Saturday, September 30, 2006

Mushroom Season: Wild in Wellfleet!

When most people think Wellfleet, spectacular seascapes come to mind. In fall, however, our little town has other worthwhile vistas to discover, the National Seashore Park, for instance. This week Sven and I took a walk through the woods to Dyer Pond and beyond. Everywhere wild asters were in bloom. Here is a peek at Turtle Pond, tucked away behind Great Pond, alive with birds and…. mushrooms.

Mushroom season is here! Everywhere you turn in the forest, chanterelles and bolets peek out from the underbrush. I am not a mushroom expert, but my Russian cousin Alexandra Kalinine is. Every fall, she goes wild in Wellfleet. Alexandra learned mushrooms from her father in France. My father never taught me, unfortunately. Still, on walks to Dyer Pond, I am always reminded of the enthusiasm of my French friends, all mushroom fans, who would concoct a whole meal from a day’s mushroom harvest.

I have heard say that Russians still come down from Boston to pick the mushrooms that grow wild in the woods of Wellfleet. The more enterprising among them sell their harvest at open air markets. Today our Russian guest Natalia, here for respite from New Orleans, was delighted by the variety of mushrooms she found on a walk back from Cahoon Hollow Beach with her husband …

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wellfleet, Glorious in Fall

Fall is here, a couple days early. The sky is brilliant blue. The crisp air makes everyone happy to be alive. Empty beaches appeal to anyone in search of peace. What glorious weather for Wellfleet visitors!

It has come to my attention that the local Chamber of Commerce Visitors’ Center is only open on weekends now. Shops are beginning to close. It is not easy to run a year-round business in a town that caters to summer guests. Wellfleet is wonderful in spring, fall and winter, too.

A stroll down Main Street shows hardy souls still operating businesses. Abiyoyo is open. Wellfleet Marketplace is going strong. There are galleries to explore and clothing shops with great sales. The flea market receives lots of visitors. I also send guests down to Provincetown where they can wander through the quaint shops in search of the perfect gift to take home.

The parking lot next to Hatch's is half empty. One reason Wellfleet businesses close early is paid help. Many restaurants import workers from abroad. They come for a certain number of months, then return home. Bulgaria has been well represented this year. Here a couple of young girls delight in the waves at LeCount Hollow Beach, one last swim before heading off to school. As a bed & breakfast owner who must regularly provide dinner suggestions, I am grateful to the restaurant owners who do welcome diners. Hurray for Finely JPs, the Bookstore, and the Wicked Oyster, just down Old King’s Highway, a few minutes walk away from Chez Sven. They are all open year round.

Today I made the decision to join the Provincetown Chamber of Commerce, which publishes a winter guide. Businesses need the “shoulder” seasons to survive. We look forward to receiving guests who want to hide away in the woods in our Seagull Cottage by day and journey down Route 6 to enjoy Provincetown by night. Soon I will post our availability calendar for 2007. We are now accepting reservations ...

Monday, September 18, 2006

A September Day in the Life

Just as we were beginning to feel the season winding down, a young man knocked on our door at sunset, in search of accommodation for his parents, from Italy. Of course, we could not refuse. Sven settled the group in the garden with glasses of wine, an unusual occurrence, while I turned myself into a green tornado. Soon Liberty Coin Suite sparkled in the last rays of summer sun. This morning our guests set off for a cruise in Provincetown harbor. I had called Wellfleet cruises, but they have all closed for the year. It is frustrating to see the tourism industry shutting down when people are still flocking to our town. This morning I did laundry. This afternoon I worked in the garden. Our Seagull Cottage guests called on their cell phone to say thank you for the granola and cherry tomatoes. They also appreciated the wireless Internet, a new feature and quite a success. Chez Sven has had a wonderful summer, and we have made lots of great new friends, many who plan to return next year. Both Sven and I are glad the rhythm is slowing a bit. We even got to go to the beach together today since the weatherman has said a cold front is on the way.…

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

In the Wake of Florence

Crisp clear air, bright blue sky, September is an ideal time to be on Cape Cod. Of course the tourists would like the temperatures a tad warmer, but no one will argue that this weather is invigorating. Sven and I went down to the sea this afternoon and admired the waves, churned up by Florence. We witnessed erosion in action at high tide. The beaches of Wellfleet may not be perfect for those who wanted to sunbathe, but the weatherman says the temperature will rise this weekend. We year-rounders simply take our cue from nature. Walking is a much better choice right now. Time to go fetch some hiking boots in one of the many tempting sales now happening in Provincetown. That's what our current guests did yesterday. Today they set off for a hike on Great Island. Sven and I can only get away for an hour, so we chose Lecount Hollow. The power of the ocean was awe-inspring!

Friday, September 08, 2006

September Already!

Labor Day has come and gone. The summer season is almost over. I tell everyone how weird the weather has been this year. September is usually our most pleasant month, weatherwise, but fall is in the air. I dug out the comforters today, since the weatherman predicts cold nights ahead ...

The results of the online poll in the Provincetown Banner last week were heartening. 33% of the respondents show no interest in switching to environmentally-friendly cleaning products. Of course there is much room for improvement, but when you consider there was no information whatsoever online, just the question out of the blue, the results could have been far worse. At Chez Sven we followed the advice in our last blog and purchased third-stage filters, shown here installed in Seagull Cottage.

The grapevine says this was not a good summer for Cape Cod businesses. We are happy to be one of the exceptions. I attribute our success to the wonderful Web site my son Paul created, but also to our espousal of important issues like the environment. Our guests love the breakfasts we serve. Many have left with my organic granola recipe in hand. Several requested our Swedish breakfast, with fresh tomatoes from the vegetable garden. Sven has enjoyed sitting outside. Here is his latest sandwich creation: the Chez Sven Tomato Special. Yum!

We had our first Swedish couple last week, an exciting event. I hope they will tell all their friends. What lovely guests we have enjoyed this summer! Thank you one and all for choosing Chez Sven.