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.


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.


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.

Why Did the Turkey Cross the Road?

Nov 20, 2012

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


Nov 6, 2012

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

A Choir of Coyotes

Oct 30, 2012

Living with coyotes on Cape Cod.

Little Things, part 2

Oct 23, 2012

In part two, Bob continues his recollection of a major event 50 years ago this month – the Cuban missile crisis, when it seemed the United States and Soviet Union were on the brink of nuclear war. Bob was a young reporter for a small newspaper on the Outer Cape then. He wrote a column on the events of that time, calling it “Little Things,” evoking those events that make up our lives.