The Trails at Crane Beach

How many times have I been to Crane Beach? Twenty? That’s definitely not an exaggeration – maybe even more. With one exception, I’ve always just made a beeline for the beach and roamed around, having a lovely time. The exception was when Dad was visiting, and we decided to investigate the dune trails. We went in about 50 yards and declared it too difficult (plus the flies were biting…), and turned back. Yesterday, though, we pressed on. And you’re going to see that it was completely worth it. I can’t believe I’ve missed this spot so many times.

Here I am with a tiny tree that is trying its hardest to be spectacular for fall along with its big brothers. Good job, little guy!

There’s a lot to admire about this little ramble. Not least is the strangeness of deciduous trees on sand, and in particular this time of year when you get the contrast of the dunes with the changing leaves. It’s like a clash of seasons.

Still, you’re on a beach and every time you crest the next dune, you see the whole place spread out before you. It’s rugged and wild and smells terrific.

Here, see what I mean about the trees?

Walking on all this sand is extremely difficult. We got a terrific workout moving along at our slow pace. But it’s worth it because when you get to the top, you get to launch yourself down to the bottom. See me tearing down the side of the dune?

We had really perfect weather. Overcast with lots of interesting clouds. Not too windy. And just right for a little jacket. I don’t imagine there are a lot of days left like this.

We took a little detour over to the bay side of the island and found a beach completely deserted except for a man fishing in waders, and a heron watching him.

It was starting to get dark and it looked like rain might move in, so we decided to pick it up and head for the beach.

Once there, we discovered it was just as deserted as the bay side had been. How often does that happen at Crane?

Here I am trying to figure out why the birds are so excited and what these strange pale piles are in the surf.

And now here I’ve identified them as little mollusks, and I’m watching them move about on their little feet. There were so many you could actually hear them moving against each other. My career as a molluskologist ended abruptly, however, when we realized we had ten minutes left before the gate would close.

We ran back and arrived in the parking lot just as the attendant drove up next to our (lonely) car and began honking is horn. He saw us and drove over. “That your car? Ok, it’s time to,” he said and then drove away. Ok, then!