Tuesday, March 31, 2009

WHAT Celebrates 25 Years of Great Theater

This week the Wellfleet Harbor Actors' Theater celebrates its 25th anniversary and kudos are in order. WHAT grew from small beginnings, in a ramshackle venue on the harbor, to the impressive edgy-drama machine we know today, operating several summer shows at once to the delight of local playwrights, and offering a variety of other types of entertainment at several locations. The main stage is now located in the impressive new building beside the post office, pictured above. Over the past winter, 92nd Street Y programs and opera at the Met were broadcast live on the big screen. This April, Outer Cape residents can enjoy independent films, which we might not be able to view otherwise: Frozen River, Rachel Getting Married, Wendy and Lucy, Happy Go Lucky. How fortunate we are! How wonderful for Wellfleet to have a top-notch theater, capable of drawing actors from Broadway to star in summer shows! Thank you, Jeff Zinn & Company!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Dozen Reasons to Vacation in Wellfleet

I cannot remember a year when my yearning for summer has been so strong. Too many wind-swept days, with ice cracking underfoot, have taken a toll on this winter-worn innkeeper, but then also on most New Englanders, so it’s reasonable to think bookings will take off once the warmth spring promises finally gets here, wouldn’t you think? Online presence at bed and breakfast association sites usually brings a steady flow of interested folks to our Web site. Not in 2009. Thanks to the recession, the number of visits is way down, with people checking Specials in priority. That being said, Chez Sven is doing relatively well, all things considered. We are almost fully booked July 16 - August 18, but May is empty and the calendar for June has no Green Room bookings at all. Strangely enough, we get the most hits thanks to a European site, with a majority of the initiators being in Britain. The British at least dream of going on holiday, even if the pound makes the United States out of the question this year. In America, people do not even seem to be dreaming. So, today, let’s conjure up some fond memories of summers past and reflect on why Wellfleet remains the very best destination on Cape Cod:

1.) Our town offers a multitude of beach/swimming options: bay, ocean, ponds, ideal for small children.
2.) Beauty is everywhere with rolling landscape, the air smelling of pine, blueberries, and salt from the sea.
3.) Our former fishing village retains its small-town atmosphere.
4.) We have amazing restaurants like Wicked Oyster and Mac’s Shack, soon to be joined by Pearl and a French Bistro.
5.) There are varied options for relaxation, including Quiet Mind Studio, which offers both Yoga and massage.
6.) We have a great public library where even tourists can borrow books.
7.) A large part of Wellfleet is in the Cape Cod National Seashore Park, which means miles of deserted sandy beaches, dunes, and forest to explore.
8.) Evening entertainment can be found at the Drive-in, WHAT, or the Beachcomber.
9.) Wellfleet’s flea market is the very best on Cape Cod.
10.) The Wellfleet Oyster is available at restaurants and our two fine fish shops, Mac’s Seafood and Hatch’s. (One winter guest this year went home with 100 oysters.)
11.) Wellfleet offers the opportunity to kayak, surf, or fish.
12.) The friendly people of Wellfleet, an eclectic mix of intellectual retirees, poets, artists, writers, as well as shellfishermen and service trade folks of all ages, are sure to make you feel glad you came.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Adams Pharmacy in Provincetown Goes Drug-less

Imagine Main Street with a real bakery, a news store, a pharmacy. Ten years ago Wellfleet did have a news store and a pharmacy in the buildings above. Today’s Cape Cod Times brings word that the owner of the last drugstore on the Outer Cape has seen fit to stop carrying drugs, switching its prescriptions to the Stop & Shop on Shank Painter Road. This is very sad news. When we still had a pharmacy in Wellfleet, service was prompt and shopping there was convenient. If a child got sick in summer, parents did not have to fight traffic to obtain necessary medication. Ever since the Main Street space became part of Wellfleet Marketplace, Wellfleetians have been obliged to travel for drugs, increasing the number of cars on Route 6 and adding pollution to the air, not to mention the time wasted for sick tourists and town's folk alike. When the Wellfleet Pharmacy closed its doors, everyone involved claimed service in Orleans would be just as good. That turned out to be quite an exaggeration. I quickly gave up on the Stop & Shop drugstore and switched to CVS, which has not proved much better. As I stand in line at the drug counter, my thoughts often drift to better days, when I could walk into town to pick up a prescription. What about all the elderly folks in Provincetown who walked to the center of town for their drugs? How are they supposed to manage buying online? Must they now trek over to Shank Painter Road? The only glimmer of hope I see in news of the Adams Pharmacy’s demise is the fact that the lack of a real pharmacy on the Outer Cape may perhaps spur Wellfleet to include one in its plan for a Care Campus ...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Summary of Monday's EDC Meeting

