Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is one of my favorite places. It’s basically a sandy ridge of land between two major bodies of water. Some of its hiking trails wind over high dunes and trickle down to the Atlantic Ocean. Other trails slither through the salt marshes that border Back Bay.
Each winter, thousands of migrating birds pass through the refuge. So today, despite gray, misty skies, we decided to spend a few hours looking for geese.
At first, all we found was fog.
The further we walked, the thicker the fog.
On the beach, there were no horizons. The view simply faded into nothingness.
Every so often, the fog thinned a bit. Then the world regained its edges, though none of the edges seemed fixed. Everything was blurred and soft.
We walked nearly an hour before seeing or hearing any geese. Then… Snow Geese!
Snow geese everywhere! Geese as far as the eye could see (which, admittedly, wasn’t very far)…
(Please pardon the inconsistent focus and poor light. It really was quite foggy.)
Photos can’t sufficiently convey the scene. Sound was a major part of the magic.
After a while, we began to notice other birds hidden among the geese. In particular, swans. (I think these might be Tundra Swans?)
And American Coots.
It was hard to walk away from such a glorious scene, but nightfall’s approach turned the fog almost impenetrable.
As we were leaving, the geese were still arriving. One group landed right beside us, inside the shrinking sphere of the fog’s miasma.
Along the return trail, we found ducks. (I can’t begin to guess what kind of ducks…)
And finally, right beside the parking lot, we surprised a solitary Great Blue Heron.
It was a beautiful way to end a beautiful, foggy day…