A Cape Cod Notebook

L Lerner

On one of those gorgeous October days we had this fall I took a walk along the shores of Little Pleasant Bay in South Orleans with my friend Ric. The air was calm, the light incandescent with hidden meaning. 

Abandoned Gardens

Nov 5, 2019
L Lerner

Many, perhaps most people on Cape Cod, have, or have had, a garden. And a garden is, as I have written elsewhere, “something we seek to cordon off from nature, to make over in our own image, to give a shape to…”   Perhaps that is why abandoned gardens are so much more poignant than other manifestations of our limited tenancy on the earth.  

Finding Solace in the Changing Woods

Oct 29, 2019
L Lerner

Now it is late October and a walk in the woods has a different feel to it.  The days so far have still been fairly warm but night-time temperatures are lower, and the plant life is here to testify to the fact that change is on the way.  

An Element Both Familiar and Strange

Oct 22, 2019
Mary Bergman

These are days that can’t decide exactly who they are. Mornings are cold, but the late afternoon sun streams in low through the windows and it could still be summer. Maybe. People have pumpkins and Halloween decorations in their yards, but roses are still blooming in some of the gardens. A pair of lonely crickets chirp outside my window as night comes too early. It’s a season of change. But some places stay the same.

Finding Our Proper Relationship to the Natural World

Oct 15, 2019
L Lerner

A friend of mine who lives in Eastham was preparing his morning coffee when he heard a ruckus in his yard and looked out to see a hawk grappling with a grackle. “Hey,” he said, “these are my grackles!” and he ran out and chased away the hawk.  He later shared this episode on Facebook.

An October Treestand

Oct 8, 2019
Nelson Sigelman

It is deer hunting season on Martha’s Vineyard. The eight-week archery season, which began October seventh across the Cape and islands, is a favorite time of my outdoor calendar.

Over the years, I have come to appreciate much about the fall hunting experience. And some stuff, not so much.

Yellow Jackets

Oct 1, 2019
L Lerner

I don’t think most of my friends would describe me as a killer, but after I got stung by the yellow jackets living under my deck, I turned into a cold-hearted murderer, loaded for… well, yellow jackets.

A Week in a Dune Shack in the Province Lands

Sep 24, 2019
Mary Bergman

All summer long, I’ve watched as the calendar moved closer to September. September meant the end of the summer rush, a chance to catch my breath. I watched the days get shorter, by a minute or so at first until whole hours of daylight had been swallowed up. September would mean my week in a dune shack in the Province Lands.

A New Balance

Sep 17, 2019
L. Lerner

I was walking on the beach in the East End with my dog Dory.  It was a very low tide and we were halfway out on the flats, trudging through the wet sand and the warm shallow pools of left-behind water.  She happily carried her tennis ball in her mouth and I followed her wagging tail at a moderate pace.  

The Labor Day Conundrum

Sep 10, 2019
L. Lerner

In an off-Cape store last month, one of the clerks noticed the address on my account. “Oh, you live on the Cape,” she said. “You must be looking forward to Labor Day.”

Boats By Many Names

Sep 3, 2019
Nelson Sigelman

Four days a week I patrol Lake Tashmoo in a small skiff for the Tisbury shellfish department. Tashmoo is a lake in name only. A 270-acre coastal pond on the north shore of Martha’s Vineyard, it’s connected to Vineyard Sound by a deep, narrow channel. 

The Apex of Summer and the Freedom of September

Aug 27, 2019
Mary Bergman

It was one of those days where the sand scorches your feet, where even the ocean doesn’t feel crisp enough to refresh you. Summer was at its apex, the sun and the smell of salt and sunscreen enough to intoxicate you.

A Pathway Less Traveled

Aug 20, 2019
Scott Webb / unsplash

Who is not a fan of nature trails?  They provide an opportunity to connect with the natural world, to see, hear, smell and touch the glories of nature, and be surrounded by them.  Thoreau famously said, “In wildness is the preservation of mankind.” 


Aug 13, 2019
Toan Phan / unsplash

My grandchildren live on the other side of the country. They are here for two weeks in the summer and two weeks at the winter holidays, so I’m lucky that I’m the grandmother associated with an exotic locale and the freedom that comes with vacation. Who wouldn’t like a lifestyle that includes rolling off Mayflower Beach at 7 p.m., stopping at Captain Frosty’s for hot dogs and ice cream, and taking an outdoor shower as the moon rises?

Here and Now

Aug 6, 2019
Mary Bergman

There are days when you can’t see the horizon out here. Days when the fog is so dense, sea and sky are stitched together as one fabric, but you can’t find the seam. The ocean stretches on from here to Portugal, people like to say. The ocean is virtually endless.