Friday, June 10, 2011

Lighthouses, sea glass, and carnage...oh my!

While I'm here in Connecticut for the summer ERAPPA Board Meeting, I had a few free hours earlier this week so I drove down to New Haven, CT to Lighthouse Park to see...wait for it...a lighthouse!  It turns out, I saw two!  There is one on the grounds of the park and another that is visible from the beach.

Welcome to Lighthouse Park

The lighthouse on the grounds of the park.

The lighthouse visible from the beach.
Being the beach lover that I am, naturally I had to take a stroll along the sandy shores of Long Island Sound.  I'm not sure what's going on with the water in the area, but swimming was prohibited.  There were plenty of sea gulls along the beach, as well as thousands and thousands...nay...millions of slipper shells.  My mom would have gone bananas over all of the shells!

So, yeah...this sign is a little disconcerting!

Um, lifeguard on duty...but a lifeguard chair?!?

Silly sea gulls!

So many shells!!!
Recently, a friend of mine posted on Facebook about going sea-glassing up in Rhode Island where she lives.  I started thinking about how I've never really looked for sea glass in all my years of beach-combing.  While I was walking along the beach, I was skimming the beach thinking that maybe...just maybe I *might* find a piece of sea glass.  Almost instantly, I spotted one.  I don't know if it was because I was looking for it or what, but it really stood out against everything else that had washed up on the beach.  I was thrilled!!!

It's still a little rough around the edges.

I walked around the park for about 90 minutes.  It was sunny, humid, and warm; I rolled up my sleeves in order to get some sun.  When I arrived, there were very few people in the park - just a few random walkers, presumably from the neighborhood.  As I made my way through the park, I came across a mother with her small daughter sitting along the beach observing and being observed by a sea gull.  I also walked down to the end of the pier and chatting with an older Russian gentleman who had three lines in the water.  He showed me his morning catch and told me that even though it meant sitting in the sun, he decided to go fishing that day because he knew there would be a breeze by the water.  While I was standing there talking to him, two guys on paddle boards went by.  That looked like so much fun!  I might need to see if I can try that somewhere in Ocean City next month. 

Sea gull as body guard?  Perhaps.

The fishing pier at Lighthouse Park.

Clearnose Skate

That looks awesome!!!
In the course of exploring the park, I came across...well, some carnage.  Long story short, Chris and I have a long-standing tradition of photographing dead animals - road kill usually.  Yes, it's morbid.  Yes, it's gross.  But at the same time, it's become somewhat of a competition if we're out and about on our own when we spot something.  I was walking along the water at the park, rounded a corner, looked out, and eureka!  I spotted the winner; in fact, I called Chris to tell him this!  :)  


When I finished at Lighthouse Park, I stopped at Pardee Seawall Park on my way back to the hotel (I'd pass it on my way in).  I just wanted to snap a few pictures, so I turned onto a side street and came face-to-face with three of New Haven's finest on their Harleys.  I parked my car, got out, and asked them if I was OK to park there (wasn't sure what was going on).  They gave me a thumbs up and I walked over to the park.  When I walked back to my car, I walked over to them to see what they were doing.  (If I'm honest, it really looked like they were just parked in the shade, hanging out.)  It turns out, they were doing STOP sign patrol.  In fact, while we were talking, someone ran the stop sign and one of the officers took off after the offender...running the stop sign himself in the process.  I turned back to the two remaining officers and asked, "Shouldn't one of you go after HIM?!?"  They laughed, but I wasn't really kidding!  

Welcome to Pardee Seawall Park!

The park offers a lovely view of the water.

Is that the Black Pearl in the background?!?

Looking to the right...

...and to the left.

New Haven's Finest on their Harleys
(l to r: McHottie, McChatty, and McStopSignRunner)

I'm so glad I got out to the parks to get some fresh air, some sun, and stretch my legs for the certainly made an afternoon of meetings much more bearable!  Now that the meetings are over, I am planning to head to Rhode Island tomorrow (Saturday); I've never been to Rhode Island, so I'm excited!  I am planning to drive up Scenic Route 1 along the coast to Newport, where I plan to do the Cliff Walk.  Rest assured, that will be another blog post!  :)

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