Sunday, January 4, 2009

Nature's Garden on a Barrier Beach

There is a beautiful barrier beach known as Plum Island only a few miles from my home. Because it is a barrier beach, the land and ecosystem are at the mercy of the restless winds and waters that shape and change this area over time. Nature is in control and offers ever changing beauty to all those who visit.

This eight mile barrier beach is sandwiched between the Parker River to the south

and the Merrimack River to the north.
These two beautiful rivers, plus the beach, dunes, salt and fresh water marshes, and ocean attract a diverse migratory bird population, large numbers of bird watchers, and recreational visitors from near and far. The Mass Audubon Society has an education center here and their website promotes Plum Island as, “one of the country’s most productive, year-round, wildlife viewing areas.”

Much of the island’s wildlife and wildlife habitat are protected by the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge has built a system of boardwalk trails and lookout towers to help people access and enjoy this natural resource.

I went on a Plum Island Photo Safari, hosted by the Essex National Heritage Area Explorers, a group devoted to education and protecting one of the oldest historic areas in Massachusetts. The Safari gave me an opportunity to work with an experienced photo guide and try out one of Nikon's macro lenses on my digital SLR camera. Here are a few of the pictures I took on Plum Island:

The macro lense captured amazing details and a new perspective.

I am so fortunate to have this natural garden so close to home. I enjoy hiking the trails all year long with my camera in hand. My favorite place to relax is on Sandy Point at the south end of the beach. In early fall, when the summer vacationers have gone, I can have the warm sand and sparkling waters of this lovely world almost all to myself.

Sunrise on Plum Island

1 comment:

  1. Great post, thanks for the tour. I have never been to Plumb Island although I have heard of it before; I didn't realize it was a wild life refuge. Your photos are wonderful I am particularly impressed with the macro photos. I have been unhappy with my Nikon Coolpix that has been replaced twice in a relatively short period of time. I am particularly unhappy with its macro function. I am thinking my dream camera would be a Cannon body with Nikon lenses. kt


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