The Farthermost View


March 5, 2017

Tags: Woodcock, Birds, Mating, Visitors

The visiting Woodcock.
Yesterday I was standing there ironing when I glanced out the window and saw a mourning dove on the dirt path behind the oakleaf hydrangeas. It was awfully fat. And it was weaving back and forth, as if it had a stomach ache, or was saying to itself Oh dear oh dear, whatever shall I do? (more…)


February 15, 2017

Tags: Deer, Death

Now and then I walk with Pippin and Thurber, the Rescue Squad, in the woods on a piece of public land not far from my home. There are gravel roads running through it that are kept in good enough condition for trucks to use, and there are half a dozen cinder block storage buildings owned by the town. As with any piece of land on Cape Cod, it’s not exactly wilderness; but not many people walk around there, which is why I do. (more…)


January 7, 2017

Tags: Marijuana, Martinis

In among the sad, bad, and mad events of the last year, a little bit of glad tidings that I hadn’t paid much attention to was delivered. I woke up out of a funk one day and realized that it was now legal to grow, own, and use marijuana in a recreational way. (more…)


November 25, 2016

Tags: Thanksgiving, Shopping

On Thanksgiving morning the Cape Cod Times was about five times fatter than usual, and I knew why. Just one glance and I was the ads. (more…)


November 15, 2016

Tags: Town landing, Osprey

Down next to the town landing there’s a little cottage I’ve had my eye on for a number of years. Now and then it’s been occupied, but for the most part it’s sat empty, up on a little knoll overlooking the boat launch and the parking lot and Little Pleasant Bay. (more…)


October 5, 2016

Tags: Wilderness, Cape Cod, Wildlife, Native plants

This morning I took my coffee, a jelly doughnut from the Hole In One, and a book, and went outside with the dogs to sit on the wooden swing. The weather was perfect for sitting in for the first time in a long time – the temperature 73, the humidity 70%, the wind at 7, and on the far side of the white pine and the red oak, the sky was Cape Cod blue. (more…)


September 30, 2016

Tags: Donald W. Baker, Poetry, Death, Cape Cod

My father, Donald W. Baker, was a poet. I was looking through some of his poems the other day, both published and unpublished, and here's one I particularly like.

Dying In Massachusetts

I think I should like to die in Massachusetts,
wading Parker's River in sneakers at slack water,
my wire basket a quarter full of blue crabs,
and I easing my long-handled net towards a big one. (more…)


August 31, 2016

Tags: Drought, Cape Cod, Walking, Summer

On one of our morning walks last spring we saw one of our neighbors coming toward us, carrying what looked like a racquetball racquet. I figured he had found it floating in the harbor. Or perhaps he had been practicing his serves, whacking rocks out into the pond. As we approached he began swinging it wildly around his head, and I waved merrily in response. (more…)


August 21, 2016

Tags: Native plants, Butterflies, Gardening, Dutchman's Pipe

Spicebush swallowtail baby.
Recently I read an article in Better Homes & Gardens that sets forth a number of terrific principles for natural-looking gardens. It emphasizes grouping both native and non-native plants with similar requirements to create a “natural” look in the garden; to grow the “right plant, right place” in order to effect waterwise, ecological gardening. (more…)


July 18, 2016

Tags: Gypsy moth, Mating, Summer, Cape Cod, Moths

Ah, summer on Cape Cod! The sun sends down his gentle rays from the heavens, the Merry Little Breezes ruffle the pines, the air is full of little brown moths, fluttering, flittering, flattering – (more…)