Friday, January 24, 2014

#596: Snowy Sconset

 Sconset sleeps in the winter.

Oh, there are folk here,
well-equipped for winter storms.
But they lay low, coming out
only to walk their dogs.

The Cliff walk is abandoned.

No movement on the beach.

Nor down in Codfish Park.

Drifting snow between cottages.

And up to the doors.

The water pump surrounded by whiteness.
Everything is still and silent.

Not even a flag to flap in the wind.

The flagpole has been removed for repair.
A tiny hand-held flag holds its place.

No swimming here.

Nor fishing.
Actually, this guy is out scalloping,
earning every penny of the $14 a pound 
he gets paid.

The glow of a street lamp
warms the heart.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

#595: Nantucket Blizzard

We're in the midst of a nor'easter.
It began yesterday at 4:15.

And howled through the night.
Our hens were safe in their house.
There's a half-foot of snow and it's still coming down,
only blowing around so much it's more like deep drifts
and bare patches.

Morning chores include pouring the teakettle out
onto their frozen water.

For which they reward us with three eggs.

The beehive needed its doorway cleared,
the cement hedgehog on top keeps 
the styrofoam on, and the insulation
gives them an area of the hive to cluster.
We don't wrap the whole hive because
that would hold too much moisture.
The bottom is left unwrapped in the hope
the hive beetles will die from the cold.

The dozen or so dead bees underneath
are actually a good sign,
the bees are keeping their hive clean.

That's it for my outside chores.
I came back in to breakfast by my daughter.
The 400 degree oven required for a puff pancake
heats our house,
and the pancake heats our bodies.

Appreciating the blizzard
from inside.

Monday, January 13, 2014

#594: Birthday Blog for my Big Brother

My brother Tom is 15 months older than me
and way funnier.
This is him,
visiting Nantucket in the winter:
Big Russian Beachnik
(you have to say this in a Russian accent)

Alfred Hitchcock
Not scary. Not at all.

Visiting the lighthouse where my sister used to live,
her house is long gone,

But maybe the lighthouse is open...

Either Bigfoot or a Yiddish Berserker

Birthday dinner.
The lobster bites back.

I don't remember what he was saying here,
but it was funny.

Blue eggs to match his eyes.

And a stuffed blue swordfish at the Take-it-or-Leave-it.
He and Tristan share bragging rights.

Biiiiiig pile of scallops, minus the muscle.
His smile is tentative, due to the smell.

A balancing act at Altar Rock.
Toss a penny at Brant Point, Tom.
We want you back.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

#593: Madaket Snowy Owl Quest

Yes, we're still on a quest
to spot a snowy owl.
This time we went to Madaket:
where we spotted a black-backed gull
serenely cruising over a tempestuous sea.

Windsurfers in Madaket Harbor,
not birds, but flying nonetheless.

A herring gull,
flying off with a scallop,
not intending to share.

Seeking, Jackson Point

An osprey nest,
waiting for spring, and nestlings.

Searching along the mosquito ditch,
nothing but wet feet so
we headed over to Walter Barrett pier.

Where we were greeted by these lady mallards.

But what's that?
Could it be, a snowy owl on that distant tree?

Yes! He was staring right at us. Oh, if only I had a zoom lens.
Go here for snowy owl close-ups by Dr. Greg Hinson.
He has a decent camera, and a prodigious talent.

A quick stop at second bridge to celebrate
our successful quest.

Monday, January 6, 2014

#592: Coskata Ramble

David and I took a Sunday afternoon walk,
in search of snowy owls (which we didn't find).
Here's our route.
Heading out from Wauwinet,
the music begins softly.

The heavens, telling the glory of God.

In ever-changing symphony.

And the waters echoed back His praise.

A cedar solo.

Woodwinds sang out brightly,
unperturbed by yesterday's storm.

Lichen and heather, 
sweet harmonies under a timpani sun.

Coskata Woods strings,
alive with songbirds.

Oceanside crescendo.

Piccolo seaweed.
God's hand in the details.

All creation sings His praise.
It was a gloriously beautiful walk.
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