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To Sleep
By John Keats


O soft embalmer of the still midnight!
  Shutting with careful fingers and benign
Our gloom-pleased eyes, embower'd from the light,
  Enshaded in forgetfulness divine;
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close,
  In midst of this thine hymn, my willing eyes,
Or wait the amen, ere thy poppy throws
  Around my bed its lulling charities;
Then save me, or the passèd day will shine
  Upon my pillow, breeding many woes;
Save me from curious conscience, that still lords
  Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
Turn the key deftly in the oilèd wards,
  And seal the hushèd casket of my soul.

--------

Friday while my parents had lunch with friends, [livejournal.com profile] apaulled and I and the kids drove to Lewes, "the first city in the first state," founded in 1631 by the Dutch. We went first to the Zwaanendael Museum, which focuses on maritime history with a Dutch and Native American emphasis, though its centerpiece is artifacts from the locally shipwrecked HMS DeBraak, taken over from the Dutch by the British and destroyed in a storm after being separated from its convoy.

From there we went for lunch at a local coffee shop, then went to the Lewes Historical Society Marine Museum in the Cannonball House, built in 1765 and damaged when the British bombarded Lewes in 1813. This museum has the lens from one of the lighthouses since fallen into the ocean, a chest carried on a ship from the Spanish Armada, a lantern from the USS Constitution, a 400-year-old locally made Indian canoe, the last Lewes pilot skiff and a pair of British cannons used in the 1813 bombardment. On the way back to Bethany we stopped in Rehoboth once more because I wanted to go to Mostly Irish, the gift shop with souvenirs from the British isles including silver jewelry and imported Cadbury chocolate.

Then we met up with my parents and went to the beach a last time. Despite gorgeous skies, the water was even rougher than the day before with white-capped waves out as far as we could see; we did not swim for very long, as it was hard work fighting the rip currents, but we found a few last mole crabs and took the kids to the pool in the Sea Colony high rise complex. On the drive to Sea Colony West this time we saw a rabbit, swans, ducks and a turtle near the different lakes. We ate at the condo, did laundry and packed to leave in the morning, when we are driving to St. Michael's.


Ghost crab lurking in the sand dunes at Bethany Beach.


I'm not sure whether this is a ghost crab, a fiddler crab or a stone crab lurking in his hole in the dunes.


These little clams can be found quite often near the ocean, digging with incredible speed into the sand.


Above a school stadium in Lewes, osprey have built a nest. Here one of the adults is guarding it from the next lamppost over.


A handful of Atlantic mole crabs.


A turtle surfaces amidst the plants and algae in a Sea Colony roadside swamp.


Frogs in another area of Sea Colony swamp.


Dragonflies, too, are quite common in the swampy areas.
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