Happy Earth Day 2020!

Rose pogonia by Rich Eldred

On this Earth Day April 22, 2020 (50th Anniversary!), the great outdoors has become ever more important for finding sanctuary, breathing deeply of the fresh air, and connecting with nature’s inspirations.  
Last spring with membership renewal letters we asked for your reflections on how you appreciate the natural beauty rooted in the lands, waters, and wildlife around us. Thank you for your enthusiastic nature appreciations, which you can enjoy below.

Thank you for your many Cape Cod nature appreciations

Herring River photo by Stephanie Foster

Rowing from the mouth of the Herring River as a 10-12 old with my sister (1 year older) to Long Pond and back in one long day and seeing the marsh lands, creatures and birds about 70 years ago – no motors, no houses–a fantastic experience!  ~Clark Alvord II

Really enjoy the HCT winter talks at the Community Center. Watching Ospreys diving, also enjoy helping count herring. ~Philip and Patricia Brothers

While driving up busy Rt. 28 opposite the Stonehouse Motel in South Harwich, the car ahead of me stopped. I waited to see what had happened and, then saw a Hen Turkey, 4 tiny baby Turkeys and then Tom Turkey following behind while crossing the road. A perfect Cape Cod experience of wildlife protection. We must be ever watchful. ~Jean P. Buchanan

Bumblebee hovering over lavender by Stephanie Foster

I don’t know the name of the pond (maybe Long Pond), but I loved kayaking with my cousin and listening to him laugh, unable to figure out how to paddle. I love walking through the Lavender farm with my aunt and kids. And, I love, love walking and walking along all the shore lines and exploring, watching wildlife. Fun Fact: We decided on our first son’s name along a Harwich Beach/Shore walk! ~Crystal Casaleggio

When I arrived on Cape Cod sighting an Osprey was a rare and special “event”. (much like seeing a Bald Eagle was in Maine in the 60s). Today, 40 + years later, damn THRILLED to watch the Osprey soar, call and if I’m lucky, fly over head with fresh caught fish in its talons! ~Carol A. Chichetto

Todd Kelley walks – Thanks! ~Jean Devine and Phil Chisholm

Kayaking with the dolphins. A group of us were kayaking off Lieutenants Island and saw a pod of dolphins frolicking off shore. We proceeded to paddle out to them. They continued to swim around us. We were so excited and have a short video of this. A memory I won’t forget. ~Dorothy (Dottie) and Robert (Bob) Coombes

Red-tailed hawks at HCT’s Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve. ~Antonio (Nino) and Shannon Corbett

Sunsets at Red River Beach. ~Ursula K. Corbett

Boating out to Monomoy and watching the seals. ~Laura and Jim Coughlin

We would have enjoyed the hike to Cornelius Pond better if we had a view point to see the pond! We thought we were preserving so all could see – but no one can now? ~Charles and Linda Czech (Note: HCT officially opened the trail in September, but we needed more time to obtain approval by the Town Conservation Commission for vista pruning to create pond views from the trail. A local Eagle Scout will also be installing benches so folks can sit and enjoy the views this summer.) 

Walking the beach at sunrise. ~Frances Evelyn (Eve) Dalmolen

Beach photo by Gerry Beetham

Learning about native plants and trying to turn our landscape into property plantings for our environment – changing from our west suburban plants to Native. ~Dorothy and Lawrence Damon Jr.

For me, it’s mostly the ocean. Sunsets over water – Never-ending waves, always spirit lifting. ~Claire J. Davidson

We love the trail walks when full of house guests. ~Ginny Doyle

My favorite Cape Cod nature-based experience is when all I can hear are the sounds of nature going about its business, without the background noise of man (traffic, mowing, etc.). ~Barbara Eastman

It is early morning, I am sitting in a small 12 foot fishing boat watching the sun glistening on the calm water, enjoying the quietness all around me, broken only by the splashing of small fish jumping nearby, and birds swooping down from above calling to each other, hoping to catch some for their breakfast. ~Lois E. Eaton

Having lived in North Carolina for over 40 years and getting used to suspended clay in all the outdoor waters, it continually surprises and delights me to encounter the crystal clear waters here on the Cape. ~James and Barbara Fyfe

Opening a tree swallow nest box at Cold Brook, where female with nestlings looks up at me and stays on the nest. ~William and Karen Goggins

