prowl, prey & nourish…

It doesn’t matter where I find myself in the world, my natural waking state is roughly an hour before sunrise. I instinctively am a predawn prowler. The nourishing solitude of watching night turn to day stirs something in me that’s deeply primal and ancient.

All summer I roam Town Neck Beach in Sandwich, Massachusetts following coyote tracks and scavenging the beach. Back home in Vermont now, my predawn habits shift. However, my prowling and the way I feel doesn’t change one bit.

dawn: to begin to grow light as the sun rises

prowl: to move about or wander stealthily in or as if in search of prey

wander: to move about without a fixed course, aim, or goal

prey: an animal (idea, objects?) taken by a predator (scavenger?) as food (nourishment)

scavenge: to salvage from discarded or refuse material

nourish: to promote the growth of

What else, other than nourishment, are the coyotes prowling for in their predawn wanderings?

What I’m searching for when prowling, other than solitude, shifts dramatically like the tides of the North Atlantic.

Sunshine of Your Love…

It’s getting near dawn
When lights close their tired eyes
I’ll soon be with you my love
Give you my dawn surprise
I’ll be with you darling soon
I’ll be with you when the stars start falling

—Cream

a scavenger’s dream…

I was cautious at first, then slowly I moved a little bit closer. A fascinating creature, rather intense too. After observing for a while, I noticed a certain quality, difficult to pinpoint, hummmmmmm…a lack of authenticity perhaps?

I left her alone on the beach, perhaps she’ll delight other beachgoers later in the day with her gorgeous blue spots. I mean, that’s only if she chooses to stay in the same spot.

ALWAYS A SCAVENGER: To find rope, a grill top (for weaving) and a huge amount of nails is a scavenger’s dream.

I wonder if there’s a way to figure some sort of probability of how much the likelihood of someone stepping on a nail today was cut down by picking them up? I think I found about 240 nails. Any mathematicians out there?

BALLS: I’ve never found golf or ping pong balls on the beach. I found the tee in the seaweed a long ways from the golf ball…just one of those days. I found a tennis ball today too. I didn’t take a photo.

GARBAGE: Here’s what I picked up today, not much because of Tropical Storm Henri the last few days. The storm was a little disappointing actually, only a little wind and rain.

ASIAN SHORE CRABS: On my way home I talked to a UMass Dartmouth biology student who was doing research on an invasive species of crab that’s quite concentrated in the rocky areas of Town Neck Beach. This picture doesn’t show the crab’s stripes very well, the stripes makes Asian Shore Crabs easy to identify.

DARTMOUTH — In the fall of 1994, Nancy J. O’Connor’s graduate and undergraduate students at the UMass Dartmouth began bringing a mysterious species of crab to class, something they could not identify.

The crabs, which had begun appearing on the shores around Buzzards Bay, were clearly different from the green crabs commonly found in the area. Unlike the green crabs, these new crabs were square-shaped and had three spines, or small jags, on each side of the shell. Green crabs have five spines on each side. Also, the eyes of the new crabs were far apart and the legs had a pattern of tan and dark brown bands.

—Mark Johnson, The Providence Journal

Town Neck…

“Only we humans make waste that nature can’t digest.” —Charles Moore, Marine Researcher

“With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live. Most of the oxygen in the atmosphere is generated by the sea.” —Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer

go to your strengths…

Throughout my life I’ve spent too much time thinking I needed to remediate areas of perceived weakness: organization & executive function, time management, follow through, and prioritization. Sometimes they are still true, and I now solidly in midlife, I have strategies in place.

  • I don’t let too many things fall through the cracks and I meet deadlines when I have them.
  • I get a lot done most days & creative work takes a lot of time that is often unknown.
  • I do follow through on a whole helluva lot of my ideas and often help others when asked.
  • My home, work, health, and relationships are in pretty good shape.

Sure, I could be more organized or learn how to set better priorities for my time, but what might be lost if I’m constantly trying to correct areas of weakness instead of highlighting my strengths?

I’m pretty good at making art out of stuff I find and I can shoot a decent photo…to hell with my executive function and time management skills.

I found all of this rope on the beach. I brought it home, organized it and made a weaving. I think I really love weaving.

I’m researching/experimenting natural dyes/stains to create a body of work. Thank you Elizabeth Bunsen for inspiring this type of experimentation. I painted this with beet juice, red wine, coffee, and tea. I’m thinking maybe this series is the flags of unknown places, or untold stories…something along those lines anyway.

I shot these two images last week by ever-so-slightly pivoting just past sunrise on Town Neck Beach in Sandwich, Massachusetts. The moon is barely visible. The sun was uniquely red from the haze of wildfire smoke drifting from out west.

