Sunday, December 15, 2019

Artnotes: The Beach: Already?

On Tuesday this week Blair and I went to the beach.  I love the beach in winter.  Of course, one doesn’t swim – I am not sure about the water temperature, but the air is cold and the wind ferocious.   This week went to Ladispoli, an old Etruscan, and eventually Roman site north of the Rome, well south of Civitavecchia. 

There is a ruin of a tower at the very edge of the water, which dates to Roman, then medieval times.   It is very picturesque.  But the most interesting thing to me is that this beachside is a small nature preserve, to help children understand what goes on where the land, river, water meets the sea.

There are huge fields of sea grass, dotted with marshes.  We saw a small group of flamingoes, white (no shrimp in these waters), feeding and standing in that way they can.  Other, smaller, less dramatic shorebirds proliferate.  There were a group of children being led around to see the details of the marsh, which are off limits to us.

We battled what seemed like gale force winds, and huge puddles, to reach the actual shore.   It is a fairly pristine beach, with shifting dunes.   There are deposits of plastics, which are impossible to avoid anywhere, these days.   We picked up what seemed like the worst of the plastic, and added it to a large pile in a protected area, as other conscientious visitors had.

We are the only visitors to the beach today, and I listen for voices from the edge.  No news.  The sand blasts my face and glasses.  The water is brownish from rain, close in, but the horizon is blue and brilliant.  I hate to leave, and try to make a distance from Blair so he can’t suggest it.  I could stay all day.

On the way back to the car, we see a taupe-colored furry beast, munching grass:  a Nutria.  He (or she) is calm and happy, living by the seaside.

We buy a fish on the way home, and I cook it up for lunch.  Our friend Margarita, joins us:  “You went to the beach today? Already?”   

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