We haven't told you enough of the story of Save the Bay's assault on Gooseneck Cove. It's not just about one new culvert on Ocean Ave. It's a good deal more. There were three major obstacles to tidal flow in Gooseneck Cove: Ocean Ave and its inadequate culvert to Fishermen's Cove, a dam about halfway back and Hazard Road with no culvert at all near the back of the cove. Save the Bay took care of all three obstacles during their renovation project.
Part of the credit goes to the town of Newport. Newport realized that they could shorten emergency response times to part of their town by improving Hazard road in order to allow the safe passage of emergency vehicles. Instead of strangling STB's efforts with red tape, Newport picked up part of the cost to raise and pave the road in question, adding the culvert to improve tidal flow as a matter of course. Now the salt water courses in under Hazard Road, carrying seaweed, crabs and the occasional soggy politician pointing out the benefits of cooperation as he passes. You have to stand up and cheer when bureaucracies and organizations do smart things. So often they don't and leave the common man scratching his head in disbelief.
So, with more of the story to tell with our pictures, we went back to a location on the west side of Hazard Road near the new culvert to take a photograph that would show the area most affected by the project, ie. the area most relieved of the invasive phragmites grass "downstream" (from the standpoint of the incoming tide) of Hazard Road. We arrived at our spot at 8am on a Saturday morning. Low tide had occurred around 5am. High tide was due in at 11. My efforts at setting up the tripod were slightly hampered by our soggy location. Our endpoint in time loomed. The tide was going to get our feet wet within the hour. Chris booted his pc and switched on all the equipment that allow the camera to talk to the computer.
When everything was communicating I lifted the camera and its mount into place on the tripod and began to hoist. In my haste, I nearly overhoisted. The camera and its mount teetered dangerously towards the marsh with two of the poles nested only an inch or so. Chris gasped and my adrenaline responded in time to correct the situation without mishap.... note to self: add warning stripe of red paint to show limit of travel.
With the camera 30' up and stable despite the slight breeze, Chris began the automated process controlled by our software friend "Pappy Wizard." The mount moved and then stalled. The furrows on Chris' brow deepened. The camera came down. A few switches were flipped. The camera went up and he restarted the process. Pappy wasn't happy and we didn't know why. Pappy is young. He can't always tell us where it hurts and sometimes collapses in a heap without warning. Even a short nap in the way of a restart doesn't always help.
The tide came rushing in, cheered by all onlookers. We broke down our equipment and packed it away without really knowing if we had all of the images we'd need to create a panorama. You know we did because you see it above with all of the fascinating shapes and colors that flowing water, sand and marsh grasses can create.
With the equipment packed away we had time to chat with the natives. Jack Kelly surfaced as our insider's guide to Gooseneck Cove. He filled our ears with facts about what had transpired here, many of which found their way into this blog entry. He informed us of the presence of a Yellow Throated Night Heron down the road. Chris replies that his father's favorite bird had always been the Rosy Breasted Pushover. Clearly a friend to humans, many of Jack's friends now wear feathers and fur. He comes to the cove to feel his stress go out with the tide and points out the blue crab stalking its prey near the culvert's exit. Jack takes pictures and uses them to tell the tale of "Larry the Buck." While the big bucks crash heads, Larry sneaks in and finds out he's just what the doe was looking for, a lesson that can be applied to life, love and the pursuit of business if you care to.
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