Friday, July 23, 2010

the unknown shore

Had a trip over to the Eastern Shore of Virginia today, a hot humid summer day. We were visiting an farm, a plantation really, that dated back to the late 1700's. There was an old brick house that was over 200 years old (with a "new" addition that was finished in the early 1800's), a tavern, a causeway on the creek that was built in colonial times and a ten-sided brick oyster house with a huge fire place and an iron grate on wheels for rolling in the rack full of oysters for roasting. We were the guests of a gentleman farmer with a white shirt stained by sweat and the corn cob pipe he carried in his shirt pocket when not puffing on it. I felt like I had stepped back in time a few decades. The tavern, where the farmer lives now, was stacked with books, thousands of books.

What caught my eye was the dammed up pool of water at the top of a salt water creek leading to the bay. Below the dam was saltwater, home to striped bass, red drum and flounder. Above the dam rain water pooled for a freshwater lake filled with large mouth bass. Shadows of the fish could be seen swimming through the thick algae.

You can see our track as we rowed a small aluminum boat across the water.

Daisy the dog jumped in for a little swim too.

Every time I start to think I know the Eastern Shore I find that I don't know it at all.



Baydog said...

Was the roasting of the oysters (slurp, my mouth is watering) purely for the property owner, or was it a commercial venture?

Funny how often you think you know alot, then find out it's not nearly as much as you thought.

The Eastern Shore is a magical place.

Steve said...

Not commercial at all, built and used only for oyster roasting parties. Kinda brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.