My Backyard: The Chesapeake Bay

If you look closely, you will see a man and his dog “in the middle of the water.” The Chesapeake Bay is filled with sand bars and natural jetties. In fact, container ships require Chesapeake Bay Pilots to help them navigate the shallow waters of the Chesapeake (Chess-A-Peak) Bay.

Man & his dog on a sandbar in the Lynnhaven River

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the contiguous United States. Legend has it that when Jamestown was founded (on the aptly named James River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay), settlers could see their anchors at the bottom, much like the Caribbean. However, agricultural run off, “gray run off” from paved Earth and excessive Oyster harvesting have made the Bay’s waters murky. The most clear the water is now, it seems, is in the winter months and that stops after just a few inches.

Oyster Reef on the Lynnhaven River

Even with its present conditions, the Bay is a beauty to behold. I was reminded of this last week when I chaperoned a field trip with my daughter to release oyster babies that she and her classmates (really, her teacher) nursed in the Lynnhaven River. As Oyster Reefs help to keep the bay clean, many local classrooms work with The Chesapeake Bay Foundation & The Lynnhaven River Now Project to help restore the Bay. On the trip, I learned that the population of the filter feeders is just 1% of historically known levels.

Raised Oysters, their permanent home within walking distance of where they were raised

DDT has also negatively impacted the Bay. It was banned commercially in the 1980’s. At that time there were virtually no Osprey, Bald Eagles or Brown Pelicans. Now it rare to not see Osprey or Brown Pelicans on an outing in the summer months. Bald Eagles continue to be somewhat rare to spot, however, with each passing year I see more and more.

Dolphins also spend time in the brackish waters of the Bay. While on our boating trip outside of the Lynnhaven Inlet, we spotted a large pod of them. You’ll just need to trust me on that one! They were too far away for the camera to capture… Though, look! Here is a sting ray  that was caught in the drag net we used to capture fish. Croaker, Spot and a Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab (the tastiest crabs in the world, IMHO) were also netted. All captured creatures were returned to their home in the Bay.

The Ray kept us from capturing many fish.
The Ray’s stinger/barb

Later, more crabs were retrieved from the crab pots. All were Sallies and Sooks. You can see the orange sponge-like material in several of their abdomens, these are their eggs.


The students were taught how to hold the crabs without getting pinched.

Appropriate image for my daughter, a Cancer…

The Pirate Blackbeard use to hide his ships in these waters, as the tall pines would camouflage his tall masts, allowing him to surprise merchant vessels. A sister city celebrates the Blackbeard Festival annually. Ironically, this same city was where his trial and hanging occurred. We saw this interesting vessel while in Broad Bay, reminiscent of Blackbeard’s legacy.


It was an interesting and informative trip for me and it was a beautiful day to be on the Bay. The day before was filled with squalls & the next day with heavy bands of rain from the remnants of a tropical storm.

It was nice to connect with my daughter and learn new things while enjoying the Bay and the beauty of the day. It was a good reminder to enjoy life as it comes, you never know what tomorrow will bring and yesterday is already gone. At times during the trip I was overcome with emotions of joy and gratitude. Damn, I miss boating!

The Brock Center. New Headquarters for The Chesapeake Bay Foundation.


The Deck at The Brock Center
The Lynnhaven River

Published by Tiffany

Writing out my thoughts has helped me to gain a new perspective of myself. In sharing these writings, it is my hope to help others to better understand themselves. It is my belief that with each of us who chooses this path of greater understanding of thy self, that it inspires others to do the same. This building momentum is the force that drives me to share, for in my vulnerability, I find my strength. I believe that you can also find yours there. ~~~In reading some of my posts, you will see that growth is not always pretty. It is in breaking apart and coming undone that a seed sprouts and breaks free of its own captivity. It is also out of mud that the lotus blossoms. ~~~Please join me in seeing the beauty of growth within the deconstruction of our limiting beliefs. ~~T.C.

38 thoughts on “My Backyard: The Chesapeake Bay

      1. Like other places, I enjoy the land, but the people rubbed me the wrong way. I enjoyed getting out to Pungo or Williamsburg. Plus the concerts in Portsmouth were always cool.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, the tribe is much stronger down here.

        PS – I recently wrote a rough little something with a girl & a jeep. It made me laugh when you talked about yours. I need to clean it up before I post it.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Tiffany, this is such a beautiful post. How special to connect with your daughter and rediscover the beauty of the bay and your old backyard. It really is about appreciating each and every moment of life isn’t it. If I in any way inspired this, wow, that makes me happy 🙂 Hugs xo

    Liked by 1 person

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