Category Archives: rantum scoot

#619: Milestone in the mist

A crack of dawn drive out to see the ‘Sconset sunrise.
Here’s the road:
Maybe we should have left at 4:45, instead of 5.
The clouds are already reflecting glory.

softly, in the mist.

Dawn over an ancient ocean.

Reflected in a Codfish Park window.

And the eyes of a rosehip munching rabbit.

Peeking ’round the porch.

Contemplating beauty,
 grass sparkling in the mist.

Back to training for the Nantucket Triathlon.

Serenity, for the eye and soul,
makes it worth rising before the sun.

#610: The Far Side of Sesachacha Pond

There used to be a wood gate off Polpis Road.
It opened onto a dirt road to Sesachacha Pond.
The gate and most of the road are gone now,
but it’s a peaceful 1/2 mile walk.
With a view of Sankaty Light over the marsh

And fox grape buds everywhere,
We’ll be sure to come back in the fall to pick grapes.

At road’s end there’s a path down to the pond.

Perfect for fishing.

Or duck hunting, in season.
the name of this building is
‘Duck Wack Shack’

There are bridges across waterways 
from the marshes. Improvised…
And solidly built. 
So many birds in here!
Heard but not seen.
Nature feels the same way about this sign as I do.

Here are the true resident of Sesachacha:
wild oysters,

Ospreys, and the fish they eat.

Garbage in the brush comes from people,

not trees reaching for the moon,

nor deer,

nor the sandpiper who left these delicate prints

Back up the path to home.
Leaving behind Sesachacha as we found it.
It’s all yours, sandpiper.

#593: Madaket Snowy Owl Quest

Yes, we’re still on a quest
to spot a snowy owl.
This time we went to Madaket:
where we spotted a black-backed gull
serenely cruising over a tempestuous sea.

Windsurfers in Madaket Harbor,
not birds, but flying nonetheless.

A herring gull,
flying off with a scallop,
not intending to share.

Seeking, seeking…at Jackson Point

An osprey nest,
waiting for spring, and nestlings.

Searching along the mosquito ditch,
nothing but wet feet so
we headed over to Walter Barrett pier.

Where we were greeted by these lady mallards.

But what’s that?
Could it be, a snowy owl on that distant tree?
Yes! He was staring right at us. Oh, if only I had a zoom lens.
Go here for snowy owl close-ups by Dr. Greg Hinson.
He has a decent camera, and a prodigious talent.

A quick stop at second bridge to celebrate
our successful quest.

#592: Coskata Ramble

David and I took a Sunday afternoon walk,
in search of snowy owls (which we didn’t find).
Here’s our route.
Heading out from Wauwinet,
the music begins softly.
The heavens, telling the glory of God.
In ever-changing symphony.
And the waters echoed back His praise.

A cedar solo.
Woodwinds sang out brightly,
unperturbed by yesterday’s storm.
Lichen and heather, 
sweet harmonies under a timpani sun.

Coskata Woods strings,
alive with songbirds.

Oceanside crescendo.

Piccolo seaweed.
God’s hand in the details.
All creation sings His praise.
It was a gloriously beautiful walk.

#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.

#563: Harbor Wander

A fog-bound morning is perfect for 
wandering around the docks.
Blue and yellow.
An early rising fisherman.
Boats for getting to other boats.
Draggers tied up at one wharf and…

Yachts at another.
Nantucket pigeons,
who needs birdseed?
Women can be found everywhere,
just follow the signs.

Not my house, definitely my guy.
The crazy busyness of August begs
early morning wandering with David.
Keeps us sane.

#542: Vision of a secret beach

Nantucket has her secret places,
obviously these bike riders know this one.

Down an overgrown path, an egret inlet.

with nearly invisible crabs,

 ethereal down feathers caught in the beachgrass,

Conch shells, long empty,

and birds wandering in circles,
nothing to fear here.

#496: Walk with me: Monomoy freeze

The harbor isn’t quite frozen over,
but there’s ice. 
David and I went down to see:
Food for the birds along the path
A gull and a pair of mallards next to the
 Monomoy fresh water drain, clear of ice.
My arctic explorer.
The only boat to be seen is Blair Perkin’s
The ice forms, then cracks as the waves roll in.

A ‘gull sweep’ at the end of a pier,
meant to keep the gulls from landing;
the pier is still littered with the shells they drop
and break to get at the meat. 

Underneath is all clean.
Is that the door into summer?
Not yet.

#473: Behind the bogs

A favorite walk:
behind the Milestone Cranberry bogs,
along the edge of Stumpy Pond.
The swamp maple on Reepicheep’s Island.
A bit of Narnia on Nantucket

A bit of Narnia, or a pathway to…
Sky or pond?

Ripples soften the clouds.

Soaking up the blue.

A single chair for looking and thinking.

Sun glory on the way home.
No matter how hectic the holiday season becomes,
it is always worth going on a rantum scoot,
taking time to listen for God’s voice in His creation.

#323: President Kennedy’s Bunker

Out in Tom Nevers,
there used to be a Navy base.
Back in David’s bachelor days,
he shared an apartment with a sailor
who left this dish:

The Navy base was abandoned in 1962.
It was a fun place to 
poke around until they took 
most of the buildings down.
One that remains:
Tucked under the hill where we sit to
watch the Demolition Derby,

looking like it belongs in Hobbiton,

Is the bunker built to shelter President Kennedy
in case of a nuclear attack while he
was in Hyannisport.
I can hear it now,
“Quick, Mr. President, we have to 
fly over to Nantucket through
all this nuclear fallout so you can be safe
in the bunker.”

“No wait! Nantucket’s fogged in,
we’ll have to take the ferry.”