The calm before the storm

There’s a blizzard heading our way in about 12 hours but right now it is sunny and lovely out. The wind has picked up a bit since this morning when it was quite calm and still but it sure feels and smells more like spring than it does snow.

I went for a lovely beach walk this morning. You’d never know a storm was coming.

016The osprey that calls this pole and nest home has returned. In another week or so its mate, or prospective mate, should arrive.

007They have moved this nest pole several times but it is still very exposed to winds coming off Nantucket Sound and no nest here has had young survive past the first few weeks but the adults keep trying.


This beach has a lot of grassy dune area and over the winter snow buntings thrive here. This morning I hoped to catch sight of the snowy owl that travels back and forth between here and Great Island in West Yarmouth but no luck. I did see two northern harriers, though, both a male and a female. I see harriers here frequently and this pair looked like it was courting but this would not be a successful place to nest. At least I don’t think it would.

I found this sweet skeleton of a whelk shell…



and the sad skeleton of a great blue heron…

017Every walk is different. Every walk leaves me with different thoughts and emotions even though I often walk in exactly the same place I have walked for over 50 years. That is part of the wonder of nature. It is always full of surprises. Always full of life and death and drama.

I leave you with this before the storm blows in…



Early spring beach walks and whale watching

There’s possibly a big snowstorm heading our way this week but for now I’m sticking with thoughts of spring. There have been some really wonderful days for beach walking and I’ve been taking advantage of them. Hearing that right whales were being seen from the beach at Herring Cove gave me a good excuse to play hooky for a day last week to go see what I could see.

I called a friend and off we drove, stopping at Fort Hill, of course.

002and then at Marconi Beach in Wellfleet

015and finally we made it to Herring Cove where there were lots of people with binoculars and spotting scopes hoping to catch a glimpse of these marine mammal rock stars.

We were not disappointed! We watched a few small groups of right whales surface feeding, spouting and diving, showing us some good fluke views before they headed back down under the waves. My camera can show you the people but not the whales. You need a bigger lens than what I have to do that!

004 For fun I’ve begun a daily series of quick watercolors with little beach inspired sayings on them. I sell these in my online shop and will be offering prints here later in the season but in the meantime I’ll be posting them daily or close to daily on the blog. I hope you enjoy your castles in the sand by mary richmond