A Cape Cod Notebook

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

Robert Finch is taking a year off to work on a project as a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow. In his absence, we hear from guest commentators, with an occasional essay from Finch himself. 

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.

Joanna Vaughan bit.ly/2kPJKDi / bit.ly/1dsePQq

The coast assumes a different character in winter. In A Cape Cod Notebook, Robert Finch sets out on a solitary walk in the Provincelands, visiting the dune shacks that stand against the wind in a desolate landscape.

Niels Linneberg / http://www.flickr.com/photos/linneberg/5411013129

Used to be, bitter cold was an expected part of New England winter. In A Cape Cod Notebook, Robert Finch observes that in recent years cold snaps have come to seem more a novelty. During a recent spell of frigid weather, he walked out to admire how extreme conditions can make art of nature.

My Mother's Catalogs

Feb 4, 2013
Robert Finch

My mother passed away in the fall of 2005, at the age of 92.  She lives on, however, not only in the memory of those of us who knew and loved her, but apparently also in the U.S. Postal Service. For several years after her death, I, as her executor, continued to receive letters from friends who had not heard of her demise, pleas for donations to various charities, and offers for Florida resorts and dance classes, both of which she took advantage of up to the year of her death.

More persistently than any of these, however, is the continued appearance of retail catalogs addressed to her in my mailbox. These are not just any catalogs, but are targeted at a specific demographic: women of my mother’s generation who identified themselves primarily as “homemakers.”

Audio posted above

Vern Laux

On Nauset Beach, Robert Finch contemplates the presence of eiders, and their embodiment of a natural community. 

H. K. Cummings / Snow Library Digital Collections

Early Cape Cod photographer H. K. Cummings maintained a mistress for more than 50 years, even vacationing with her and his wife. On A Cape Cod Notebook, Robert Finch continues the recollections of Rowena Myers. She explains the way a small town can assimilate unconventional relationships and keep a public secret.

View some of H. K. Cummings' historical photographs of Orleans and its people and environments at the website of the Snow Library.

H. K. Cummings / Snow Library Digital Collections

  The glass-plate photographs of H. K. Cummings bring to life Cape Cod in an earlier time. On A Cape Cod Notebook, Robert Finch recalls Cummings from the vantage of one who knew him, Rowena Myers.

You can view some of H. K. Cummings' historical photographs of Orleans and its people and environments at the website of the Snow Library.

Robert Finch

How far away do you need to go, to be from 'away'? On A Cape Cod Notebook, Robert Finch brings us another story about his old friend Rowena Myers of Orleans. She lived in the large yellow Greek revival farmhouse at the head of Town Cove from her birth in 1904 to her death in 1996. She recalled for Bob a story from her childhood, when a teacher singled out some classmates by their family names and origins.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/qnr/

Robert Finch's late friend Rowena Myers had a distaste for anything new. On A Cape Cod Notebook, Bob remembers when, as one of her "boys," he repaired her doorbell. She lived in the large yellow Greek Revival farmhouse at the head of Town Cove in Orleans from her birth in 1904 to her death in 1996. During the month of January, the Snow Library in Orleans will be presenting the annual Rowena Myers Concert Series on Saturday afternoons at 4 p.m., funded by a bequest from her estate.

Ricardo Wang / flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Building a night fire at the edge of a frozen kettlehole illuminates a world captured in stark relief. In A Cape Cod Notebook, Robert Finch creeps out upon the ice on all fours to peer into a frozen realm, where he finds surprising life.  

In Praise of Downtowns

Dec 19, 2012
: from the movie Voices from the Basement

A nature writer turns his observational powers on the city, as Robert Finch considers Boston's Downtown Crossing. He finds surprises, and cause for wonder, in this urban commercial crossroads, on this week's Cape Cod Notebook.

Gay Head Cliffs. Photo by K. McLeod., NPS

While abundant in many natural effects, Cape Cod provides few treasures to the fossil hunter. Nearby Gay Head is an exception.  But this week, from an unremarkable handful of clay on the Outer Cape, Bob discovers microscopic fossils of ancient sponges, diatoms, and pollen grains.

http://minerdescent.com/2010/05/28/jeremiah-howes/

A walk among the departed of the Howes family at a cemetery in Dennis gives rise to contemplation and speculation, this week on A Cape Cod Notebook.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ginnylgorman/

How did wild turkeys get into the National Seashore?  On A Cape Cod Notebook this week, Bob Finch ponders the much maligned wild turkey, and recounts a near mythic tale of how the wild turkey was re-introduced to Cape Cod and the National Seashore, skirting the letter of the law.

A Piano in the House

Nov 13, 2012

Prognostication

Nov 6, 2012

A Cape Cod Notebook by Robert Finch.  Bob points out that he recorded this essay before Superstorm Sandy arrived last week.

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