Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Saturday, December 23, 2006

My Home Town

Once again, I find myself home for Christmas in the little town where I grew up. Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts was an incredible place to grow up. My childhood and adolescence were dominated by the ocean, the beaches, and the woods around my home. My Dad still lives in the house that we moved into when I was in the 5th grade.

White Beach and Crow Island (actually a peninsula, not an island)

Black Beach

The Atlantic is about a 10-minute walk from Dad’s house. At the end of the 10 minutes are White and Black beaches. White Beach is the better bathing beach of the two. It has nicer sand (the Black Beach sand is a bit muddy). As you look at the ocean, the rocks on the left-hand side of the beach become exposed at low tide, revealing a series of tide pools. I spent many hours as a child searching the tide pools for crabs, starfish, anenomes and other sea creatures. These pastimes contributed, as did so much of where I grew up, to my growing interest in biology. It’s very much a case of geography as destiny.

Salt Marsh.

Just inland from these beaches is a beautiful salt marsh. I did a biological survey of the salt marsh as my independent study project my senior year in high school. The marsh is flooded in this picture because we are having a minor storm. It’s the remnants of the blizzard that hit Denver a couple of days ago. The picture was taken at the peak of high tide.

Eaglehead Rock at the east end of Singing Beach

Looking west along Singing Beach

Skate egg case

About 3 miles south of my house is Singing Beach, the "big" beach in town. It gets its name from the fact that the dry sand squeaks or "sings" when you walk on it. No singing today- the sand was too wet. In the summertime, this beach is jammed wall to wall with sun worshipers. The beach was much more peaceful today, and we even got to share the sand with some skate egg cases.

The Rotunda at Tuck's Point

The Chowder House as seen from the Rotunda

One of the main places to access Manchester Harbor of at Tuck’s Point. There is a picturesque rotunda where you can walk for a better view of the harbor. There is a "chowda house" at the park where summer events are sometimes held. The harbor itself holds many special memories for me. I used to have a small sailing dinghy and would go tooling around the harbor in it. There wasn’t much of a view today- the outer islands were obscured in fog. The sea was one of the things that made Manchester a great place to grow up.

Manchester Harbor

Labels: ,


At 22:10, Blogger Ur-spo said...

it sure looks like NE to me!
Too bad though there is no snow for you this year.

At 06:27, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love MA! and the NE shore up to ME.

Beautiful pics.

And yes, we're bummed. No snow for C'mas, again. (not all that unusual lately).

At 21:35, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful set of pics! It is neat to see a little history of you! Merry Christmas!

At 08:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Doug!

At 09:35, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice pix Doug. Makes me homesick. I lived on Bridge Street near the Norton's Point road.

At 09:59, Blogger Doug said...

To the anonymous commenter:

Good lord, when did you live in Manchester? Do we know each other? I lived on the other end of town. I moved away in 1979, but I retain close ties because my family is still here and I return often. Merry Christmas to you.

At 01:28, Blogger Tony said...

WOW! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful place with us. I know it is the dead of winter there so one would expect it to be grayer this time of year. I bet it's spectacular there in Manchester-by-the-Sea during the Spring and Summer months. I just love the looks of the old house! Hope you had a great Christmas today.

At 10:06, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Doug,

I lived in Manchester 1978-2002. Married to Anne Magnuson (Magnuson Greenhouse) by Judge Morley. We were pretty good pals with the Al Needhams & the Gavins. Been back once since 2002.

We're now retired and living near Palm Springs, CA.

I probably never met you but I bet I know some of your classmates!

John Mitchell


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home