My husband and I spent a few days on Cape Cod this spring, which is becoming an annual ritual for us. This time we stayed on the mid-cape. Typically we leave New Hampshire, still under snow cover, wearing winter coats and boots and scraping car windows. We arrive in a climate which is about a month ahead of us, with spring bulbs and trees in flower, just when we need it most !
There are a couple of themes, always running through my mind as we pursue other interests on the cape. One, my family, the Tobeys, have long ancestral roots down here. Each visit usually turns up new leads and discoveries. This trip was no exception, with several surprises, see my post https://dreamnewengland.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/tripping-over-tobey-family-roots/ . Two, as this is the home of the Cape Cod House, see my post Cape Cod Houses, I am always looking for both classic and different takes on that style while we traipse around the peninsula. (Or is it technically an island now, since the canal was built between the Cape proper and the mainland?
Anyway, I digress. This trip, we visited two wildlife sanctuaries on the cape and hiked them both on the same day. We hiked a trail at Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham which took us through woodland then around a tidal pond with views of saltwater farms and marshes.
The second site at Wellfleet, took us to the Great Island Trail, through woodland which opened up on a salt marsh, then over dunes and to a long stretch of beach. The day started clear and breezy but progressed to overcast and muggy. We did a little over 7 miles total.
Sea and Sky Seem to Blend
Both hikes were awesome, with a lot of interesting coastal birds, wildlife, plant life and scenery to view. My only disappointment was that I was hoping for some interesting skies to compliment the marsh and ocean views I was photographing.
Fortunately, before we’d hiked very far, I had the presence of mind to change my mental perspective.
Instead of thinking about what I couldn’t take photos of because of the limited luminosity and uninteresting skies, it occurred to me that it was an awesome opportunity to hyper-focus on nature close up, which was not adversely affected by the overall light conditions. I was reminded of the poem about Microcosms and Macrocosms…
To see a World in a Grain of Sand, And Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour…
Taking this entirely new approach changed my attitude to excitement at experiencing the day from a different approach. Instead of looking at the ‘big picture’ I could look at the smaller details.
The patterns in the sand, the texture of the trees and shadows on the forest floor… Now that I was thinking outside the box, I also looked for some natural framing opportunities and other interesting things I might not think to snap when I’m focused on the larger view.
So that is the clearest lesson I learned on our trip to the Cape this spring.