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Intertidal Zones and Wetlands in Connecticut


The Connecticut shoreline is a unique environment of marshes, dunes, mudflats, rocky headlands, and crescent-shaped beaches along a vibrant estuary. The Long Island Sound, where fresh water and saltwater mix, is protected from strong exposure to waves by Long Island to the south. This enables marshes and intertidal areas to thrive, creating rich habitats for migratory birds and nesting shorebirds, and a vast array of aquatic life from microorganisms to mammals. 


Living so close to a body of water like the Sound adds an acoustic and visual rhythm to everyday life, though we may not always be conscious of its presence. But, the Sound is always there marking the passage of time by the ebb and flow of tides: it binds the present to a geological history dating back millions of years.


I am fascinated with intertidal microcosms, miniature worlds that emerge and recede with the tides. The process of observing – from the tiniest periwinkles to barnacles, seaweeds, lichen, garnet grains, shells and mollusks – becomes meditative. Time slows down. Stresses of the day dissolve. On spring mornings, I stop to listen to the prehistoric-like cacophony of a great blue heron rookery, the cries of willets, terns, and American oystercatchers, and the rhythmic susurration of lapping waves. I watch egrets wade through mudflats, gulls squabble, and piping plover chicks forage, pulling tiny translucent worms out of the sand.


My work often highlights natural abstractions in the landscape. I look for layers of light, color, pattern, and texture, or unexpected visual shifts resulting from tides, storms, erosion, drought, development, neglect, pollution, or general climate change. My photographs seek to convey both the simplicity and complexity of these natural areas, from the macro to the micro. Every day, in every season, and every location along the shoreline from Stonington to Meigs Point, Outer Island, Milford Point, and down to Greenwich, Connecticut’s wetlands offer a visual feast.  

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