It's an unintentional habit of mine to be out the door much earlier this time of year. I wake-up at the same hour, but the 6 a.m. sunrise and warmer temperatures seem to get me moving much sooner. No need to be reading an upteenth story about Donald Trump, when instead, I could be somewhere such as Fleet's Cove Beach, in the Centerport section of Huntington.
Early mornings in spring bring the usual small group of stereotypes to the beach: there's the retiree with the metal detector; a jogger or two (one looks like he needs the exercise, the other doesn't); the inevitable guy on a cell phone while walking a labrador retriever; and the pouty woman with pricey athletic wear, performing some sort of new-age exercise which I am not familiar with. Housewives of Huntington?
But just beyond the beach, maybe 100 feet from the shoreline, was someone standing with water up to his waist. His back was turned to me so at first it didn't register, but then I saw the waders and rake, and knew he was digging for clams.
He went about his work rather methodically, tossing the stones and smaller shellfish from each dig back in the water, and keeping one or two. His path seemed predetermined, as he would concentrate his digging in particular areas while completely ignoring others altogether. As he made his way westward, I thought about taking a picture before he was out of view, but decided against it. I didn't want to intrude on his privacy or interfere with his early morning solitude. He looked at peace with his surroundings and his work and who was I to disrupt that?
And besides, Ms Tai Chi Versace Lady might have felt jilted if she discovered someone else receiving more attention than she.
Fleet's Cove is one of eight beaches operated and maintained by the Town of Huntington. From late May through early September, a permit is required for visitation. Located at the western end of Northport Bay, it provides a panoramic view of both Eatons and Lloyd Neck which extend northward along the massive Huntington Bay.
Lori at Jarvis House has some great photos from a visit this winter.
Jarvis House: Fleet's Cove Beach With Winter Snow
Town of Huntington: Permits and Fees
Wikimapia: Fleet's Cove Beach