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May 15, 2017
It's been quite a rainy and cold spring here in New England, so the news that actual seasonable pre-summer weather will finally be arriving this week has got me raring for a visit to the beach. Admittedly, I'm far too cold blooded to take the plunge into the ocean just yet! However, spring activities abound at beaches, bays, lakes, ponds, and the coastal towns that surround them. The past few opportunities I’ve had, I grabbed my pullover and rocked Birkenstocks with my favorite aquatic socks (yes, I’m that guy) and headed out to the ocean. Here are a few things I’ve loved doing on the water this early in the season that don’t involve getting your hair wet:
(Taking a break on the docks at the bay…)
Thanks to the qualities of our own special Northeastern variety of clams, the quahog (yes, that's where the name of the town in Family Guy comes from), is plentiful year round. Hunting can be done in shallow water, so no wetsuit or full immersion is necessary. Ask a local where a good spot is (habitats can vary by beach, town, etc) and get to stomping around on the ocean floor! It's an interesting sensory experience to search for something not with your eyes, but using only your sense of touch - your feet will tell you when you've found something, as strange as that might sound. Harvest your own food is very rewarding, and the possibilities are endless with what to do with your bounty. Bake, steam, cook in a chowder, or raw on the half shell are just a few.
There is really nothing like zoning out to the sounds of the water. It's my preferred (and most productive) locale for reading and writing, without the typical household distractions I face at home. I'll most likely be doing this well into the summer, but at this time of year when the beaches are still fairly deserted (especially on weekdays) it provides an especially calming and rejuvenating ambience. Spaces that are often the most crowded in July and August stay wide open this early in the season. Best of all, I can fall asleep and not worry about a sunburned face when I wake up!
Check your state’s DEM (Department of Environmental Management) website for coastal, lakeside or pondside trails. The first time I did, I was shocked at how many different ones there were! Oftentimes a small, quiet beach or rocky cliff area with a beautiful view awaits you at the end or along the way. Birdwatchers also revel at the impressive glimpses that the more isolated trails can provide this time of year: along the coastlines of Long Island, Connecticut and Rhode Island, the loon can can be seen mid-migration as it journeys north to New Hampshire and Maine. What can your local coastal trail offer you? In any case, make sure you've got some good bug spray or mosquito repelling socks!
What activities have you been up to as you prepare for summer? Let us know in the comments!
~Ben LoPiccolo - Content Creator for Ozone Design