“Cape Cod is the bared and bended arm of Massachusetts. The shoulder is at Buzzard’s Bay; the elbow at Cape Mallebarre; the wrist at Truro; and the sandy fist at Provincetown.”-Henry David Thoreau
October has always been a favorite month for me to make photographs. When I was a wedding photographer, October was quite a popular for wedding photography. Almost more so than June-believe it or not! I used to say, “October is the new June”.
Last month, October, I had the honor and pleasure of coming out of retirement, so to speak, to photograph my nephew’s wedding at one of my favorite places in the United States, Cape Cod.
I first experienced the Cape some 34 years ago when my brother, #David, and my sister-in-law, Anne, took me for the first time. I had just graduated high school and I was excited to photograph for the first time on the East Coast. I fell in love with the beauty of this hooked-shaped peninsula of the state of Massachusetts. Cape Cod is a popular summertime destination for East Coasters, with quaint villages, seafood shacks, lighthouses, ponds, cranberry bogs, sand dunes, bay and ocean beaches, colonial history and so much more. After that first trip, I knew I wanted to return and spend more time exploring and making photographs. I returned a couple more times for a day or two but was not able to explore and photograph as I had wanted. This past month I was able to do just that.
Our time in the Cape began in Falmouth, with family and friends celebrating the marriage of Andrew and Liz. Falmouth is a coastal town on the Cape across from the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Nobska Lighthouse stands at Falmouth’s southern tip, as is Woods Hole, a seaside area of Falmouth, home to the Woods Hole Science Aquarium. Inland, is Highfield Hall and Gardens, where the wedding and reception took place. Highfield is a historic 19th-century estate which exhibits contemporary art, spectacular gardens, and 400 acres of natural trails (Beebe Woods).
The wedding celebration took place on a Saturday afternoon, after a light rain and windy morning. Family and friends gathered to witness the exchange of vows and promises made. After making photographs of family, the wedding party and the bride and groom, we all celebrated.
Liz and Andrews Wedding, Highfield Hall, Falmouth
The next day, Jamie and I began our drive to the northern tip of the Cape, stopping first in Eastham at the Cape Cod National Sea Shore to photograph Nauset Beach Light. From there we headed north to Truro to Highland Light and Truro Vineyards. The wind was gusting, which made walking a challenge. It was well worth braving the elements to see all the beauty that surrounded us. By the time we reached Truro Vineyards, we were cold and wiped out by the gale force winds. We were ready for wine and spirit tasting…well mostly partaking in their spiced rum and with apple cider to warm us up! Did I mention it was cold? I’m not sure what the wind chill factor was for this autumn day, but I do know that Truro’s spiced rum and cider warmed are insides!
After we left Truro, we headed to Provincetown, “PTown”, this seaside town is where the Mayflower landed in 1620 and is commemorated with the towering Pilgrim Monument. As the oldest continuous art colony, PTown is home to some 60 art galleries, not to mention great restaurants, shops, and MacMillan Wharf. After our wind-whipping excursion, we were ready to eat. We stopped in at the Lobster Pot. If you travel to this little seaside town, a meal, or two, at the Lobster Pot is a must! What is on the menu…well, lobster of course! Lobster rolls, lobster bisque, lobster tacos, lobster grilled cheese, lobster alfredo,…lobster! Oh, and they have Portuguese specialties as well such as Portuguese soup and paella.
After our meal, we walked along the beach outside the Lobster Pot. The wind was still blowing, not as brutal earlier in the day. Jamie rescued a crab that was stuck on the beach under the wharf. She saved the little crab from becoming a crab cake. Pilgrim Monument was in full view from the wharf.
It was getting close to sunset. We said goodbye to our little crab friend and drove to Race Point Light and Herring Cove Beach. The wind was whipping and it was cold but that didn’t matter because the setting sun in the western sky waiting to give us a beautiful sunset. After the sunset and there was no more light, we left Herring Cove and checked in to our hotel.
The next morning I got up early, really early. You would think that for being on vacation I would want to sleep in. That is never the case for me. First light and sunrise, the most important and influential light of a new day, for an artist it is a gold mine! I threw on a sweatshirt, found my flip-flops and grabbed my camera and tripod. I didn’t even have my morning coffee…yes, coffee could wait, capturing the first light of day was more important that coffee! I left Jamie to sleep because she had been a trooper all the mornings, getting up early and forgoing the morning coffee ritual. I stepped out the backdoor of our hotel room into the bitter cold of a New England autumn morning, with my camera and tripod, clad only in a sweatshirt, my pajama bottoms, sockless nonetheless in flip flops. Did I mention it was COLD? If I wasn’t already awake…I was now! None of that matter to me because I knew waiting in the cold, alone with my camera and my thoughts for the first light of day I would capture the beauty of a new day.