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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.

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.
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United States

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes

The Cape's Only Town with a Full-length Sidewalk: Part 2

11/13/2018
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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 of old houses on both sides of the highway. Most were Greek Revivals and old Capes, with one or two Federal era structures. I must have passed dozens of them, some hidden or screened by fences or vegetation, but most quite visible. In any case,...

Duration:00:03:40

The Cape's Only Town with a Sidewalk from One End to the Other? You May Be Surprised

11/6/2018
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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 an answer?

Duration:00:03:11

Last Swim

10/30/2018
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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 Day arrives and winter coats are in the windows of the shops in town that are still open.

Duration:00:03:05

Deer Season is Here

10/23/2018
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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.

Duration:00:03:46

October Days and Slowing Down

10/16/2018
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I can’t help it--I always bring the car to a crawl when I drive down Shore Road in North Truro. Something about all those cottage colonies, all those motels, the scene of hundreds of thousands of summer vacations compels me to drive a little slower. I want to look in every window.

Duration:00:03:50

The Peregrine Falcon and the Snowy Owl

10/9/2018
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The Snowy Owl flew before me, out of the dunes and onto the outer beach, and landed in all its softness. I had barely a minute to admire the wonder of its plumage, its squat white body, somewhat incongruous on a sandy beach, its large yellow blinking eyes, when out of nowhere a Peregrine Falcon appeared, and, screaming, plunged from the sky to surge and swipe at the owl, again and again and again.

Duration:00:03:57

Golden Hour at Madaket

10/2/2018
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I was walking out in Madaket, the westernmost end of Nantucket, a few nights ago, when I noticed everything was golden. The sky, of course, with the sun’s last lingering rays. But the beach grass, too, is going to seed. I’m sure it was just yesterday that the grass was a bright, spring green. Now each strand is streaked with golden highlights.

Duration:00:03:37

A Fatal Shark Attack on Cape Cod: Now What?

9/25/2018
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It was only a matter of time. With critical masses of seals, sharks and people in the water, it couldn’t not happen. We knew this, yet somehow it was still a shock. People have a great capacity for denial, but there’s nothing like a violent death to make us sit up and take notice.

Duration:00:04:15

Our Role with the Swallows

9/18/2018
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About a month ago, on the little harbor-side beach we have frequented for over forty years, I noticed a couple of swallows. Tree Swallows, I thought, or Barn Swallows – the two most commonly seen. But, no, their dingy brown plumage and squared-off tails identified them as Northern Rough-wing Swallows, a species I had never noticed in this particular spot before.

Duration:00:04:14

All That Washes Ashore

9/11/2018
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I spent most of my summers learning to sail at the West End Racing Club in Provincetown. The other kids were all natives of this sandy spit, and they all took to sailing like they had salt water in their veins. Most were the children of fishermen or the great-granddaughters of whalers who overwintered in the Arctic.

Duration:00:03:30

Shellfish Memories

9/4/2018
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Robert Finch was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is taking some time off. We've gone into the archives, and today we're re-airing one of our favorite A Cape Cod Notebook essays. It's called "Shellfish Memories."

Duration:00:03:48

Naming Our Local Humpback Whales

8/28/2018
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It was coming on evening out on Stellwagen Bank, the red ball of the sun descending through the clouds. It had done its job, though- burning off the lingering fog banks out over the water. We were surrounded by whales- Humpback Whales- spouting and diving all around our boat.

Duration:00:04:13

Slowing Down for Blackberries

8/21/2018
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I’m lucky enough to live just over a mile from the beach, a straight shot along the Surfside bike path. If I’m running, which I have been doing to varying degrees of success over the last three years, I can make it to the end of the road and to the mouth of the sand trail that leads to Surfside in 10 minutes. Walking takes closer to 15 minutes.

Duration:00:03:24

What You Discover on the Backshore Beach

8/14/2018
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The Backshore beach is a veritable graveyard. Littered all about, from the tide line up into the dunes, are bodies and body parts. Some are fresh, the tide’s latest delivery; others lie, bleached and scoured, as if they had been there for all time.

Duration:00:04:23

A Rare Moment of Weightlessness

8/7/2018
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Lately I have taken to floating — lying on my back in the bay and letting the water cradle me. It can be hard to make it to the beach, even in the heat of summer, as so many other stressors pull on our time. There are a lot who live on Nantucket that hardly ever get to the beach. As one neighbor said to me: “I live on an island — --the beach will always be there.”

Duration:00:02:52

A Summer Beach Without a Plover?

7/31/2018
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For quite a few years I worked for Cape Cod National Seashore on its shorebird project, studying and protecting nesting terns and plovers. It was always with trepidation that I stepped inside an “enclosed area”- delineated with “symbolic fencing”-posts and twine lines with surveyor’s tape-the domain of one of our subject birds, the Piping Plover ( Charadrius melodius ).

Duration:00:03:35

A State of Deep Emotion While Saving a Life

7/24/2018
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This week on A Cape Cod Notebook, we hear from Provincetown resident Dennis Minsky, who shares his experience saving a life.

Duration:00:04:15

When the Fish Aren't Biting

7/17/2018
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I cleaned the rain gutters on my house this weekend. Which is another way of saying the fishing is slow.

Duration:00:03:17

Grappling With Eating Clams and Being Vegetarian

7/10/2018
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During this week's A Cape Cod Notebook, we hear from Provincetown resident Dennis Minsky, who talks about his struggle with being a vegetarian and eating clams.

Duration:00:02:55

The Fascinating Past of the Island Fisherman

7/3/2018
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A Cape Cod Notebook, WCAI's weekly essay series about life on the Cape and Islands, continues this week with a piece from contributor Nelson Sigelman. He writes about a friend who is an island fisherman with a mysterious past.

Duration:00:04:20