Friday, October 17, 2008


Winthrop lies just northeast of Boston. Like so much of the waterfront in Boston, it probably began as an island, tied together to the rest of Massachusetts by a tombolo or barrier, and now linked more substantially with bridges, causeways and fill. I suppose the west side was once an eroding bluff of glacial outwash, but now it's mainly large (but not excessive) homes, concrete walls, and great views of Boston beyond the runways and activity of Logan. A series of street ends provide access to the shore.

There is a lot of marsh grass on what's left of the beach, though it's distribution is irregular and I wondered if it reflected the presence of favorable substrate beneath the gravel. The grass often quit a few feet short of the seawalls, leaving a strip of unvegetated gravel. Is this the upper limit of the grass as imposed by the tides, or is it the result of waves reflecting off the walls?

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