Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend, Eastham, Cape Cod

September.  The best month.  The sun is still high, the air is still warm on the back of my neck, and the sand is still softly sun-baked between my toes.  Best yet, the vacation rentals drop to their off-season levels.

The dogs and I are spending the month of September in this cottage in Eastham, Massachusetts, on the bay side of Cape Cod.  An assortment of friends and relatives will cycle through over the course of the month.
Joe and I and our middle daughter, Leah, arrived here on the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend.  Yesterday the three of us, and the dogs, walked on Nauset Light Beach, on the ocean side of the Cape, and saw this seal floating along in the water while eating a fish.  Or maybe it was a crab.
Trust me, that's a gray seal, eating fast food, Cape Cod style
There were plenty of seals out there, bobbing along in the water.  The story is that sharks have reappeared along with them, as the seals are tasty to the sharks.  Am I bothered by the sharks?  Not really.  First of all, I haven't seen one--I understand they're around Chatham, at the elbow of the Cape, not here in Eastham--and secondly, the water here is far too cold to tempt me into it beyond my knees.

Joe left for home last evening to get ready for a big trial coming up in mid-month.  Leah and I and the dogs stayed on, and when the tide was low, we walked out on the tidal flats on the bay side, a short walk from our cottage.

Sunset, Cape Cod Bay, Eastham, Massachusetts
When the tide is low, and there's only an inch or so of water on the sand, and the sky is reflected in it, that's heaven on earth.

In that twilight, there was a flock of birds circling over the water, peeping and diving and circling and then peeping and diving some more.  From what I could see in the falling dusk, I thought they might be terns:  slim bodies, white underbodies, forked tails, crooked wings.
This is a photo of a common tern, but not the circling flock I saw last night.  It was too dark for me to capture them on film.
In fact, it was so dark, Leah and I wondered how the birds could see whatever they were eating.  The schools of darting minnows, I suppose.  The minnows were almost the color of the dusky sand, and their shadows showed as much as their bodies.  How could the birds find them to eat? By smell?  By the movement?  Maybe, after eons of evolution, these birds just sense, by sight or smell or some other means, the presence of their food.

This morning, on my way back down to the beach again for the dogs' morning walk, I found these two little goodies in the sand beneath my feet:
Does anybody know what these are?  They're smaller than ping pong balls and look like tiny apples.
Once the dogs saw I had picked these up, and was interested in them, Mocha waited until I wasn't looking, then took one gently between her teeth and buried it for safekeeping between the cushions of the couch.

Do the dogs love it here or what?