Last Monday I attended another meeting of the Citizens’ Economic Development Commission. Our first guest was Laurie Fitzpatrick, Manager of Operations and Programs for the Gestalt International Study Center in South Wellfleet. Laurie explained the dual mission of the Center: leadership training for executives and the training of practitioners such as life coaches, consultants, therapists, and psychotherapists. Most programs now take place in the shoulder-season, Ms. Fitzpatrick said. The Center also targets the Cape community with a new program for non-profits. Our second guest was Larry Peters, representing the Historical Society. (Here is its float in the 2008 July 4th parade.) We discussed the possibility of the ever-popular house tour being organized a second time each year, in spring perhaps, and other cultural tourism options such as a historical weekend at Thanksgiving with activities of interest to returning non-residents. Chair Paul Pilcher characterized Wellfleet as a “historical jewel,” words I found particularly pertinent to our unique little fishing village. Finally, Commission member Rhoda Flaxman described her investigation of the academic possibilities Wellfleet might be able to host. She concluded there's much competition and competitors run programs that are already well established. For the rest of the meeting, members brainstormed ideas. Everyone is to start thinking about suggestions, which Paul will turn into priorities for submission to the Selectmen in June.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ducks (and Other Waterfowl) at Great Pond

This afternoon Sven convinced me to walk through the woods. Everywhere I looked, both at Great Pond and at Turtle Pond, waterfowl rose from the surface of the water with a great flapping of wings. What was different was my curiosity about what I was seeing. The ducks and various other flapping creatures had assumed new meaning earlier in the week after watching a nature film from Fish Productions, or rather half of the film. I still could not identify them, but now knew they all had different names. (We could only watch half because the phone kept ringing and the interruptions delayed our schedule. Since Obama was speaking that night, Tuesday, we switched off the DVD.) The film, third in a series of nature films about the Cape, is narrated by naturalist Peter Trull. Wild Cape Cod can be seen on Channel 17, Tuesdays at 7 pm, and we highly recommend it. (We are happy to share these fine films with guests. Just ask at check-in.) We are grateful to Fish Productions for having made Wild Cape Cod available to us here at Chez Sven. I will never look at a duck the same way again.

(Summary of the EDC is for tomorrow ....)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Whole Lot of Building Going On ...

Out on Route 6, folks returning to Wellfleet can contemplate our splendid new Catholic Church and, further along, the amazing eco-friendly fire station. Downtown, renovation of the old Catholic Church, now Preservation Hall, is proceeding apace, with most of the activity happening in back, away from Main Street. (The cupola was even removed and sits waiting in the grass.) Main Street will look different because of work on the former gallery across from Prudential Cape Shores, above. The second story now sports five large plate glass windows. The renovation of Pearl, formerly Captain Higgins, is also on schedule. I heard through the grapevine that the owners of the bistro, in South Wellfleet, had hoped their restaurant would be operational by summer, but that seems highly unlikely now. They may attempt to get the bakery going instead. Two blogs today but none tomorrow. I will summarize Monday's EDC meeting as soon as I can, promise! And here is the new Web listing I mentioned Monday ...

Wellfleet Town Hall Publishers E-Newsletter

I’ll report tomorrow on Monday’s Economic Development Commission, but for now, would like to share one bit of information that I gleaned at the meeting: the town of Wellfleet now has its own e-Newsletter. Check out The Wellfleetian here. Pictured at the top of the document, Wellfleet's Uncle Tim's Bridge, renovated under the supervision of Assistant Town Manager Rex Peterson, above, who also sits in on EDC meetings.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Choosing a Photo of the Ocean

Today I decided to join another B&B website, since reservations for spring and fall are slow this year due to the recession. Everyone says more exposure is the way to go. I wanted to post a photo of the ocean with the write-up, and, in searching my photo file, realized how difficult the task of choosing would be. The ocean changes every day, with every tide, and looks different in spring, summer, fall and winter. Some people might be attracted to the ocean for swimming. Others like to come to the beach and sunbathe. Some folks bring surfboards or kites. Children make sandcastles. I finally decided that what makes the Atlantic beaches here in Wellfleet so extraordinary is the fact that they are deserted most of the time. It's even possible to walk way up the beach in summer and be completely alone. Sven and I love to explore deserted beaches, so I finally chose a photo that shows the beach, not the ocean. Here are two photos that I did not choose.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Pond Experience in the Off-Season

