Monday, August 31, 2009

Till Death Dewey Party!

 By way of the Mayor's website.....
  ......... I learn the motif, " Till Death Dewey Party"!
 Get it: Till DEATH DO WE PART-y.
 For me: A Classic Dewey Beach moment... to learn this bit from the two-term Mayor herself!!!!
 I was silenced.  I missed out on Dewey in those beyond out of control years.....before the police force was formed.
Dewey still parties .......the 20-30 year old's take it seriously.
 The 40 year olds will party with the 20 year olds or the 60 year olds!  Hey, a Dewey Party is a PARTY!
The 50 to 60 year olds..... party, get a little drunk, prefer to go home... if they can find it... right to sleep....... sometimes in some one else's bed!
 Live Music IS the lifeblood of Dewey Beach.  Ok, alcohol too.
Lately there is a push to quiet down the NOIZE ..  and get this....... even a newly formed committee: Public Drunkeness!
 Myself The Beach Goddess Who Does Not DRINK Says: kill off the live music and you will be left with just a miserable hard drinking town........ and sad pathetic parties...... 
 ............. and all those that love Dewey will Part.  And feel The DEATH.  
Even the Summer House Lifers!

Beach Blessings,

Bonfire on The Broadkill

Lucky me to have attended a Birthday Bonfire- On The Beach- on The Broadkill!
Our Hostess having done bonfires on the beach since herself a small smelt, and knowing the logistics there-in, had -pre-hauled to the beach all the Party Stuff.  As well the hole was dug and ready with wood for the lighting.
We gathered round the fire just at sunset.  Joyful for the company and the insanely beautiful setting.  We exhaled and relaxed.
For Uninvited Guests we had a Willet sing it's name for a Birthday Song and even a Ruddy Turnstone or two came in for a look-see. 
I was happy no sickly foxes came by to grab our roasted Bratwurts!  Tabbouleh and a Yogurt Soup rounded out the Birthday Day Dinner.
Jupiter rose to my right...... and heat lightening flashes were to my left.
 Freighters lined the shipping lane. 
 The Cape May LightHouse and the Cape Henlopen Light House started their blinking. The Town of Lewes brightened up in  a long gentle curve leading to the unlit and sandy, Cape Henlopen State Park's, The Point.  To my right Beach Plum Island darkened and became utterly mysterious.
As the evening ended back at the house with Birthday Song Blessings and  apricot pie........ my mind wandered back to my youth of picking beach plums and eating beach plum jam!!!  


Small Kitchen Stories: Upscaled Mahi-Mahi Mac & Cheese!

Friday Night Mahi-Mahi Mac & Cheese!  Bonus Salad too!

Another Friday Night roll-in to the cottage and I want DINNER but I do not want to make any effort at all!  But I want something scrumptious!
Lucky me. I had with me a nice piece of grilled Mahi-Mahi.

Boil up the "Wacky Mac": this is a multi colored vege-macaroni.
Meanwhile in a bowl add the following: the cut up Mahi-Mahi, a cut up tomato, minced scallions, shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of olive oil, a dab of balsamic vinegar, and a dollop of sour cream.  Let sit until the macaroni is done and drained.
Throw into the macaroni the above mixture..... and on gentle heat, gently stir until melted. 
Serve and enjoy!

*Brillant Salad idea: stir a little Mayo into the leftovers for Saturday's salad lunch!

Beach Blessings,

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Small Kitchen Stories: Birthday Fruit Salad

This was my dinner contribution for the Sumer House Celebrity Birthday Party: 

Famous Fruit Salad

No fruit from grocery stores allowed!  Only farm and market produce!

Peaches, Nectarines, Bananas ( OK these were from the Giant ), Blueberries, Red Raspberries, Yellow Raspberries.
Grand Marnier: optional,  :-)

Just cut up the fruit accordingly....... add in the berries.  Add honey to taste.  Add in the Grand Marnier.   Gently combine until the raspberries fall apart and smoosh-in with the juice and honey. 

