Saturday, March 03, 2007

An Early Spring Walk to Five Ponds

Spring was in the air this morning. Since the tide was high at noon, Sven and I decided to walk in the woods instead of by the ocean. We parked the car over by the multiple-pond trail and hiked through the National Seashore. Some of the ponds were still frozen. Others were not. We saw a knotted old tree and another great blue door. We admired summer houses, built in the forties, and not heated. All that beauty and no one there to enjoy it. The only people we saw were lost. They had embarked on a journey through the woods without realizing there would be large puddles and no place to turn around. What's more, their car would not work in reverse. It was broken. So, they drove on and on, feeling more and more worried. That is,until they saw us coming in the opposite direction on foot! Luckily we were able to tell them how to drive out of the woods. Let's hope they made it home safe and sound. Thoreau visited the woods of Wellfleet more than a century ago. He describes meeting an oysterman in tales of his travels past these same ponds. The oysterman's name was John Young Newcomb. The nearest beach is called, of course, Newcomb's Hollow.

On our way back home, as we drove through a relatively new Wellfleet neighborhood with its enormous houses, for the most part empty, I thought, what a waste! These modern homes are twice as big as the old summer homes by the ponds. Why do humans think they need so much space? Not to mention needless energy consumption. I tried to imagine what the woods looked like before development, a rolling landscape of pines and oak. Thank goodness 61% of Wellfleet is National Seashore, even if new homeowners do not obey the rules and increase the footprint. At least they are few and far between. The pond homes get passed down in families, so nothing changes, except the taxes.

We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful place!