Gossamer Tapestry

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

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cape Poge

Way out at the end of Chappaquiddick on Martha's Vineyard is Cape Poge- a long sand spit interrupted by a few high spots with clumps of trees. Oh, yes, there's a lighthouse as well. We went out there on Friday. It's home to lots of fish, crabs, and bird life- and little else. It was a wonderful day.

The famous bridge in Chappaquiddick

You get there via a really funky ferry. It's essentially a small barge that holds 3 cars. Once on the island, you cross a famous bridge. Once across, the vehicle's tires are deflated to 12-15 psi. The trip involves four-wheeling across a lot of sand.

The funky ferry

Dunes along the four-wheeling track

We spent the whole day out there. There were plenty of birds, bugs, and marine life to keep our interest. My favorites were the oystercatchers, a species I've never seen before. I finally managed to get a good picture of a seaside grasshopper.

American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus)

Seaside Grasshopper (Trimerotropis maritima)

Spider Crab (Libinia emarginata)

It was the kind of day where time slows delightfully. We flew kites, swam (a bit) caught minnows and other sea creatures, took picures, read, walked and sat in the sun. Mostly we enjoyed the good food, company and scenery. A great Italian dinner was about the only thing that could lure us back into civilization from this paradise.

Cape Poge Light

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At 12:42, Blogger Gallicissa said...

Congrats on your first American Oystercatcher! We get the Eurasian type here and it too is great bird to see and photograph against the golden sandy beaches.

At 14:57, Blogger Greg said...

Oh, very cool photos--I still can't believe after ten years on the Cape I've not been to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. Maybe 2009 will be the year...meanwhile, thanks for sharing your trip!

We've certainly had some great weather this past weekend--glad to see you're enjoying it so!

At 15:59, Blogger cedrorum said...

Is Cape Poge a barrier island? It sounds like one from your description and looks like one in a couple of the pictures. Sounds like a great day. I know I've said it before, but one day we are going to get up that way.

At 18:22, Blogger Floridacracker said...

Beautiful seaside scenery and critters. Oystercatchers are a favorite of mine too.

At 15:43, Blogger Doug Taron said...

gallicissa- Thanks.I found them to be a bit shy, but they're big enough that you can get close enough for a decent photo without too much trouble.

Greg- I lived in Mass. for the first half of my life, and go back at least once annually now that I live in Chicago. This was my first trip ever to the Vineyard. Welcome to the Tapestry. I'm enjoying your blog.

cedrorum- Well, it's a barrier beach. It does connect up with the rest of the island at the south end.

FC- Because of all the ocean and sea creature shots, I felt like I was creating a Pure Florida post when I wrote this.

At 18:35, Anonymous Mark H said...

I'm always glad when you go home, having never lived in New England, I really enjoy having your describe the life there...You truly give me a look and feel of being there, Doug, Thanks.

At 20:13, Blogger T.R. said...

So Doug, is this what I am eating when I order the "spider roll" at a sushi restaurant? I might seriously have to reconsider as I will forever have this image as I crunch down, chew and swallow.

I too am a recent fan of the Midnight Gardner! The shallow degrees of separation in the blog pool we wade continue to astound me.

At 12:47, Blogger Texas Travelers said...

I don't know which photo I liked best. They are all equally great.

Nice story.

Makes me want to go hook up the camper and go.

I have to admit, I am a bit partial to that grasshopper photo.

I posted a couple of interesting bugs.
Come visit,

At 17:51, Blogger Dave Coulter said...

Looks like a good time!

At 07:53, Blogger Doug Taron said...

mark- Thanks. No matter how long I live in the Midwest, I will always consider myself a New Englander.

t.r.- I liked the crab, but I don't think it looks any less palatable (or crabby) than any other crab. I can't eat them, anyway (allergic), so it's all an academic exercise in my case. On the degrees of separation front, not so surprising. I found his blog through a comment he left on yours.

Troy- I'm glad that you liked the grasshopper photo. This species is very hard to approach. Still, I'm finding it easier to get decent shots of grasshoppers than of tiger beetles.

Dave- It was. I was not happy when this trip ended.

At 08:16, Blogger Texas Travelers said...

Thanks for the visit and heads-up on the caption.


At 17:53, Blogger Stacey Huston said...

Looks like a wonderful trip.. thanks for sharing

At 11:38, Blogger Texas Travelers said...

Thanks for the visit. Glad you enjoyed the post.


At 16:58, Blogger Kathiesbirds said...

Never heard of Cape Poge before. I have heard of Chappaquidick. I envy you the oyster catchers, a species I have yet to add to my life list! Sounds like a perfect day and your mention of an Italian dinner is making me hungry!

At 22:02, Blogger Doug Taron said...

Kathe - Well, Chappaquidick does have an element of infamy. The "famous bridge" is, in fact, where Ted and Mary Jo went in the drink. I'll bet you could find oystercatchers somewhere on the coast of Connecticut. Or, you could go out to the Vineyard some time. It's well worth the trip.


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