It an’t the end of the world…

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The one thing I really love about the Eastern Shore is the abundance of new adventures that await Kathy and I. Today we headed to Deal Island. Lots to see here. Starting with a Wildlife Management Area.

We took a gravel road, passing marshes, seeing a gazillion dragon flies. They were feeding on all the mosquitoes. Looking out over the marsh.

We parked and headed across the marsh on foot. This may be duck hunters paradise.

So flat down here. There are water elevation levels throughout the island. Most read at 4″ above sea level.

A boat ramp in the middle of nowhere.

Molly lost track of where Kathy was so she headed into the water…

There she is!

A sandy path.

A place to rest and to meditate/contemplate.

Egg shells and a hole?

Molly needing a break.

And a little attention.

We leave the wildlife area and drive towards the end of Deal Island Road. A group of little communities along the way. Dames Quarters, Chance, Wenona. A couple historical markers.

Where Kathy’s family spent their summers.

Next was Deal Island Marina and beach. Molly has had enough of the water.

Best beach/trail sign ever.

A little windy but some kayakers were out.

Seafood processing – soft crab area?

Tons of oyster shells.

Heading down the road we came upon this church. Someone is trying to restore it. Google maps shows where restoration had once started but it seems to have stopped. The John Wesley Restoration Project.

Not too much further to the end. Another marina of sorts. Crab bushels waiting.

Many abandoned work houses. The water men and their businesses are dying off.

It looks like this bank has been converted into someone’s home.

A gargoyle to protect it.

And then, at the end of the road…

Heading back we decided to take the ferry.

Warning sign.

Ever vigilant.

On the other side of the Wicomico River.

Happy thoughts.

Another great adventure!

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Birthday Down the Oshun Hon

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What a great day my birthday was yesterday! I just might have to start celebrating being 29 every year! Kathy was helping her friend Sandy at a conference/workshop for Kennedy Krieger down the ocean and I was to meet them for dinner, but they said I should come down at lunch time. So after sanding and touching up the floor and two doors on the house, off I went.

We ate at Dough Rollers and then headed to Springfest. It is a craft show held every year at the inlet parking lot.

Kathy and Sandy.

Kathy and I.

Lite crowd which is my favorite.

Nice crafts. One of my Baltimore favorite artist was not here – Charlene Clark. 

But someone I do know was there. Ron from Jaded Love. I’ve known him and his wife Lisa for 25 or more years.

After some roaming around the fest for a while, we headed to the beach. That water tower made the front page of the local paper. It was just painted and is now peeling. Probably another low-bid contract.

One of the functions of my photo edit tools is called ‘Memories’. My memory must be shot because I don’t remember the fishing pier ever looking like this.

Oh my God! Look at this cute couple with their pants rolled up, heading into the water!!

That is some cold water! There were a couple kids swimming! Kathy asked if I had ever stood in the surf on my birthday before? I came to OC on May 3, 1972 to work, but don’t remember being crazy enough to get my toes wet. I did however stand in the water on May 8, 2015 when I came here to find my friend Eric’s grave.

Sandy’s turn. Wave dancers.

Headed back to the boardwalk towards bay side. Not a bad crowd for early May.

Over to Sunset Park and saw these guys. They look to be Ruddy Turnstone birds? Kathy got me a 16-300mm lens for my camera. It hasn’t come yet. Can’t wait to be able to have a zoom lens and do close ups without carrying a bunch of equipment around.

Our selfie down the shore.

I missed this history sign and Kathy got on me about it. Usually I just stop dead in our tracks (and on the highway) to read these things. 

A great day and way to celebrate my birthday! Thanks God, Kathy and Sandy!

Shad Landing – Kayaking

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What a great day to take a break from doing ‘stuff’! Loaded the kayaks onto the truck and then headed to Shad Landing at the Pocomoke River State Park. Weatherman was calling for 80+ degrees. We did want to do an Assateague Island trip but the wind gust were to be 10-15mph. For our first time out this season we thought a more peaceful, relaxing trip would be better. Here is our map. Not a long distance trip but a fun one of almost 3 miles and 2-1/2 hours. 

There was hardly anyone there. The landing kind of reminded us of Mariner’s Point up in Joppa. Instead of doing the loop west-north then back southeast, we headed off to Rte. 113. Here is Kathy getting everything ready while I park the truck.

From the launch you paddle east, go around the pier and then head southwest. Pass by the lonely canoes on a rack, waiting for adventurers.

We did not see much wildlife, just some signs. Here it looks like a beaver wasn’t paying attention to what had already been gnawed upon.

