Friday, February 1, 2008

Welcome to the A.C.

I am not sure if I have ever been to Atlantic City. I have no memories of being there and my parents aren't gamblers so I don't think I was there as a kid. This week I had a site down there, so birdman and I ventured off on the epic drive to and from the A.C.. I can't say I was impressed by the casinos. They give me an overall feeling of despair, cigarette smoke, and lost money rather than luxury, cheeriness, and grandeur. I won't even get into those 3 dead women they found in a ditch not that long ago in the A.C. However, the windmills give me a feeling of awe, especially on this very windy day. It was so windy that even at a complete standstill on solid ground, my little golf shook so hard it felt like a grizzly bear was rocking it.

Our mission was to assess the site for threatened and endangered shore birds. The heart of winter is obviously not the ideal time to do this, but the good news is that you can spot old nests in the trees. No appropriate nests were spotted, but we saw two rare shore birds. It was my first sighting of either species and I was excited to point out the first one. Albeit I didn't know what exactly it was at first, but I was the first to spy it. Once I looked into my binoculars I got that cute bird feeling and had a suspician as to what general type of bird was. I keyed it out and reluctantly revealed my guess to birdman. I was correct and I had noted a characteristic that he never had paid much mind's white booty.

The site seemed to be built up with fill material...garbage, asphalt, bricks, broken bottles, metal parts, and other crap. The vegetation was a tangled thicket of poison ivy (in shrub form complete with berries....yum...jk) and honeysuckle vines that seemed to engulf everything including entire trees. It was a battle to walk anywhere off the cleared path unless you wanted to walk in the salt marsh with its random mud flats that have the potential to act like quicksand.....nevermind the crazy biting wind out there.

The one thing that always depresses me at shorelines is the prevalence of floatable garbage and debris. If it floats, its along the shoreline in great quantities...from plastic bottles, shoes, foam, wood, wicker, etc. It's a losing battle too. Because even if you clean it up, the next high tide brings in a new load of garbage.

And when I say a lot, I mean a LOT. Check out this stash of wood that's floated in.

I did find one nest...not from our target bird species...but a cute one made of grasses. Check out the tangled mess of vines and vegetation below it. Not fun to walk in...kartek trips and falls hazards.

1 comment:

Colleen said...

i love "that cute bird feeling." i don't know if i've had it personally, but i love the phrase.
i also had a pleasant time last time i was in AC, so i think of it fondly. though i know it's a pretty seedy place. we should check out the riverboat casinos here on the ol' mississip for some real depression.