Robert Finch

Robert Finch is a nature writer living in Wellfleet. 'A Cape Cod Notebook' won the 2006 New England Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Radio Writing.

Robert Finch has lived on and written about Cape Cod for forty years. He is the author of six collections of essays, including "The Iambics of Newfoundland" (Counterpoint Press), and co-editor of "The Norton Book of Nature Writing." His new book, "The Outer Beach: A Thousand-Mile Walk Along Cape Cod’s Atlantic Shore," will be out in May.

His essays can be heard on WCAI every Tuesday at 8:30am and 5:45pm.

Two Shores, Two Lives

May 2, 2017
Joanna Vaughan / flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Last night, driving home from a movie in Dennis, I stopped at Linnell Landing on the Brewster shore to see if I could still see the Provincetown Monument from there. Instead, I saw my life, as it was, and as it is.

Harvesting Bog Eggs

Apr 25, 2017
Pete and Noe Woods / flickr

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.

What Spring Asks of Us

Apr 18, 2017
ClikML goo.gl/9sFbhp / goo.gl/OOAQfn

Walking the tidal flats on a cool spring afternoon, Robert Finch is struck by a fundamental divide between humans and the natural world: for animals and plants, spring is a moment of propulsion, with a clear call forward to migration and renewal. What, he wonders, does spring ask of us?

garden beth goo.gl/tQKPo8 / goo.gl/uk4xos

An end-of-day walk on Nauset Beach provides Robert Finch an opportunity to wonder anew at the Cape's beauty, in this week's Cape Cod Notebook.

Kyletracysrs goo.gl/evHzCq / goo.gl/KxOKu

A trip to Sarasota allowed naturalist Robert Finch an opportunity to take up a type of leisure that he wouldn't normally consider at home, including sunbathing poolside and watching golfers and sandhill cranes on the links.  He writes about it in this week's Cape Cod Notebook. 

Steve Herring goo.gl/yCRtCt / goo.gl/VAhsB

Walking up from the beach, Robert Finch came upon a freshly dead seabird that he initially dismissed as a common gull. But a closer inspection revealed it was a pelagic bird rarely seen inshore: a fulmar. The questions of how it had come there, and how it received the wound that killed it, prompted this week's Cape Cod Notebook.

Kenneth C. Zirkel bit.ly/2o0qlyj / bit.ly/1SrbRBk

Old stone walls are one of the emblems of the New England landscape.  They're the legacy of the glaciers that sculpted the land. Robert Finch reflects on the effort it takes to build a stone wall, and on the messages that stone walls seem to convey to us over time, in this week's Cape Cod Notebook.

Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

In Brewster, Robert Finch came across a duck blind that once belonged to the Nickerson family, and its view of ducks adrift on the pond in winter inspired this week's Cape Cod Notebook.

A day spent clearing landscape debris segues to an inspired appreciation of Rachmaninov, in this week's essay from a Cape Cod Notebook. 

cardcow.com bit.ly/1Qa5M9i

At a recent dinner with old friends, someone brought up the topic of the “Target Ship.” For over a half a century, the target ship was a familiar and legendary sight in Cape Cod Bay for those of us who lived near the elbow of the Cape. 

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