It was too windy at the ocean for a walk today so Sven and I went exploring down a path behind Great Pond. We have been to the abandoned (modern, belonging to the Seashore) house before and on to “Idle Hours” cottage, but not this early in spring. How frustrating to be unable to capture the beauty of Northeast Pond, still as a child huddled behind its mother. Unfortunately, branches blocked the view. A crisp breeze arose, and I could feel my cheeks turn rosy. Usually we approach Great Pond from the opposite bank. The sun was warm, the sand white as sun-bleached oyster shells, the water, so incredibly clear. We were both struck by the silence. There was no human being in sight. In summer, you would hear the occasional splash of an oar, or the gleeful cry of a child in the water, or the engine of a car high above on Cahoon Hollow Road. On this spring day, we were completely alone with nature, an experience we recommend.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Speaking of Green ....

If you look closely at the above photo of our Green Room bathroom, you will notice the bottle of liquid soap from Trillium Organics. Trillium's great products were praised today by Kara DiCamillo, who writes for treehugger.com. While on the subject of green products, I am sorry to announce that Plenty Magazine has ended production. Verdant, another environmental magazine which I tried to provide for guests, folded before the first issue. And, several weeks ago I reported that The Green Guide would no longer be produced by National Geographic. A real estate agent friend told me that the green start-up company, which cleaned houses on the Outer Cape last summer, has had very mixed reviews from homeowners. How very sad!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Checking Out Wellfleet on Google

It's interesting to see what pops up when you Google WELLFLEET. The top entry is Wellfleet Chamber of Commerce, which makes sense. It provides lots of great information to folks who might be considering a visit. Second is the official town site, with numerous valuable links. Third is the Wikipedia entry, which deserves a read but needs updating, in my opinion. Fourth is Oysterfest. Wellfleet.com comes in fifth. The Drive-in Theater is next with info on local cinemas and the flea market. Seventh is the MyWellfleet.com Web cam, which updates its harbor view every 30 minutes. In eighth place we find Wellfleet.net, a site that seems to have been created by the owner of a rental property on Gull Pond. Cyberrentals comes in ninth, and its placement emphasizes how many folks offer weekly rentals in our little town, with lots of people checking out the popular site at this time of year. Last, but not least, is the Beachcomber restaurant, which also offers a Web cam view, of the Atlantic Ocean this time. One of the recommendations which the Citizens’ Economic Development Committee will probably make to the Selectmen is the creation of a comprehensive site with links to various activities and a calendar, like the one offered by Provincetown. The in-town office may be located at Preservation Hall. (WPH is still raising money and welcomes your contributions. Renovation started last month.) Once that site is up, I bet it will quickly rise to the top of the Google list.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Trip to Hyannis Yields Nice Surprise

Usually I expound here upon the advantages of living in Wellfleet, and there are many, including the possibility of going down to the sea on a moment's notice. The main disadvantage, in my opinion, is the obligation to travel to Hyannis for doctor's appointments with specialists. We try to schedule trips in late winter and early spring, before Route 6 fills with traffic. While in Hyannis, we always go to one of our favorite shops. I never cease to be amazed by the money one can save shopping there for quality organic products. When we returned to our car today, there was a nice surprise on the windshield. Someone had written us a friendly note. I picked it off and read to my husband, "Hello, Chez Sven! It's Susan from Trout Towers. It must be blogger day @ Trader Joe's!" Susan had noticed our Chez Sven bumper sticker which says I LOVE WELLFLEET! (available, by the way, free upon request). The sales folk at Trader Joe's were all decked out in green for St. Patrick's Day. It seems amazing that spring begins Friday. Time to put away the mittens and down vests until next year. On the way home, I could tell tourists will soon be out in force because of the signs along the highway. One sign indicated that the lobster restaurant at the Brackett Road intersection in Eastham, just before Ben & Jerry's, has acquired a new name, Woody's, and will house yet another branch of Mac's Seafood.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A March Day in the Life

