that meant lots of photos of frozen waterfalls and icicles. When I finally reached the shore, it was dead low tide and the mudflats were glinting in all their icy glory.
There are definite challenges to winter beachcombing – things are frozen to the ground, but the mud flats are still semi-liquid, like a Slurpee - so you sink deep.. You have to pull your gloves off to pull things out of the icy water or mud, dry your fingers as fast as possible on the inside of your pocket, and get the gloves back on before the cold soaks too deep into your bones. Of course there are rewards, too. Ice formations you’ll only see on an outgoing tide as the temperature nears zero. The undivided attention of every herring gull in the cove. And solitude – in January, the shore belongs to you.
- ©2018 Jennifer Steen Booher
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Foliose lichen Tuckermannopsis sea glass Rockweed Ascophyllum nodosum Common Periwinkle Littorina littorea bottle neck Periwinkles Paper Birch bark Betula papyrifera periwinkle broken glass acorn Quercus tampon applicator Blue Mussel Mytilus edulis bird leg bone Knotted Wrack Soft-shell Clam Mya arenaria bone leg bone bird bone wrack flotsam debris jetsam marine litter marine debris pollution garbage marine biology natural history Maine Mount Desert Island Acadia National Park Northeast Harbor
- Contained in galleries
- the Beachcombing series