Friday, September 22, 2006

A Visit To First Encounter Beach, Cape Cod

Scenes from a visit to First Encounter Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Late August, 2006

This is the path leading from the parking lot to the beach.

It is amazing how something so simple can be so beautiful.

Here is the view from the far end of the beach , looking toward the main area where the larger parking lot is. As usual the main beach area is more crowded than down at our end (in this small sized photo the people look like dots). I was happy to be in the more quiet place.

The view from my beach chair, noticed while taking a break from readng a book.

My husband flew kites with our boys. My younger son is on the left. I usually don't share photos of my children, but this one sure protects his identity well!

This is the bay side of the Cape, and at low tide you can walk out for what seems like a mile. Many low sandbars are in these waters. When the tide comes in, the waterline is where the seaweed on the beach is laying.

The water is so shallow, and families usually walk with critter-collecting equipment. Children collect hermit crabs, crabs, moon snails, and attempt to catch tiny fish. More children do that at this beach than the typical sand play up on the beach.

Childless adults walk empty handed, enjoying the experience in silence or chatting. While here, everyone looks happy and calm. Scenes of couples walking at sunset look like romantic greeting card scenes.

I have never seen this before. This was basically a white rainbow, a huge white arc in the sky. This was NOT frozen ice crystal exhaust from an airplane. Nearby there was a smaller (normal) rainbow. I should take a minute to figure out what this phenomenon is called, Google, here I come.

Okay, this was unexpected and strange. My son and I walked back to the car to fetch more play stuff and with my bare foot, I stepped on something soft. I was very surprised to see it was a mass of feathers, a part of a bird! There was just a small amount of the flesh or cartilege or whatever the feathers were all attached to. This did not look like a wing to me. I considered taking it home to use the feathers in some art or craft project, or for display on our nature shelf, but was worried of bacteria, viruses, or lice, so I left it there. It was beautiful. Later, I consulted a bird identification guide, and I think it is part of a grouse.

If you want to know the history of this beach, read this. The name is because this was the site where the Pilgrims had their first encounter with the Native Americans. I used to have romantic notions of this event based on memories of what I learned about the Pilgrims in public school however after reading the original source documents of Bradford I was appalled and disgusted.


Sandy said...

I came across this post on your blog while I was Googling 1st Encounter Beach and Corn Hill history. Planning to take my kids on a New kind of history lesson about the Pilgrims this Thanksgiving season. Thanks for the great info. Heading out that way at the end of the week. Would love for you to view my blog: :)

ChristineMM said...

Hi Sandy,
I would advise to also discuss the actual origination of the holiday which was in the 1800s. The spirit of the holiday.

We focus on gratitude on Thanksgiving, and eating special meals with family.

If you are going to discuss the raids on the food stores of the Native Americans I would advise also talking about what you would do? It is easy to be angry at what desperate people we never knew who lived hundreds of years ago did when they were starving. If we were in their position what would we do?

We were watching re-runs of the experiment-reality show The Colony the other day. This is where a simulated apocolypse was done & there were bands of people stranded around Los Angeles. They filmed them to see how they would react and what they would do. Raids on each other's provisions and materials were the major conflict and it was between Americans and not centered on race and not centered on who might be thought to be a "savage". Desperate people do desperate things. Just saying. What would you do to get food in winter if your children were starving? What would they want to do for self-preservation (think: Lord of the Flies).

Enjoy the Cape, I miss it! We moved to Texas this year and it is so different (nature and habitat wise).