DOLPHIN'S DEMISE........
Doesn't this picture make you want to speed up here and absorb the beauty of Maine? Yesterday was a beautiful day with so many pleasant distractions that you forget the cold. The ice forming on the rocks is a reminder that it is winter, but the waves still splash onto the sandy beaches as the tides rise and fall to erase and replenish the surface. This picture was taken out on one of the remote private beaches of Small Point. It was near here that the Dolphin was laid to rest. Come to think of it, what more beautiful place can you envision for one's demise?

After successive trips out to see the Dolphin, I called a representative of Maine's Department of Marine Resources to report its location. Together, we hiked out so that the animal could be documented for their records. Lynda Doughty, who grew up in Phippsburg, chronicled the condition of the Dolphin and shared information about the animal. She determined it to be a male, but wasn't able to come up with a cause of death. She took tissue samples for testing. It was measured in length and breadth, teeth were counted, and pictures taken. They were able to roll the animal over, but moving it to a safe place was an arduous task. Consequently, it will remain for nature to take its course. So far, no predators have shown signs of seeking food from the animal.

The water was relatively quiet while we were tending to the dolphin, but how glad I was that we made an effort to pull it above the high tide line. We are now having extreme tides due to the full moon. Not only that, but the wind was wicked yesterday. I don't think I have seen the water more turbulent than it was on 1/8/09. On Joe's Head the waves were breaking and sending a shower of spray far and wide. I wondered how any boat, or dolphin for that matter, could survive such forces. Those of you who are always looking for nice waves for boogie boarding, would have shuddered at the fury of the ocean. It was beautiful, however, with snow covered shoreline and sparkling water. Here is a piece of what I saw. Notice how the beach grass is a tanish brown, and bent over from the wind. Often when I see these pounding waves, I think of the small animals......those Anemones tucked under a ledge on Joe's Head, and the Sea Stars clinging with their miniscule tube feet. We have found Sea Stars stranded on beaches at this time of year. If they are left by the tide, they freeze. One rarely sees a crab, though the clams dig deeper....remember that powerful digging foot? However, with the extreme low tides due in the next few days, their hideouts will be exposed and the gulls will be dining on them. A stray crab may be dessert.

Incidentally, can you identify where this picture was taken? We had had about 2-4 inches of snow the day before, with some sleet thrown into the mix. I have a feeling that our dolphin has a snow cover, but not on this beach.

1/9/09 Ronnie, blown away by the beauty of it all.........