The year I turned twelve my parents bought a summer house in Eastham, Massachusetts--a tiny Cape Cod town about a quarter of the ways down from the tip of the peninsula shaped like a flexing arm. The house is on a quiet, dead-end street which has only been developed on one side of the road---the other side is a thick mass of trees and undergrowth, with a small pond tucked back within the bramble. For two months every year we ran around barefoot in the woods, rode the foamy waves onto shore and inevitably slept with a fair amount of sand between the sheets. I think the last full summer I spent there was my senior year in college. By that time we were splitting our time between the beach, the bars, and the various restaurants where we served up lobsters and fish & chips to the ever-growing tourists. Since then, I've made it back to "The Cape" (as New Englanders refer to it), for at least a week every summer.
This year I was struck by the beauty and biodiversity thriving there like never before. Maybe its because I've lived in Austin now for nearly ten years and endured ten years of the relentless, summer heat--the kind that fries the grass brown and seems to have a personal vendetta against anything green or alive under its glare. This time of year I start craving green like its a vitamin deficiency---I feel cranky and unsatisfied. But its not just the green... Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this city. But what I realized going back East this trip was how much I love the outdoors---open space, uninterrupted trees, fields. And maybe its a touch of nostalgia too---I didn't grow up with cactus and live oaks. I grew up with oaks and maples and milkweed and forsythia. I think it just gets in your bones, and when you find yourself surrounded by it after such a long time away, it just feels right.
Fort Hill, Eastham.
"Beach Peas" No doubt cousin to the Sweet Peas I use often. These were rambunctious, luscious, bloom-filled vines rambling all across the meadow.
You are what you eat? Pretty monarch caterpillars munch on pretty milkweed and turn into pretty butterflies. makes sense, no?
My 8 year old niece, Grace & her brother Lucas, age 5 enjoying the view.
Eastham is where the stretch of National Seashore begins. Most of the shots below were taken near Marconi Beach in Wellfleet.
My daughter, Aiwyn & her cousin Grace strike a pose by the mighty sand dunes. On the right, a lookout from the site of the old telegraph station.
Another shot of the Atlantic from the lookout, and on the right--exploring the Bayside at low tide.
Homes on the Bay.
The pond tucked in the woods across from my folk's house. See all those white dots? water lilies! Hundreds of them!
See you next summer!!! Lucas, Grace & Aiwyn on our last day--not pictured is the littlest Fiore cousin named Eliza, age 2--who was too stubborn to pose for a picture :)