Tuesday, July 25, 2017

We live now on the edge of what's known as the Peninsula; it's that jut of land, just below the bridge, that forms the 4 o'clock section surrounding the circular body of water, shown in the NASA photo below. The circle of water is a tidal estuary known as Back Cove, and Portland's older outlying neighborhoods are built around it.

Our new neighborhood is located at about 10 o'clock on the Back Cove circle, and our house itself is about a half-mile inland.

As you can see from the photograph, it's hard to get away from water in Portland. Everywhere you look you see a tidal river or an arm of the bay. Further inland a myriad of freshwater rivers and streams feeds into the watershed. This is the wateriest place I've ever lived, and I say that as someone who grew up on the Atlantic seaboard. I still can't get over the views that arise at the end of every other street, around every other corner.

This morning the tide is out, and the mudflats are visible around the islands in the bay. At low tide Back Cove becomes nearly empty--an expanse of mud dotted with tidepools. It's unusable for commercial navigation; the only craft I've ever seen on it are kayaks and rowboats. But it is a safe home for waterbirds--egrets and ibis and herons--and I'm looking forward to getting know them on my new walks.

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