The Bar, Bar Harbor, Maine; February 3

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Jennifer Steen Booher
The Bar, Bar Harbor, Maine; February 3, 2012
from the series Beachcombing

Sea glass bottles, Green Crab (Carcinus maenas), driftwood, feather, Common Slipper Shell (Crepidula fornicata) with a strand of Rockweed (Fucus distichus) attached, bone, Dog Whelk (Thais lapillus), Waved Whelk (Buccinum undatum), pine cone, plastic confetti popper, Common Periwinkle (Littorina littorea), and beach china.

On February 3 it was 22ºF, sunny, a dead low tide and a stiff wind blowing from the north. Beachcombing was tricky, since everything was frozen to the beach. I tucked my chin into my coat collar for warmth, but then my glasses steamed up, and the steam froze. The gulls were curious. The first one started to follow me, then four were standing huddled into the wind and watching. Then eight were moving down the beach with me, rising into the air if I got too close, and hovering on the wind just above my head. It was cool and a little eerie at the same time. Maybe they thought I had food, because eventually a whole flock of them were flapping around, just the way they do behind a fishing boat. Yes, I did think of That Movie, but they didn't seem aggressive. I just kept beachcombing, and when I found those aqua pieces I forgot all about the birds.

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