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just before it's gone

once a reporter, always a reporter

but now I have a dog

island dispatches

But now I have a dog

    It used to be I knew relatively intimately of fishhawks, blue herons, fiddler crabs, lace cobwebs, remnants of old foundations, abandoned shallow wells and private beaches of St. George Island. For decades I walked and wandered and trespassed across this island as quietly and unobtrusively as possible. I stood so silently sometimes the birds would return to the business they had been at when I’d blundered upon them.

    But now I have a dog.

but now I have a dog
M a r c h  2 0 0 9

A Dinosaur Rises

    The incongruity of tractor and mechanical crane making poetry upon the river jars me. Yet the silhouette of combustion and steel performs indisputable ballet, the crane picks and plops huge stones from piles thundered from 18-wheeled dump trucks. Each stone appears as large as the tractor, which, regardless, appears toy-like from where I watch it nudges each rock into place.... (continue)

St. George Island

    Below mean high tide on St. George Island the Potomac River shore belongs to the people of Maryland. Getting there from landward is tricky. For one thing, it is illegal, requiring trespass.
    The trick is to gain standing before having to assert the right...(continue)

The Fishhawks

    June is the time to band osprey babies. They are still helpless and fill your hand like a velvet bag of weightless bones. Their down melts like butter through your fingers.
    “Don’t look at her,” osprey expert Steve Cardano advises when a baby’s huge mother circles overhead, watching her baby weighed, measured and banded. Her tiny cry is incongruous. “Kree, kree, kree.”
    Years later I avert my eyes walking past the nest at the crook of the road. I bargain that if I do not look directly at her, the mother will eventually remain as I walk by.
    They are not known as osprey on St. George Island. They are called fishhawks...

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