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A Cape Cod Notebook from WCAI

WCAI

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A Cape Cod Notebook from WCAI

A Cape Cod Notebook from WCAI

WCAI

1
Followers
1
Plays
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About Us

A nature writer living in Wellfleet, Robert Finch has written about Cape Cod for more than forty years. He is the author of nine books of essays. A Cape Cod Notebook airs weekly on WCAI, the NPR station for Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and the South Coast. In both 2006 and 2013, the series won the New England Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Radio Writing.

Latest Episodes

Two Epidemics

Recently I found myself thinking about Vermont, not because I’d rather be there than where I am, but because when I was nine I spent a week there in the middle of a polio epidemic.

3 MIN1 d ago
Comments
Two Epidemics

Does the Fox Know Something We Don't?

The other day Kathy and I drove over to Ryder Beach Road and parked at the old railroad bed, planning to walk along it and up onto the hill that overlooks Bound Brook Marsh. Suddenly, our dog Sam went crazy in the back seat, yelling and barking, scratching at the windows. Kathy pointed and shouted, “Look – a fox!” And there it was, walking out of Cobb Farm Road and stopping for a moment, as if looking both ways before entering the empty street.

4 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Does the Fox Know Something We Don't?

Living on a Spit of Sand

I am weeding my little four foot by four foot plot in our newly created meadow project at the Provincetown Community Garden. I am on my hands and knees playing God, tearing up foxtail grass, spurge, and other weeds, trying to get my plot to say bee balm and aster, goldenrod and butterfly weed, rather than invasives.

4 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Living on a Spit of Sand

The Ocean is More Important Than Ever

I think about it for a moment. And then I run my hand down the worn wooden railing that leads down a half-dozen rickety steps to the beach. Down at the far end of the narrow path, a family waits until I pass, busying themselves with a honeysuckle vine that has tangled into the mother’s hair.

3 MIN3 w ago
Comments
The Ocean is More Important Than Ever

You Can't Always Choose What Interests You

Our mimosa tree has gained true stature this year. Some twelve years ago I hastily planted it in our back yard as a two-foot sprout, not really expecting it to live. Now its emerald canopy is over fifteen feet in height and almost triple that in breadth. From our deck it looks like a small green sea.

3 MINJUL 14
Comments
You Can't Always Choose What Interests You

Walt Whitman and the Hermit Thrush

Our summer neighbors have not been able to get to the Cape this year, so the other day I walked over to check on their house. There, on the lower deck, I found the body of a small bird, perhaps six inches long. Somehow, even before I picked it up, I knew it was that of a hermit thrush, the possessor of one of the most ethereal, and most moving, of all sounds in nature.

4 MINJUL 7
Comments
Walt Whitman and the Hermit Thrush

Beauty in the Dunes

Like many of you, I go out every day into the natural world in the good company of a dog. Yesterday-a brilliant day- the oft-written-about Dory and I followed a long narrow trail through the woods that ended abruptly at a steep slope of sand. We floundered up and over and entered the majesty of the Provinceland dunes, spread before us, with the ocean beyond.

3 MINJUN 30
Comments
Beauty in the Dunes

Missing the Connections a Dog Can Bring

Like everyone else, I’ve spent a lot of time crossing things off my pre-pandemic calendar: a visit to see the California grandkids; rehearsal for my handbell choir; dinner with a pal at our favorite restaurant.

3 MINJUN 23
Comments
Missing the Connections a Dog Can Bring

The Ghosts of Summers Past

This spring has been a time without transition. Normally on Nantucket, we are given a few holiday weekends (the Daffodil Festival in April, Memorial Day in May) to acclimatize ourselves to the influx of people who descend come summertime. That is often the hardest part of living in a place so seasonal, to remember the new rhythms that summer brings and adjust yourself accordingly. But there were no sneak previews of summer this year.

3 MINJUN 16
Comments
The Ghosts of Summers Past

A Baseball Game, and an Osprey

The Cape Cod Baseball League is one of the great joys of summer on the Cape, and the gem of the league is Eldredge Park in Orleans. Given to the town a hundred and five years ago by Lewis (“Win”) Eldredge, the park has been refreshed and improved many times over the decades, and this being the season’s home opener, it was in mint condition.

