2013-04-26 / Columnists

Boyleing Points

Looking Over The Piping Plover
By Kevin Boyle

Resilience, schlemilience. You wanna talk resilient, look no further than the piping plover. I just want to remind all my tree-hugging Al Gore-ian friends it wasn’t my joke that the new boardwalk should be made of piping plovers. I’m just relaying a line that made me cackle. (Guilt washed over me—really-- as I kept cackling).

A keen observer of all things observable asked me if I’d seen a squirrel since Sandy. Hmmm, maybe not. Possums are gone, too, she said. Lots of wildlife has disappeared (that doesn’t include what you might find outside Pickles and Pies on 116th).

Which got me to thinking. Maybe the piping plover boardwalk wasn’t a joke at all.

You’re telling me squirrels and possums are gone but the piping plovers which live on the sand right at the ocean survived Sandy? You’re telling me the nesting areas weren’t destroyed by 9 feet of water? Maybe we should forget jetties and just put bird nests in the water. Or make double dunes out of plover nests. And what about the little endangered birds, what did they do during the storm? They flew off and came right back? To the same roped off spots on the beaches? C’mon.

People still can’t get back to their houses and these little fragile birds have their nests back? Yes, the Parks Departments and the Feds assured me. They’re not only back but their nests have been built and elevated to satisfy FEMA requirements.

I don’t think the moon landing was faked but I do smell a conspiracy here. Parks just doesn’t want to pay for lifeguards and by throwing up a red string they get to close down blocks and blocks of beach. You wouldn’t believe how much beach is given to the nesting areas. The birds need that much real estate?

But now I’m thinking the piping plovers aren’t even birds. They’re wood carvings. They’re bric-a-brac knickknacks, something you buy in gift shop and give to your grandmother.

The Parks Department was pile driving and building concession McMansions as merely a distraction. Down on the beach, when no one was looking, somebody was dropping little carved birds. There’s no way they got their on their own. They’re wood, I tell ya.

And now we can’t prove it because if you go close you’ll get fined or arrested.

I just hope they didn’t make the birds from endangered tropical wood. Oh, the irony. Anyway, I think they’re wood and they’d make a fine boardwalk. Though it might be kind of creepy having those little eyes looking up at you as you walked along. Still, there’ll be a new boardwalk song: I’m looking over, some piping plovers, that I overlooked before…

This ends the concrete wood debate. The truth is, these so-called birds don’t have to fear people. They’ve got to fear termites.

***Heard Chuck Schumer showed up at Little League. Did he ask if the Clubhouse would have to be elevated?

***Grayrider Lou Pastina was spotted in The Dome. Booking agents lined up to sign him and the band for an appearance on the Boardwalk Island in July. But don’t wait for July. Make plans to be at the Bungalow Bar on May 26th when the Grayriders will help kick off the summer season.

***A displaced family is looking for a house to rent on the West End. They’re friends. A lot of houses are for sale and vacant, maybe some could be used as rentals? Got something, maybe? Please email me at kboyle@rockawave.com I’m screening.

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