Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Lewis Gut

You pass through an open swing bridge, a barely two lane wide rusting relic with a wood deck and its gears and metal framework exposed to the salt air.  It stands almost as a broken gate, "nature is out there, the city is in here".  There is an osprey nest set on the top of its seaward truss.
You leave a tough luck harbor behind in any case, and you enter the Lewis Gut.

Pleasure Island lies to the right, the seaward side.  It's a big sand island at the end of a long sand spit.  It belongs to Bridgeport and the spit comes from Stratford, so Bridgeport runs a water taxi near the open swing bridge.  It seems to be more about maintaining a claim than a practicality.  The island was an amusement park for about 75 years and closed in 1967.  There's not much of that park there anymore, occasional fires taking down what remained.  I half expect the ghost of a dead carny to step out from behind the brush or one of the broken seawalls.  I follow the opposite shore, the spartina side, into the gut.

I collect a goose decoy from the spartina grass to add to my burgeoning backyard flock.

It takes a bit of paddling for the marsh to come alive.  A mile in, where the passages neck down some, I begin to enter willet nesting areas and they respond by flying around calling out their piercing warning cry, "kee-ha".  I spot three oyster catchers, which turns out to be four when they fly off, and then becomes five when I see them a few minutes later.  I expect that this is a pretty active bird area during spring and fall migrations.

oyster catchers
After follwing a few of the marsh channels to their dead-ends, I return following the sand spit shoreline.  After a brief stop and walk about on Pleasure Island, I pass back through the rusty gate back into the tough luck harbor. It's good that they have a gate.

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