A Cape Cod Notebook

pleasantpointinn / flickr

Last June, for my birthday, Kathy and I spent a week in an old cottage on a Maine lake. As Maine lakes go, this one was neither particularly large nor remote. It was about the size of the Cape’s largest ponds and only 20 minutes from Portland.

On Grief Delayed

Jun 20, 2017
mgstanton http://bit.ly/1VXzLse / http://bit.ly/OJZNiI

My father was a quiet man. He rarely asserted himself in a conversation. He was a quiet man, but he was a decisive one, who hardly ever consulted anyone else in making decisions. I remember as a child that every few years he would go out on a Saturday morning. When he came back he would toss a set of keys to my mother, his way of announcing to all of us that he had just bought a new car.

Laurel Wilkerson / USFWS / flickr

Earlier this week, coming back from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, I stopped at Gray’s Beach in Yarmouthport and walked out the long, straight, wooden weathered boardwalk that struts its way several hundred feet directly out onto the salt marsh. The beach itself is punctuated with “memorial benches,” which seem to have flourished since I was last here. There are at least a half-dozen now, so that one is always sitting on someone’s memory.

J J / WCAI

The thesaurus lists over 80 different words for green, more than any other color. But Robert Finch believes this may still not be enough. At a time of year when many are rhapsodizing the flowers, Bob contemplates the richness and variety of leaf tones that nature crowds into the season.

Robert Finch is taking some time off to write a new book. In his absence we're replaying some favorite essays. This week's essay originally aired in June, 2013.

Putneypics goo.gl/kL6JlL / goo.gl/uk4xos

A walk through Beebe Woods leads Robert Finch down to the beach looking west across Buzzard's Bay and prompts today's Cape Cod Notebook.

Wellfleet Historical Society

Explaining nature to children is different from speaking to adults about science.  In this Cape Cod Notebook, Robert Finch remembers showing school children a herring run, and laments the restraint that now overlays so much of our experience of science.

Alberto_VO5 goo.gl/8v2Qqw / goo.gl/uk4xos

Fruit tree blossoms, laughing gulls, and least terns—the outbursts of the Cape's perennially late spring surround us, and Robert Finch celebrates this welcome return in this week's Cape Cod Notebook.

Brad Sims goo.gl/lGeDXb / goo.gl/lrxVf4

A dead bird along an abandoned railroad bed prompts nature writer Robert Finch to examine more closely the questions of its hidden beauty.

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.

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