After my morning coffee, I checked emails and responded to a request for accommodation. We also had confirmation of a cottage booking for one week in July. Since then, I have been working on my writing projects, as I do every morning in off-peak months and will continue to do all day. If the weather turns sunny this afternoon, I will do spring clean-up in the yard. I planned to order new bedspreads today but decided to wait until mid-April since we are still using down comforters. Sven has been busy completing the brick walk between the cottage and the main house, which will help prevent muddy tracks in the cottage kitchen when it rains. At noon, we splurged on sandwiches from Box Lunch. The size has changed, like Campbell’s soup cans. Same price, less sandwich. How unfortunate! Here at Chez Sven, we lowered our rates for May and June for Main House rooms, except Memorial Day weekend, to help people out, but strangely enough the rush is on for July and August, when rates are higher …

Saturday, March 14, 2009

In Search of Artists for the Chamber Coloring Book

Sven and I went into town today. Despite the pleasant weather, Wellfleet was woefully quiet. As the goals of the Citizens' Economic Development Commission danced through my head, I realized how far Wellfleet must go to extend its season year-round. Quite an undertaking! I must admit to an ulterior motive for today's walk. Sarah Robin, of the Flying Fish, hopes to put together a coloring book to benefit the Wellfleet Chamber, but the drawings are not exactly steaming in. So, I volunteered to try and drum up interest. We passed a few locals sitting in the sun outside the liquor store. There was a real person in the first Main Street gallery we entered, but he was on the phone and would not interrupt the conversation except for a customer, which I obviously was not. The shop gets points for being open at all, but I crossed him off my list, and left, unwilling to sit around and wait. Hmmm. Not a very auspicious beginning. We proceeded on down Bank Street, past the Blue Heron Gallery, closed. There was a truck outside The Juice, but it turned out to belong to an electrician. The next few galleries were all closed, too. I spotted Audrey Parent outside the Left Bank Gallery. We chatted about mention of her gallery in the New York Times two weeks ago, which had already increased winter foot traffic. Audrey said she would relay the request for drawings to her artists. Sven and I then peeked inside what used to be a furniture shop, now Celeste's Gallery, but the artist was nowhere in sight. On we went past Mac's Shack, to Quiet Mind Studio. The old red Mooney building was totally deserted although I did see Sam Bradford drive up in a truck. By then, I realized the friendly handshake method was not going to suffice. I found lots of great images for a coloring book, but no artists to draw them. If I wanted designs, email and phone would be the only way to go. Sven and I continued up Railroad Avenue where we saw a folk-art mailbox. We enjoyed our walk but returned empty-handed ....

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wellfleet Library Organizes Afterschool Homework Club

Upon entering the Wellfleet Public Library yesterday, my attention was drawn to the children’s room, which pulsated with an unusual energy and no wonder! It was 3:25 and the Homework Club was in full swing. A group of two dozen third to fifth graders chatted with friends, sought out books, or actually did homework under the watchful eye of Martha Gordon, children’s librarian, who described herself as “somewhat harried” that afternoon. A bus drops the kids off at 2:15. Most stay until four, but some remain longer, leaving around five. The mood was joyous. I noticed at least one young lady deep in a book, oblivious to the commotion around her. On Fridays, Ms. Gordon organizes creative activities for the group. When I stopped in today, the kids were dividing up roles in a play and reading aloud the dialogue. The Homework Club is yet another way our marvelous library shines in fulfilling its goal of service to the community.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The View at Cahoon Hollow in Winter

What a lark to be able to drive up to the ocean in less than five minutes! The view from Cahoon Hollow is always stupendous. Its dune must be the most spectacular on Cape Cod. Standing in the empty parking lot always makes me think of the Cahoon Hollow fans who spend their week of vacation on the beach, addicts really. They dress in Cahoon Hollow gear, too. Caps and T-shirts. To them, the view from this spot is priceless, like in the Mastercard ad, inspiring dreams of summer all winter long. On the way back down Long Pond Road, I catch a glimpse of the brilliant sunshine reflecting off the waves. It shimmers and sparkles like diamonds. At such times, we feel very fortunate to live in beautiful Wellfleet!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Economic Downturn & Affordable Housing

Above, two bayside houses, to the right a traditional Cape Cod cottage, and to the left, a house that was bought at high price and totally renovated, creating a larger, more expensive structure. I have had blog readers email questions about how the economic downturn is being felt in Wellfleet, so thought today I would try to respond. The two major industries are shellfishing and hospitality. Fewer people are buying oysters, so the shellfishermen must feel the crunch. As for tourism, bookings are definitely down. Here at Chez Sven, we feel fortunate that three weeks in the middle of summer are fully booked, but June and July have more openings than last year at this time. Although the Cape unemployment rate of over 10% is higher than the national average, foreclosures are not happening as frequently as on the mainland. The Wellfleet population, 3000 in off-peak months, tends to be a mix of retirees, service trades folk, shellfishermen, and the occasional artist. The national goal for affordable housing is 10% of all available housing stock. Wellfleet is far from reaching that goal at 3%, with little wiggle-room for improvement, despite the best intentions of our Housing Authority.

