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."

Fiddle-de-bits of Autumn

The fiery foliage…and the great weather, continued on into Monday.  Fortunately, it was a quiet work day for me – Monday almost always is, so after a bit of paperwork early on I tended to a few errands elsewhere…and on the way, got to see a few other things.

It’s a rainy day today, cool at 51 F and the day hanging gray outside the Nest windows, the rain coming in from the south at just enough of an angle to be pretty loud battering against the vinyl siding.  I’m not disappointed that it’s a rainy day off.  A nice day would only tempt me out those doors again, and there’s much I would accomplish inside here, instead.

But yesterday?   Yesterday was pretty great.


A beautiful blue sky was the perfect background to make the peaking foliage really burn more brightly against the sky.

These ducks weren’t thrilled when I stopped for a look across the marsh.

Today’s garden shots come from outside Seaman’s Bank in Eastham.   Although the summer’s purple coneflower stalks have all been pruned away by a dutiful landscaping crew, a few late flowers are persisting.

And these roses, by the entrance sign, are blooming quite merrily for the time of year.  Of course, in breeding for such heartiness and duration of blooming, other things have gone by the wayside and I found these beauties to be barely scented at all…hardly anything more than the memory of what a rose is meant to smell like.

I want to assure you I was very careful about parking today and stay quite clear of any curbstones.   It’s a fun time to visit the bank, though, and I wish I could come up with new reasons to return every day:  This week each year, all of the Seaman’s Bank branches celebrate Customer Appreciation week and so there are these lavish buffet spreads in each bank’s lobby, featuring cookies, or chocolates, or pastries, or hors d’ouevres, cheese, fruit…it’s really kind of fun.  I seem to bank just before lunchtime, generally, and so I am almost always hungry when I visit there.

And today there were these little pear and gorgonzola puff pastries…yum!  If only I had more money and more accounts to transfer it back and forth amongst, I could be having lunch like that every day!   ;  )

After my bit of banking and a visit to the post office, I continued east until I reached Nauset Light Beach.  It had been a couple of weeks since I’d last seen the ocean and I do like to check in now and then.  It’s always interesting to get to the beach and realize that while its a bright sunny day for us, just offshore is a fogbank that would make a completely different day.  The visual effect is sort of cool.

Because I was now technically on my way back to the office, I didn’t go down the fifty or so steps at Nauset Light Becah which take you down onto the beach.  It’s one of my favorite spots along the National Seashore, but I like to visit when I’ve got time to enjoy.
No, yesterday, the overlook of the stairs landing was enough for me.   I think it was just past high tide, though I am not always skilled at being sure of this without consulting a chart.  Anyway, the surf was all kicked up and the scent of the sea was full in the air.  Oh, how I love that…isn’t it funny how air always seems fresher and more enjoyable at the inhaling, when it is scented with something that stirs our soul…the tangy salt of the ocean, the breath of  roses, freshly mown grass.

Nauset light winked at me from its spot nestled on the hillside.  First white, then red.  I think it’s 11 seconds between flashes of white, but it’s been a while since I’ve stayed to watch and try to photograph.

When I have purchased a new tripod, then I’ll make an evening of coming over to play with the night settings on this camera.

Anyway, it was time to head on to the rest of my day, which went pretty well and was surprisingly productive.   It was still a fantastic day when I left work a while later and I got to Skaket beach in time to capture this image of the evening’s sunset.

I sort of wish I had stayed to see what happened next, but I had my mind on other things and so I was already at the gas station when the fog bank moved in and turned that yellow-orange disc into a dull red circle in the sky.  I saw it as I was driving home to the Nest, but by the time I got to a proper vantage point for another photo, it was already sliding down behind the horizon…and so home I went.

Going home is always a treat, since my roommate is almost always there at the door to greet me.  Even though I know he spends a lot of time curled up in patches of sunshine, I do appreciate what a hardship it must be not to have someone to coerce into giving treats and rubs in between all that napping.

He has certainly been pleased with the recent arrival of some rug real estate here at the Nest.  He’s always been fond of lounging around on his back and carpet is much more amenable to that sort of non-activity than the bare wooden floor, most of the year, anyway.

Plus of course, there’s that whole, “If I run at it really fast from as far away in the next room as I can get, I can get the rug to slide for about a foot…and BOY, is that fun!” thing, too.

During one of my breaks from Kitty Play Time, I painted these shelves for eventual installation in the bathroom.    It was the same test-sized jar of Sherwood Green which I had earlier used on the picture frames (you can see them stacked in the upper right corner there).

