“The time must come when this coast (Cape Cod) will be a place of resort for those New-Englanders who really wish to visit the sea-side. At present it is wholly unknown to the fashionable world, and probably it will never be agreeable to them. If it is merely a ten-pin alley, or a circular railway, or an ocean of mint-julep, that the visitor is in search of, — if he thinks more of the wine than the brine, as I suspect some do at Newport, — I trust that for a long time he will be disappointed here. But this shore will never be more attractive than it is now.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Cape Cod
The final field trip of May 2019 was again to Massachusetts, this time a few days on Cape Cod in late May. It was markedly cooler there than inland, with highs from 57-69F and lows from 49-51F while I was there.
I visited a few places, including a beach in Harwich and one on the bay in Brewster, but the two longer walks were the Great Island Trail, my favourite; and on a foggy day, a combo of Marconi Beach, Marconi Station coastal heathland, and the abutting Atlantic White Cedar Swamp trail, all in Wellfleet and all part of the National Park Service.
Marconi Area (National Park Service)
Atlantic White Cedar Swamp
Marconi Beach, recently reopened after stairs repair from a storm in 2018
Great Island Trail, Wellfleet (also NPS)
This trail is partly along a marsh or “gut,” partly on the beach, partly in coastal uplands forest. There are often dead animals washed up along the marsh and beach, usually horseshoe crabs, gulls and other birds, and sometimes, as today, dolphins and rays.
I’ve never seen a whelk egg case on Cape Cod, though I see them all the time at Jekyll Island in Georgia. This one had a lot of algae on it, it looks like.
This gull had caught a spider crab.
Here’s what its shell looks like, bleached on the beach.
Exciting to see a bunch of ruddy turnstones!
Willet in the wind.
Big snail, underwater!
Some more shots from the beach and marshy areas.
Uplands at Great Island Trail.
Featured image: Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
This is one in a series of posts revisiting field trips taken from January to June 2019, as described here.