Sunday April 21, 2013 | 09:17 AM
Posted by Harold Johnson

In the middle of a traumatic week, I spent a little quiet time down at the cove. After a long and lingering winter, I found something amazing. Life.

From a cheeky little fellow ignoring the warning... countless tracks in the sand...

...the word was out: spring had arrived!

I strolled the sand down to the muddy low foreshore. I turned & explored the large rockpools, now high above the low tide. Amid boulders and bedrock, the pools swarmed with periwinkle superhighways.

Hundreds of those trailblazers huddled at the water’s edge, enjoying the best of all worlds.

Higher up, behind the rockpools, lay a thin -- and rare -- strip of emerald brilliance.

At Curtis Cove, this thin belt of marsh grass grows strong, just steps from the ocean. A sign of how sheltered Curtis Cove is (barring the occasional nor’easter).

Just beyond the head of the cove, large outcrops bar the entrance.

Most of the ocean’s violence dashes itself to bits on those rocks, leaving the cove remarkably calm and proected.

Poignantly, that same calm water allows tens of thousands of small plastic flecks from our modern culture to settle out on its sandy shores. That’s part of the double-edged sword of this place. Here, there’s no denying what we’re actually doing to the ocean; it’s all on view.

Yet things grow here that couldn’t elsewhere. And on this bright Spring day, it teemed with birdsong & life.

About this Blog

Subscribe to
Undercurrents RSS

About the Author

Visiting a Maine beach in March 2010, Harold Johnson was shocked by the ocean-borne debris left by recent storms. He grabbed a garbage bag and a camera, and hasn’t looked back.

Since then he has spent most of his free time studying marine pollution, coastal ecosystems, and the mysteries and science of ocean and shore.

Copyeditor and writer by trade, historian and archaeologist at heart, Johnson’s philosophy is simple: Dig below the surface, travel the currents, make the connections, learn. Then share what you learn. He lives in Saco with his wife and young daughter. Follow on Twitter @FlotsamDiaries.

Previous entries

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013


September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.