One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

This Particular Thursday


65 years ago this morning, the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese kamikaze fighter planes. The surprise attack was devastating, and brought World War II to America’s doorstep.

Until 2001, this “day of infamy” was the worst attack ever suffered on American soil. As more of the survivors of that day pass away, it feels more and more important to take a moment to remember what happened on that long ago December morning.

This seagull waits for scraps on the roof of the restaurant. It was another beautiful morning…not only sunny and bright, but with a surprise temperature back in the 50s. The cold, they say, will be back tomorrow…so we enjoyed our outdoor moments today.


This Christmas season the Old Jailhouse Tavern has been blessed with a trio of amazing hanging poinsettias baskets.

You should take a break from your holiday shopping to have lunch and admire them.


“Found” another lovely sunset on the way home from work this evening. This shot was taken from the parking lot at First Encounter Beach in Eastham.

On the evening news, I heard that it might be possible for us to see the launch of the space shuttle from this part of the country. The more customary daytime launchs usually prevent such a thing, with the sun and all. But this evening’s rare night-time launch was going to provide a nightsky viewing opportunity for those of us in the northeast, if clouds didn’t prevail. So around 9:15, I drove to Coast Guard Beach to try my luck.

The waning moon was rising over the ocean, and a great host of stars and planets, including the obvious Orion to the southeast, were visible.

It was a beautiful night, if a little colder by the water than at our house. I enjoyed the view and the sound of the crashing waves of the incoming tide never fails to soothe me, even as I convince myself the cracking branch I’ve just heard in the dark is no more than a bunny.


This afternoon while tracking down the details about shuttle viewing, I also learned that we–the Earth–are currently in a radiation storm, following a recent period of serious sunspot activities. We can expect possible satellite interruptions, but this also increases the possibility of seeing the aurora…which would be pretty cool.

The photo here looks north from the Coast Guard station. That pinprick of light to the right in the photo is the distant beam of Nauset Light.

After standing on the boardwalk for a while, I did see a flash in the sky to the south, a sort of smokey-orange streak across the sky that lasted no more than a two-count. I thought I had seen the shuttle Discovery climbing on its way into orbit…but was surprised to learn when I got back home that the launch had been scrubbed. Which makes me wonder what I saw?

And now for this evening’s seasonal linkage: If you’re feeling a bit run-over by the pre-Christmas rush…you might visit the games at Shockwave to try your hand at Santa’s Snowball, in which you get to run down a bunch of trash-talking elves with a giant snowball. It’s kind of fun.

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