When I researched Hunting Island before our trip, I went right to the images section of Google. And it looked so pretty and so inviting. I was not disappointed. I highly recommend reservations-even with the strange weather this week , the campground was fairly full and did fill up come Friday night. And if you want a beach site, you definitely should reserve. I don't think I would attempt this park in the middle of summer when it would be lovely to romp in the ocean. Residents warned us that it's always busy and the beach is filled with people. Since it wasn't the middle of summer, we pretty much had the beach to ourselves.
Sometimes when we camp, we drive into town, but we were lazy and just stayed put the entire time we were here. We walked the beach 3 or 4 times a day. Went shell hunting; tried to spot the bald eagles who were building a nest in the direction of the lighthouse, but missed them; and generally gazed out at the water. I highly recommend water gazing. Sometimes I can clear my mind completely while other times I get very creative and can't stop all the ideas swimming through my brain.
This really is a sweet park, even if you can't get a beach site, the wooded sites are pretty to, and you can see the beach from most places in the park. And in case you are wondering-nice clean,well heated restrooms ! No laundry but then you don't feel guilty for not doing it .
I loved this tree, it was actually surrounded by a dozen or so downed trees but it felt like it was holding onto it's majesty and not giving into the sea, just yet. When the tide was higher I watched a dolphin feeding just feet from the tree and wondered what it's roots held for the sea life. The shore birds always gathered here when the tide was out, so I think they had the same feeling about the tree as me. I hope this tree stands for many more years-if you visit the park, don't tell me if it falls. I always want to think about The Tree as strong and stately, standing up to the battering waves, winds and tides-unchanging in it's beauty.
We walked and walked Sunday morning, sometimes following deer prints in the sand, sometimes following the foamy shoreline-mostly just wandering and enjoying the peace and quiet.
Sunday morning and the tide was the highest we've seen it all week
Don't you love to stumble on something so mundane as a metal barrier and find such beauty in it ?
The colors reminded me of a Monet painting
It started to cloud up as we headed back but that didn't stop our little Hailey from running like a crazy puppy, all up and down the beach. One of these days we're going to put a pedometer on her, I'm sure she does about 10 miles to our 3.
Hailey expresses the kind of joy I feel at the beach
When I found this whelk during low tide I felt like I struck the lottery, don't you love those colors ?
Weather this week has been a little crazy; highs in the 60's, lows in the teens. As we got back to Ruby from our walk it was starting to get cloudy and cold with a threat of rain. I decided it would be a good day for baking. When I get hungry for sweets, it's usually something plain, with just a little sugar. Shortbread cookies, popovers, or Madeleines. Today it was Madeleines with just a dusting of sugar. The butter and honey and vanilla flavors really come out because the batter sits for at least 30-90 minutes before baking. These are not overly sweet and once out of the oven they get little slightly crispy shell on the outside. I love that-and these are best eaten the day they are made. I dare you to see if you can keep them longer ! This is another easy recipe and if you don't have a Madeleine pan, don't worry-use what you have, cupcake holders, muffin pans-they all work. This is another recipe by David Lebovitz, remember I told you I loved his blog and recipes- I wasn't kidding.
Yield:16 individual cakes
For the Madeleines:
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honeyDIRECTIONS
1. Make the Madeleines: Place the eggs in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
Whip on medium high speed, adding the sugar a little at a time, until all the sugar is incorporated.
Turn the mixer to high and whisk until the eggs have doubled in volume, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and stir in the flour,baking powder, salt and vanilla extract. Cover the bowl and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.
3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. (Remove and reserve 2 tablespoons of the butter for brushing the pans.) Add the honey and cook, stirring until smooth, about 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, about 30 minutes.
4. Stir the butter and honey mixture (rewarm to liquefy if necessary) into the batter until smooth. Cover the batter and allow to rest for an additional 30 minutes or up to an hour.
5. To make the madeleines, preheat oven to 400°. Brush the 16 indentations of the Madeleine molds with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.Using a tablespoon, fill each indentation in the molds three quarters full with batter. Tap the pan on the counter to distribute the batter evenly. Bake until deep golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 30 seconds, and then tip them out onto a cooling rack. Once cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar or serve with whip cream and strawberries.
**If you don't have a Madeleine pan, use a small muffin pan.
Until next time pretty Hunting Island
Happy Trails and Safe Travels My Friends.