ALL HAIL, THE WHALE!
As promised, here we are out on Small Point extracting bones from the whale. I brought along a friend with tools who was able to not only remove ribs and vertebrae, but also the skull. It was no small effort. Somehow we managed to overlook the continuing odors in the air and stickiness of the bones. I think recent rains have softened the tissue enough to make the extraction possible. It was a beautiful day with waves crashing on the rocky shoreline that has been the home for this dead whale since last winter. As you can see from the picture, the site for the whale's demise is not an easy one to access. It means you have to hike out on the rocks, and back again with any heavy bones you may wish to carry. A vertebra and rib were about enough for me to handle. Just how we manage to retrieve the skull remains to be seen. Here is my buddy, Aaron, showing the size of that part of the animal. Aaron is a fellow swimmer who often shares a lane in workouts. He also is the owner and chef in a Brunswick restaurant. He promised to carefully wash his hands of whale debris before preparing any meals!

We turned on the heat for the first time in our house this morning. The outdoor temperature was down to 40 degrees. There are still campers over on the island, and I have a feeling they are hovering near an open fire! I doubt if many will be on the beaches in bare feet or swim suits, but who knows?

I spent Sunday morning combing the south end of the campground. Campers were up and warming in the sun. The air was still and the few voices could be heard clearly. I counted about a dozen Monarch Butterflies flitting around in reckless abandon, as if they weren't thinking about the long flight to Mexico. Red Squirrels were busy eating and gathering cones, but they were the only live mammals I saw. There was a mix of footprints on the beaches that included deer and human barefoot. I even saw a few kids wading in the water of Sunset Lagoon! (They didn't stay long). I was stopped in my tracks as a gull was dining on a dead seal of all things. Here it is.

I headed through the wooded lanes checking for new porcupine and beaver activity, but found none. I almost wished there was snow to help in the tracking. It is still very wet with the Lily Pond near to overflowing. A Kingfisher was eyeing animal life in its water. Iris Downs is flooded as is the usual case after a rainy period. I saw where some small trees had been planted with signs warning people not to step on them. I made my way over to the Yankee Dock. A portion of the floats are still there, but at least half have been hauled out into the parking area. Those were loaded with mussels clinging to the edges. I checked to see what other animal life had been left high and dry, but only found one Sea Star. Two rowboats were still in the water waiting for use, and several kayakers were paddling on the calm waters. Camping days are numbered since the final opportunity comes on Columbus Day weekend. Let's hope it is a bright one.....
10/6/08 Ronnie, checking on things.....