Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Headless Baby Doll CultL

I set out on a very high tide with near calm air and overcast skies that carry a minor threat of rain.
to the backside of Cat Island
I was tempted to cut across the marsh, today being a rare day when the marsh is much more water than land.  Instead, I head up to round Cat Island, a possibility only at the highest of waters when the narrow channel between the two areas of dry land will let a canoe squeeze through.  This end of Cat Island is also the most likely location of the Headless Baby Doll Cult, which to my knowledge has never before had contact with the outside world.  One of the two artifacts from that society that I have collected came from the eastern end of Cat Island while the other was found in the river about a mile away.  Little is known about these people other than their social custom of removing the heads from baby dolls and discarding the bodies in marshes.  It is possible that the collected baby doll heads were used for adornment on that peoples Schwinn Stingray bicycles, but there is no evidence to support that.  Today, I find no new artifacts, and make no contact with the people.

Least Sandpiper
One way that the Wheeler Marsh stands out, and it is something that took me awhile to figure out, is that the bird diversity is superior to many of the places that I would rather canoe in.
Least Sandpipers, Black Bellied Plovers, Ruddy Turnstones, a Dunlin, and Short Billed Dowitchers
After rounding Cat Island, I head diagonal across the marsh to Milford Point, then upriver against a stiffening current in Nell's Channel and back around to my start point. On the diagonal I flush several large flocks of tiny Least Sandpipers.  They difficult to spot in the dead spartina grass until I get close enough to flush them.  There's a good number of Swans at the lower end of the marsh (the Milford Point end) being held at bay by a pair of nesting swans.  I spot a pair of Oyster Catchers there as well.  As I cut back over to Nell's Channel I find a large collection of various shorebirds all on one long narrow spit of exposed mud (see photo above). Osprey are up at the top end of the marsh where they have two or possibly three nests.

Just as a I reach the take-out, a Bald Eagle flies over.

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