Category Archives: fall on Nantucket

#626: I’m baaaaaack! Picking tomatoes

First, my laptop fell.
The computer folk said the hard-drive was broken 
and all my photos had been lost.
Unless, of course, I sent it to a data recovery company
and paid hundreds to get them back.
Soooo, I went to YouTube,
looked up Data Recovery,
and found out how to do it myself. Hehheh.
I had to buy a $30 USB SATA/IDE adapter
but it was a lot cheaper than the alternative.
Then, my camera went wonky.

All the pictures looked like this.
Thank you, Camera Shop,
for a terrific point-and-click Olympus
which lasted seven years and took over
4000 pictures.
May I have a new one, please?
Sadly, they didn’t have an Olympus in stock,
so I bought a Fujifilm T550.
Basic point-and-shoot but not waterproof.
No more underwater shoots for me.
New camera, new hard-drive,
dozens of stories I didn’t get to tell.
But now I can:
Pick-your-own-tomatoes at Bartlett’s Farm. Woo-hoo!

Farmer Justine

Tomato Turtles. All you can see is the backs.

Tobias picked over 100 lbs. for his household.
We picked 60 lbs. for ours,
enough to get us through the winter.
Happy pickers, heading back–
Behind a classic tractor.

Now the real work begins.

#580: 30 Days of Thanks #7,8,9,10

I am ever thankful but not always
at my computer.
These past few days I’ve been thankful for:
2.5 inches long, found in soil as we were potting 
up the tender perennials.

Same tender perennials, in this case, 
dahlias, salvia, and prairie-sun rudbeckia.
A last bit of garden sunshine before the winter sets in.

Also a last frog!
We found this peeper clinging to the bottom of a bag.
We needed the bag so we transferred him
 to the leaf litter out front.
We’ll be hearing from him in the spring.
( I know this is off topic, but did you ever think what it must
be like to be a tadpole, swimming around, then to grow arms and legs
and go out on land and whoa! A whole new world.
I think that’s what it’s going to be like to go home to Jesus,
suddenly, sunshine.)

Ring-necked Pheasant. The first I’ve seen in years.
Brought to the island by hunters years and years ago,
and they’re still here.
As am I.
So thankful to live close to nature.

#574: Squam Swamp Forest

Nantucket doesn’t get the big tour buses
of leaf peepers in the fall.
Probably because our prettiest leaves 
aren’t visible from the road.
You have to go for a walk in the woods.

Our 500 acre wood in Squam.

Look up! 
Tupelos or, as my friend Alison calls them,
Black Gum trees. 

I like tupelo better.
They clap their hands for joy.

There’s bright gold striping underfoot.

Further in

Swamp maples


and near,

and underwater.
Cinnamon fern,
 reflected in a tannin-laden stream.

The American Beeches are still green.
An excuse to come back again.

Another snake rustles in the leaves.
Lichens have their own beauty.

As does poison ivy,
climbing the side of a tupelo.

Wandering back across the bridge.

White oak turns gold, then brown,
The maples speckle red.
Each tree praises its Creator
in its own way.
We leaf peepers enjoy them all.

#572: Sermon Haiku #43: 1 Peter 2:4-12

Who are Christ’s followers?
Better than everyone else?
Just ordinary?
Not better, chosen.
Called apart, God’s possession
Made worthy by grace
Called for a purpose
Living the realness of God
in an unreal world
Solid on the Rock
Jesus’ stone, vibrant with life
shouting out His praise
Light in the darkness
Blessed, privileged, honored
Not because we’re good
But because He is.
Master Mason, laying stone,
Building His temple.

410: Summer’s End, again

I know, it’s October, right?
But it’s still in the 60s during the day!
Bumblebees still visit the sunflowers
and dahlias.
Garden spiders are still building webs,
covered in dew.
Fishermen are still casting from the beach,
who needs a car?
Just attach your tubes to your bike.
Snapping turtles still wander the bike path,
but no one’s dangling chicken legs for them
 at Second Bridge anymore.
We’re all done picking summer fruit,
beach plums in this picture.
The jam reminds us of hot summer days.

Zinnias will bloom till the frost.

Which is a good thing for our last monarch, a male.
Wishing him a smooth flight south.
We’ll see his great grandchild next summer.