“Grown ups are complicated creatures, full of quirks and secrets.” ―Roald Dahl, author

The first shot was a funny accident…so I shot more. Fist bumps and hi-fives seemed like images I could use as personal emojis in some circumstances.

It’s time to let go of old stories about ourselves from childhood.

What’s true now about you?

beach rambles inside & out…

I often have a flood of ideas while walking the beach about what I want to create, write, transform, design and so on. Then I get home and the idea’s intensity subsides. I used to feel quite defeated by this. I don’t anymore.

I can’t possibly create all that I imagine…and there’s some sadness that sometimes accompanies that understanding. However, in this middle school stage of life (I’ll be 55 in October) I finally appreciate (accept maybe) the inevitable ebbing and flowing of my inner creative life, and stop fighting the tide so much.

Here are a few ideas that actually did come to life this week:

I think I’ll give myself a high-five for what I did accomplish. Beating myself up over what I didn’t do this week seems pretty absurd.

the princess diaries…

This morning on Town Neck Beach I saw a strange object in the fog. My heart quickened. I walked faster. Would I need to rescue a baby seal or maybe some other sea creature was in need of my heroic efforts? Nope, just this dumb Disney Princess balloon discarded on the beach. I thought Mermaid Princess Ariel would indeed be particularly offended.

I’m not much of a princess sort of girl. However, I’m clearly a Disney Princess Birthday Balloon found on the beach in the fog sort of girl.

I have to admit that Ariel, Jasmine, Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora definitely cast some sort of freaky spell on me early this morning. I took over 60 pictures of this discarded balloon and I carried it home as well.

So I’ll trust my heart, what else can I do? I can’t live in dreams if my dreams are to come true.

—Cinderella

Cape Cod plates, mindful garbage & sharing…

I spent most mornings last summer photographing and then picking up trash on Town Neck Beach in Sandwich, Massachusetts. I created these plates with my Cape Cod photos after thinking about the amount of garbage floating in the world’s oceans.

I didn’t photograph the paper plates with ketchup/mustard smeared on them for obvious aesthetic reasons. Trust me, there were a lot of them almost every day. I provided a link below to one of my beach garbage posts from last summer.

I want to be more deliberate (not radical, just mindful) about garbage and the packaging I choose. Using these plates for a long time instead of plastic seems like an easy switch.

Hey, friends & family the plates will be in the garage ready for your use. Just shoot me a text and grab them on your way to the beach.

“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”

—Jacques Yves Cousteau

See link: https://lisalillibridge.com/2020/08/14/beach-trash-in-50-words/

NOTE: I used Shutterfly—I had a good coupon.

today’s first light…


“Listen to the wind blow, watch the sunrise.”
― Fleetwood Mac

fog, children’s literature & generosity on Town Neck…

In light of all of the health, social, fiscal, educational, environmental, and political upheaval there still is so much goodness in the world. As I write this post, my friend/next door is trying to fix my bike. Thank you Pete. I’m truly grateful.

Earlier this morning while walking Town Neck Beach I struck up a conversation with a fellow fog appreciator. We chatted and I learned that after years in the restaurant industry he wrote a children’s book titled, A New Day for Cray. He told me the basics of the story, it sounded full of heart, empathy, and healthy boundaries…so many things I appreciate.

We introduced ourselves, our Instagram handles anyway. Nice to meet you G Pa Rhymes (aka Gary Wakstein) children’s book author, poet, and beat make, on Instagram, I’m Dakota1966.

As we walked toward the parking lot to get away from nagging bugs, he read me a brief piece he wrote on November 10, 2016. I told him I would purchase a copy of the book for my great-nephew, Liam at Titcomb’s in East Sandwich.

He reached into his car and handed me a signed copy.

I walked home smiling, reading A New Day for Cray ready for breakfast/coffee, inspired by this story about friendship and adapting to inevitable changes that life deal every single one of us.

Nice to meet you, G Pa Rhymes. Keep up the good work, your next story sounds quite close to my heart too. The illustrative work of Erica Leigh so well personifies the characters, Cray has quite an evolution throughout the book, you can see it in his eyes. Check out social media links below.

G Pa Rhymes/Gary Wakstein

https://www.facebook.com/gparhymes/

https://www.instagram.com/gparhymes/?hl=en

Illustrator Erica Leigh

https://www.facebook.com/ericaleighart/?ref=py_c

Titcomb’s Book Store, East Sandwich, Mass

https://www.titcombsbookshop.com/