At Monday’s Citizens Economic Development Commission meeting, Elaine McIlroy and Elaine LaChapelle addressed the issue of a lack of housing in general and work-force housing in particular. They explained current projects, like the energy-efficient Gull Pond Condos, with construction to start shortly. A two-bedroom Gull Pond Condo unit will cost $179,000. Some buyers seem put off by deed restrictions, which guarantee the home cannot be re-sold at market value and will remain affordable. The Housing Authority is also working to create rentals. If the average selling price of a one-family home in Massachusetts is $346,000, a prospective buyer needs $143,000 annual income to qualify. The distressing fact is most young people cannot afford to live here. As the meeting progressed, it became obvious that Wellfleet must seek out more inventive ways to create affordable housing while maintaining the character of the town. The Housing Authority has begun to investigate funding sources, including grants and private investors. Finally, we discussed Aging in Place, described by Mindy Todd on NPR that morning, an initiative that has proved quite successful on Martha’s Vineyard. Everyone present agreed that a similar program might work well here in Wellfleet.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Taste of Spring

So many people have been visiting the blog that I feel a need to scribble a few words, if one can use that great verb for tapping quickly on a keyboard. The weather in Wellfleet is mild today, which means I am out in the garden, madly at work with a trowel. Sven is hammering bricks for the new walk between the main house and the cottage. It has been such a long winter that we are eager for this taste of spring and cannot remain inside once the sun comes out. This morning I spotted our first crocus of the season. Let me share it with you!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Promise of Spring ..

How good the sunshine felt on my back as I did a preliminary weeding of the garden at noon today! I know rain and perhaps more snow are on the way tomorrow, but this two-day break from Old Man Winter was especially welcome. Soon the little blue flowers will be out under the maple. I thought to spray my legs prior to gardening, lest any ticks be about, hungry and attracted by my human scent. It may be too early but better safe than sorry. The first jonquils poked their way out of the soil and with them came the promise of rebirth.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

How the Economic Crisis Affects Us: March

The economic crisis touches us all. When I drove by Finely JPs this afternoon, I saw a new sign extending the Thursday night special to the weekend. In Orleans, the pharmacist told me how heartbreaking it is to have customers only able to purchase the meds they can afford. In the mail, I received a letter from Alaffia, a great sustainable skin care company in Washington which markets shea butter products from Togo. The founder wrote, "My hope is that, even through the economy is tough and creating anxiety among all of us, we do not forget that we are all in this together. Alaffia will do what is necessary to give customers what they need while continuing our cooperative and community efforts in Togo. It is my hope that we will work together creatively to survive these difficult times." Here at Chez Sven we feel the crisis in our reservations for summer - two long-standing guests canceled their week of vacation in the cottage - but also in the day-to-day running of the bed & breakfast. Everyone is requesting one night. We have a policy not to do one night. What people do not realize is that the preparation of a room in a private house during the off-season involves a lot of work. Add the cost of breakfast, soap, amenities, washing of linens, heat when the booking is for the cottage, and quickly you start scratching your head. One night simply does not make sense business-wise. We also feel guests need more than one night to experience Cape Cod. This evening I received the fifth request this week for one night in March. It can be cold or warm in March, but, since we live in Wellfleet, always beautiful. I suggest that people who want to stay one night would do better at a motel. The B&B experience is richer when guests stay at least two nights, or even three. If I were to book the cottage for the last Saturday in March now, then I would have to refuse the people who might call March 24, 25, or 26, after the weatherman has predicted excellent spring weather. I feel awful turning people away. As the founder of Alaffia remarked, we are all in this together. That is why I am willing to offer discounts on two-night stays for the cottage in March to people who request them ...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Winter on Cape Cod Makes the New York Times

