Beautiful fall on Cape Cod

I know that many of us simply love the fall just about anywhere but fall on Cape Cod is pretty special. We get a late frost which means a lot of late bloomers are still around. The trees are colorful longer into November than many othe places and the marshes are just gorgeous.

We also get some exceptionally high and low tides around the full moon…  Beautiful reflections abound,,,,
  Red maples put on a beautiful show….  Even the swans look majestic in this sort of light….
  Can’t get enough of this lovely shade of red….  or this yellow orange of rosa rugosa leaves in the dunes….
  A few dragonflies are still around….  And scads of mushrooms like these honey mushrooms….
  More color against the autumn sky…  and the golden color of the marshes….
  Some yellows in the woods are always nice….  and at the beach, it’s all about that autumn light!
 I hope you are getting out and enjoying the wonderful weather here this week!

The light after the storm….

Over the last few days the light has been amazing so I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos…

Here is Kalmus Beach in Hyannis…

There was a lot of erosion of the dunes…

Rain and sun mixed in the clouds together…

Morning light under a dark front…

light and dark mix at sunrise to make amazing effects on the waves…

even the light in the dunes reflected the light in the clouds

afternoon skies began to clear…

and finally the light began to fade into the colors of dusk, muted and quiet…

so many beautiful scenes….I hope you got out to enjoy some of them….

 

 

 

September’s amazing light…

I love September on the Cape as do many others. The temperature and humidity are much closer to my general comfort zone and the crowds have eased up a bit. More than anything, though, I love the light…

There’s the light that sneaks out beneath the velvety purple and gray clouds…

the interplay between softness and drama….

the contrast between the possibility of sun and the certainty of rain…

often all happening in mere moments across the landscape…

colors are intensified…

changing minute by minute…until….

the first signs of a rainbow appear…

and a second one appears above it…

and it fills the sky…

all that amazing light in one September day…

It’s that seedy time of year again….

when Mother Nature takes out her seed spreading bag of tricks…

Milkweed and other plants add a touch of fluff to their seed packet to help them fly away on the wind…

others, like the pokeweed put forth juicy berries that get eaten and spread by the birds and animals who then, well, poop them out elsewhere….

Some, like this dock plant, set seed on tall stalks where they are eaten by birds and other animals or fall to the ground to reseed the area….

Queen Anne’s Lace makes a nice basket to keep seeds in while waiting for birds and other critters to help spread them around…

and even thorny, persnickety plants like thistle can get down right soft and cuddly when it comes to letting their seeds out into the world….

and of course there are all the various kinds of rose hips, a favored food of many birds and animals…

These days, wherever we go, there are signs that Mother Nature is already preparing for next spring and summer….

Mushroom mania!

It’s mushroom time here on the Cape….

We’ve got fungus among us everywhere!

growing on old logs…

Pushing up through the ground…

Showing off some lovely white myceleum threads….

or poking up looking for a gnome to call it home….

I have no idea what any of these are or whether they will kill you or make you happy but I do know they are very cool to look at….

Have you seen a wild turkey?

When I was a kid one of my favorite things to do on a long afternoon was play with my father’s moose, duck and turkey calls. Hunters used these to trick moose, ducks and turkeys into coming closer, at least some hunters did. I personally think my father just like making funny noises.

Every fall he would go to Maine and New Hampshire with some old Army buddies to go hunting. To my knowledge my dad never shot anything on these trips but he always came home with lots of great stories of what he had seen. My mom said he just liked an excuse to go tromping around in the woods. Anyway….
my dad would sure have been surprised to see wild turkeys running around everywhere on Cape Cod. Turkeys are now in every town on the Cape and have become a pretty common sight, even along the highways and in the down town areas. These birds used to be very rare. Even in places they were known to be they were hard to find and see. Turkeys were reintroduced in Massachusetts only about 20 or 25 years ago, I think and have certainly made a good come back.
Turkeys travel in flocks and usually there is only one male with a whole harem of females. You may also see a bunch of young males hanging around together that don’t have their own harems quite yet.
These turkeys were all raising their tails in the air while running down the driveway. I had stopped my car to take their picture out the window in the rain but they wanted nothing to do with me…..I found these turkeys in Eastham yesterday but you can see turkeys just about anywhere on the Cape.
Have you seen a wild turkey?

Winterberry

One of my favorite spots to look out over the Cape landscape is at Pilgrim Heights in Truro. Part of the National Seashore it has spectacular views of the Pamet River, the dunes and the ocean beyond. It is also a great place to see kinglets and hawks. The hawks have mostly passed by but the bushes are full of ruby crowned kinglets right now. Their ruby crowns are almost invisible at this time of year but if they were showing they would go well with all the winterberry that is giving such a lovely burst of color to the late autumn landscape.

Winterberry is a deciduous holly, meaning it loses its leaves. The bright red berries are not just beautiful to look at but are a favorite food of many migrating and wintering birds. In some areas these lovely berries will be wiped out by birds long before the first snow flies.

Fort Hill in Eastham

I have always loved Fort Hill and I know I am not alone. These photos are from earlier this month….much of what I photographed has now passed on but why not have a last moment of lovely autumn while we can?The poison ivy was turning….Rosa rugosa hips were still red but getting soft….

The milkweed seeds were just setting forth on their journeys across the meadows and beyond…
And even the invasive phragmites were looking rather poetic against the early October sky…
The seed baskets of Queen Anne’s lace were still standing strong, keeping guard on the edge of the great marsh….
And the clouds were moving across the sky just ahead of the wind leaving wonderful shadows in their wake…

I’ve been away from this blog working in classrooms for the last few weeks and will be posting some pictures from my programs as well as other areas very soon.