Saturday, May 29, 2010

Colington Harbour's Blessing Of The Fleet.

Every Memorial Weekend Saturday, Colington Harbour has a humbling and sobering ceremony - The Blessing Of The Fleet. Participating boaters await in canals outside the main harbor until time to parade in. Local clergy pray for the Lord to protect our watermen - to keep them safe from wind, rain, and perils of the deep. The boats then file by, one by one, and are blessed by the sprinkling of water. I was going to write about the history of Memorial Day, but then saw that my friend, Kathy, of Reinventing A Boomer Blogdom had already posted beautifully about it, so please check out the above link and read what Kathy has to say.
I attended this event last year and blogged about it HERE. Compare and contrast, my little grasshoppers. Interesting I used some of the same pictures and shot some of the same views.
The ceremony takes place up at the park/playground/harbor, which is full of very old live oaks. Quercus virginiana.
Twenty five years ago, when Mr. Hawthorne and I first moved to Colington Harbour, we would come up to the park and what used to be a lovely, wide, sandy beach right up ahead. As in IN the water. Tsk. Tsk. Bulkheads were not there back then.
Here's sweet little Daughter Hawthorne and Rosie, my lab, on that very beach. They'd be underwater today.
Both Rosies and Daughter Hawthorne loved it up here.
It is quite a nice park and play area, with grills and picnic tables throughout and a fish cleaning table at the harbor entrance.
Spanish moss in live oak. Sign of a healthy environment. Spanish moss is in the bromeliad family and ranges from the southeastern United States to Argentina. It is an epiphyte, living on other plants, non-parasitically, (from the Greek "epi" =upon and "phyte" =plant) absorbing nutrients (magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and particularly calcium) and water from the air and rainfall. In the southern US, the plant prefers growth on Southern Live Oak and Bald Cypress because of these trees' high rates of foliar mineral leaching, providing an abundant supply of nutrients to the moss. Epiphytic organisms usually derive only physical support from the host, not nutrition. although they may damage the host or lower its growth rate by restricting light the host receives. Spanish moss also increases wind resistance, which can leave the host tree vulnerable during a hurricane. I didn't know this, but found out from Wonderful Wiki that Spanish moss can harbor a number of critters, including rat snakes, three species of bats, and one species of jumping spider, Pelegrina tillandsiae, which has only been found in Spanish moss.
Friendly little critter in the park.
Osprey tending to eggs or chicks.
Harbor entrance.
The boats are starting to come into the harbor.
This gentleman found a comfy spot.
Now this is the less-sobering part where all the boaters dock their boats, have a cook out, and partay.
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to this great nation. Fly your flag.


dle said...

...Reminds me of how it used to be years ago down here !! My flag is flying!

Marilyn said...

Sounds like fun.

I found my flag the other day; guess I've got to put it out.

Kathy said...

Thank you most kindly for the accolade.

I wanna go to the park next time I come down.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Kathy, I shall take you to the park.
Please come.