There wasn’t lots left, though, and since I always like it when the wood grain shows through, I watered down a bit of the Sherwood Green and made a wash of it.  It was three or four coats of that watery business which I applied to the shelves over the course of the evening and I think they look pretty good.

Greenshelves was all my joy Greenshelves was my delight, Greenshelves was my heart of gold, And who but -”

(What?!  Oh…well, that’s very different.)

Never mind.  As the evening drew to a close I was surfing through a few of my favorite blogs.  It’s nice to see Mister Lacey back home and posting again.  If you’ve not seen his Columbus Weekend photos, you should totally check them out.  At Loose Ends, I discovered that he’d posted the results of a quiz he had taken, in which it was determined that he was 42% Stereotypically Gay.  Smugly, I thought, “I bet I can take this quiz and get a much better score.”  And indeed, ironically, I have done just so:

You Are 58% Stereotypically Gay

You somewhat fit the gay stereotype, but not totally. If you aren’t actually gay, there are at least a few people who assume you are. If you are gay, it’s not much of a secret. Your mannerisms and phrases make it obvious.

*                                   *                                      *

Somehow, I think I have this illusion that I’m working under the radar.  It’s really sort of funny, as though wearing a few flannel shirts and not liking to shop or shave or cook fancy foods makes me more straight-acting.  The quiz didn’t even ASK about these things.

Instead, it focussed on all the Zhooshing and the Fabulous-ing – It turns out my job may be seriously outing me.  Because of all the public presentations – the coffee and chowder stations and deli buffets and cheese displays and flower arrangements – it seems I am forever Zhooshing things at the last moment…but I NEVER think of it as that.

And “backstage”, it does seem that I often ironically mutter “Fabulous” under my breath, or declare it loud for all staff to here…like its a magic word and just saying it will make it so.   My best guess is that it is these occasions which have so impacted my score.

I don’t think the cat would let us keep a feather boa, so “we” haven’t yet tried.  I did briefly consider buying one earlier this fall as a possible alternative bedroom window treatment.  I threw the idea out because it sounded too gay.   ; )

But I may just be in denial about my Inner Disney Princess.

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Comments on: "Fiddle-de-bits of Autumn" (6)

  1. Really liking these photos and the ones below Greg. The beach looks a little cold but I would still go as I have never been to the ocean yet, flew over it but never went to an ocean beach yet. Like the birds landing and the kitty relaxing! :)

    Oh, Steven, you can’t just fly over the ocean without stopping to see what its about first! We’ll have to get you and Dave to plan a Cape Cod vacation to coincide with the next Bloggers Who Enjoy Fried Food and Chocolate Reunion; our spring happens a little sooner than yours…maybe you should come see ours and get two for yourself! Or find an inn with a fireplace and come during the winter.

    It wasn’t cold at the beach yesterday, though it was a little windy. The sun was nice and warm, which seemed to balance things out.

  2. Beautiful captures here. You, too, seem to be experiencing a lot of red colors this year for Fall. Some are saying because it was such a wet season. But I would hardly know. I love the sunset with the concentric circles that have formed around it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. What fantastic photographs you have taken. What is your secret to getting them looking so great?

    Thanks, Shauna. I think I get lucky with a lot of my photos, since there is simply so much beauty here on Cape Cod that, to some extent, a monkey could run out with a point-and-shoot camera and get a few shots no dissiimilar to these. But really, I can’t undersell paying attention to the conditions, particularly the kind of sunshine and the angle of it on my subject. Sometimes I can get that just right and there’s the photo.

    But you can also tweak some of that sort of thing in most basic photography programs. I use something free I downloaded called Serif PhotoPlus 6, version 6.03, which helps me adjust brightness, contrast, color saturation and so on. Its a basic program that works pretty well for me. I’ve had it a long time. I should probably see if there’s an updated version…but I’ve been pretty happy with this program, too.

  4. I want to be your cat. No matter how fabulous or marvellous or whatever, you’re still gay. I’m glad.

    Joebear, that was never in question!! Neither is the enviability of my cat’s life, that’s for sure! He’s got a sweet thing going on…

  5. I was irritated by the “stereotype” questions so I didn’t finish it. I’m a party pooper I know. Lovely pics as always.

    I wonder if that gives you an automatic 100%…

  6. Mary Conte said:

    Ughhhhh – this post and your pictures make me miss the Cape so badly… also, they make me want to steal your cat…. whooops ;)

    Glad you enjoyed the post, even if it made you a little homesick! I simply can’t spare the kitty, though – I need him too much. However, you are always welcome to stop by for a snuggle with him when you’re in the neighborhood!!

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