There were some colorful flowers on shore like these little bells. Kathy knows most of the names for these things. I don’t.

Heading towards the left turn we wanted to make is this marker. Unlike Mariner’s Point, we didn’t have to get out of the way of any crazy boaters that don’t care about wakes.

The whole park seems like a giant swamp. Kathy’s brother Phil had me watch a show about the Pocomoke on Delmarva Life, a TV show down here – Back in the 1930’s-40’s they dredged the river and put the spoils along the shore, unbeknownst to them that the dikes they created stopped mother nature from holding and filtering the water before sending it down stream to the Bay, causing damage to the ecosystem. Right now they are in the process of removing the dikes for nine miles up near Rte. 50, to reverse 80 years of bad planning. Here is what the area should look like.

Lots of cypress.

An odd shaped knee to say the least. Looks like a worn out statue.

So we make our left hand turn and Kathy see’s this sign. It is halfway covered up. She goes in for a closer look and under ‘Canoe Trail’ is an arrow pointing right.

45 minutes later, on our return trip, the water had risen.

The water was high enough to take away the protection of the metal cones that protect the birds from predators. Also, the lily pads had come up, only to be submerged.

We did see a few turtles and one water snake.

Up ahead, Route 113. Water looks a little high but we came this far – 

Kathy wanted me to go through first. She don’t like spiders and snakes.

Kathy took a photo of me contemplating which arch to go thru-

Kathy then made it through safe and sound.

Looking back from the other side of Rte. 113.

Time to paddle back. Marina up ahead.

Leaving the park we headed south on 113 to see the river from up above.

Nice, as were all the fields of flowers on the drive home.

So glad we put a bunch of house stuff to the side for a while, to enjoy this wonderful adventure together. It was a very much needed escape.

Nassawango Iron Furnace

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Sunday has become Kathy and my day of rest time, but since neither of us can sit still for too long – Road Trip! Called the people at Furnace Town and they are open with free admission for Easter.

Here is the History Marker on Rte. 12. 

Two other times we were here it was closed and I had previously posted photos of the visitor center, so I will spare the repetition. The area is about 300 acres, a Living History Village with an old iron furnace and remnants of the town that use to be there, along with some buildings moved there from other locations.

Before hiking over to the furnace itself we were treated to a nice talk and history lesson by Jessica, the director of the Village and Visitor Center. Then onto the various buildings. Being Easter Sunday our first stop was the church.

It was a very simple time back then but I am sure life was somewhat rough. The church was built in 1874 and then relocated to the Village in 1980. Here is an interior view.

Next stop was the wood shop. 

And the interior view.

On to the next building – The Blacksmith’s Shop.

For those who don’t know, a Living History Village has demonstrations and classes on the various trades back then. Here you can learn all about being a blacksmith. The work they do here is scattered throughout the area and some for sale in the visitor center.

Now to where I’ve been waiting to go – the Furnace.

View heading up the ramp. The white placards on the post are names of the donors who contributed to the rebuilding.

The mill race underneath.

A close-up of the water.

Historical plague.

The furnace with a mirror to see downwards from the top.

Underneath.

Side view. Kathy’s photo with a Dandelion.

Different view.

And another.

While down the bottom of the furnace, by the mill race, Kathy ran into this guy.

Moving on, here is the interior of the Weave House.

The Museum Building looks more like a church to me.

A replica of a building that is no longer there.

Then there is this guy.

And who he was…

The Broom House.

And what they made.

Almost finished.

Tools of the trade for hogs.

Sign.

Next was one of my favorites – Print shop.

Kathy checking it out.

Tools of the trade.

Me checking it out.

Some of the things they print up.

And.

And… it looks like some pieces are missing from this one.

Ye Olde Out House.

Gardener’s Shed.

One room school house. Built in 1869 near Whiton Md. Closed in 1931, moved to Snow Hill in 1959, then to the village in 2015.

Simple, basic education.

A shadow of a less complicated time.

But surely still having its fair share of misfits.

This sculpture would be a great idea to be done for the lime kilns at Cromwell Valley Park. If I was more artistic, I would build it.

From here we headed to Chincoteague for some lunch on the beach.

And then a nature loop ride through the preserve.

Another great adventure! Thanks God.

O.C. in the Spring

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After Cypress Park we headed to Ocean City for some lunch. Bikes, dogs and walkers. Dogs and bikes thru May 1st I believe. Humans anytime.

New construction going on. Looks like bollards? 

Yes they are. Kathy said she once rode her car up on the boardwalk years ago.

