Truly, the boys (of summer) are back (in town). That’s right. Barnegat Light locals Captain Jack & Larry Byrb miraculously survived the winter in the Bahamas and have come back to their favorite place on Earth, Long Beach Island, to enjoy the shore for the summer and (hopefully) make oodles of baby doodles.
It is so fun having had our local birds banded with tiny colored leg rings by the magnificent Michelle Stantial for the past few seasons. Because it is one thing for scientists to tell us that Piping Plover are “site-fidelic” and tend to return to the same shore towns year after year; but it is a whole bunch more awesome to know with absolute certainty that Larry Byrb & Captain Jack are our actual friends and neighbors who come back each summer just like us.
To me, the revelation is a game changer. When someone tells me I can’t walk in the forming dune or set off fireworks or drive my Jeep on the beach because “endangered birds are nesting there” it sounds boring and annoying and possibly even not true. But when they tell me I’m a being a jerk because I’m trampling Larry’s summer house, I become both sympathetic and curious.
Barnegat Light’s endangered animals aren’t some nameless, faceless, interchangeable, replaceable population of random things. They are Captain Jack & Larry Byrb; very real characters living very real lives along side of us. Their tiny, colored bands prove it. Amazing!
So what about the girls of summer? Sadly, it appears Larry’s love from 2017 Steph Curry did not survive the winter. Jack’s mate Dracula did make it back, but got eaten by something on the beach.
But Jack & Larry are here among us. The boys (of summer) are clearly back (in town). Let the summer begin!
A hearty “Welcome Home” to the true Bad Boys of Barnegat Light.