C'est Ca!

"Summer House" Birthdays @ 60 Years!

I was never a member of a Summer House..... ( I own my own cottage)  .... but sweetly I've been adopted as one of their own.  I love the parties! I can always find a "Summer House" member at the bar for chat and drinks.
The Big News is that the leading-edge-Boomer-Summer House Lifers are celebrating their 60th Birthdays and ~ their 25 years of Summer House Life!
Their life is almost an Endless Summer as when Summer ends....... they just rev it up for a Winter House at the beach!
This past weekend a group of us celebrated a Summer House Celebrity's 60th!  The plans came together at the last second for a requested, family-style dinner and party.
It was super sweet.  Wonderful loyal friends, beautiful food contributions and beautifully cooked, fun, silly and serious presents.  Drinks too, as this is Dewey Beach!
A 60 years Birthday Balloon adorned the room that was donated from the previous birthday party of another Summer House Celebrity!
The most fun was hearing the 25 years of Classic Dewey Beach Summer Memories!  Skiing the Dunes!  The Brief-case Brigade that threw the cases into the sea!  A Famous Safe Sex Talk presented in Drag!
Ah at 25 years of age...... Dewey Beach Was Saddam and Gomorrah.
At 60 Years Dewey Beach is still a "Way of Life".

Beach Blessings,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dewey Beach Election Time!

Poli-Sci Masters and PHD Candidates listen up. Dewey Beach is your oyster!  Every election is a missed thesis opportunity!!!   All your research can be accomplished partying at The Starboard! Defend the dissertation at the Rusty Rudder!
This year there are 6 candidates running for 3 Commissioner seats!  For a town that is less than 2 miles........ and despite a rash of lawsuits, some of which name Commissioners.....  this is COOL!
How we all LOVE IT that by "tradition" registration is done just seconds from the deadline date!  
How we love it that the week after the election the Candidates who won and lost meet on the beach to "bury the sand shovel"........... and then we party: the big Town of Dewey Beach Block Party!!!! " Beer on the Beach": LEGAL!  Truly :-)
This Saturday the Town of Dewey Beach Civic League will host a Meet and Greet and hear the Candidates at the swank Venus on the Half Shell restaurant........ free lunch included.  LOVE IT!
What I do NOT LOVE?
I do not love that Candidates that ran together one year are divided the next.
I do not love that all the work of campaigning, putting together a successful campaign TEAM falls apart once the "real work" is in play.
I LOVE my Town of Dewey Beach, but you guys make it hard to Love Everyone.

Beach Blessings,


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dogs Rule at Dewey Beach but not at Cape Henlopen State Park

Cape Henlopen State Park (CHSP) is one of my most favorite spots on Earth........... and I love dogs....... but if you plan to spend the day there..... best to leave doggie at home.
At CHSP dogs are limited to the "surf fishing beach" and a few paved roads/trails, and not much else.
  Dogs are not allowed at The Point, The Beach Pavilion, The Fishing Pier, nor the unpaved trails.
 An early morning or late afternoon doggie walk along the paved road/trail..... is very nice.  But not nice if doggie then has to spend the remainder of it's time in the vehicle :-(
 Wildlife abounds and dogs are not in the wildlife management program ;-(
 Thus it is a little too scary when a dog appears at The Point on the public beach but near enough to the Restricted Area to possibly do damage to a Piping Plover Adult or Chicks/Fledglings.
  Now Dewey Beach is a Dog's Play Ground!  During life-guard season dog o'clock is before guards are on duty, I think until ~ 8:30 AM......and then after 5:30 PM.  They will need a license from Town Hall.
  Dewey Doggies all know each other...... they wait to hear the life guard's whistle and some even walk themselves up to the beach....... where family awaits! 
 My favorite is Otis, The Mayor!  He RULES, but sweetly so.  Otis roamed the streets of Baltimore until he made it to the steps of Catholic Charities where he was promptly adopted.  Otis now lives beach-block....... .and when I see him gaze at the ocean...... in his eyes it is beyond apparent....  he KNOWS he is a LUCKY DOG!  

