We hiked around a bald eagle sanctuary over the weekend. We may have spied one overhead (it could glide across the sky without moving its wings) unless it was an ordinary hawk. The woods were sleepy and punctuated by holly trees.
-- We saw dolphins on the beach at Rehoboth, which pleased me; I could then go home with the understanding that I lived three and a half hours away from the dolphins. The presence of wildlife reminded me how artificial the old-fashioned boardwalk really was, with its faux-Victorian hotel and amusement park rides.
-- We booked a very small room with a bed that didn't fit my legs. It
felt like home. They provided lemonade on the screened front porch;
Rehoboth, we observed, appears to be a front-porch culture, whereas
D.C. and its suburbs is very much a backyard and deck culture. The
front door opened into a dark parlor where there were board games and
old books and signs intended to create the appearance that we had just
driven in off Route 66.
-- We paid about as much attention to the news as one might have in the late 1980s. Every morning we would read through the newspaper about the latest developments in Georgia and in the presidential race, and then we were done; that was "the news." We were unable to refresh the pages continuously to obtain a sense of what was happening in real time, and this was probably for the better, even though it meant that editors had more control over what we learned.
-- At the arcade, which is called Funland, we won a toy penguin.
-- We rode bikes through a meadow between the outlet malls and the beach village, where there was a wall of graffiti that read "West Side." (West side of what?) Condo developments sprung up in the country with no attempt to harmonize the architecture with surrounding cornfields and pasture. In Lewes, Delaware, a town by the bay, a couple sat next to us at an outdoor coffee shop and exchanged gossip they had read about in the latest business section of the New York Times.
-- We ate oysters, and we had blue crab and the local beer.
Maryland is nicknamed "The Free State," which I always assumed was in reference to slavery or Catholic settlement. Actually, it originated in 1923, when Georgia Congressman William D. Upshaw "attacked Maryland as a traitor to the union because it
never passed a State enforcement act supporting Prohibition. Hamilton Owens' article, 'The Maryland Free State,' was a mocking response to Mr. Upshaw, suggesting that Maryland should secede from the Union before acting to
prohibit the sale of liquor."
Maryland's official nickname is "The Old Line State," and its state motto is "Manly Deeds, Womanly Words." I didn't know any of this, but residents of Maryland probably did.
I had a free day last weekend, so I decided to visit some of the wet areas on the western shore of the bay. I have not generally lived in places where there is an abundance of life, so it was rather startling to observe creatures flying, plashing, wading and hopping away from me whenever I approached.
Jim Henson grew up in Maryland. I would like to think there was a reason he was so much in love with swamps.
This is a historical center near the mouth of the Patuxent River. It is thought that these oyster shells are the food remains from a Native American settlement.