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We set off at “0 dark thirty” in the morning. Our goal was to photograph the snowy owls that have been sited on the coast as they migrate. As with all my photo blog adventures with Laura from TouringNH, you can’t count on always shooting what you set out to see.

It was bitter cold, though the car thermometer read 22°, the wind cut through my layers, and my eyes teared so badly I could hardly see through the lens at some points. Ah, but the beauty  of man and nature we spotted was so raw!


There is so much going on in this photo I don’t know where to look first. A riot of color and seasonal junk, surrounded by the gray corn-snow of spring.


It seems Petey owns a large chunk of the very valuable New Hampshire coastline in Rye. Just around the next bend was Petey’s restaurant, where we dined on fried clams and scallops. Beyond that was Petey’s convenience store and beach shop. All of his establishments were equally gaily decorated.

This particular business-of-Petey sat in the entrance to the harbor. Several fishing boats teetered atop their stands, in various states of repair. These are not the sleek summer yachts. With names like Carol Ann, these are working vessels.

DSC_6519 DSC_6520


We wandered north along the coast and stopped to walk the thin beach. I thought salt water doesn’t freeze, but the evidence of ice-skirts along the jetty proved that theory wrong.

DSC_6545 DSC_6546

This particular jetty was the site of many cairns. These intricately composed rock piles have been left by earlier visitors. High tides wash away all but the sturdiest.


NOT a cairn


Farther on, we stopped at the Odiorne Point State Park and visited the Seacoast Science Center. The center offers an abundance of historic and educational exhibits, including a “touch pool” where you can get up close and personal with some of the local sea life.


I just happened to catch an incredible show in one tank when this anemone reached out and grabbed a starfish. Eventually, it let go and the starfish scuttled away. No harm seemed to have been done, but I wondered all afternoon what had happened. What do you have to do to piss off an anemone?



We did see one snowy owl. She sat atop a house between the marsh and the harbor, keeping an eye on both for snacks. One birder we spoke with said she had been very active the last few days, catching a duck at one point and feeding on small voles in the marsh. Today she seemed content to gaze down at us with disdain.

Image 4

Thanks to Laura for getting a good shot of the elusive owl!

15 comments on “Rye on the Rocks with a Twist!

  1. Stephanie sheridan says:

    What a fun road trip! The colors are gorgeous, even those other than Peteys!


  2. Thanks Steph, it was so nice to get to the coast and have another view of the world. Just wish it would warm up!!!


  3. Touring NH says:

    What a great day we had (despite the cold)! The anemone show really was something. It hard to imagine in such a small town, they have 3 state parks. I think Odiorne Point is my favorite, I love the Science Center. It’s too bad the owls aren’t there in the summer!


  4. It’s always an adventure with you!


    1. Thanks, was hoping for more signs of Spring, but soon!


  5. mariekeates says:

    What a nice day out. I’m glad you got to see the owl.


    1. I thought of you and your walks as I was taking shots. It’s fun to think about how others will view what you are seeing.


  6. Chris F says:

    My friend Dean photographed a snowy owl on top of the steeple of a church in Salisbury, so they are in the area.


  7. They have been sited in the area but there must have been a meeting or party for them somewhere else the day we were looking!


  8. Glad you had a day to do nothing but take pictures. Those are among the best, I think. That anemone is a beautiful thing.


  9. What a cranky creature that anemone was!


  10. Pingback: Rye | Touring NH
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