It is low tide at Hoyt’s Point. I’m facing north, with my back against a white pine sapling that has managed to wedge its roots into a crack in the granite boulder I am sitting on. Herring gulls fly past, and a small plane drones overhead, probably having taken off from the airstrip that I ran past with Cory on Tuesday.
The salt marsh looks very different from a mangrove forest (a tropical equivalent), but I do see similarities. The dark gooey mud. The rich, salty smell of decaying plant matter. The maze-like appearance.
To my left is a red oak, the sun piercing through its jagged leaves. There are many white pines on the point, but I also see balsam fir and eastern hemlock. It is funny, before coming here these names were nothing but words on a page. Sounds put together. Taxonomic groups. Now they are shapes, tastes and smells. The knots in this white pine are sticking into my back, and there is probably pitch oozing onto my shirt.
It is getting chillier. The sun is coming up twenty minutes later than when I first got here. The leaves of the red maple that I look out on during math class are turning crimson.
Carpenter ants are cruising over the lichens on my rock. A great blue heron just flew by, croaking as it went.
-Richard Joyce, Puntarenas Costa Rica