4 MINJUN 9
Comments
A Baseball Game, and an Osprey

Latest Episodes

Two Epidemics

Recently I found myself thinking about Vermont, not because I’d rather be there than where I am, but because when I was nine I spent a week there in the middle of a polio epidemic.

3 MIN1 d ago
Comments
Two Epidemics

Does the Fox Know Something We Don't?

The other day Kathy and I drove over to Ryder Beach Road and parked at the old railroad bed, planning to walk along it and up onto the hill that overlooks Bound Brook Marsh. Suddenly, our dog Sam went crazy in the back seat, yelling and barking, scratching at the windows. Kathy pointed and shouted, “Look – a fox!” And there it was, walking out of Cobb Farm Road and stopping for a moment, as if looking both ways before entering the empty street.

4 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Does the Fox Know Something We Don't?

Living on a Spit of Sand

I am weeding my little four foot by four foot plot in our newly created meadow project at the Provincetown Community Garden. I am on my hands and knees playing God, tearing up foxtail grass, spurge, and other weeds, trying to get my plot to say bee balm and aster, goldenrod and butterfly weed, rather than invasives.

4 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Living on a Spit of Sand

The Ocean is More Important Than Ever

I think about it for a moment. And then I run my hand down the worn wooden railing that leads down a half-dozen rickety steps to the beach. Down at the far end of the narrow path, a family waits until I pass, busying themselves with a honeysuckle vine that has tangled into the mother’s hair.

3 MIN3 w ago
Comments
The Ocean is More Important Than Ever

You Can't Always Choose What Interests You

Our mimosa tree has gained true stature this year. Some twelve years ago I hastily planted it in our back yard as a two-foot sprout, not really expecting it to live. Now its emerald canopy is over fifteen feet in height and almost triple that in breadth. From our deck it looks like a small green sea.

3 MINJUL 14
Comments
You Can't Always Choose What Interests You

Walt Whitman and the Hermit Thrush

Our summer neighbors have not been able to get to the Cape this year, so the other day I walked over to check on their house. There, on the lower deck, I found the body of a small bird, perhaps six inches long. Somehow, even before I picked it up, I knew it was that of a hermit thrush, the possessor of one of the most ethereal, and most moving, of all sounds in nature.

4 MINJUL 7
Comments
Walt Whitman and the Hermit Thrush

Beauty in the Dunes

Like many of you, I go out every day into the natural world in the good company of a dog. Yesterday-a brilliant day- the oft-written-about Dory and I followed a long narrow trail through the woods that ended abruptly at a steep slope of sand. We floundered up and over and entered the majesty of the Provinceland dunes, spread before us, with the ocean beyond.

3 MINJUN 30
Comments
Beauty in the Dunes

Missing the Connections a Dog Can Bring

Like everyone else, I’ve spent a lot of time crossing things off my pre-pandemic calendar: a visit to see the California grandkids; rehearsal for my handbell choir; dinner with a pal at our favorite restaurant.

3 MINJUN 23
Comments
Missing the Connections a Dog Can Bring

The Ghosts of Summers Past

This spring has been a time without transition. Normally on Nantucket, we are given a few holiday weekends (the Daffodil Festival in April, Memorial Day in May) to acclimatize ourselves to the influx of people who descend come summertime. That is often the hardest part of living in a place so seasonal, to remember the new rhythms that summer brings and adjust yourself accordingly. But there were no sneak previews of summer this year.

3 MINJUN 16
Comments
The Ghosts of Summers Past

A Baseball Game, and an Osprey

The Cape Cod Baseball League is one of the great joys of summer on the Cape, and the gem of the league is Eldredge Park in Orleans. Given to the town a hundred and five years ago by Lewis (“Win”) Eldredge, the park has been refreshed and improved many times over the decades, and this being the season’s home opener, it was in mint condition.

4 MINJUN 9
Comments
A Baseball Game, and an Osprey
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