This morning I couldn’t sleep, it was foggy. I’ve always loved fog. I grabbed my camera, a few bills for coffee and slipped out quietly so Jeff could sleep a little longer. It was a little after five. After taking a few shots in my yard, I was bored. I drove to the beach and ran into a friend walking to work. I watched as he vanished into the fog.
Then I drove to the canal to take pictures of the guys fishing.
I witnessed some lovely fishermen camaraderie. I got quite an education too. I tried to not be in the way. I think I might’ve been a couple of times. But, they were gentlemen and didn’t mention it to me. Mark, Norman and Nick seemed like pretty good guys.
This fish really didn’t want to give up the fight. He was in too rough of shape to be thrown back. I think I saw the last breathe of this 38″ (37.5″ to be exact) striper.
R.I.P. big guy
Mark (tan shirt) offered his fish to Norman and his son, Nick. Norman soon had a fish on his line and his son helped him pull it up. It was all a thrill and the fog added some drama to the whole scene…oh, how I love fog.
Later Norman caught another one and released it because it was in good shape. They were going home with two good sized fish (one caught and one gifted already). I appreciated seeing the care taken to get the hook out as cleanly as possible. Norman threw it back into the Cape Cod Canal to live another day.
Swim on little fella, there’s mackerel to dine on.
Mark, Norman and Nick were good guys. I bought them coffee to thank them for letting me take photos…it seemed like the least I could do. Mark and I take our coffee the same, “black with cream”. I found this funny…black with cream. I’ll never order it any other way again.
By getting out of my comfort zone, I was given access to a world I had little knowledge of.
I usually sit on my porch in the morning or walk the same loop.
This morning the siren song of fog lured me to explore and I was handsomely rewarded.
Thanks fellas for one of my favorite mornings in Town Neck.
I discovered this image of my husband Jeff’s legs this morning. The photo had cool shadows and movement to work with. After a bit of goofing off and layering—this series is what emerged.
Jeff is off exploring his world right now in a very BIG way. The first image on the road reminds me of the South Dakota Monster stories my Dad told all seven of his grandchildren. I don’t see my husband as a monster though—much more like a gentle giant.
We’ve always told our children that they are part prairie & part sea. When I started choosing photos to layer with Jeff’s legs I was naturally drawn to images of the prairie and the sea.
Here’s to your big adventures this weekend, wherever your feet take you.
- South Dakota two-lane road near Burke
- Abandoned farmhouse south of Burke, South Dakota
- Town Neck Beach approach,—Sandwich, Massachusetts
- Everglade National Park in Florida
- Town Neck Beach, Sandwich, Massachusetts
- Florence, Italy
About the Cliffs
The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland are on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Isn’t that an awesome name for a dramatic shore drive…Wild Atlantic Way? The Cliffs of Moher are 320 million years old. They have been used in films such as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Father Ted and The Princess Bride. The trails on the Cliffs of Moher are part of network that enables walkers to walk town to town. Inn to Inn.
My husband and I got to see them from the ferry returning from Inisheer (part of the Aran Islands) as well. However, with huge sea swells we were too busy losing our “Full Irish Breakfast” into the sea to take in the beauty all around us. It’s a good thing we spent time walking the Cliffs the day prior. It will be a while before I’ll get in a boat with swells like that again. I’m always glad to have the story though.
Happy 70th Birthday, Uncle Tom!
I saved a few pictures from our day touring the operation for a birthday post. My Uncle Tom was only 21 when I was born, my Dad is 6 years older. He was just a kid. He inspired my travels and sense of adventure at a very young age (not my politics though, sorry Tom). He would come home from hunting in the Rockies with a beard, a case of Coors (because you couldn’t get it in South Dakota—he wasn’t even a beer drinker, but it was novel) and beef jerky (one of my favorite products) and all of this seemed exotic to me. I would make him show me the slides from his year at The University of the Seven Seas (a few slides he would breeze through quickly so my Grandmother wouldn’t ask too many questions). It was a shared joke between us.
When I listened to Uncle Tom tell me why he loves raising cattle and researching how to make systems more efficient on the farm I felt uniquely connected to him as an adult. He’s so proud of the team teaching him these new skills too and that was a reminder to me to thank the folks who have sparked my own growth and new interests. The Ponca Creek Cattle Company is clearly a place in the world where Uncle Tom’s contentment and gratitude is so evident.
As we climbed up into the deer stand to see the view below at sunset, Tom described what a Saturday up there felt like to him. He told me that it’s one of his favorite places in the whole world (and he’s seen a lot of it). He described watching all of the animals and how the valley changes when you’re up there for a while…the light and the way the wildlife moves down the creek. So, on Uncle Tom’s 70th birthday I wanted to thank him for the life lessons he’s taught me.
I also wanted to let folks know that to his great nieces and nephews he’s always joked about being called, “Uncle Tom, The Great“. Even though it’s his birthday, I can’t let him get too big of a head, but he is indeed pretty great.
Maddy Brookes’ idea to fund a trip to Europe next summer by selling her paintings to study art and culture and lend even more depth to her work is absolutely brilliant. Maddy is a junior at The Rhode Island School of Design. She’s a remarkably prolific painter and also happens to be the lovely girlfriend of my son, Ellis Govoni a student at Landmark College in Vermont.
