A Cape Cod Notebook | WCAI

A Cape Cod Notebook

What Spring Asks of Us

Apr 18, 2017
ClikML goo.gl/9sFbhp / goo.gl/OOAQfn

Walking the tidal flats on a cool spring afternoon, Robert Finch is struck by a fundamental divide between humans and the natural world: for animals and plants, spring is a moment of propulsion, with a clear call forward to migration and renewal. What, he wonders, does spring ask of us?

garden beth goo.gl/tQKPo8 / goo.gl/uk4xos

An end-of-day walk on Nauset Beach provides Robert Finch an opportunity to wonder anew at the Cape's beauty, in this week's Cape Cod Notebook.

Kyletracysrs goo.gl/evHzCq / goo.gl/KxOKu

A trip to Sarasota allowed naturalist Robert Finch an opportunity to take up a type of leisure that he wouldn't normally consider at home, including sunbathing poolside and watching golfers and sandhill cranes on the links.  He writes about it in this week's Cape Cod Notebook. 

Steve Herring goo.gl/yCRtCt / goo.gl/VAhsB

Walking up from the beach, Robert Finch came upon a freshly dead seabird that he initially dismissed as a common gull. But a closer inspection revealed it was a pelagic bird rarely seen inshore: a fulmar. The questions of how it had come there, and how it received the wound that killed it, prompted this week's Cape Cod Notebook.

Kenneth C. Zirkel bit.ly/2o0qlyj / bit.ly/1SrbRBk

Old stone walls are one of the emblems of the New England landscape.  They're the legacy of the glaciers that sculpted the land. Robert Finch reflects on the effort it takes to build a stone wall, and on the messages that stone walls seem to convey to us over time, in this week's Cape Cod Notebook.

Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

In Brewster, Robert Finch came across a duck blind that once belonged to the Nickerson family, and its view of ducks adrift on the pond in winter inspired this week's Cape Cod Notebook.

A day spent clearing landscape debris segues to an inspired appreciation of Rachmaninov, in this week's essay from a Cape Cod Notebook. 

cardcow.com bit.ly/1Qa5M9i

At a recent dinner with old friends, someone brought up the topic of the “Target Ship.” For over a half a century, the target ship was a familiar and legendary sight in Cape Cod Bay for those of us who lived near the elbow of the Cape. 

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.

The Great Good Place

Feb 7, 2017
Steve Snodgrass bit.ly/2kEgbmq / bit.ly/1mhaR6e

Sometimes wandering into a coffee shop can enter you into a whole new world.

Vern Laux

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

Putneypics bit.ly/2jaM0Ba / bit.ly/1jNlqZo

This week on A Cape Cod Notebook, Robert Finch strolls the beach in winter.

Becky Dalzell

If there’s anything than interests me more than local history, it's unrecorded local history – that is, events, stories, characters and places that live only in the memories of long-time residents – and sometimes not even there, sometimes only in the shapes of certain landscapes, or in the presence of mute but evocative objects that require the beholder to shape and piece together a tentative narrative about their history.

Jennifer Sherry bit.ly/2jAeDfJ / bit.ly/OJZNiI

Early last month, on my way home from a dentist appointment, I stopped at Coast Guard Beach in Eastham at the end of the day. I have a long history with this barrier beach, going back to the 1960s, when there were still a dozen or so beach shacks strung along its length. 

Cosmo bit.ly/2hOhwJc / bit.ly/1hYHpKw

In today's Cape Cod Notebook, Robert Finch takes us along on a walk through Wellfleet, from Duck Creek Harbor to Cannon Hill.

mararie bit.ly/2hBv5aS / bit.ly/2hBysP9

Last winter, two friends from Oregon visited us for a weekend. On Sunday I took them out to the dunes of the Provincelands, following a series of familiar sand-marks that I have traced across this ever-changing and forever-unchanging landscape for more than half a century.

John Stanton bit.ly/2hFEqBM / bit.ly/1pawxfE

The North Truro Air Force Base was located at the very eastern edge of the Highland Plains, and thus afforded a spectacular ocean view to the military personnel and their families that lived there. A double cyclone fence topped with barbed wire surrounded the base: an outer one around its perimeter, including the cliff edge, and an inner one protecting the military compound, the command center, and the radar domes.

http://www.radomes.org/museum/

In my adolescence I was an avid science fiction reader, and one of my favorite books was Ray Bradbury’s iconic collection of stories, The Martian Chronicles. It was published in 1950 at the beginning of the Cold War and the nuclear arms race. One of the most poignant and quietly chilling of Bradbury’s tales is called “And There Will Come Soft Rains.”

www.300committee.org / bit.ly/2grIy4c

The other day I was walking one of those old, overgrown, and nearly invisible dirt roads on Bound Brook Island – the site of Wellfleet’s first settlement in the late 17th century, and now largely abandoned. I love wandering in such places of unrecorded and unidentified history, history that resides purely in things and not ideas, not even my own.

John Chapman bit.ly/2g7sRAj / bit.ly/1hYHpKw

I drove down to Paine's Creek at dusk with coffee and a Danish from the nearby Dunkin’ Donuts. The beach was white and clean in the dying light. The marsh grass was all tawny, heavy and thick in the fullness of its growth. It toppled over itself in windrows with its own accumulated mass, weighted like the heavy boughs of the apple tree behind my garden.

bit.ly/2fGPF9M

It was this month, thirty years ago, that Hollywood came to the Outer Cape. The occasion was the filming of Norman Mailer’s crime novel, Tough Guys Don’t Dance, which was set in Provincetown. It wasn’t a very good novel, and the film wasn’t much better, but it starred Ryan O’Neil and Isabella Rossellini, and for a week or two some people were excited about the possibility of sighting a movie star or two in our small villages in the off-season.

Carlos Pacheco bit.ly/2fmv0HW / bit.ly/1mhaR6e

I am sitting on the beach at Long Point, my legs stretched out towards the town that rests in unmistakable outline across the Harbor. I have, as it were, Provincetown at my feet. This is surely the best vantage point from which to view it, nestled, in Joseph Berger's sly image, "like a piece of silver that has just crossed the palm of Cape Cod."

Martyn Jenkins bit.ly/2elxVyZ / bit.ly/1hYHpKw

On the previous broadcast I described some of the major damage that this four-day northeast gale – known as the Perfect Storm - did to the Cape’s beaches and shoreline structures over the Halloween weekend in 1991. But what remains most vivid in my memory is the effect the storm had on the Cape’s bird life, in particular, gannets.

NOAA bit.ly/2dJfNkK / bit.ly/2er6W8M

This coming weekend marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of an extraordinary meteorological event that was known variously as “The Halloween Gale” or “The No-Name Storm” of 1991. But perhaps it’s best remembered as “The Perfect Storm” the term used by meteorologists to describe an unusual alignment of three major weather systems along the northeast coast – a “perfect” alignment, if you will, that produced a northeast storm of almost unprecedented length and intensity.

David Merrett bit.ly/2ei5HGk / bit.ly/1mhaR6e

The other day I drove down to the Nauset Light Beach parking lot in North Eastham for the first time since Labor Day. Somehow, in its off-season emptiness, I was struck even more than usual at how extensive and labyrinthine a maze the entrance to this beach has become over time.

Pages