Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 39: Lumber wars begin

It was one of those schizophrenic weather days at Rocky Point where the sun made brief appearances between light mist, punctuated by the occasional two-minute deluge. A peregrine swooped in and seemed obsessed with something in the middle marsh where the willets once nested. She made a dozen frenzied dives at the same spot but nothing moved there, even minutes after she'd flown away.

The brutal task of removing the logjams commenced today with the assistance of Moshe, who selflessly forfeited a few hours of fishing to haul heavy wood. Treated lumber impregnated with various chemicals littered the west channel. Many were waterlogged and would have been invisible were it not for the curious leachings suspended above their wooden corpses.

"It feels wrong to say it, but it's sort of beautiful," Moshe confided while standing over an especially hallucinatory swirl in the west channel. Indeed, it was kind of cool, in a revolting way.

Many of the logs were the size and weight of small cars and would not yield to our two-man team. So we focused on wood that was just big enough to not cause back injuries.

By the time we'd moved about a dozen timbers the rain compelled us to call it quits, and I returned to the shop to finish my first recycled marsh wood bat box. All pieces are cut and by next week it should be ready for tenants.

High of 68, max humidity 100%, average wind ENE @ 11 MPH, 5.6 high tide @ 4:48 PM. Moon 72% visible.
Water level recorded at 10 inch mark.
Birds seen in marsh: belted kingfisher, unidentified peep, mockingbird, green heron, osprey, peregrine falcon, spotted sandpiper
Birds seen in bay: Canada goose, semipalmated plover


  1. What an impressive effort! Was steered here by Elizabeth Royte.

    How do you commute here - by car? And is Rocky Point in fact within the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Preserve?

  2. Hi Marie, I actually go by train and bus. It takes about an hour from the East Village. The marsh is not part of the Wildlife Refuge but it is within Gateway NRA.

  3. Just figured that out, poring over Google maps...thank you. Your photographs are really wonderful. How do we sign up to come and help you one day?