We're back from our Cape Cod vacation (booo!). I'm hoping these photos will tide you over until I type up my next post, which is sure to be either universally loved or reviled, I'm not sure which. Probably both.
Above is a view from Chatham at sunset. You can't see them, but there were seals out there. Tons of them. Tiny, dark dots bobbing up and back down into the silvery water. Come early morning, the Great Whites apparently swim through there and have themselves quite the buffet. That was the word on the street anyway. No, we did not drive back the next morning to watch the seal buffet. It takes a lot more than the promise of a live documentary-style bloodbath to get me out of bed in the morning at 5 a.m., especially on vacation.
Here we are on the less sharky side of the Cape, the bay side, where the receding tide exposes the sandy shallows for what seems like miles to the horizon. This is an oyster farm. Brewster Oysters, to be exact. Every year at the beach at the end of the dirt road our rental is on, we see the owners Dave and Diane tending their mollusks while the kids search for creatures in the tidal flats. The oysters live in these protected beds, which are completely submerged under the water during high tide and exposed like this during low tide, when the bivalves can be sorted and harvested. Oysters are filter-feeders, meaning they extract plankton and other nutrients as the water flows by, making them a sustainable seafood choice. We have enjoyed these very same oysters at the fabulous nearby Brewster Fish House. You can also find them at several local fish markets, including Nauset Fishmarket, Captain Elmer's, and Breakwater Fish & Lobster.
Grandpa P took us out on his boat to check the lobster traps. No keepers this time. The three lobsters he caught were too small and were thrown back (along with a slew of crabs and a baby striped bass who was found inside the bait bag!). We saw sandpipers and cormorants on the sand bars, plovers in the sky, and ospreys perched on their towering nesting platform in Orleans' Town Cove.
Fields of Queen Anne's Lace greeted us at Fort Hill in Eastham, where we searched for monarch caterpillars among the milkweed. We were a little too late, it seemed, though we did see one lone monarch butterfly fluttering about. Mexico is that way, I told him. The boys caught land snails instead and admired the bunnies.
Don't mind the gratuitous bunny photo. Even I have a soft spot for the fuzzy, vegetable-pilfering fellows. And not just because they're delicious!
Hope you all are enjoying your summer. I'll be back to regular posting and recipe-testing pleas soon!