We were on an early morning walk overlooking the twisting, narrow channels that snaked through the salt marshes and low pools of Scarborough Marsh in southern Maine. The briny smell of low tide filled the air. We stopped to watch a pair of egrets feed in the shallows; shorebirds flitted in and out of the salt meadow hay fields; black cormorants swam along the crumbling, weed-choked banks.
The marsh was once fertile fishing grounds for Native Americans. They called it Owascoag, “the Land of Many Grasses.” Later, colonists would graze cattle on the nutrient-rich salt marsh hay. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.