Nobska morning

I biked to Woods Hole at 6am this morning. Here’s the view along Vineyard Sound, looking toward Nobska point.

And then going up the hill toward the light house.

And then Nobska Lighthouse at the top!

I biked further into town, past this charming house, which overlooks Little Harbor. What a beautiful day!

winter in Woods Hole

I rode the bike path to Woods Hole today. The path is plowed and mostly clear of snow and ice, so I bundled up in a ski mask and mittens and joined the walkers on the path. Didn’t see one other bicyclist.

view of Vineyard Sound from the bike path

The day was so crystal clear and calm!  Some people who just come to the Cape in the summer can’t imagine what it’s like here off-season.

Fishmonger's Cafe, Water St., Woods Hole

The sidewalks are empty and the drawbridge hardly ever goes up.

Row boats rest upside down.

Eel Pond dock, Woods Hole

The color palette is blue, gray and red.

Millfield St., Woods Hole

It was a lovely ride around town.  Happy New Year!

School St., Woods Hole

Yuletide wreath

I recently picked some rose hips and other winter berries along the bike path to Woods Hole.

They were thorny and nasty to pick with wool gloves. I loaded them into my bicycle basket.

I cut off the thorn tips before making a wreath.

To add some greenery, I pruned a holly bush in our yard. More sharp points to deal with.

I used green wire to tie the holly and winter berry branches to a wreath form.

It’s now hung on our front door. Welcome Yule!

Bike Path: Porcelain-berry

All along the bike path is porcelain-berry, one of the most beautiful invasive vines in our area. The plant’s berries come in shades of blue not normally found in plant life. They look like hard candy or gum balls that turn tongues blue.

The Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA) Alien Plant Working Group has labeled it LEAST WANTED.

 

Originally from Northeast Asia, porcelain-berry was cultivated in the US around the 1870s as a bedding and landscape plant.

The PCA says, “The same characteristics that make porcelain-berry a desirable plant for the garden — its colorful berries, pest resistance, and tolerance of adverse conditions — are responsible for its presence in the United States as an undesirable invader.”

I was inspired to make this pair of fairies to match the berry colors.

Bike path: Pokeweed

This time of year, pokeweed are all along the bike path calling out for attention with their bright pink stems and deep purple berries. They are like 60′s fashion models in lime green dresses and hot pink tights, with bead jewelry to match.

Indians used the pokeweed berry juices for staining feathers, arrowshafts and garments. The plant’s roots and berries are regarded as poisonous when eaten by humans, but Indians and early American settlers used the root in poultices and remedies for skin diseases and rheumatism.

Bike Path: calm before the storm

Hurricane Earl is heading north and Cape Cod and the islands should feel its effects tonight. Yesterday was busy with hauling boats and putting away outdoor furniture, not to mention cleaning up the junk that somehow accumulates in the yard. This morning the scene on the bike path in Sippewissett and West Falmouth was calm and serene. If you don’t see a new post in a few days, it might be because we’ve lost power, but hopefully we’ll weather the storm OK.

Rose Hips

Rose hips are everywhere this summer.  The rosa rugosa plants are not native, but brought over from Asia hundreds of years ago. They love our climate and grow like weeds along the bike path, on road sides and along the edge of the beach. First, they bloom with the most brilliant deep pink flowers.

And then form rose hips that look good enough to eat, although they don’t taste very good. Years ago, I made the mistake of calling these beach plums (which are a totally different edible fruit), but the “botany police” corrected me.

They turn wonderful shades of orange and red and look as exotic as sea creatures, like mini octopi.

This fairy is in my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk .

Inspiration: wild flowers on bike path

Sunday was another beautiful morning on the bike path to Woods Hole. All around me there were people setting up traffic cones and water stations for the triathlon. I managed to take a few pictures before the race started at 7:30. I’ve just been informed by a reader that the invasive knapweed below is a neuro-toxin and should not be handled!

Young Queen Anne’s Lace looks like an umbrella forced inside out by the wind.

And then later, the flower forms into a properly domed umbrella.

Bike Path (going north)

West Falmouth salt marsh

To counteract my sedentary activity of sewing, I ride my bike along the Shining Sea bike path everyday. Early morning is best, when the air is cool, the path is less crowded, and the light is good for photography. 

West Falmouth brackish stream

I live near an entrance to the path, in the middle of its 12 mile length from Woods Hole to North Falmouth. Some mornings I go south, along Vineyard Sound (see this post) and other days I head north through West Falmouth on the Buzzard’s Bay side of town. 

West Falmouth

Going north is a different experience, with salt marshes and brackish ponds and streams. Just out of sight are beaches along the coast of Buzzard’s Bay. 

West Falmouth pond

The landscape changes rapidly from open marshes to woods with tall trees. Here’s the back of Bourne Farm, looking toward the barn. I find this biking ritual good for my body, mind and spirit.

Bourne Farm, W. Falmouth