I splurged today, and drove out to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to see a longhouse that has been reconstructed by the Nause-Waiwash, descendents of the Nanticoke tribe.  On the way out, I stopped briefly to visit another area that had changed congressional districts – the Globecom Wildlife Area.  This time, the usual entrance was blocked by a sign saying “Air Force property.  Do Not Enter”.  This section is one of the few sections that did change from District 3 (John Sarbanes) to Southern Maryland (District 5- Steny Hoyer).

As I continued over the bay bridge to the shore, I stopped to visit the old Wye Oak – a huge 400-500 year-old white oak, the largest living specimen of its species in the United States.  It might have been born during Columbus’ lifetime.  It had died in a 2002 storm, falling over.  As I looked at the small tree (cloned from the original) that stood where this huge tree had been before, I felt sadness at the lack of a voice these elements experience in our culture.

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A section of the oak had been preserved in the back, so that one could see its former size.

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The alúm and I proceeded down to the longhouse, that had been reconstructed by the descendents of the Nanticoke.  As far as I know, it is one of 2 longhouses in Maryland.  It is quite modern-looking, reflecting a no doubt conscious adaptation of their culture to modern sensibilities, a way of saying, yes we have history, but we are also present today in the modern world.  I saw 2 wildflowers yet in bloom this time of year.  I paused for a picture of the dogs in front of the youck-huck.

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They did a very nice stay, until a man drove by on a motorcycle, and Spin’s Navajo spirit took over.  I chased him a bit, up and down the street, and then finally caught up with him on a trail in the woods.  The exit of this trail (not obvious) provided an outstanding opportunity for another longer view of the house.

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He needed the run.  We were headed to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge – where the dogs would not be allowed out of the car.

Arriving at the refuge, I had wanted to see the endangered Delmarva mowck-key.  I hiked 2 short trails, having to leave my engine running on the car because I had had difficulty starting it after crossing the bridge.  I think a pole was grounded (maybe on the starter) after crossing the bridge, and I was having to use a portable battery pack to start it, after only a 2 minute stop.  I did not see any mowck-key, although I may have heard them.

I noted many small nammês in the bay Nip.  It was also wonderful to observe quite a few piss-seeques (the downy woodpecker, 3 great blue herons, Canadian quà-hâw-quunt, quah!quamps, seagulls, maybe an ah!whap-pawn-top with tschikuuna feeding off of a dead attque, and 2 other interesting piss-seeques (probably mah!squallens).

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There was also a husquinock that had been struck on the road.  It was still alive, warm, but immobile.  It’s nissi-kip-puchqh may have been broken.  It was hemorrhaging from the nick-kee-u.  I gently picked the bird up, and drove the bird back to the ranger station, handing over the care of the bird to a ranger.

I perused the area for the Harriet Tubman trail, noting the sign that indicated that a center would be constructed in the future (this is close to where she is supposed to have been born).  I did not find the trail, though I made 2 loops through the area.  On the map, her house is indicated further north, not far from the longhouse, but there are no signs.  I also tried to visit the Frederick Douglass birthplace, but it was after dark when I got there, and I could not read the sign where it was located from the highway.  I did descend down to the banks of the Tuckahoe, but it is apparently another 6 miles from there.  The Aquechque goes down pretty early now.  This is a trip that will need to be remade, when my health is a little better.  Overall, it was $40 ($25 in gas – round trip, including the idling fuel, $4 in tolls $3 to get into the nature preserve, and $8 for a pretty green dinner buffet at pizza hut – vegetarian, and with a salad bar that let me taste vegetables that I would otherwise never buy for myself.  It came complete with a waitress who earned her tip by wishing me “A Happy Holiday” and calling me “Hon”.  Possibly therapeutic, arguably sinful but funny and colorful, excepting the animal cruelty which might make one vomit).  Variety.

I am short for time, and only able to upload pictures with very great difficulty, apparently because of the relocation intent.  I think my browser is redirecting to an older version of the picture uploading script that apparently needs more ram than I have on the computer.  For a while, I thought it was going to Timbuktu, the traffic was so slow.

Ref. William Vans Murray

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