May 20, 2009

(Who Discovered) America?

En route to the 80th birthday party of a family friend who has known me since day 1, Ozomatli's probing musical take on the power and promises of America entitled (Who Discovered) America? funked through my car's sound system. That the birthday girl's ancestors had arrived on the Mayflower added depth to the listening experience.

Driving to the party in the quaint seaside town of Duxbury, Massachusetts, I spied Ospreys on a nesting platform. Also known as Fish Hawks, these birds hover above the ocean before diving down and catching fish with their talons.

I thought about David Gessner's delightful creative non-fiction chronicle, Return of the Osprey, that tells the story of how banning DDT and setting up platforms like these brought an endangered species back from the brink. The nesting platform construction itself is a work of art.

After the party, I headed over to Duxbury Beach, a wonderful thin strip of sand connected to the town proper by a 1/2 mile long wooden bridge. Working this sign for its stock photography potential, I quickly recomposed as a boy ran underneath.

Wooden Bridge, 2009

Beach Flowers and Fences, 2009

I spent many summers here and the visit was cause for reflection. Why in this day and age do 200 year old homes need additions that double their size? How interesting that fencing is needed prevent erosion on this beach near where the Pilgrims landed. How fantastic that plentiful Ospreys are again fishing, soaring and raising their young, as they have for millions of years.