Monday, August 17, 2009

DNREC Release on the Minke Whale Stranding

Matthew Bailey

Wildlife Biologist

Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program

An Eventful Weekend.  Thanks to all the volunteers who helped to make the best of a tough situation.

On Saturday, August 8 at about 10:45 a.m., staff of Cape Henlopen State Park (CHSP) reported to Matt Bailey, Wildlife Biologist with the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) in the Division o f Fish and Wildlife, that a whale had beached itself on the bayside of the Point in the protected nesting area for Piping Plovers, a species protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Volunteers and Division biologists familiar with the specific location of plover chicks at the Point assisted by monitoring chick movements, participating in response, rescue and recovery decisions in coordination with MERR Institute (Marine Education Research and Rehabilitation) and CHSP staff to avoid and minimize impacts to plovers, and by talking with the public and ensuring they kept a safe distance from both the rescue operation and plover chicks.   It was determined that the whale was a 22-foot long Minke that stranded on the tidal flats about 150 feet inside the closed area.  Several attempts were made to coax the whale back into deeper water, but each time the whale turned around and headed back into the shallows.  A veterinarian was called in to assess and ultimately to euthanize the whale.  Five volunteers with MERR also volunteer for the Plover Watch project, which greatly assisted with providing accurate information to the public about both the whale and the piping plovers.   The Division continued to assist with monitoring plovers and speaking with the public on Sunday, August 9 while MERR conducted a necropsy.  Under the circumstances, the Division appreciates the cooperative spirit among state agencies, MERR and all of the volunteers who assisted with this stranding event.

