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.
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.
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.
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.