Saturday, August 21, 2010

A symphony of love and nature

I cannot let the sheer magic of last night with my beloved boys pass without trying to write about it while it is still fresh in my mind. We went out on the boat around 5 pm. There was no wind and the water looked like a vast lake; an ocean of pearly glass.
Alex has the fishing bug so we brought the yard sale pole and some fancy new sand eel lures. The day was a Cape kind of day, overcast with peeks of sun; uninspiring light wise but peaceful after an unusually hot and sunny summer.
We headed to Stage Harbor Lighthouse where we fished awhile, casting and watching the boats head home at days end. Then we headed to the South Way. We cut the engine and drifted; listening to the sounds of the gulls, terns and plovers on the inside of the outer bar and the roaring waves crashing on the oceanside. We were totally alone on that great expanse of calm ocean.
Later as we headed back another unexpected show; a sunset that unfolded quietly with a thin streak of color on the horizon. Nature played a symphony and we sat mesmerized; yellow to orange to a purple gold. We quietly rowed into shore. The shared love we felt for this place and each other transcended words.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Summer of surfing

This has been the summer of surfing for Peter. Somedays I go with him early on a sparkly diamond day or late evening when the fog has rolled in.
Last September we bought him a used 9ft surfboard for his birthday. He was already back at Bates so I posed the surfboard against an ivy covered fence and sent him a photo of it. He never even saw it until May and at the time it seemed like a non present as he couldn't open it and enjoy it. Delayed gratification isn't such a bad thing in the end. He has used it constantly this summer. He surfed for 6 hours yesterday and is back at it this morning.
Surfing is hard work. It requires Zen like patience, incredible physical strength, perfect timing and skill.
I watch as he watches for a new set of waves to come in. The waves are getting bigger and bigger and I hear the occasional hoop and holler; similar those I hear when we are tree skiing. Everyone should have such a passion in life.
Pete just came in commenting on " the absolutely glorious weather " and said " I feel like a real surfer!" Summer 2010 has been a perfect summer for all of us. The days have been like a string of pearls; sunny, hot and the ocean has been unusually warm. I know this is probably the last summer we will have with both boys here for the whole summer. How sweet it's been!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sweet cat boat

Early morning at Cow Yard with the pups. The water is like glass with the slightest west wind stirring. I have come to love this catboat; at any time of day, in every changing tide it sits there looking so pretty. The beach shacks are the backdrop . The bright glints on the water sparkle
like a diamond frame around it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

90 seconds of fame

I've been submitting photos to Tim Wood, the editor of the Cape Cod Chronicle for a few months. The Chronicle is an well written weekly paper that I typically read from cover to cover, even in the off season when I'm in Concord.
The first photo published was a heron in flight over my favorite beach at Cow Yard Landing. The second was of a grandmother teaching her grandson to see reflections at the Mitchell River Bridge. Both were toward the end of the paper; they were small but they were there. I was pleased to be getting published.
On Monday evening, July 26th, I was coming out of a talk by Gary Skomal, a renowned expert on sharks. As we have been having numerous shark sightings, Lighthouse Beach was mobbed with people hoping to catch some excitement. The light over the beach was anything but magic. I noticed a crusty old timer with a big lens and wondered what he was photographing. Thankfully I heard him respond to someone asking a question of that nature. He said, " I'm waiting for the full moon, it's rising at 8:22." It was 8:10 at the time, I was tired and planned to go straight home. I didn't have my Nikon and the sky held little promise. As I headed toward the fish pier something inside me made me pull in. My friend Mackenzie was there finishing up her shift at Nickersons. We were talking when she said " Wow, look at the moon! " We stood and watched as the palest moon peeked over the outer bar. I went up to the lookout and took a series of shots with my point and shoot digital Canon. I stayed for awhile to watch nature's spectacular show.
According to The Farmers Almanac, " Full moon names date back to the Native Americans. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. July is normally the month when the new antlers of bucks push out of their foreheads in velvety fur."
When I got home I loaded the photos onto my Mac and sent a few to Tim Wood. It was past the deadline for submissions so it didn't occur to me it would get in. Imagine my surprise at the grocery store when it was on the front page. Eureka, my 90 seconds of fame!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Purple finches and the shell wreath

For the past few weeks I have been watching a pair of purple finches nesting in the shell wreath on our kitchen porch. I found the wreath five years ago right after we bought the house. It was a splurge at the time and I remember thinking fleetingly that I could make one with all the shells I had collected. Truth is I probably never would have made one and it wouldn't have looked like this. I wonder if it would have had this kind of magic.
Each summer an average of two to three pairs of purple finches nest and have baby finches in the same cozy nest. This last pair had four babies and I watched as the mummy and daddy tirelessly fed them all day long. They grew incredibly fast and then yesterday I realized there was only one baby left. She sat alone in the nest all day long and I worried as I saw no sign of the mummy or daddy. I wondered what would happen to this last baby bird with no food from the parents. Then I saw the mother fly in. She didn't feed the baby. She just flew around her as if to say" Fly, come on it's time to fly." I took this last photo of her moments before she ventured out into the world. I watched as she bravely hopped onto the edge of the grapevine wreath. Suddenly she flew clumsily onto a heart sculpture nearby and then flew awkwardly to the sky. Was she gone forever? She was.
Will her parents return to lay another set of eggs or will it be another pair of purple finches?There is so much to know about nature. The more questions you ask the more you realize how much there is to learn