Matthew Bailey

Wildlife Biologist

Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program

Phone: (302) 382-4151

Monday, August 10, 2009

Piping Plover Watch and a Beached Minke Whale Named Opal

Part 1:
This is my Tale of Piping Plover Bird Police and a Beached, Dying Minke Whale, we named Opal.
On Saturday, despite battling a whopping case of food poisoning, I woke up early to make a nice early start for Cape Henlopen State Park ( CHSP) Bird Police and to snag parking at my gig, The Point.
I groaned as I entered the parking lot..... full to the gills.   I scooted into the slimmest of spots...... then looked around....... important DNREC vehicles loaded the lot.  I knew something important was happening.  I called out to a local who announced the news, a live beached whale.
 As I approached the bayside  beach, throngs of people were massed on the public side watching the wrenching story.
At ~ 6:45 AM a live Minke Whale beached on the sandbar while the tide was coming in.  The local MERR team went into action and so did many recruited beach-goers.
I arrived at 9:45AM, and noted immediately the tide.....almost high tide.  Only 2 safe working hours.  With this knowledge I was near to bawling.
The MERR team valiantly herded the whale out to deeper waters 4 times, only to watch the whale make that gloomy u-turn back to shore.  I witnessed 2 times.
The beach was also filled with an enormous back-hoe, nearly all of CHSP DNREC rangers and the CHSP Administrator.
There was no need for me to do much but my usual duty of making certain the restricted area stayed free and clear.   Although I did not see him present, I was certain Matt Bailey, the Director of Natural Heritage-Endangered Species-Beach Nesters knew the basic situation.  
The Whale tired of trying, and tired of the corralling by waders and kayakers..... then made her final dash for shore, 50 yards into the Restricted Area, "home" for the Piping Plovers and Least Terns!
The public almost dove into the restricted area........ the little kids were beyond themselves with excitement.
On the cell, I called Mat Bailey, and said he had a whale in the restricted area.
As we waited for Matt's arrival...... 20 minute drive which was one hour  and 20 minutes due to the weekend resort traffic...... the pace slowed.  Matt had to be there to start making the decisions involved.
Part 2:
Back at my Posted Fence Line Duty I quickly had to determine who was who.  Public crashing the gate or MERR Team or DNREC or????  I caught on to this easily and directed all to walk along the water's edge.
I was put in charge of holding a DNREC walky-talky.  Now that was fun hearing the insider's talk ;-)
MERR quickly set up a tent and ordered in Pizza and water.
Soaked towels and sheets covered the whale.  Buckets of water poured onto her to keep her skin from sun-burning.   Affectionate pats were given.  
As the tide went out, we could see her!  GORGEOUS, Beautiful, CREATURE!!!! 
Our whale was dying her lungs, carrying some water, and collapsing under her weight,  the choice was made to call the Vet for euthanasia.
The Vet arrived much later than anyone expected.  The CHSP lifeguards after their duty were asked to help the MERR Crew of virtually all women.  The lifeguards helped man-handle the whale for the injections.  Our whale passed on ~ 12 hours after her arrival.  Her struggle was heroic.
Non-stop until ~ 3 PM I was on Whale Learning Curve and educated  the public as to the goings-on, the restricted area, endangered birds!  Then my food poisoned body needed to get out the hot sun and humidity and recover.  I promised Matt Bailey I'd return Sunday to continue in my role.
Before I left, I was honored with the invitation to approach our Whale.  With many thank you-s for gracing our Oceans and blessings for her Passing, I placed my open hand on her nose.
It was near impossible to separate and return to my beach shack.
Part 3:
Why are we so drawn to our encounters with sea mammals?  My heart leaps when I see dolphin pods, my heart leaps even more when I am swimming and dolphins surface so near me I hear the blow holes!
When their world enters our world, and visa versa we are in awe.  Whales do not want to drown so they choose death on land..... which is our world. 
When I arrived for Sunday Duty it was an entirely different experience.  Our beautiful, shimmering Whale was just a dead fish, being clinically carved the all female team for necropsy studies.
Our Whale was a Beautiful Girl, yes, a "teenager" female, at 22 feet, 4-5 tons. The closest on site clinical guess to the death was she recently gave birth...... most likely at the recent full Moon Lunar Eclipse.
A screen was set up to block the gruesome view, but the whale was so huge... it could not be hidden.  You could walk out at the low tide and get quite the view of the back-hoe lifting the severed head, mouth wide open to obtain samples.
My Bird Police/Whale Interpretation Role now became "Grief Counsellor" for the families with  little children who were both fascinated, awed, and deeply disturbed by the visuals.  I listened carefully to their questions.
A sweet little girl asked me, " Did you name the whale"?  " Oh, no", I answered.  She replied, " She is Black and White, so I named her Opal".  I was stunned!  I told her I loved the name,  and I would always refer to the Whale as Opal.  I promised her I would tell everyone involved, her name is Opal!
Many questions went as followed: "Why are you digging a hole for the whale"?  I would then put my hand on the child's head and answer that the whale was dead and needed burial.
Part: 4
Upon the invite of Matt Bailey, DNREC and MERR, I spent some time under the tent, in observation of the activities.  As I did I also had to watch my "fence post" duty for intruding public..... which they did.
MERR members showed me, the ear and the eyeball!  As my stomach did flip-flops, I thought it was time to return to my post.  My Opal was gone.  Not a bit of her remained with her cut and bloodied remains.
The remainder of the afternoon I hung at the fence line continuing my "Grief Counsellor Role", answering a zillion questions on life and death of birds and whales.
Finally my body still suffering with food poisioning called and demanded a cool down by swimming.  The beach was fairly empty of beach-goers, and I had put in a total of 9.25 hours for the weekend.
It was time to return to my world, my Dewey Beach- beach shack.  It was time to contemplate one of the most important encounters I've ever had with an Ocean Mammal, Our Opal, the Minke Whale.