THE PARTY'S OVER!
What a wonderful Columbus Day weekend we had to put a fitting end to the camping season. It was sunny and warmed up nicely during the day. The fall colors have been nothing short of spectacular, probably because we have not yet had a hard frost. At the campground, the Huckleberry shrubs provide rich red color to the shoreline scene. I went over on Columbus Day thinking there would be no campers, but some were staying an extra night. I saw kids on bikes, sand castles in the sand and a clever hut made from beach debris. As you may have guessed, I made my way up to Osprey Point and had an interesting conversation with this camper......as he enjoyed a smoking brew! What a way to celebrate a camping experience. Believe it or not, this camper was one of about five men who went to school together. They had never camped on our island before, but I have a feeling they will have a repeat performance.

The next day, I went over again in late afternoon. This time, all the sites were empty of campers, even the voluminous bags of debris were attended to. I walked the beaches at a very low tide to see what remained. On the west side of Sanddune Beach, I first spotted a dead gull, and then another. It was quite windy. My footprints on the beach were the only ones on the tide washed sand. I spotted two dead Monarch butterflies - one on the sand and another caught in seaweed. Neither had abdomens and I wondered if a bird had taken those and left the animal flightless.

I moved on and then spotted yet another dead animal, one that I had never seen before. It was a small marine mammal that I believe is a porpoise. Birds had been dining on the carcass, but I turned it over for a picture. Here it is. The animal was not large, a little over a yard in length. It was heavy, however, since I decided to remove it from the beach. You know my affinity for bones....so I hauled it into the beach grass and covered it with seaweed and a large log. In time, I may have the bones to show you if other animals don't find it and take it away. I will keep an eye on it. I have seen these animals jumping in our waters, but never seen one up close and personal. I was unable to determine the cause of death. So there you have it.......my life among the animals, and comic people! 10/15/08 Ronnie