Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lost in the Dunes


One of the most magical things about Gloucester is that there are so many different “landscapes” it it possible to feel as though you are doing a lot of traveling without going very far. This morning the air is cool and dry and I can smell the saltwater and apples and hints of autumn all around. Gloucester's beaches are filled with summer people but that will be changing soon and the locals will once again carry thermoses of coffee to the beach and walk their dogs and savor the beauty of beaches now deserted.

We have the wild, forested beauty of Dogtown at the center of the island, a protected trust held in perpetuity. It is filled with trees and meadows, the famous Babson Boulders, legends of witchcraft and whore houses, deep quarries from which the marble for Boston mansions were taken and are now filled with water for swimming. There are the headlands overrun with beach plums and wild roses overlooking islands with lighthouses. But one of the areas not a lot of people see are the huge, rolling dunes lining Wingaersheek Road along Ipswich Bay. Seen from the air they are absolutely beautiful and the cottages and mansions nestled in the dunes could as easily be on Nantucket of Cape Cod.

On Sunday I drove out to Marshall's Farmstand which is just near the entrance to Wingaersheek. The native peaches are so delicious this year I've been buying more every few days. I have to put one in a bowl and eat it with spoon to avoid taking a bath afterward. Then I drove out Wingaersheek Road and spent a little time wandering around in the dunes.
 A sandy road leads off into the dunes.
 The big dunes are now covered in scrub pine and beach grass but the sandy paths lead the way.
 This garden at the end of the road looks almost tropical.
 I love this mailbox.
 The path past this blue door leads down to the beach.
 It's beginning to look like Nantucket.
 Or Cape Cod.
Tucked in the dunes you can hear the surf not far beyond.

I felt like I'd had a vacation but was only gone a couple of hours. Thanks for reading. 

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