Red fox (photo: www.sarahedevlin.com)

I have many, but these stand out: My grown children took me on a canoe trip on Mother’s Day on the Herring River.
My then 3 year old great grandson saw a great blue heron in a picture book and wanted to see one in real life. We took him to Red River marsh, and right on cue, a gorgeous great Blue lifted up and flew a lazy circle right above us. Magical!
When I used to walk to Red River Beach in the early morning, a friendly red fox often kept me company on Julien Road – he trotted along in the ditch and I kept to the pavement. ~Gloria Green

 Just living here on Cape and enjoying all that nature provides. ~Andrew and Carol Guarino

Walking along the beach in Harwich Port. ~Ross and Bonnie Hall 

When living in Harwich and watching the woods behind my house, I would enjoy seeing the hierarchy of all the wildlife – the squirrels vs. the raccoon vs. the fox vs. the coyote. Then the birds had their own between them and the largest species of the area – the hawk. I miss my Cape Cod “show” each day. Connecticut can’t cut it! ~Karen A. Hall

Believe it or not, it was seeing the mature black racer crossing our upper drive once again while walking my dog. We see it every spring in about the same place. It’s usually traveling with a shorter, thinner racer. We did not see that one this time, but as it’s the leader, I’m hoping that we just missed it and it was already in the woods on HCT’s land above my house. Bianco just stares at them. ~Joan Hensler

In June of 1997 – I went on an 8-day hike from Herring Cove, Provincetown to Long Pond, Falmouth. The hike was over 100 miles. It was sponsored by the Cape Cod Commission and about 98% of the hike was off road. ~David P. Hetherman

Watching seven of the cutest coyote pups playing on my backyard deck! ~Barbara Howard

Osprey returning with fish by Janet DiMattia

The return of the Ospreys. ~Ellen (Nelle) Huettig

Strolling through Bell’s Neck – egrets, tidal marshes, wooded trails. Peaceful. ~Paul Keary and Jeanne LaPierre

Walking along the beach off-season, with just the birds and waves interrupting the quietness. ~Joan E. Malevich

As a Boston kid I can never forget the many 1950 morning row boat rides on Herring River to Susan’s Bakery to purchase jelly donuts for breakfast. The river was always docile and the donuts cost a nickel. ~Ed McCarthy

  1. Art and Music in the conservation park (HCT’s Wildlands Music & Art Stroll).
  2. Thompson’s Field (57 acres off 39).
  3. Bogs and hiking areas. ~June A. McGarry

Fern fiddleheads by Janet DiMattia

Watching Turkeys stroll across our backyard to the woodlands across the street. ~Todd and Lisa Mead

We like walking along the bogs on Bank Street. ~Gregory and Leslie Meier

Early evening at Bank Street bog (HCT’s Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve). A fox strolls out of the woods onto the path not noticing me, then stops and turns to check me out, kept going, stopped, turned, sat and watched me. Kept going as did I, then stopped, turned, laid down and watched me! Trust and respect encourages me to share quietly the home of Cape Cod animals. ~Rebecca J. Mendible

Listening to the spring peepers! ~Betsy Dorbian and Kathryn Meyers

Humpback whale photo by Gus Romano

Going on a whale watch. Walking the beach and conservation trails and observing the changes with the tide (beach), and the seasons (both). ~Norman and Sandra Michaud

Walking on the beach – any beach. ~Andrew and Patricia Mielke

I was walking my dog “Maxie”, on leash, on a trail behind a local gas station here in Harwich, and came upon a lovely body of water, quietly beautiful. There was very little sand to sit, but enough for me and my little 9 lb. dog. He did not go in the water immediately, but eventually with my encouragement after I felt it was safe, he ventured in briefly but “wetly,” so we sat and just enjoyed the beauty of our surroundings. He shook off the water and dried quickly in the sun and sat next to me on the sand. The many birds sang to us and it was very special. This land is very special, and I am so very grateful for over 35 years of living in both Chatham and Harwich. ~Josephine (Joy) Motisi

