Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cape Cod 2011

Walking to Great Island in Wellfleet
We went to Cape Cod for a couple of weeks. It was a time to recharge after preparing for the exhibition at F.A.N. Gallery for the past year. It was wonderful to go for long walks with the kids. We took them to Great Island in Wellfleet where we were able to see fiddler crabs (or as Aidan calls them, "fitler craps"). Along our hike around Great Island we smelled something much stronger than the salty muddy smell of the marsh -- the carcasses of two dolphins. They must have beached some time in the winter or early spring.  The kids were more interested in the fiddler crabs scurrying for their holes when the kids came running up to the waters edge than the dolphins. 

There were other wildflife encounters that were more pleasant. We found hermit crabs on the beach and Jim put them in a bucket for the kids to watch for a while before returning them to the sea. There were seals out in the water, who come to a protected area near Head of the Meadow beach in Truro to have their pups and feed. From a distance they look like black Labrador retrievers swimming with just their heads above water until you realize that they are far too large and long to be a dog.

On a walk up to the lighthouse we saw a Black Racer snake.  It reared up about 8 inches off the ground when we walked into its space. It was around four feet long and really quite beautiful.  I pulled the kids back not knowing what kind of snake it was and deciding to err on the side of caution.  I later asked the woman running the gift shop about the snake and she told me what it was and that it was not harmful. I wished I had let the kids look at it longer instead of rushing them away from it. 
Wild Turkey

One afternoon, when driving back to the cottage we saw a very large wild turkey on someone’s deck. The photo does not do it justice. Another afternoon we saw a fox come bolting across the road with something in its mouth. It was large and at first I thought it was a small coyote but Jim thought it was a fox. I think Jim is right and it is a gray fox.  

Gray Fox
Even around the cottage we rented in the woods were were inundated with wildlife. We saw deer and hawks. The kids loved chasing rabbits, chipmunks, and quail around the cottage. Early one morning, Jim saw a weasel chase a rabbit out from under the deck. The poor rabbit did not make it. 


At Pilgrim Lake we saw a swan from the vantage point of the bluffs above the lake. 

I was surprised to see so many different wild animals. It was wonderful to get away from the city and enjoy the woods, water and wildlife.



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