It has been a frigid winter here in Wellfleet where inhabitants can easily get cabin fever when our dirt roads remain unplowed for more than a day or two. Yesterday Sven and I set out through the woods for our daily hike. How lucky we are to live in this beautiful little town, practically deserted eight months of the year! The neighbor's horses came over to the fence to greet us, surprised to see humans out and about. As we crunched along the icy path, I could not help but remember the words of Robert Frost: “Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though. He will not see me stopping here to watch his woods fill up with snow.” The woods we were walking belong to everyone, since they are a part of the National Seashore, thanks to President Kennedy. “Lovely, dark, and deep.” And, empty, the perfect place for a retreat or getaway from life in the big city. Cape Cod is indeed very special in winter, as reported in today’s New York Times Travel section by Laura M. Holson whose article, entitled Sounds of Silence on Cape Cod I recommend.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Getting the Thrift-Shop Attitude

With the economic downturn, thrift shops have become more popular than ever. Fortunately, donations also seem to stream in, at least here on the Cape. A popular shop in Barnstable, however, has become a casualty of the recession and is closing its doors. Items are to be sold off Friday and Saturday. For more information, go here. Today I did some thrift-shopping in Orleans with a non-resident neighbor, who wanted to pick up a few things to make her house more attractive to summer tenants. First I showed her The Orleans Stock Exchange on Cove Road. Sandy, the gracious hostess, always has lots of fabulous one-of-a-kind items in her thrift-consignment shop, even stuff hanging from the rafters. We browsed but my friend did not find her heart’s desire. Then we went to the thrift shop behind Snow’s. It was fill-a-paper-bag-day. So, I filled a paper bag for $3, but she found nothing, not even a little something to add to my bag. Next on our list was the Community Exchange. The ladies who volunteer told us many of their members have not yet returned from Florida, so the choice was still limited. I found a nightgown with its original tag still on for $8. My friend almost bought a book. Then, we crossed Main Street to the Hope Chest, which had a 75% off-all-clothing sale. I got three items. You guessed it. She did not find anything. I decided she did not yet have the thrift-shop attitude. On the way home, we went to the Bird Watcher’s General Store. My friend bought a lamp for $30. “It would have probably cost $25 at that last place,” she said. I could only agree. Thrift-shopping must be an acquired taste.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Green Ocean, White Landscape, Pink Flamingos

The ocean was green today with whitecaps. For the first time in a long while Sven did not want to walk, exclaiming, “It’s unbearable!” unexpected from my hardy Swede. The frigid wind made us turn back. At the grocery store, I picked up the Provincetown Banner, which featured a great photo of pink flamingos, eager for spring, on its cover. Once home, we saw tracks of visitors in the white snow. Can anyone identify them for me?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

This Place We Love the Most

Message from Janet: “Yesterday, after reading many of your past blog entries, I set off with my husband, David, and our CCNS topo map to find Dyer Pond. It took a lot of driving, and we got there the hard way, but I think we found it at last. So peaceful! It was snowing big, wet flakes. We took a dirt road next to Great Pond, and very slowly and carefully circled the area. When we came out afterwards very close to Long Pond, we knew that it would have been easier to get there from that side. And next time we will walk! We've been living in North Eastham for ten years today. We're so grateful to live here, but wish that we had washed ashore a little further to the north, in Wellfleet. We like the idea of a green B&B, and although we aren't experts on such things, we're learning. I have an environmental studies background, and work for Eastern National's NE regional office (national parks bookstores). David hopes to retire and concentrate on videography, his big hobby. His local access show called Fish TV, features mostly nature topics. Recently he has been working with Peter Trull on the first few of a series of Wild Cape Cod shows. So far they are turning out well. One last thing: your pictures are wonderful! I've just started using a Canon Powershot. It sounds like you have a Canon Powershot as well. I'm still learning to use mine, as I'm not good at following instruction manuals; I'm not that patient. But I love using it, and have had a lot of fun sharing my pictures. One of my sunrise beach shots was on the cover of our Eastern National annual report this year, and that was fun.”

I asked Janet if it was all right to share her note with other blog readers and she said yes. I was thrilled to hear from her, especially because just the other day Sven called me in to see the end of a great nature program about Cape Cod, the one she mentions above, which is on Tuesdays, 7 pm, Channel 17 but does not yet have a Web site. (For more info, Google Wild Cape Cod.) I am never available in the morning for sunrise shots of the Atlantic, so here is the one she sent me. I love the way the light brings out the colors. I have discovered it's hard to get the horizon straight, for instance, in this photo taken from the Newcomb Hollow parking lot. The sea, of course, isn't crooked, but if the photographer is on a surface that is not straight or lines up the photo on an object that is not straight, the result is a crooked horizon. Neither Janet nor I are professionals, but we enjoy sharing the beauty of this place we love the most.