The Mists of Time

This 2016 photo essay is proof that you can find clarity even when the forecast is murky.

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Around the cannon deck at Fort Nathan Hale Park, logs at odd angles stand close together like a group of friends posing for a picture.

Near this harborside spot, the deck’s commemorative cannon says, colonial New Haveners once offered “determined resistance” to invading redcoats. A wooden sign off to the side, painted dark brown and sandy yellow, suggests a mostly moral victory. 19 patriots, it says, fought invaders from both land and sea, then “spiked their guns and withdrew” after running out of ammo.

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These days, there’s no rush to leave, and since this is a park that grows on you, that’s for the better. It’s had its issues, like a dock that spent years in disrepair and a general lack of being fussed over. But it’s also got wild flowers, pink and white, and wild fowl, from egrets to blackbirds. It’s got an arched pavilion and old military bunkers. It’s got two marshy ponds and a rustic drawbridge over one of them. It’s got a decent view of downtown and a great view of the horizon.

It’s also got a tide that pulls out, revealing a rocky path below southward bluffs. Take enough ginger steps over slippery stones and you’ll hit the Pardee Seawall, from which a snaking asphalt river brings you up and over the cliffs, back to where you—and in some sense New Haven—came from.

Fort Nathan Hale Park and Forbes Bluff
Morris Cove, near the southern intersection of Woodward & Townsend Ave (map)

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. This lightly updated story originally published on June 9, 2016.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories.

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