Favorite art store. Bought Paul McGehee’s Old Baltimore at Twilight here a few years back.

Here is our postcard to you!

Time for lunch. Call me un-American, but I really do not like vinegar on my fries. At least there is not the usual summer wait in line.

Although, being retired and down the ocean, time is not important. This clock has been in this same position for a long time…

Kathy taking a risk holding up her fries like that – when seagulls attack!

The empty haunted house.

Walked up to the end. To the left is where we were the other day – at Assateague. 

Scene from Final Destination #3..

Kathy’s pic of the Ferris wheel. Nice.

Time to head onto the beach.

Then under the fishing pier.

What is your favorite one – Surf City by Crack the Sky or Surfer Girl by the Beach Boys? 

The North Easterly Easter Bunny.

Another great adventure. Happy Happy.

Cypress Park Nature Trail

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While watching the local news for Delmarva, a segment came on asking for volunteers to help with a small park near Pocomoke City, adjacent to the Pocomoke River. We decided to head down and check it out. It was a short 30+ minute drive to get there. Here is the map. The park is right off of Rte. 13.

There was no one there except for Kathy, Molly and myself. And as will be seen in later photographs, the park/trail is in need of some TLC from volunteers! The path is made up of woods and boardwalks.

Kathy and Molly checking out the boards. The overall length of the hike is about 1/2 mile. Nice day for a walk, but beware – Ticks are out in full force!

After a walk along the water, the trail heads into the woods. This is looking back towards the pond.

Then lo and behold what do we see?

A bridge. A foot bridge.

And there we go.

The feed to the pond is from the Pocomoke River. Up river a ways, at Snow Hill, Kathy and I kayaked. Deep dark waters.

This next section of the trail could really use some help.

The cypress off-spring (Cypress knee) are covered with all sorts of growth.

And take many shapes.

Freshly gnawed beaver tree, toppled over.

Kathy getting a close-up view…

…of beautiful tree markings. Do you think it is a dogwood? No. How can you tell? By its bark! woof-woof. Molly thought it was funny.

Across another little stream to the opposite side of the pond. This puts you right next to Rte. 13, headed towards a cemetery.

Stay to the left to remain on the trail.

Bird holes or a screaming tree? It is your imagination to do with as you please.

Kind of early for this to be blooming out here in the woods don’t you think? It’s an artificial flower, probably blown over here from the cemetery. Oh! duh!

Well, this one is real!

Heading back to the parking lot.

Looking over at the foot bridge, two of four geese on the pond. Not much wildlife around.The silence was actually nice.

i won’t even go there, about mustache rides!

Mushroom condo.

Not a long hike so from here we headed to Ocean City for some Thrasher Fries.

The Beauty of Assateague, other than the ponies

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Off to Assateague we go. First the National Park side on the bay and then the State Park. Glad we got passes when we did.

Boardwalk to the bay side. 

Molly always enjoys the beach.

Except when she heads onto the grasses. The seaweed wasn’t bad but behind where Kathy is sitting is all sand-burs. Played hell getting them out of her paws.

Crushed shells.

The beauty of drift wood.

The shoreline at one time was full of cacti. It is slowly eroding away.

Like pulling mussels from a shell…

A petrified snapping turtle eating a thorn stem…well, that’s what it looks like to me!

We will always miss our little house at #Cromwellvalleypark, but we now have the Naturalist Shack!

Egret off in the distance. A couple seagulls landed on his/her little island. Hope they don’t try snatching any eggs!

No prompting from us – I think it helped soothe her sore feet.

Oh jeez Molly!! Glad we brought a lot of poop bags!!

Love retirement!!

Ocean side of the parks, before the crowds.

Ocean City in the far off distance.

Another day doing what we love. Did see some ponies but we enjoy ALL that nature and life has to offer!!

Thanks God.

Early March Hike

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Retirement has been hard work and it seems like forever since we have been able to find the time to enjoy a really nice hike. It was really cold and windy when we hiked Chincoteague a couple of weeks ago. Today did not seem like a good day to hike with the impending storm on the way, but we said the hell with it. We need to get out!

So off we went. We decided on somewhere local in case the weather took a turn for the worse. Pemberton Historical Park is just southwest of Salisbury and just a few minute drive from home. Here is the historical marker as you enter the park.

Sme more history can be found on their website. Very interesting. The trail map below. We hiked the Bell Island, Osprey and History trails, along with part of the Handy Hall Trail.

Entering the park is a nice fence…

A man-made fence vs. a fence Mother Nature is making…

The trail head consists of various older buildings. Including this restroom.

