it’s foggy today


It’s relatively warm today (in the 40′s), but the snowy ground and ocean water are still chilly. Sometimes that combination creates a thick fog and today it lured us outside. After lunch, Rob and I grabbed our cameras and drove around Quisset and Woods Hole to take photos. This section shows another view of our seaside village, from a floating dingy surrounded by ice to the dormant communal garden behind Challenger House. Even in winter, Nobska light’s fog horn sends a warning out to sea.







Woods Hole July 4th parade


The Woods Hole 4th of July parade is a reflection of our community, with its mix of tradition and a characteristically unconventional celebration of freedom.


A grandmother and her two grandsons were armed with suds for bubble blowing.


july4FGraduate students from the Marine Biological Laboratory’s grass lab paraded down Water St.july4JOur own burlesque troupe, the Brazen Belles donned swim suits and bathing caps for the occasion.july4I



july4HAssistants from the Children’s School of Science celebrated the school’s centennial by impersonating the the Class of 1913.july4G

And we even had a classic car! It was wonderful to see everyone out and about.


House boats before their summer migration


The Woods Hole house boats spend the winter rafted up together in the shelter of Eel Pond. Last week, while eating supper, it occurred to me that they would soon be migrating to their summer moorings in the shallow parts of Great Harbor, so I said to Rob, “This might be the last chance to take pictures of the house boats before they’re towed out through the draw bridge passage.” We’ve been looking at them all winter, in their snug corner of the pond, under the shadow of the Woods Hole school, where I spent grades 1 to 4. The houses are a mishmash of owner built structures, which have been fancied up over the years. A friend of ours owns the one with the turquoise door, which serves as a wonderful get-away cottage on the water.houseboats2

We quickly finished eating and rushed down to Eel Pond. The winds were calm and the evening light cast a flattering glow over the village. I’m glad that Rob took these pictures, because wouldn’t you know, the next day a group of house boat owners moved them out, officially beginning the summer season. See the house boats in full summer mode here.eelpondboat2


Woods Hole: snowy doorways


If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you will have noticed that I have a thing for doorways. Some of these Woods Hole houses have been shown before, but in other seasons. I took these photos after last weekend’s snow storm. The summer houses were undisturbed, but the year ’round ones had shoveled paths.  Enjoy!









After the snow storm


Last weekend’s storm brought about 10 inches of snow to our end of Cape Cod, but other parts of New England had 2 to 3 feet! The public was instructed to stay off the roads during the storm. On Sunday, we went out in the early morning sunshine and took photographs.


We headed down Sippewissett Rd. toward Woods Hole. The houses along the road had a story book look to them.snowfeb13d

We then turned onto Quissett Harbor Rd., passing this house on our way to the water.




At Quissett harbor, everything was covered with snow.


In the village, we stopped in front of the Woods Hole School, which I attended in the 60′s. It’s no longer a public elementary school, but houses head start and a day care in the winter and the Children’s School of Science in the summer.


Further down Water St., I stood in the cold wind to get this shot of the draw bridge and Woods Hole Community Hall.



Even in winter, there are boats and house boats in the sheltered Eel Pond. Some summer houses are boarded up and still…


while other houses show evidence of people at play.


Tessa’s tiles

Last fall, our new tile mural made by Tessa Morgan of Flying Pig Pottery was installed behind the stove. We had been looking at a piece of greasy plywood in the same location for 20 years, putting off the tile project because I couldn’t decide what I wanted. I was originally going to paint my own tiles, but eventually gave up on that idea. Years ago, I did paint some faux tiles in a different spot in the kitchen. See a post about those here.

We asked Tessa to design a landscape and seascape with animals. I had admired her pottery for years and we gave her the freedom to create her own menagerie.  Before they were installed, we laid out the pieces on our dining room table.

Here’s the mural with spacers, before the grout is applied.

We love living with Tessa’s tiles, which are made with a sgraffito technique, which she describes as “the art of carving through a colored slip to the contrasting clay body underneath”.

Tessa encouraged me to decorate some tiles, too, so I carved the narrow back splash strip under the windows. We spent a few enjoyable afternoons carving together in her Woods Hole studio.

A few years ago, Tessa made tiles for a wonderful mural in the Falmouth Public Library. Donors to the library renovation fund had their names carved into hundreds of tiles that cover the hallway leading to the children’s room.

She also makes beautiful lamps, dishes and mugs, all made with her signature sgraffito style.

Flying Pig Pottery’s studio is open to the public and is located on Woods Hole Rd. , just before you enter the village.

Independence Day 2012

It was an absolutely gorgeous 4th of July yesterday. The day started out rainy, with an iffy forecast, but the sun came out in time for the Woods Hole Parade and it stayed sunny through the fireworks at night. Our eclectic parade is light on the red white and blue, with more of an emphasis on science. Graduate students from different labs in the Marine Biological Laboratory march with sculptures they’ve concocted out of found objects. Some are more successful than others in illustrating their particular field of study, but they all have a lot of fun.  Every year, I am impressed by these future scientists’ creativity. It’s always a raucous event and like no other 4th of July parade in America!

perfect Woods Hole morning

At 8am this morning, the water was calm under sunny skies, the humidity was low and the temperature was perfect for a bike ride into Woods Hole.

There was hardly anyone about on Water St. and Eel Pond was still. I enjoy this time of year, especially on a sleepy Sunday morning, when the weather is superb and the summer people haven’t come yet. In a matter of weeks, the crowds will descend, bringing an exciting, but wearing energy. Having been a year ’rounder since childhood, the change seems natural to me, like a built-in part of the seasonal shift. For more recent “winter folks” it can be an annoying adjustment. 

Skiffs will be jammed up around the pond’s edge. This morning, pollen floated and swirled on top of the water.

Decks and porches will be full of people.

And dinghies will fill every spot along the Yacht Club piers. Here we come summer of ’12!

Horn Book poster winner!

I am overwhelmed by the response to the Horn Book poster giveaway! Thank you to everyone (107) who entered. I am very touched by so many lengthy, thoughtful and generous comments on the giveaway post, well beyond the usual minimal missives.


Drum roll, please. The winner is Marianne Monaghan! I’ll notify her by e-mail and find out where to send the poster. Anyone who’d like to buy posters ($7 within the US, $10 outside the US) from the Horn Book can call (Eastern Standard Time) or email any of the following:

800-325-9558 ext 7942,  614-873-7942,

I gave a poster to Woods Hole Library Director Margaret McCormick, to hang up in our library.

I just had to show you this picture of one-year-old Helen dressed as a lamb, which was in the most recent Woods Hole Library newsletter. Her mother, Kellie Porter was working at the desk in the library when I brought in the poster. Kellie and I were both surprised to see the similarity between her daughter/lamb and my little girl/lamb swinging from the tree in the poster. I made the artwork for the magazine this past summer and Kellie hadn’t seen the Horn Book cover until I showed her the poster, so the resemblance was unexpected. By the way, Helen’s costume is not homemade, but I think it could easily be copied. I wish I had thought to add a collar and bell!