Saturday, March 31, 2012
Even in the off season, one would expect more visitors to Sandy Neck Beach in the Town of Barnstable on Cape Cod. But if you combine the low 40's Fahrenheit air temperature with a 15-25 knot north wind off the water, most people just sat in their cars and enjoyed the view from behind the windshield.
This 4700 acre park has beach, dune, maritime forest, and marsh areas to enjoy.
This satellite photo gives some sense of location. The green arrow points to Sandy Neck, Plymouth Harbor is visible at upper left, Provincetown at upper right, and Martha's Vineyard at lower left.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Located only 50 miles from Boston, Plymouth still manages to retain a rural character outside the commercial districts. Many unpaved but graded roads criss-cross the county. Rolling hills, sandy soil, pine needles, cranberry bogs, and various critters are common characteristics of rural Plymouth.
A friendly frog sunning on a gravel lane.
Mixed pine/deciduous forest.
A rural cemetary in Ellisville.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
I saw this fallen pine tree from the road and stopped to check it out. Imagine the localized force required to snap it - and it's a big healthy tree. I don't see any obvious burn marks from a lightning strike so maybe the cause was wind? - I am pretty amazed thinking about that much force. Glad I wasn't standing there when it happened.
The freshly revealed inner wood is now exposed to any number of woodland critters....
....including these two bugs upside-down practicing their stationary piggy-back routine - or some other springtime pursuit........... maybe the drops of pine sap have something to do with it - instant atmosphere for bugs.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
As "America's Home Town," Plymouth offers many historical attractions. One such attraction is this beautifully maintained 18th century mansion currently owned by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD).
GSMD is a hereditary organization comprised of individuals who have documented their descent from one or more of the 102 passengers who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. Tours of the mansion are available May-October.
GSMD says there are now tens of millions of documented descendants from the original 102 people!
This artwork is actually a bike rack in front of the Plymouth Center for the Arts. The Center supports visual and performing arts and provides and maintain facilities for exhibitions, classes, workshops, and performances.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
This power generating wind turbine is located in the town of Kingston on a landfill site. It is still under construction.
Other windmill family members nearby........
It's unfortunate that we can't seem to find a way to generate energy without imposing some serious cost on the planet's systems, in this case lots of birds worldwide are killed by turbine blades. I'm not attacking wind power - oil, coal, gas, solar, nuclear, hydro, biomass, wind - all types exact some toll that we choose to pay and, we also choose to pass the impact on to the next generation - hmmmmmm - we can't stop progress or turn back the clock. I for one, am addicted to electricity - there I've said it. And further, I'm not giving it up until you pry it from my cold, dead fingers. Therein lies society's dilemma about power plants - we have to have them to make electricity and, with increasing world population, the demand will continue to grow.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Random shots from my walks. I guess I've turned into one of those odd old men in hats you see in towns across the world wandering about. As far as I'm concerned, it's quite pleasant and I'm lucky to be able to do it. At least I don't talk to myself out loud, gesticulate wildly, drool, or fart indiscriminately - yet.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
"The Peeps are coming, the Peeps are coming, sound the alarm!" I just encountered an aggressive contingent of them sneaking ashore right here in Manomet, marshmallowing their forces for the upcoming annual kid's spring sugar feast. Be on the lookout wherever you are for these squishy little yellow creatures.
Meanwhile, Milo the cat is prancing lightly on the dock as the morning fog dissipates. Did he make the fog dissipate by prancing or, did the dissipating fog make him prance? Or, did he use his cat's sixth sense to know that the Peeps were nearby and soon planning an attack? Inquiring minds want to know........
No Peeps sighted here - yet. But the Spring days are getting longer and warmer and the crocuses keep blooming. I've heard that Peeps like to nibble on crocuses but have yet to catch them in the act. Be ready, be wary, be focused - look out for the Peeps. They are probably already in your neighborhood, too.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Same view in summer. Nature sure makes great use of the color palette.
Friday, March 23, 2012
The Town of Plymouth participates in the state's Community Preservation Act and through that participation over the past decade has acquired almost 850 acres of public land for the use of all. About 90 of those acres are at the Center Hill Preserve in southern Plymouth near Ellisville. Follow this link to see a map.
Although not without controversy surrounding the small tax to pay for it, communities that participate are securing a long term benefit for their citizens by ensuring natural spaces in perpetuity. I'm glad I live in a town that values public nature preserves as an important quality of life.
Fresh water Center Hill Pond in the foreground with Cape Cod Bay in the background.
I don't know who did it or how but, this is not a trick or a fake - that top rock is barely touching the one underneath yet remained balanced. It is not attached - I removed it and placed it back just to see - it seemed so impossible to stay balanced.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
An uncommon sight - incoming waves are only a couple inches in height, languidly lapping the sand as if on a summer's day. (Is it possible to insert "languidly lapping" into normal daily conversation? - I think not unless one is wearing an ascot, smoking a meerschaum pipe, and/or in a Ponty Python skit.)
A lone gull who I presume is looking for something to eat since that is what gulls do almost all the time.
White Horse Beach is not just beach - there are still quiet, unpaved lanes nearby. Here a stand of cypress trees casts a long shadow in the afternoon sun.
And this small cottage at the end of a sandy lane awaits some fortunate owner's return.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I've driven by this windmill many times. It looked especially creepy on a foggy, windy, cold, brooding day.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Today, all over the world, night and day are nearly of equal duration. At the equinox, both in spring and fall, the earth's axis neither tilts away from nor toward the sun. I find it amazing that humans figured this out thousands of years ago without the benefit of the confriming technology that we have today.
I use other methods, less formal, to mark the arrival of spring.....
......magnolias starting to bloom....
.......and people barefoot on the beach. Not exactly science but generally about right. Too bad the ocean water temperature is still about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold water or not, I did see a young man in the water trying to impress his woman friend - ahhh, youth, so much testosterone, so little time....
Monday, March 19, 2012
Dawn reflections on the pond on a calm, late winter morning.
Midday - very few signs of spring - the willows are developing a slight green cast, magnolia buds are an inch long, crocuses are blooming - and later this week the temperatures are forecast to be in the mid/high 70's Fahrenheit - yay!
Dusk reflections on the pond on a late winter evening.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
The sun finally came out again after two days of hiding but not very many folks were at the beach to enjoy it. Mostly just people with dogs - I think that having a dog improves one's odds of taking outdoor walks.
Looks like a warm Caribbean island instead of cold, windy New England in late winter.
This rock seemed out of place - perhaps the aliens left it........
Barnacles and algae - this large rock spends a lot of time underwater below the tide.
Manomet Point in the distance to the south.
Priscilla Beach in the distance to the north.