This looks to be an old bunker/storage building of some sorts.

A nice theater.

And a rounded dam. I can almost picture years ago this being made of wood and then maybe stone. 

A little island picnic area.

Kathy taking a photo of me…

taking one of her.

 

Dreary yet some nice colors.

Boardwalks 

and bird boxes.

Molly hears it…

I see it.

And kathy sees it.

An eagle on the top of the lone tree dead center

Hard to get a good shot this far away. (I do not carry a bunch of lenses and stuff with me when hiking)

More colors.

This was in the path. nicely strange. Kathy took this one.

When one tree fell, I guess it took the other one with it.

Dead center and this thing was humming.

Lone growth up in the trees.

A beaver house.

As I walk away…

A penny for your thoughts (I’m thinking – Don’t touch it! It looks like a booby-trap!)

A wonderful adventure in our new neck of the woods!!

Thanks God.

https://www.pembertonpark.org/pemberton-park/index.htm

Chincoteague

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We haven’t hiked here since May 2017. It is nice living close by. Less than an hour away. Kathy and I needed a nice little road trip. Selling homes, moving, moving again and retiring is a lot of work!

It was chilly and very windy on both the ocean and bay sides of the island. One large sand dune blocks the ocean from the parking lot, for the whole length of the lot. Kathy and Molly climbing over the dunes.

Glad I didn’t take my good camera – I’ve ruined two of them over the years from sand getting into them. The sand was stinging our faces. Looking up the beach.

After getting sandblasted on the ocean beach, we headed to bay side – Tom’s cove.

Windy still but nice. The snow geese were hanging out.

Including I believe, the Adult Blue Morph.

Seagulls were plentiful and a delight to watch (Always better watching them on the beach than at Thrasher’s!) 

This guy, below, kept picking this object up, dropping it to crack it open and then taking it to the pool to wash it off. He discovered that it wasn’t edible.

Heading away from the ocean and driving to the mainland we saw this guy.

And this guy off in the distance, standing away from the rest of the herd.

Seeing the lighthouse off in the distance we headed that way.

Belongs to the Coast Guard. Last time we were here, there were way too many people to get a half way decent shot.

Historic info.

Nice day for a much needed hike. The park police did stop us to inform us that it is illegal to bring a pet onto a National Wildlife Refuge. Never would have guessed that Molly doesn’t count as wildlife!

First Hike 2019

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A couple weeks ago, Kathy signed us up for a State Park First Hike at Calvert Cliffs. Although overcast, the weather was great for hiking. 

Here is the State Roads Commission historical marker.

The one thing about organized hikes, there are usually a lot of people. One of the rangers giving the tour said there were about 200 hikers here and about 50 dogs.

Heading down the path (like lemmings headed towards a cliff) it was somewhat congested.

But then, because of the different rates that people hike and how much a dog pulls you along, it started to thin out.

Trail was muddy but it was a really nice hike. About 3.6 miles. Many small streams that fed a lagoon. Geese frolicking in the water.

Nice boardwalk along the water.

An unnatural naturalist looking for wildlife.

Signs of beaver activity.

 

Looks like lightning struck this beaver feeding tree.

Not sure if the lagoon was man made or beaver made. 

A lone turtle trying to catch some sun.

The road to nowhere.

Actually, on the other side of the water is a natural gas company. We made it to the cliffs, beach, along with everyone else. Too many people for me.

But that didn’t stop Kathy from kicking off her hiking boots and going into the bay.

Out in the bay is this monster. A natural gas loading/unloading structure.

And off in the far distance there is a light house. Pretty bad shot, but got me curious.

A nice hike but disappointed that the cliffs were blocked off. 

I guess I was thinking they were more like the White Cliffs of Dover or something like that. Kind of small. 

When Kathy was finished playing in the water, we took a casual stroll back, enjoying the colors on a less crowded path. Then we came upon this guy. sitting alone, so we stopped to keep him company.

For a couple years we have been looking for natural letters from the alphabet. Kathy found a small r – 

And then an o – 

I told her she now needs to find an n! (she wanted to find a g also, because that is what I am – (W)rong!) Anyway, personal humor aside, we found this little bridge.

Then back out, beyond the ranger’s station, Kathy saw this metal hoop.

Looking closely about, we found an old structure. 

Another shot of the area.

Some purple/blue/black berries.

Then finally, a Bee Hotel and Kathy very happy at the end of our First Hike of 2019.

Leaving Calvert Cliffs we went in search of the light house. And here it is.

Locked up behind a fence!

All in all, a super nice day!

Thanks God.