#569: Fishing at Brant Point

Early morning, before the island wakes,
 Brant Point fishing can be magical.
A father and son hop in their kayak,
headed to Coatue to go clamming.
Some fishermen already leaving 
when we arrived, there’s always an earlier bird.
Still waters, quiet minds.
A boat or two glides by,
not busy like in August but friendly–
David usually knows the folk on these boats.

Sailing beauties sleep
Pan-fired scup for breakfast?
That’s reason enough for early morning fishing.
Evidence of a good catch,
a bluefish rack left for the seagulls.

Or, in a different light:
a mermaid sits and sings
 on the rocks of the Brant Point lighthouse.
Like I said, magical.

#567: More County Fair Fun

Did I say how much I love the County Fair?
Here’s why:
Our free Jeep for 3 days!
I won the rental from Nantucket Island Rent-a-Car at a
raffle at Fairgrounds House.
We took it out to Altar Rock for a picnic last night.

Fair food, delicious.
Peppers, onions and sausage or fried clams?
The red bracelets are new.
I don’t like them, they’re plastic.
Handstamps were cooler.

Prizes for honey.
this is a competitive class, there are a lot of beekeepers
on Nantucket.

Intense concentration on a

Extraordinary art by teenaged artists,
and their super happy customers.

Instruction in life’s complexities.
There are dozens of little ones everywhere.
Aflac, the duck, enjoying the music.

The band, 211 in Progress,
click on their name if you want to hear their sound.
They gave a shout out to our fish market during one of their songs,
the line was: happier than a cat in a fish store, Glidden’s!
Did I say how much I love our fair?

Banners snapping in the wind.

2nd prize, Skillet Toss on Sunday.
This is Tracy,
she threw that skillet 42’6″,
not to worry, the kid wasn’t standing there.
Let no one ever say Tracy is a woman
without talent.
Bringing the birds home,
one blue ribbon, one red, three white.
Nicely done, girls.
Our veggies didn’t win anything but
that’s ok, they’re still good to eat.
As David’s proving in the picture.

The ribbons ready for display.
The kitten apron 
ready for storage till next year.
It was a terrific Fair.

#566: County Fair Fun

It’s the Fair!
The worst of the crowds have gone,
time to re-group and re-connect with friends
and neighbors we’ve been too busy see all summer.
There was ring toss onto antlers

and building scarecrows. 
I’ll take pictures of the finished ones tomorrow.
I love the kid in the backwards cap making believe he’s elsewhere.

Finding courage, with spotters.

Would you let your child be face-painted
 by girls with arms like these?
I would.

Blue Ribbon Hen, or else.

Ring toss.
Parents were sometimes more anxious than the children.

Live musicians, joyful kid’s tunes.
You know, like Itsy-Bitsy spider.

Chocolate covered pretzels AND tractors,
can a fair get any better than this?

It can! Egg-on-a-spoon races.

Hay rides behind a tractor.

Photo ops on Ray Owen’s giant pumpkin.

And even martial arts demos,
with live music, and kids joining in.

But, best of all,
the Skillet Toss.
This proud gentleman is Michael, from Southie.
He tossed the skillet 54’3″ for 3rd place.
On his birthday.
Way to go, Michael.
If you want to beat his distance,
come tomorrow, 10-4 at the Tom Nevers’ Fairgrounds.
See ya there.

#464: Still thankful

 30 days of thanks: Day 23 and 24
Asha Ava, our hedgehog.
I am so thankful Jesus made such whimsical creatures.

Beauty in the Fall.
Not the full glory of summer,

Yet, light through a fallen cherry tree leaf
has a heart-aching beauty of its own.

#438: Family Scalloping

Off-season perk: family scalloping.
Time to drag out the rake from under the shed,
grab your dad’s old clam basket with tire tube
(needing air, it’s an old tube),
and head to the beach.
No bikinis in sight.
But warm enough to skip the waders
if you’re so inclined.

David spent hours making this viewing box.
As it turns out, they were so thick
he didn’t even need it.
Be sure to tie your basket to yourself
so it doesn’t float away…

 Wives who don’t scallop, wait and watch.
I counted 25 people raking,
I was told there were 50 earlier.
Shouted out on the way in:
‘Hey there woman! Now I want me some
chowder and sex.’
(No, it wasn’t David,
 and don’t you start a rumor that it was)
The sea’s bounty,
both beautiful and scrumptious.
Thank you, Lord.