Thursday, October 26, 2006

Fall Splendor in Wellfleet

This short path leads from one kettle pond to another. Today I read in the newspaper that September and October have been banner months for tourists. More and more people are choosing to visit Cape Cod in the fall. This choice is not surprising. Here at Chez Sven we have long proclaimed our appreciation for autumn's empty beaches, lack of traffic, and quick grocery shopping, none of which characterize summer. The restaurants do not require reservations, and it is possible to obtain tickets for WHAT. What more could you ask? To anyone who may think the foliage on Cape Cod is not worth a second glance, just take a look at the photos I snapped this week, in the National Seashore. It is such fun to be exploring a path and suddenly see blue pond through the trees! Sven and I also like to go walking on Wellfleet's deserted beaches ...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

An October Day in the Life

Here is a photo of reeds at Great Pond. This close-up resembles an impressionist painting, don't you think? .... But back to the daily grind: I prepared a Swedish breakfast for our Liberty Coin guests, as requested the night before. After their departure, dishes and towels and sheets occupied my time for an hour or so. I made a mental note to do a linens inventory once things settle down, which should be now but isn’t. The season for most Wellfleet bed & breakfasts has already come to an end, and Chez Sven is still going strong, which must indicate we are doing something right! As if to illustrate my point, the phone rang and a young lady from England reserved Liberty Coin Suite for this weekend. During the rest of the morning, I cleaned Seagull Cottage thoroughly and carried over the Christmas cactus, already in bloom, for our new honeymooners to enjoy. After lunch, off I went to Orleans to shop. Upon my return, Sven convinced me to walk to Dyer Pond and beyond where my thirsty eyes drank in the beauty tourists come here to enjoy. Nice to be able to appreciate it myself for once! Upon our return, I went out to work in the garden while Sven lit a fire so the honeymooners would feel all cozy as soon as they got here. Uh-oh! I forgot to request an arrival time. Sven feels “anytime after 2:00” is a bit too open-ended. Therefore, I will request arrival times on the Web site for 2007, since I do not always remember to ask. Waiting for guests all day is no fun, it is true. Finally, I typed up our latest comments and sent them to my son for posting. We have met such great people this year. Receiving them has been a pleasure … but it certainly keeps me busy!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Quiet Season Begins ...

Seagull Cottage is booked for the next two weeks!!

Quiet Season finally arrived. It blew in on a cold wind from the north last night. We had to bring in all the blue cushions from the yard furniture and madly eat the tomatoes. Frost is expected by Tuesday, so I have been putting the garden to bed, quite a chore. Sven built a trellis for the raspberries and dug the final potatoes. Only parsley and leeks still hang out together in the otherwise deserted plot by Old King’s Highway.

We have had guests all week. One couple brought a kite, a great idea for Quiet Season. Two ladies worked at a large bed & breakfast located at the other end of the Cape. They were delighted to relax and be served for once. Their note in the guestbook made me smile: “Thanks for being green!” We also had a couple who read the blog about Oysterfest and came down Sunday. And then there was our visitor from London, a journalist writing a piece on organic bed & breakfasts. She came to the right place! Unfortunately, the weather was not ideal. But now the sky is gloriously blue once again. It is a bit too cold for swimming, so people are out with surfboards. Hang-gliders also swing past Ocean View Drive. And what could be more invigorating than a brisk walk along the Atlantic?

Saturday, October 14, 2006


The weather is ideal: crisp, clear blue sky, warm temperatures. Wellfleet is in absolute glory, and all the bed & breakfasts are full. Here at Chez Sven, autumn leaves parade amazing color. The action, however, is downtown where Wellfleet is celebrating its annual Oysterfest. Each year the crowds increase as the renown of this great street party and fair spreads. Daytrippers have streamed into Wellfleet all morning. I have never seen so many pedestrians on Long Pond Road before. I bet the attendance record will be broken today.* The parking lot behind town hall is packed with people, shoulder to shoulder in some spots. Oysterfest has something for everyone, from the disco dance at the Lighthouse Friday night, to road races Saturday and the oyster-shucking contest on Sunday. Main Street is closed to traffic so visitors can shop at their leisure. Vendors set up booths and hawk their wares: paintings, t-shirts, pottery, one-of-a-kind items. The star of the party is, of course, the Wellfleet oyster. The longest lines form at the stands where mounds of oysters await consumption. Slurp, slurp, slurp. A plate of oysters quickly becomes a plate of empty shells. While over at the bandstand the band plays on, guests and residents alike revel in more (OYSTERS!) as Wellfleet’s high season officially comes to a close.

*The Cape Cod Times reports 12,000 visitors, but locals claim there were as many as 16,000 people at Oysterfest this year.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Changes ...

For children, even the trip to a favorite vacation spot can be memorable. I remember, as a child, keeping my eyes glued to the road, eager for signs of arrival. Often I would also notice differences from previous years along the way. This summer, anyone with similar behavior, must have noticed two major changes on Route 6, a mile or so up from the turn into Wellfleet center.

The first happened in August: there was a ground–breaking ceremony for Wellfleet Harbor Actors' Theatre. Excavators moved sand around, leaving mounds here and there. A chain-link fence now isolates the work site. Over the winter, a new venue will be built on the lot beside the post office.

Another major difference started over a year ago. Across the state highway from Cove Road, pine trees were cut down, in increments, not all at once. Someone was doing something. But what? Tomato plants were placed in the ground. Then a large floppy scarecrow started watching over the vegetables. This year a firewood stand appeared with an OPEN sign. Anyone curious enough to explore has discovered Rose’s Farm. Jim Rose is a shellfishman who decided it was time to farm the land as well. His operation is small but merits encouragement. Jim is using manure and compost, rather than chemicals, on his crops. This summer he offered Wellfleetians the best sunflowers around for the incredible price of just 50 cents each. So far the weather has not been cooperating. Cape Cod had the worst growing season in 40 years for tomatoes. Still Wellfleet’s newest farmer perseveres. This week an excavator cleared more ground. Last fall fresh eggs were advertised. Next time you drive to Wellfleet, check out what Jim is offering for sale ….