Salley Mavor’s studio is an alternate universe in miniature: seedpods become sleek Tom Thumb-sized boats, acorns morph into tiny hats, and wooden coat toggles serve as bedposts. Inhabiting these magical wee worlds are elfin figures who play, work, and romp through nature, all crafted by Mavor, ultimately to become illustrations in her children’s books. “I create these worlds,” Mavor says.
Last December, my husband and I braved the cold wind on the ferry to Nantucket, bound for the Festival of Trees at the Nantucket Historical Association… and hoping to do a little last-minute shopping.
When we landed at the dock, my eyes were drawn to the harbor, where low winter sunlight sparkled. This is one of my favorite sights on the Cape, even though it only happens when the light hits the ocean at a lower, more dramatic angle.
I am always a little sad that friends who cherish these seaside places rarely get to see this spectacular winter light show transforming the ocean into a mesmerizing mosiac of light and shadow. The sight seems a perfect metaphor to me of how nature shapes the seasons of your life. Even though I spent my childhood on Mount Hope Bay and then grew up in a Long Island Sound town, I don’t remember the enchantment of winter light on the Bay or Long Island Sound. Maybe the clarity of such moments comes easier when you are older and the world has expanded beyond your own small pond.
My husband snapped this photo by the harbor and then we explored Nantucket’s holiday fiesta. Every shop seemed to overflow with sparkly decorations and surprises, and I filled my camera with shots of festive trees, wreaths, and window boxes decorating every street. We had some hot chocolate and then headed to our room at the Jared Coffin house. Soon the sun went down… and I thought, how different night is on an island in December, than on a bright summer evening. But no less beautiful.
In this issue, we share some of our favorite winter wonders on the Cape and Islands—from our cover story on savoring the Cape’s quiet season to the marvelous Flying Santas story tracing generous volunteer Santas bringing Christmas magic to lighthouse-bound children—a heart-warming holiday tradition that has happened on the Cape and Islands since 1929.
The happiest of holidays—
- Posted in Philanthropy
It may seem like a strange idea to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials in the autumn, just when Mother Nature is slowing down and about to take a long nap. But the truth is that planting in September and October is often a very smart idea on the Cape and Islands because the soil is still warm from the summer sun, air and water temperatures have moderated, and water levels in the soil are neither too great—as is often the case in New England springs—nor at hot summertime lows.
Tessa Morgan first worked with clay to sooth her teenage angst and nurse the creativity her parents instilled in her when she was a little girl. In the 35 years since, that early work—tiny pots she made at a neighbor’s house in the Maryland countryside outside Washington, D.C.—has evolved into vases, lamps, bowls, and tiles that sing with Morgan’s spirited designs and gorgeous hand-mixed glazes. Read more…
Showcasing some of the finest art in New England and beyond, Tree’s Place, on Route 6A in Orleans, is firmly established as a renowned gallery featuring nationally celebrated artists. Its gallery walls gleam with an array of distinguished works by contemporary American artists, many of them local to Cape Cod. Read more…
Autumn on Cape Cod and the Islands is a special time, treasured by year-rounders and “shoulder-season” visitors alike. The earth, sea, and sky are often glorious panoramas of light, shadow, and color, as if Mother Nature saved summer’s end for stunning grand finale fireworks. Skies are suffused with brilliant purples and blues, seaside meadows, backyard gardens, and even deck planters burst into rainbows of color, marshes turn golden, and cranberry bogs are so incredibly scarlet that you can’t believe such a color is real.
It is a time of year that never grows old, a surprising treat especially for those of us who work round the clock all summer spreading the word about this place we love. “Just wait until September comes,” we say to each other as we envy this world on vacation all around us—visitors relaxed on beaches, barefoot at ice cream stands, strolling through shops. “Come back in October,” we say to friends who hate to head back over the bridge to America—the real world—and life without an ocean and a bay, miles of dunes, bogs round every corner, and the light, the uplifting light all around us.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people say, “September and October are the best months of the year on the Cape and Islands.” Aside from the autumnal beauty of nature, there are also dozens of seafood festivals, craft fairs, art gallery openings, and outdoor concerts in all 17 Cape and Islands’ communities in the autumn. In this issue, we tell you about lots of those events, from that perennial favorite, Bourne’s Scallop Festival, to Wellfleet’s incredibly popular OysterFest, and out to Nantucket’s third annual gourmand Hogtoberfest.
In this issue, we also explore the wealth of Cape Cod’s multi-season art world in our feature on talented Rowley Gallery artist Lorraine Trenholm (don’t miss her oil painting demo in Orleans on September 24th!), take you along through the thrills and chills of a ghostly tour in historic Barnstable, and keep you warm on cool fall days with fresh bread and roll recipes from Cape and Islands bakers. And if you spent too much time in our famous summer sun, we even share hints from local skin care doctors and professionals on how to rejuvenate your skin.
In our new Social Life section, we share some snap shots of last summer’s fun. Be sure to take a look at one of the highlights of my summer—my first fishing trip ever as part of a fund-raising event for the American Cancer Society, I had the thrill of landing a whopper of a striped bass off Nantucket. The above photo is a preview of that moment. And that’s just the beginning of the fun and fabulous tales we share with you in this issue of your Cape Cod LIFE.
Come back again soon,
Bourne Farm Wine Tasting–June 11
At the second Annual Wine Tasting held at West Falmouth’s Bourne Farm to benefit Falmouth’s Salt Pond Areas Bird Sanctuaries, President Barrie W. Murray, left, and her daughter Whitney Murray were all smiles.
Summer Fête en Plein Air– June 18
John MacPhee of Aspen Cross Financial Group and Irina MacPhee, owner of West Barnstable’s Pastiche of Cape Cod, savored the success of the Annual Summer Fete en Plein Air, hosted on the grounds at Pastiche of Cape Cod. The event benefitted and was sponsored by the West Barnstable Civic Association.
Cahoon Museum Gala– June 30
Bunnie Stevens, co-chair, Alyce Morrissey, chair, and Francesca Carriuolo, honorary chair, enjoyed the Cahoon Museum Gala at Osterville’s Wianno Club.
Lorraine W. Trenholm is as restless as her two horses loping outside, on her 75-acre property perched on a Colorado mesa. Awake since 4:30 a.m., Trenholm’s morning has been chock-a-block with activity: feeding her Saluki hounds, teaching a pastels class in a nearby town, and, not least, talking about her prolific work. Her nature-inspired paintings are impressionistic celebrations—like the places she plants herself, laced with a powerful but subdued energy.
“I’m a restless spirit,” Trenholm says. “I have gotten the impression that I make some galleries crazy because I bounce around in subject matter and style.” She pauses, then adds with an apologetic smile in her voice, “I am my paintings.” She adheres to strict demands on herself. “The best paintings create a compelling image. You can do 25 images and only four will be compelling images.” Read more…
When President Obama touched down in Cape Cod for his 2011 Martha’s Vineyard getaway, Cape Cod Life Publications’ office manager was there with her triplet granddaughters to greet him!
Seaside living at its best can be found in this exquisite five-bedroom architect designed home in peaceful Cataumet. Take in marvelous sunsets and south west breezes, or head out from your own mooring float to picturesque harbors and sandy island beaches. Relax and enjoy the fishing, shellfishing, birding and sunbathing right outside your door.