Magical Aura in a Mad Era

“Meanwhile, from the uncertainties of this age, this mad era of ours, we must turn perhaps, to the only certainties –– the things upon which our senses seize, the things that delight our eyes, our ears, our skin and to the magic aura created about these things by memory –– that so carefully and subtly magnifies the emotionally significant phases of experience, and suppresses all the rest.” — surrealist photographer Clarence John Laughlin, in correspondence to Hazel Guggenheim McKinley (10 July 1941)

I don’t think I need to enlarge on the uncertainties and madness of our times, do I?

Escapist that I am, or mystic, or human in need of connection to habitat: Another visit to Cape Cod, a week or so ago, and in that few days’ memory what persists is the tide, the rocks and shells — so much salt water, the scent, the feel of salt-saturated air on the skin — and the rabbits, snakes, butterflies, birds.  And — made both more vivid and somehow also dreamlike in memory — the mist, the fog, the vistas, the colours.

 Animals

springazurebutterflylogAtlanticWhiteCedarSwampMarconiSiteWellfleetCC28April2017
spring azure butterfly, Atlantic White Cedar Swamp, Marconi site, Wellfleet
smallbutterflyblendingPametTrailsTruroCC28April2017
brown elfin butterfly, Pamet Trails, Truro
brownbutterflyPametTrailsTruroCC28April2017
Juvenal’s duskywing, Pamet Trails, Truro
paintedladybutterflybearberryPametTrailsTruroCC28April2017
Painted Lady butterfly, Pamet Trails, Truro
ploverbirdsidefacerockswrackbeachsandCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
piping plover, Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
seabirdsflyingskyGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
seabirds, Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
maybehornedlarkGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
horned lark, Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
goldfinchbirdpinebNausetLightBeachCC27April2017
goldfinch in pine, Nauset Beach Light
fluffyhousesparrowbCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
house sparrow, Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
sparrowperchedrearheadCoveMotelCC27April2017
sparrow, Cove Motel, Orleans
laughinggullMassAudubonWellfleetCC29April2017
laughing gull, Mass Audubon, Wellfleet
gullblackbillwhiteGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
juvenile great black-backed gull (I think), Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
blacksnakeleavesPametTrailsTruroCC28April2017
small black racer snake, Pamet Trails, Truro
crabclawbeachCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
crab claw, Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
crabclawpurpleGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
crab claw, Great island Trail, Wellfleet

feistymarshcrabMassAudubonWellfleetCC29April2017
feisty marsh crab, Mass Audubon, Wellfleet
marshcrabclawpurpleclosebestMassAudubonWellfleetCC29April2017
marsh crab, Mass Audubon, Wellfleet
anotherskateeggcaseGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
one of several skate egg cases, Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
whelkeggcaseroundbBallstonBeachTruroCC28April2017
waved whelk egg case, Ballston Beach, Truro – I had never seen one before
largegreenfrogheadeyesMassAudubonWellfleetCC29April2017
green frog, Mass Audubon, Welfleet
ladybugMollyforearmclosePametTrailsTruroCC28April2017
ladybug on forearm, Pamet Trails by beach, Truro
spiderwebCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
one of many grass spider funnel webs (I think), Nauset Beach Eastham
largeblackwhitecatMassAudubonWellfleetCC29April2017
large black & white cat, Mass Audubon … a crow was yelling at this cat and chased it away
rabbitbycentercMassAudubonWellfleetCC29April2017
rabbit at Mass Aubudon, Wellfleet
rabbitscratchingfacecedartrunkMassAudubonWellfleetCC29April2017
rabbit on Try Island, Wellfleet

Rocks & Shells

rockybeachGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
rocky beach, Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
prominentrocksandbeachGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
prominent rock, Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
yelowpinkrocklayeredsandbeachCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
pink-yellow rock, Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
pinkrockbeachsandCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
pink rock. Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
iridescentmolluskshellGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
iridescent mollusk, Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
snailsonclamshellGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
snails on clam shell, Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
blackmolluskshellssandbeachCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
mollusks, Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
indigobluescallopshellGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
indigo blue scallop shell, Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
scallopshellsandGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
scallop shell, Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
slippershellsGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
slipper shells, Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
snailshellnautilussandbeachCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
snail shell (nautilus), Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
whitepurpleshellGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
Great Island Trail, Wellfleet

Colour

trailforsythiayellowbloomMassAudubonWellfleetCC29April2017
forsythia, Mass Audubon, Wellfleet
sandweatheredfenceartsyMassAudubonWellfleetCC29April2017
sand, weathered fence, Mass Audubon, Wellfleet

goldenredpineneedleszipperstemNausetLightCC27April2017
pine with zipper-like stem, Nauset Light, Eastham
pinkbearberryflowersGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
pink bearberry flower, Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
mossalongtrailMassAudubonWellfleetCC29April2017
moss along trail, Mass Audubon, Wellfleet
shellsfeatherbeachsandCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
hooked mussel, shell, feather, bladderwrack on Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
redbladderwrackGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
red and black bladderwrack (I think), Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
sandytrailgrassesblueskyPametTrailsTruroCC28April2017
blue sky, sand trail, grasses, Pamet Trails, Truro
pinkmooringsclosebeachCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
pink moorings on Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
buildingmetalgrategrassartsyCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
wooden shingles, metal flashing, grate, cinder block, grasses, Coast Guard Beach, Eastham

