I had quite a pleasant change of scene this week, spending a few days in the charming seaside village of Rockport, Massachusetts. My friend Sue, who has vacationed there for many years, convinced my husband and me to join her there for a few days this year, and she made a wonderful well-informed guide, introducing us to a sampling of the area's many attractions.
We were blessed with warm weather and still waters the entire four days, plus one whole brilliantly sunny day for enjoying the stunning azure hues of sea and sky.
Our hotel overlooked a small sandy beach where the breakers rolled in, so we could fall asleep each night to the sound of a gentle surf. Here's the view from our balcony.
Sue took me to Halibut Point State Park, just a short drive up the coast from the village, where we walked around an old granite quarry filled with fresh water as clear and blue as sapphires.
We then followed trails that took us down to the surf-pounded shore, where colorful seaweeds and limpets clung to the rocks.
At low tide, we spied these Eider Ducks resting on the seaweed-covered rocks.
Of course, we had to botanize wherever we walked. The coastal rocks were home to several flower species we don't find at home, including Downy and Seaside goldenrods. We do find Stiff Asters occasionally in Saratoga Coumty, but here on the coast they were the most common species, generously adorning the granite boulders with their lovely lavender blooms.
The driest areas with the thinnest soils were covered with masses of Orange Grass, a tiny species of St. Johnswort that thrives in just such harsh conditions.
One evening, we drove over to nearby Gloucester for dinner, allowing ourselves extra time to stroll around the harbor, where these colorful dories were docked.
We had a little rain and we had a little fog, not enough to spoil our brief vacation, but just enough to add to the misty seaside atmospherics.