A Cape Cod Notebook

by Robert Finch

A Cape Cod Notebook can be heard every Tuesday morning at 8:45am and afternoon at 5:45pm.

A nature writer living in Wellfleet, Robert Finch has written about Cape Cod for more than forty years. He is the author of ten books of essays, the latest of which is "The Outer Beach: A Thousand-Mile Walk on Cape Cod’s Atlantic Shore," published by W.W. Norton.

A Cape Cod Notebook won the 2006 and 2013 New England Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Radio Writing.

For archives of A Cape Cod Notebook, including programs dating from before November 2012, go to the Cape Cod Notebook Archives.


 A Cape Cod Notebook is made possible in part with support from Titcomb’s Bookshop on Route 6A in East Sandwich.

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.

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.

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