NJWILDBEAUTY readers surely know by now, to borrow from Coleridge, Nature does not “fold up her tent like an Arab, and as silently steal away” after Labor Day. Quite the contrary!
These few images recreate Nature’s fulness, despite rain, last Saturday, November 7.
Drama, beauty, even miracles awaited us, as we tugged on our slickers and headed out on the beach.
The Weather Guides had insisted there was only a 30% chance of rain for the Island Beach region. But, as my urologist husband used to insist re surgery percentages, “For my patient, it’s 100%.”
For Jeanette Hooban and me, rain was indeed 100%, sometimes more ‘percentier’ than others.
We were welcomed by foxes. You can either mentally zoom and crop on my terrible images, or just Google Ray Yeager Photography Blog to see (probably our very foxes that very day) his fine art superb images of the ruddy regals of Island Beach. Thanks, Ray, for beauty, majesty, and everything from sleeping, leaping to fighting.
The foxes opened our outdoors day. Whales were our finale.
As we turned to leave the fishermen’s beach, we took one last, reluctant look at the serene, majestic Atlantic. Take the image below and multiply it by twenty or more. All flowing south, just beyond the third waves. A little larger than dolphins, but making that same loopy motion. Not so frolicsome. Very sure. A singleton. A threesome. Four side-by-side. The longer we looked, the more we saw. As relaxed in their journey as our fishermen — who stopped everything to watch.
Later, in the Coast Guard Building, –newly opened and you can go upstairs to see what those heroes saw as they watched through storms–, the men painting the front room told us they were probably minkes, definitely on migration south. They spend most of their lives on Island Beach. This is the time they might be seen But there was awe in the men’s voices, as they advised, “That was really special…”
Lavallette is not far above Island Beach. We’d stood so very long in the rain, mesmerized by whales, that we decided rewards were in order:
A craft brew, with a Pennsylvania name, possibly Nockamixon. Rather metallic. Good with
The oysters on the right are Delaware Bay — a miracle of resurrection. Once there were more millionaires per block in and around Shellpile and Bivalve, NJ, because of oysters, than anywhere in the world.
Then MSX (multinucleated sphere unknown) wiped out the industry, the oystermen, the millionaires. But New Jersey and Rutgers have undertaken heroic efforts to bring these hefty, meaty bivalves back to our (almost unknown) Delaware Bay and to our plates They were divine.
Those on the left are Virginia oysters. Not so large as Chincoteague, to be sure, but savory, briny and electrifying.
Our beautiful entrees were so delicate, probably only moments out of the sea. They often mention, on their menu, the day’s special as “whatever is running.” Meaning whatever fish are off-shore that day. I always get the child’s view of a fish running on its little tail.
As NJWILDBEAUTY readers can experience, here, with Jeanette and me, Not fall nor rain, winter nor snow, can keep us from our appointed rounds, reveling in Nature, letting her bestow her countless gifts.
Remember, the Nature part of our excursion (and most if not all of them) could never happen without preservation. Support your local land trust.