Doug Butler is something of a Renaissance man: he’s an inventor, a tailor, an engineer. And whether he’s imagining gadgets from the future or reconstructing items from the past, he’s always making something.
Red Knots are tiny shorebirds that fly 9000 miles from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic and back. The story of the Red Knot is inextricably tied to the story of the horseshoe crabs that come ashore once a year to lay millions of pinhead sized eggs, that nourish and fatten starving knots before the final leg of their trip. Deborah Cramer follows that journey in her book The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, and Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey.
In late March the shallow, tea-colored waters in the bog behind our house become full of small, round, gelatinous clumps of frog and salamander eggs stuck to submerged or floating objects. One spring I thought of collecting some of these egg masses and watching how they might develop. At the time I knew little about what I was doing and next to nothing about the different types of eggs I found there or what they might develop into. Whatever I learned, I learned afterward. I suppose that is the motto of the amateur naturalist: Collect now, identify later.
The South Coast town of Wareham has struggled for the past few years to maintain essential services in the face of a declining tax base and ever-increasing costs. While other area communities have largely recovered from the financial turmoil of the late 2000s, Wareham is still cutting its budget. With voters unwilling to raise taxes more than 2-and-a-half percent, the Wareham Council on Aging has essentially closed. And the operating budget for the town library has been drastically reduced – a move that’s had a ripple effect for local residents of all ages.
WCAI's Brian Morris hosts a discussion of the week's top stories with several local journalists, including reporter Sean Driscoll from the Cape Cod Times; Tim Wood, editor of the Cape Cod Chronicle; Sally Rose, editor of the Provincetown Banner; Jim DeArruda, editorial page editor of the New Bedford Standard-Times; and Nelson Sigelman, editor of the Martha's Vineyard Times.
Nantucket's Daffodil Festival Weekend has finally arrived (mid-February we were having doubts about the feasibility of spring). Just how many daffs will adorn the island for this 41st annual event? More than 3 million, according to the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce. With 10,000 visitors expected, that means about 300 daffodils per person - with plenty leftover of course for the dogs, the old time cars, and the lighthouse. More info on Festival events is here.
The relationship between humans and cetaceans has long been something of a paradox. We are drawn to their mystery and intelligence, in awe of their size and grace, yet we hunted many whales to near extinction, and use dolphins for military maneuvers and entertainment. Philip Hoare has been exploring the human interaction with cetaceans for the better part of his life.
On The Point, we discuss the work of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom also known as WILPF. It's mission envisions a transformed world at peace, where there is racial, social, and economic justice for all people everywhere, and human societies are designed and organized for sustainable existence. Now celebrating its centennial, five of the organizations past national presidents are from Cape Cod.
Almost every town in Massachusetts has a Herring River or a Herring Pond. The migration of river herring from sea to coastal streams and ponds once marked an important rite of spring for New Englanders. For centuries, the small, oily fish were valued as both bait and an important food source. But today, taking river herring is illegal in Massachusetts because populations are so low.
It’s not very often that members of a community bid farewell to a tree. But recently, about 40 Woods Hole residents gathered to say goodbye to one of the much-loved Copper Beech trees along Challenger Drive. The tree is about 150 years old, and its branches have begun falling off, posing a danger to passing motorists and walkers. The stately old beech sits among buildings owned by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The ceremony was organized by the institution, and was called “A Celebration of Life.”
Woods Hole Says Goodbye to 150-year-old Beech Tree
British adventurer Sarah Outen set out to transverse the globe using only human power, in April 2011. Her mode of transportation would be limited to an ocean rowing boat, a bike and a kayak. She expected the trip to take 2 and a half years, but various weather events intervened, and 4 years later she’s about to embark on the final leg of her trip: rowing from Chatham to England.