Plants

tinywhiteflowerCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
common shepherd’s cress (Teesdalia), Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
ChimaphilamaculataSpottedWintergreenMassAudubonWellfleetCC29April2017
spotted wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata), Mass Audubon, Wellfleet
artemesiawormwoodGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
wormwood (Artemesia), Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
blackhuckleberryAtlanticWhiteCedarSwampMarconiSiteWellfleetCC28April2017
black huckleberry shrub, Atlantic White Cedar Swamp, Marconi Site, Wellfleet
serviceberryflowersPametTrailsTruroCC28April2017
serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis) flowering, Pamet Trails, Truro
AmelanchierServiceberryflowerMassAudubonWellfleetCC29April2017
some kind of cherry tree flower, Mass Audubon, Wellfleet

 

Mist and Fog

fogbeachshorelinerocksCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
shoreline in fog, Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
duneerosionbeachCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
dune erosion, fog, Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
NausetLightHousefogbNausetLightCC27April2017
Nauset Lighthouse in fog, Eastham
coastguardhousetanglesvinesCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
Coast Guard house through vines, fog, Eastham
fogburingbrushfireCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
controlled brush fire in fog, Coast Guard Beach, Eastham

Angry Ocean

wavecrashingfoamoceanNausetLightCC27April2017
Nauset Beach, Eastham
oceansurfwavesbeachCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
oceanbirdsCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
Coast Guard Beach, Eastham (with birds)
giantwaveformingoceanNausetLightCC27April2017
Nauset Beach, Eastham
angryoceanbeachshorelineCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
Coast Guard Beach, Eastham

Vistas and Views

“You have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life … All the things that have deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it–tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest–if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself–you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say ‘Here at last is the thing I was made for.’”  C.S. Lewis, from The Problem of Pain

viewhillsPametTrailsTruroCC28April2017
the most amazing views at Pamet Trails in Truro
TomboardwalkmarshwaterMassAudubonWellfleetCC29April2017
boardwalk in marsh, near bay, at Mass Audubon, Wellfleet
stairspineneedlesAtlanticWhiteCedarSwampMarconiSiteWellfleetCC28April2017
stairs, Atlantic White Cedar Swamp, Marconi Site, Wellfleet
sandypathPametTrailsTruroCC28April2017
sandy path, Pamet Trails, Truro
sandgrassfenceviewMarconiWirelessStationSiteWellfleetCC28April2017
view to ocean from Marconi Wireless Station Site, Wellfleet
sandfenceoceanskyMarconiWirelessStationSiteWellfleetCC28April2017
another view to the ocean at the Marconi Wireless Station Site, Wellfleet
pathtoNausetlighthouseCoastGuardBeachCC27April2017
path to Nauset Lighthouse, Eastham
marshgrassesoverboardwalkMassAudubonWellfleetCC29April2017
marsh grasses over the boardwalk at Mass Audubon, Wellfleet
FirstEncounterBeachEasthamCC27April2017
bay, First Encounter Beach, Eastham
entrancetoPametTrailsfrombeachBallstonBeachTruroCC28April2017
entrance to Pamet Trails from Ballston Beach, Truro
colourpatcheshillsidePametTrailsTruroCC28April2017
more views from Pamet Trails, Truro
colourpatcheshillsidegrassesPametTrailsTruroCC28April2017
colourful patches of grasses and shrubs, Pamet Trails, Truro
GutpondGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
gut, Great Island Trail, Wellfleet
cedarforesttreeswatermagicallightAtlanticWhiteCedarSwampMarconiSiteWellfleetCC28April2017
magical light, Atlantic White Cedar Swamp, Marconi Site, Wellfleet
boardwalkwatertreesAtlanticWhiteCedarSwampMarconiSiteWellfleetCC28April2017
boardwalk through cedars, Atlantic White Cedar Swamp, Marconi Site, Wellfleet
beachbatPametTrailsTruroCC28April2017
beach view from Pamet Trails, Truro
viewhorizonlightpathsandGreatIslandTrailWellfleetCC27April2017
light sky at horizon, Great Island Trail, Wellfleet

 

Hope you enjoyed the trip as much as I did.

2 Comments on “Magical Aura in a Mad Era

  1. Such great photos. Did you get a new camera?
    the birds, the weathered fence, the sandy parhs – I can’t pick a favorite.

    • Thanks, Rachael. No, same camera. … sent it away to an eBay guy to fix it and had it back in less than a week! We love all the options for walking and seeing wildlife on the Cape.

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