It has been a frustrating week for this hiker. First of all, there was a full moon and that meant unusually low and high tides. Either the tide was too high to safely get past Head Beach to the parking area at Hermit Island, or the tides were low after dark. On top of that, we had an all day snow storm in mid week that dumped more snow and made getting around difficult and risky. I did take my chances and set out about an hour before sunset as the week ended. I parked on packed ice and snow and ventured out over the snow covered dunes. On the shoreline, the snow doesn't just fall and accumulate, it blows and builds up so that you have to proceed from deep snow to almost nothing. At one point as I tried to cross to the beach, the snow was up to my thighs! The tide kept the beach walkable, and luckily any residual sea water hadn't frozen as it sometimes does. I looked for sea life left by the tide and found two small Sea Stars that looked alive despite the freezing temperatures. These were quite small as shown on my mitten. Notice one is growing a new ray! I carried them over to a tide pool for safe keeping and proceeded over to Joe's Head as a large red ball, was gradually dropping into the sea. I found a picnic table that was free of snow and sat to enjoy and absorb the beauty.

I made my way back safely as the skies lit up the sky with orange and red clouds. Luckily, I was able to extract myself and go home to a warm house and a welcoming cat.

It is in the single digits this morning and the sea water temperature has dropped down to 37 degrees! How those Sea Stars survive as well as the scavenging gulls, is amazing. Luckily, the wind was not blowing so the air was tolerable for this mammal. I also observed two fishing boats returning to their harbors. Imagine being out on that cold water hauling traps and fishing for shrimp! It must be dedication.

More snow is due again in mid week. Where will we put it? Would you like me to ship you some?! Have some winter fun wherever you are.........1/23/11 Wrapped up Ronnie :-)