Stratford's Coastal Barrier Beach
Last weekend I returned to Stratford to shoot another sunrise series. This time it was just me and Curly Top. It would seem not everyone is cut out for getting up at 4:30 am in the morning to capture the days first light. I can normally only get one or two of my fellow Camera Club members to join me first thing in the morning. On top of that depending on the location you have to factor in the drive time as well as the hike in time.
Saturday's location was Long Beach, Stafford Connecticut's coastal barrier beach. One side faces Long Island Sound and the other side faces the Lewis Gut Marsh area. Long Beach stretches approximately 1.5 miles long. The sun rises on the marshland side. So we had to factor in our walk in as well as the drive time, still we wound up leaving North Haven at 4:45 am to make sunrise.
When we arrived in the wee hours of the morning I was not so sure we would get any good atmospherics for sunrise as the sky looked clear and the stars were definitely clearly viable. As we trekked in and the light slowly began to build we could see some massive clouds to our west starting to catch the first tiny rays of light. The clouds were very tall but low to the ground so it was hard to see just how many or how large.
If you ever go to Long Beach please be aware that the narrow middle section is considered an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. During nesting season you will see many signs and barriers alerting visitors to stay away from the vital nesting areas of the Piping Plovers and Terns that use the beach. There is no charge for parking currently as its off season and there are no barriers currently but we did see plenty of other wildlife while hiking the inlet. We surprised several deer and a fox. We smelled a skunk, thank god we didn't actually see it. There were other birds such as Osprey nesting in the old towers and turkeys roaming the common areas where the ferry drops off people at the end of Long Beach.
After setting up and taking many shots we moved on to the end of Long Beach and we both determined this was a place that will be on the regular rotation. The Marsh area is simply beautiful first thing in the morning. You have the Beach area as well that has many interesting features. The location is great for both sunrises, sunsets, wildlife and many other shooting opportunities.
Below are a few shots from Long Beach, please enjoy and if you are a photographer make a point to go out and practice your craft.