News | WCAI


Hedgehogs, Swifts, Glow-worms

Nov 19, 2012
Piotr Halas, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA

What can species as different as a hedgehog, a swift, and a glow-worm possibly have in common? To find out, we journey to southwest England. We’ll join two naturalists on a walk through the heart of Exeter, a city known more for its football club and cathedral than for its wildlife. You may be surprised at what we find.

Boat Sculptor

Nov 17, 2012

For this week's Creative Life, in Orleans, Suzanne Leahy, a master boatbuilder, brings the unique eye of a sculptor to the craft. Alex Lewis reports. 

Elspeth Hay

An interesting thing about Tromboncincos is that they can be used as both a summer or a winter squash. Right now, Darnell's selling them as winter squash—they look and taste like butternut, and they'll keep through the winter.

On the Weekend Outlook, the Polar Express comes to the Cape Cod Central Railroad, a world-premier of a Tony Kushner re-write in Provincetown, and more great stuff happening around the Cape and Islands this weekend - including the lighting of the Pilgrim Monument!

Northern Lapwings Continue on Nantucket

Nov 14, 2012
Ian Barker /


Northern Lapwings, Eurasian Plovers that are fairly common in parts of Europe, have exploded onto the North American scene after the passage of Mega Storm Sandy. It began with the discovery of two Lapwings in a field on Nantucket on the morning of October 30th.

A Piano in the House

Nov 13, 2012

Artist Cornelia Kavanagh visited WHOI biologist Gareth Lawson’s lab in November 2011 to show him some of the pteropod sculptures on which she was working.
Tom Kleindinst / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Audio Pending...

You've no doubt heard of the butterfly effect. Well, Gareth Lawson of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has his own version: the sea butterfly effect.

Local Dogs

Nov 9, 2012

At the West Tisbury Winter Farmers' Market on Martha's Vineyard, Elspeth discovers a local, all-beef hot dog.

Brown Pelicans

Nov 7, 2012

In this week's Bird News with Vern Laux, rare Northern Lapwings continue on Nantucket - and then go off.  Also, Brown Pelicans, blown in by the storm, find refuge.


Nov 6, 2012

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

The Art of Telling Science Stories

Nov 5, 2012
Ari Daniel Shapiro interviews renowned ecologist E. O. Wilson.
Tracy Barbaro / Encyclopedia of Life

Ari Daniel Shapiro is a scientist-turned-radio producer. He earned a PhD from the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Biological Oceanography. Rather than continue his research on killer whale behavior, though, he became a radio producer.

Gloria Sargent Smith

Nov 5, 2012

89-year-old Gloria Sargent Smith of Yarmouthport, died at sunrise on October 5, surrounded by half-read books, works of art, family members and pets.

The Caretaker

Nov 5, 2012

Leather Man

Nov 3, 2012

Provincetown used to have a booming leather trade, which has all but died out. But Victor Powell continues to make sandals one pair at a time, for some very lucky feet.


Nov 3, 2012
Wikimedia Commons

We humans learn some of our earliest life lessons from our brothers and sisters. Turns out ravens learn socially, too.

Northern Lapwings Cause Excitement

Oct 31, 2012
Vern Laux

Hurricane Sandy largely spared us, but the storm did deliver a small "invasion" of a bird very rare indeed to New England.  

Hurricane Sandy Coming Ashore

Oct 30, 2012
A 2.5 foot storm surge brought modest coastal flooding at high tide in Woods Hole as Hurricane Sandy approached the Jersey Shore Monday morning.
Heather Goldstone / WCAI

Hurricane Sandy. It’s been called Frankenstorm and it’s causing flashbacks to the Perfect Storm of 1991, when a Halloween Nor’Easter absorbed Hurricane Grace and caused millions of dollars in damage. Hurricane Sandy is an enormous category one hurricane – more than one thousand miles in diameter - due to hit the eastern seaboard later today. The Cape, Islands and South Coast are bracing for the worst but hoping for a glancing blow.

A Choir of Coyotes

Oct 30, 2012

Living with coyotes on Cape Cod.

Winged Island Visitor

Oct 27, 2012

Groundfish Down

Oct 25, 2012

It's no secret that the fishery is in trouble. The Secretary of Commerce declared a commercial fishery failure in the Northeast groundfish fishery for the 2013 season. Starting in May, there will likely be big cuts to the quotas.

Find out more on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore.

Espalier Apples

Oct 25, 2012

First off, Stephen, thank you for the apple cake. I knew it would be good—I could tell that much from the warmth and the smell and the soft, crackly apple bits that peeked out around the edges. But I had no idea how good—that it would melt and give way and taste downright heavenly.

Find out more, and get the recipe for Old Truro Road Apple Cake, on Elspeth's blog, Diary of a Locavore.

Gray-Tailed Tattler

Oct 24, 2012

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.

Realizing the Potential of Ocean Energy

Oct 22, 2012

Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth's surface. Those vast waters provide food, enable global shipping and drive the global climate. They could also provide much of the world's electricity needs. Waves, tides, even differences in salinity and temperature, are all potential sources of energy. The trick is harnessing that power.


Oct 22, 2012
Miroslav Deml, CC BY.

Until 2000, biologists classified the curious springtail as an insect. Then new DNA evidence forced scientists like Louis Deharveng to revise their thinking and redraw a branch on the tree of life.