The Pathway to the Beach. Lambert’s Cove

I love the path into Lambert’s Cove Beach.


I’ve walked this path thousands of times in my life, and was probably too young to walk when I came here for the first time. From later childhood visits, I remember a little barn that used to stand, pathside, halfway to the beach, slowly succumbing to the years and to the weather. The cluttered inside of the barn was dark and mysterious, especially in the bright light of a summer’s beach-day.

The barn is long gone.

Someday, I’ll be long gone, too.

Soon after you leave the parking area, if you’ll look down, you can see where an oak tree’s roots have all but covered a large granite stone.  I could easily see this stone when I was a boy. No one will be able to see this stone in ten years.


Nearby is one of my favorite Vineyard trees, a really gnarly beetlebung.


Looking up, into the branches of the gnarly beetlebung.

You people from “Away” might not know “beetlebung”.


The gnarly beetlebung.

But you do know this tree.


I don’t know for sure where the knobs come from, but my guess is tht they’re old branch stubs.

Perhaps you know it as the gum tree, or the tupelo.


Nyssa sylvatica is the Latin-form name.

Not too many years ago, the woods around and along this path were “perfect”.

No longer.


Oak tree, top blown off by a winter storm.

Winter storms have broken some of the older trees, and have tossed boles and branches about.


A dead oak has disintegrated into the arms of a living beech.

A few years ago, a spell of drought and a series of invasions of caterpillars killed many of the trees along the path. The dead trees now host bittersweet, poison ivy, briar, and virginia creeper.


A large branch, detached from parent tree, hangs, vine-suspended above the path.

These woods are now in transition. Straggly, newly liberated young trees are suddenly learning how to grow strongly, with less competition. Understory bushes and even grasses are flourishing, nourished by the new influx of light. The decaying trees are now a place for woodpeckers to hunt for food.


And to make their homes.


We’re getting near the dunes.


As you come up the incline, to the side you see beach plum bushes, which are every year buried deeper by the encroaching sands. Happy is the September day when you find quarts, or even gallons of ripe beach plums, gleaming purple in afternoon sun.


You have now arrived at Lambert’s Cove Beach.



Just don’t disturb the fence, OK?

4 responses to “The Pathway to the Beach. Lambert’s Cove

  1. Of course! If you get impatient, just remind me when the time seems to have come. There’s another walk coming, from yesterday. This walk is inland, on a glacial ridge behind my house..

  2. Ah, Tom
    Bitter winter bones of Beetlebung
    Along a path enjoying those moments
    Between ice and inundation. Those erratics
    do get into tight spots don’t they?

    A lovely walk!!

  3. Your familiar walk reminds me of the canal near where I was raised. I see it now about once a year, and one year soon it will be the last, as my frail mother approaches her nineties, and I now live on the other side of the world. But the trees, dead and living that you describe, sound much like those along the canal bank. When I go there I can walk and walk and get lost in nature and in myself and frequently get in trouble for staying out too late.

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