Close Encounter 26 February 2001
On a New England crisp night when stars pop from the skyscape like alien spacecraft, one might be forgiven for an open-mouth doubletake on an unexpectedly close encounter of a very different kind. A big gray ET? Well, the colors right. And the eyes look fairly Roswellian.
Bouncing over the tinkertoy bridge, the jeeps headlights captured a strange shape guarding the causeway approach to Lieutenant Island. Colors blending perfectly against mottled gray asphalt dotted with splattered shellfish dropped by Wellfleets too smart sea gulls, a harp seal spanned the roadway. Had she not raised her head as the car approached, it would have been a close call whether or not she could have been spotted in time.
Obviously well nourished, she probably slipped onto the asphalt causeway to soak up the remnants of a sunny days heat buildup, because radiational cooling under a dry, cloudless sky had begun to drive temperatures below freezing. And she wasnt about to surrender her heating blanket without a protest.
But with tire tracks bisecting her body, prudence called for her to skedaddle. So, despite her barking protests, I escorted this fair maiden into the abutting salt marsh, looking over my shoulder every few minutes to be sure no strange blinking lights appeared overhead.