With high tide, I paddle up the channel that leads to the town's sewage treatment plant. It is bounded on the north by a ridge that is an archaeological site, and when in far enough I find that the ridge is actually an island at this tide level. As I sit and drink my tea, a large bird rounds the point and takes a perch, Great Blue Heron, deserving the capital letters only because of the brilliant low sun that shines upon it.
I go out and round the point and paddle up the other of the ridge. On the submerged ridgeline is a road, a foot deep, not currently a barrier. I cross over and push in far enough to convince myself that I could pole my way through the grasses to reach open water. I spot my fourth great blue heron of the day, and then I spot a significant data point. Half buried in the dirt is a headless baby doll. It is the second headless baby doll that I have found in the area, the other collected on December 14, 2014. I note that I must now keep a careful watch just in case there is a headless baby doll cluster in the vicinity. About 3/4 of a mile separates the two finds, but the other was floating on the edge of a marsh, this one is fixed in the earth and well stained by minerals. A mature bald eagle soars past as if to approve of the find.
|Headless Baby Doll in situ|
|Housatonic Specimen 1A, December 14, 2014|
I head out to the channel that defines Nell's Island, a name which is pushing the limit as there is seldom any dry land...it's just a place that you can't drive a boat. I think about occupying it and declaring it sovereign land for dumb people, at least until I get hungry or cold or Gilligan's Island is on TV, whichever comes first. Just with that, I have thought out my plans better than the Bundy knuckleheads have thought out their plan.
The wind pushes me seaward along with the beginning of the ebb. It is quite, a few workboats dredging oysters and clams in the main channel, few birds. Sometimes the sun comes out from behind the clouds. This is when the winter marsh takes up magic. The bronze spartina, still standing tall having not seen any snow, turns gold. It turns a gold color that we associate with pure richness...strands of gold. To see it is to be wealthy beyond dreams.