It’s all ours

The Cove Journal by JoDee Samuelson

Vacationers reluctantly leave the Cove to face the realities of life elsewhere, perhaps in another province or another country, or just in Charlottetown. Farewell!

Meanwhile, the Cove belongs to us. 

Or should I say, it belongs to the shore birds. Sandbars are alive with skittering long-legged long-billed plovers and sandpipers scavenging for edible morsels at the water’s edge. Handsome black-headed forked-tailed terns bob companionably in tidal pools, while a mélange of herring, ring billed and great black-backed gulls relax on sandbars, grateful for a life free of noisy humans and optimistic dogs. Should a human (such as I) enter their space, the gulls—all heading the same direction for quick take-off—give me a suspicious look before wings go up, legs start churning (almost like a cartoon), and one by one they lift off, leaving downy feathers floating gently on the breeze.

We’ve noticed that the Cove beach has been mucky this summer, like something came in and scooped up the sand, leaving a thick layer of black mud and decomposing rockweed. Did Hurricane Fiona wash the sand out to sea? Possibly. Another thing: we’ve had hardly any jellyfish. (Not a problem for us swimmers.) We usually have our share of them. Is the extreme heat responsible? 

Never thought I’d say this, but I’m feeling kindly disposed to young people on ATVs. We recently had a summer guest with a poor sense of direction who impulsively thought she’d like to take a bike ride after supper. Away she sped up the road—sans cellphone—but when she did not return in a timely manner, naturally we started to worry. Just as we were preparing to send out a modest search party, the phone rang: “I’m lost, but a nice young man is bringing me home.” Shortly thereafter an ATV pulled into the driveway. Our friend hopped off, the smiling driver took the bike off the rack, revved his engine and roared away.

It turned out that our friend had gone down one of those unpaved “Heritage Roads” that feature steep slopes, deep ruts and washouts, overhanging branches, looming shadows, and creatures that rustle in the undergrowth. She got to the very bottom of the long hill with no choice but to turn around and walk back up… when as if by magic, two ATVs appeared out nowhere. “That’s when I phoned you… such nice young men… the one who gave me a ride was from the ___ Road, I guess it’s quite a ways away… we chatted about his plans for the fall… I gave him something by way of thanks, he didn’t want to take it… a real gentleman…”

Which is to say that those ATVs in the backfield don’t bother me like they used to. Isn’t it good that we can change?

Something that doesn’t change: the turn of the seasons. Farewell to blue moons, leaf lettuce and radishes, summer visitors and socials. On to the harvest moon, wood stacking and long pants. Hoping for normal weather, even a cold winter.

But wait! I give myself a shake. There are three weeks of summer left! The water in the Cove is still swimmable. And it’s all ours.