Monday, October 30, 2017

October 2017 - Finally Fall ?

You can tell it's Fall when there are more Canada geese on the road than cars.
It still seems a bit ironic to me that someone as ill-suited to being in the water as I am lives blissfully surrounded by it, the bay on one side, the ocean on the other.  If the occasional smell of the ocean wafting on the breeze when the wind's blowing the right way isn't enough to remind me, or the yapping seagulls in the parking lots, or the faint roar of an angry surf outside my bedroom window in the quiet of the night, the local radio station also does its part.  Daily reports of marine layer and visibility, the surfing report, the fishing report, and ferry cancellations all color my world ocean blue, and I'm delighted to be near it all.  Just not in it.  Some things never change.  

Cape Cod Times Photo - what is it?
Recently, while showing a guest our town's beaches, we came across a very large "deposit" on the sand.  It had obviously been in the water for quite awhile before washing up, and the local wildlife had been working on it, as well, so it was a real head-scratcher as far as identification.  The answer came about a week later in the Cape Cod Times, when it was reported that the fin of a humpback whale had washed ashore on Eastham's Coast Guard Beach.  One never knows what gifts the ocean will deposit for inspection.  
Another treasure from the sea
And here's another story about a gift from the ocean.  I recently noticed a post on Facebook from my daughter-in-law, passing on a request from someone who lives in Rhode Island, who had found two messages in a wine bottle on the beach while vacationing in St. Augustine, Florida.  Parts of the letters written to pirates were blurred, but it clearly showed a zip code that was in the town of Orleans on Cape Cod, a signature that looked like 'Noah', and part of a street address on Hill Road.  They very much wanted to respond to the writers to let them know it had been received more than 1000 miles away.  I put my two cents in and suggested the address might be Brick Hill Road.  Within 24 hours, someone on Cape Cod tagged a woman in Maine who was a former Cape Cod resident, to ask if the Noah in this story could be her son.  The twists and turns that social media took to advance this story make it that much more amazing, but the end result located the now ten year old twins, Noah and Patrick, who wrote the notes four years ago and threw them into the water at Nauset Beach while on vacation in Orleans.  The friend they had been visiting took a picture of the bottle and the boys before it began its long journey to Florida.    
Courtesy of the Keene family
The calendar proclaimed the arrival of Autumn last month, but we're not feeling it here on Cape Cod.  On a recent trip to the beach, there were a surprising number of people still relaxing on beach chairs, watching the bobbing seals in the water, and some humans actually swimming. What the leaves lack in color this Fall due to three days of salt water spray from Hurricane Jose, they make up for in crunchiness.  The walk to the mailbox shouts October with every step, but the trip is still made in summer clothing.  The three-day Columbus Day weekend, Wellfleet's annual Oysterfest and warmer than usual weather has kept the traffic flowing along Route 6.  If the warm weather makes it difficult to tell that it's Fall, it didn't fool the hummingbirds and orioles and they confirmed it by vacating right on time for their winter homes.  Their feeders have been replaced with suet for the cold weather sustenance that will surely be needed soon and the woodpeckers have moved right in to take advantage.  Costumed trick-or-treaters filled the streets of Orleans a couple days early to take advantage of candy handouts from all the merchants.  And another tip that it really is Fall are all the red plaid flannel shirts that are popping up everywhere, even if the sleeves have to be rolled up for comfort.     

 The latest in art left behind, found in the grass while gardening.

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