A Cape Cod Notebook | WCAI

A Cape Cod Notebook

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.

The Aerial Choreography of the Peregrine Falcon

Jul 30, 2019
L. Lerner


It was late morning, walking the East End beach on a falling tide.  Sand damp beneath our feet, shells and seaweed strewn about.  It is mild and almost foggy; rain is on the way.  From the water there emanates a funky, fishy smell- schools of mackerel in the harbor, they say.  

A Very Cape Cod Moment

Jul 23, 2019
L. Lerner


On a recent beautiful morning, I chatted with a fisherman on the beach. He was wearing shorts and a T-shirt. I was wearing my underwear. 

Maybe This Is the Year

Jul 16, 2019
Mary Bergman

Spring is beginning to stretch its legs, the sun is calling to us to get outside and move around. There are moments now, when the sun comes out and decides to stay a while, when the wind is still, where it feels as bright and warm as mid-July.

The Call of Gulls

Jul 9, 2019
Patrick Hendry / unsplash

I was lying in bed, between dreams, wide awake.  It was late - or early - 3:35 AM.  The house was still (no, not even a mouse…), the woods were quiet - the cricket din excepted.  No street noise, nothing from Route 6.  I lie awake. 

Mysterious Gnomes on 6A

Jul 2, 2019
Craig McLachlan / unsplash

There are gnomes hiding on Route 6A.

And before you think I’m a little too far into the chardonnay, let me reassure you that I know they are not real.

Roadside Robin

Jun 25, 2019
Dakota Lynch / CC 3.0

It was only for an instant, a second, a microsecond- a flash. I was driving north on Rt. 28, leaving Woods Hole and headed back to Provincetown, hurtling down the highway at perhaps 45 miles per hour.

Take It or Leave It

Jun 18, 2019
Mary Bergman


The landfill is one of three hubs on which life on Nantucket rotates around--the post office and the grocery store the two others. Stay long enough at any of the three and you are sure to run into everyone you know, including maybe some you are trying to avoid. 

Fleeting Spring

Jun 11, 2019
L. Lerner


It is a truism that by the time we notice spring it is essentially over. 

A Special Place and a Favorite Fishing Spot

Jun 4, 2019
Susan Moeller


This is a story about memory and remembrance. And, because this is Cape Cod, fishing. 

In the 1970s, my in-laws owned a house on Bass River. One day, probably around 1975, when my husband and I were walking our dogs along the shore, I glanced up at the river bank and saw … a gravestone. 

Summer Jobs

May 28, 2019
Mary Bergman

I’ve always thought of getting a job in the summer on Cape Cod a bit like a bear catching salmon running upstream--all you had to do was stick your hand out and grab one. Help wanted signs dot the Cape from Provincetown to the Bridge, and with a season so short, summer is what you make of it. All you really had to do to be an exceptional employee was to stay past labor day.

Pondering Pine Trees

May 21, 2019

It is spring now, and raining, but just a couple of weeks ago, at the very end of March, I was hiking in the hilly woods of western Massachusetts, and there was still a couple feet of snow.

Why a Garage is Not a Barn

May 14, 2019
Susan Moeller

“Mom, where’s the screwdriver?” my daughter asks.

“In the barn,” I reply.

Brief silence.

“You mean the garage?”

“Yeah, the garage. Whatever.”

An Appreciation of Daffodils

May 7, 2019
L. Lerner

I never thought about daffodils very much before I `moved to Martha’s Vineyard.

The Intimacy of Radio

Apr 30, 2019

Radio is magic.  If you are listening to these words you most likely agree.  But why?  Why is radio such a magical medium?  It may have something to do with the fact that you must bring more of yourself to it: unlike television, there is no picture.  So you must lean in, fill in the blanks with your own imagery, and consequently become more invested in it.  The voices of our favorite radio personalities become so familiar to us.  We live in their folds and crevices, their lilts and slight accents, and feel we know them. 

The Season's First Dip

Apr 23, 2019
Mary Bergman

It can hardly be called a swim, that first plunge into the ocean in early spring. I suppose dip is the best description--or dunk, like one of those tanks at a county fair where somebody hurls a ball at a button and the bottom drops out from under you, and you are submerged. The element of surprise is there, even if you are the one doing the running, the diving, and ultimately, the dipping.