A Cape Cod Notebook from WCAI
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A nature writer living in Wellfleet, Robert Finch has written about Cape Cod for more than forty years. He is the author of nine books of essays. A Cape Cod Notebook airs weekly on WCAI, the NPR station for Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and the South Coast. In both 2006 and 2013, the series won the New England Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Radio Writing.
||CleanA Sandy, Shifting Place||I tend to think of Nantucket as this place that is constantly shifting, and in many ways it is. People come and go, drift with the seasons and the tides. Our population ebbs and flows from some 17,000 in the off season to close to 50,000 in the summer.||3/12/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWinter Clamming Digs Up Many Rewards||The sun was low in the horizon when I arrived at Tashmoo Pond. The temperature was above average for a February day. Mid-forties I guessed. One week earlier, it had been in the teens.||3/5/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLife Goes On||A line of poetry passed through my mind yesterday, about a landscape so pure, so cold and quiet, that one could “feel the shadow of the hawk’s wing pass over the land.” I felt that same silence of a hawk at the moment when all the busy chatter, th||2/26/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Seals of Great Point||The first thing you notice about Nantucket’s colony of grey seals is the smell. You smell them before you see them. And when they look at you, with a strange mammalian sort of recognition, you realize they must be able to smell you , too.||2/19/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhere the Woods Are the Woods||My friend Ken sent me a clipping from the Cape Cod Times a few weeks ago that really amused me and got me thinking. It’s a story about a man who discovered the jaw bone of a Right Whale in Yarmouth Port, collected it, and sold it a couple days later.||2/12/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanOn an Island, Weather Is Big Talk||My friends who still live in cities think I talk too much about the weather. In cities, weather talk is relegated to small talk--the cheapest of all talk. On an island, weather is big talk. On an island, tide charts are tacked to kitchen walls like||2/5/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanA Group Effort: The Christmas Bird Count||The chaos of the natural world is a wonder to be enjoyed, but there is also a strong human impulse to impose order. In an effort to understand, we measure, count, name, categorize, and catalogue. It’s like a parent entering an adolescent’s messy roo||1/29/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWalking the High Tide Line and Asking, "Why?"||Today I want to talk a bit about the “wrack line,” that more or less continuous line of debris left on the beach by the previous high tide. The content of the wrack line can be meager and ordinary – just a few bits of seaweed – or overwhelming a||1/22/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMy Town||You have your town, and I have mine. You love your town, and I love mine. It is late fall now, our summer visitors, have left for their true homes – left with sadness, with regret, but left nonetheless – with dreams of returning.||1/15/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanA Nantucket Dream Home||When you live 30 miles out to sea, many things get reused, redistributed and shifted around. I once heard an antique dealer on Nantucket say he’d sold the same scrimshawed whale’s tooth three separate times. The buyers kept departing, one way or ano||1/8/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWalking with Dogs||Now I may just get myself in trouble here- with the Law, with my fellow citizens- but I will just come out and say it: I prefer my dogs off-leash.||1/1/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanGetting to Great Point Light||Great Point Light is my white whale. The 70-foot-tall white concrete tower sits where Nantucket Sound and the Atlantic meet, towering high above a narrow strip of beach. Or so I’ve read. I have never made it all the way out there, to the northernmost||12/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Importance of Swamps||Provincetown is a geological afterthought, and everything from High Head in North Truro outward is composed of the leftovers from the rest of the Cape.||12/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBird Feeders and the Vulnerability of Life||Today we opened the archives to replay one of our favorite essays from Robert Finch. In this piece, Bob talks about his bird feeder, birds, and the vulnerability of life.||12/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanNow Is the Season for Night Walking||Night comes earlier here that it does in almost any other part of the country. Sometimes, well, most of the time, my only opportunity to be outside for any good length of time is after the sun has already set. I have given up trying to race against the||11/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanA Plot of Land, A Group Effort||It is November now; our incipient meadow is put to bed. But I remember back a few weeks: the September sun was high in the cloudless sky - and hot. My level back received the full effect of its rays, as I was on my hands and knees in a weedy field. It||11/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Cape's Only Town with a Full-length Sidewalk: Part 2||Last week I began to describe a walk I recently took on the pedestrian sidewalk that runs the length of Route 6 in Eastham – the only Cape town that has such a continuous walkway. What struck me most, for the first couple of miles, was the prevalence||11/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Cape's Only Town with a Sidewalk from One End to the Other? You May Be Surprised||Here’s a Cape Cod factoid that you can use at parties during the holiday season: “What is the only town on Cape Cod that has a pedestrian sidewalk running continuously from one end of the town to the other? Think about that for a moment or two. Got||11/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLast Swim||I have to accept that fall is here. The past couple of years I have tried, by sheer force of will, to extend summer to late October. Labor Day rolls around and all the shops have slashed their prices on bathing suits, towels, and flip flops. Columbus Da||10/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDeer Season is Here||In October, my life on Martha’s Vineyard undergoes a seasonal transition that reflects changed outdoor priorities. It is a natural shift brought on by shorter days and cooling waters. Fishing season gives way to deer hunting season.||10/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
Keeps me in a Cape Cod frame of mind
I so hate leaving the cape each year, and gaze mournfully over my shoulder as we pull away. This podcast keeps me sustained with stories about the wildlife, seashores, happenings and history of the cape. The authors/speakers are wonderful. Thank you.
Now with Nantucket
i'm glad the Notebook comes in a podcast now, because i usually miss the airing. But, more than that, i really love the focus on Nantucket now. Mary hits the island sweets spots impeccably.