Kayaking Pleasant Bay. ~Edward (Ted) and Elizabeth (Beth) Nelson

Nestbox monitoring at HCT’s Cold Brook Preserve. ~Geraldine O’Malley

Beach walks in Harwich/Chatham area. ~Beverly and Hans Palmer

Watching our dog enjoy Thompsons Field. ~John and Ingrid Peak

Box turtle by Janet DiMattia

Turtles, foxes, coyotes, rabbits, raccoons, frogs, turkeys, birds, OH MY! The summer of 1957, living on Monomoy for the summer. Rowing across Chatham Harbor to our beach buggy parked on Morris Island. Five days a week, we went off the Island to work – the weekends were ours. A unique and wonderful introduction to fishing, digging for clams and learning the history of Cape Cod. ~Jane Petersen

Box Turtle Encounter—-It was six months after we moved into our newly built home when we first encountered the Box Turtle. It seems our house was on her “property.” Every year in June, she comes to visit us. Then, in September, we see her returning to her winter home. Watching her lay her eggs and seeing the hatching of the baby box turtles has had a major impact on our awareness of the wildlife in our own backyard. ~Pete and Donna Peterson

Bell’s Neck Conservation Lands & West Reservoir by Gus Romano

We love walking or biking through Bells Neck. There is always the beauty of nature waiting to be seen, birds, plant life, animals, awesome views. ~Jayne and Keith Phelps

Without a doubt, walking the properties that the Trust owns, each month. ~Mary E. Reynolds

Watching sandpipers scurry at Bank Street Beach at sunset. Best Way to end the work day. ~Joseph Khirallah and Diane Rezendes

Watching an osprey fly in over my canoe on Muddy Pond, Eastham, grab a fish and fly off!! Just magnificent! ~Elizabeth C. Richards

Stopping on the bike trail to explore HCT’s walking and hiking trails. Looking forward to walking the new Eldridge Pond Trail (also called Cornelius Pond Woodlands Trail). ~Edward and Bonnie Rogers

On a walk with Bob Prescott looking for box turtles at Isabel Smith, a small boy who couldn’t have been more than 4 years old yelled from the back of the line “watch out for ticks”. The boy was Skyler Lach. ~Margaret (Peggy) Rose

Seeing Snowy Owls on Coast Guard Beach. Swimming with the Cape Cod Manatee in Muddy Creek! ~Ed and Earline Rubel

Otter by Liz Baldwin

Seeing the Seals swimming in the Herring River. ~Mark and Elizabeth Russo

Kayaking. ~Briget Rutten

A walk on Skaket Beach at low tide – truly magnificent! ~Catharine and John Ryan III

Thinking that the Otter in my yard was confused, as it was moving away from the lake, I attempted to escort her back. However, she/he quickly ambled away from me and hid under my neighbor’s shed. I let her be. ~Elaine Saunders

I guess it was when I could walk the beach in Eastham and circle Henry Beston’s Outermost House after reading and lovingly devouring his beautiful words – a memorable happening for me – A spiritual encounter never forgotten – Lucky me! ~Pem Schultz

Enjoying the less traveled paths in Thompsons Fields with Tawny. ~Michael and Martha Sekerak

All the walks with Todd and Marcus! ~Elaine and Joseph Shovlin

Muddy Creek (Monomoy River) by David Colantuono

On our first trip to Cape Cod, we drove to Provincetown from Hyannis and the most stunning sight to me was the Monomoy River on our left entering into Pleasant Bay on our right. It sold us on buying a part of the Cape as close to that lovely scene as possible. ~Joan B. Smith

Bell’s Neck Trails and HCT’s Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve. ~Yvette Stenzel

Fishing off a jetty with my father. ~Janet E. Stone 

Walking our coastline on a sunny morning with an azure sky, breathing in brisk salt air while waves crash and finding peace and tranquility. ~Pat Tutunjian

Beautiful walks in all areas. There is nothing but wonderful places to go. Lovely. ~William and Edith Ward

What brings a smile—-Finding a seed capsule on a Lady Slipper stem and knowing the flower was pollinated by a bumble bee, and there is the possibility that there will be more of these lovely orchids. ~Nancy Wigley

Boating in beautiful Pleasant Bay. ~Wayne and Lucille Zibrat

Pleasant Bay & Sipson Island by Nancy Viall Shoemaker

We invite you to send us your personal reflections about what moves you in appreciation of our Cape Cod lands, waters, and wildlife by email to Michael Lach at mike@harwichconservationtrust.org. We’ll add your inspirations to HCT’s website. Thank you for celebrating your Cape Cod experiences.