Think about the art market right now. It’s nuts. A small investment in a young painter could be very valuable one day. Jeff and I made a small investment in the early 1990s in the artist—Ethan Murrow. It was a really good investment, even if it was a stretch for us at the time.
Here’s the link and a chance to acquire a Maddy Brookes original painting: https://www.gofundme.com/vz5sr2rd
See more work of Maddy’s at: https://maddybrookesart.squarespace.com/
I’m very inspired by the boldness of Maddy doing this and I have to tell you why.
As an artist myself, the idea that I have “a product” is very challenging…the work is personal and makes you vulnerable to criticism. If I sold furniture, cars, sweaters, lawn mowers or cut your hair no one would think twice about me promoting myself and being very upfront about the price of that item. I’m going to challenge myself to put a few pieces up with the price tags and see what happens. Thank you, Maddy.
Even when perspective buyers visit my studio I treat them like they’re visiting a museum. That’s crazy. I have a product. Actually a very large inventory of products and I basically don’t ever let anyone even know that they’re for sale.
However, with art there seems to be a different relationship. Stay with me a moment. If a 20-year-old college student told you that they were working to save money for a trip or to buy a car or further their education everyone would praise that effort. However, with art there’s a perceived arrogance and it isn’t remotely fair.
Maddy has an AMAZING PRODUCT and she’s selling them to fund her desire to travel and further her education as an artist. I hope you’ll check out Maddy’s work and even if you’re unable to purchase a painting, please send a note of encouragement or forward the link. You have no idea what an e-mail saying, “I like your work” can mean to an artist.
Wednesdays have produced a particular magic for me this summer and it is because the Sandwich, Mass Flea Market is how I start my day. The market is in full swing by 6am. They serve sausages and hot dogs because it’s lunch time for these folks by eight o’clock. Here are my treasures from the day: an unfinished rug (I think this will become an overnight bag with a wooden bottom and leather sides), some $1 jewelry, 3 cheese knives and a few paintbrushes. The flea market was fun but I needed adventure and exercise and some time alone.
I went out in my kayak alone for the first time. I left in midday sun (which I generally won’t due, but I needed to hit the tide right). I have the kayak on wheels so I can walk it the mile to a beach where I put in next to the Cape Cod Canal. It’s a great little beach for watching the boats come through the canal and an easy walk to Seafood Sam’s for fish bites.
I put in without a plan except that I wanted to be alone and I wanted to go far. The water was like glass. It was very calm and the bay was unusually clear…a magnificent color. I could see to the bottom for a majority of this journey. It was amazing to me with all of that clear water that I only saw a couple of crabs and seaweed. No fish. I suppose it had to do with the tide time.
My imagination runs wild when I’m out on the water alone with my thoughts. I thought about what I used to have to ask my son, Ellis when he was little, “Ellis, is that something that happened, or something you wish had happened?” He would think about it for a minute and then would say, “wish”. I get it. I really wish I had seen a humpback whale and a pirate ship on my trip. But, I just saw some people tubing, water skiing and enjoying themselves in the water or on the beach.
I made a deliberate attempt to talk to people along the way—in case I needed some help. I made myself known. I started hatching this plan to just keep going into Barnstable Harbor, get something to eat at the Mattakeese Wharf http://www.mattakeese.com/ and ask if I could get someone to tow me back to the Sandwich. I basically wanted to hitchhike back to Sandwich (either by water or land). When I got to Sandy Neck Beach which I estimate is about 6 miles (please e-mail me and correct me if I’m way off, my sea faring friends) the wind was coming up and I now had to face it all the way back to Sandwich and the canal entrance.
I had water, but it was running low. I was getting a rash on my legs from the wind and the salt. However, I was so damn proud that I pushed myself that much—I could hardly stop grinning. I was really wiped out by the time I pulled the boat back up the hill. I was so dehydrated that it took a while to get my “land legs” back. Water. Shower. Nap. Water.
At 48, with a newly discovered passion, I can’t even describe what I’m feeling.
Except I want everyone to feel this way sometime.
We all should get to feel really jazzed from learning something new.
I ended my day by attending a Bernie Sanders gathering in East Sandwich, Mass. Josh Hoxie, a Saint Michael’s College graduate who interned for Bernie in Vermont and then worked for him in DC for 3 years spoke before Bernie’s telecast message to the 3000 house parties happening around the country. I met some great people and had the opportunity to wear my old Bernie t-shirt from his VT Senate race.
I think it’s incredibly refreshing (regardless of your party) to hear a politician talk about getting things done. Bernie isn’t taking “Big Money”, he doesn’t have to check which way the wind blows to decide what his position is on any topic and he’s packing in huge crowds that the other candidates are dreaming of (or willing to pay for). Presidential election years are always interesting and this is starting out to be a grand one indeed. It’s going to be a wild 15 months in America.
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
I was cleaning out computer files today. So I thought I would do an experiment to just quickly grab what images jumped out at me after I found this Emerson quote. And I can freely admit that I need this advice very much today personally. I am not writing from some high horse kind of adventurous, wonder-filled place. So, here’s what photos from my library I grabbed. Indeed life is a grand experiment and one in which we all want some love, adventure and a sense of wonder. Go do your experiments—it sure beats sitting around waiting for life to happen.