Wellfleet Bay, Cape Cod

Today’s soggy day adventure involved a visit to MassAudubon’s Wellfleet Bay sanctuary.  One of the benefits of supporting MassAudubon at certain levels includes the ability to bring guests to visit any of their sanctuaries for free — you can guess whom I brought with me today ;-).

This is a wonderful place — not only is it a beautiful sanctuary right on a tidal marsh on the bay (great views!), but it also has an extensive wildflower garden, camp and instructional center.

These facilities utilize a whole slew of “green” technologies that I first became aware of when looking into possible co-housing communities a couple of years ago, including: a grey water system (which is recycled to service the garden), rainfall capture into underground cisterns for additional landscape use, composting toilets (which foam when you use them :)), active and passive solar, extensive recycled materials used in construction and lots of other unique ideas that I hope to apply myself to a home soon.  These taken together have qualified the center as a LEED Platinum building, the highest level certification.

We spent a good deal of time at the sanctuary but had to finish up and get back to meet up with SB’s folks for dinner.  On the way back, we stopped by at the Island Pond Cemetery in Harwich (ca. 1778).   As my grandmother would always say when we passed one: “a nice quiet neighborhood.”  Yes, this is a cemetery in a marsh overlooking Island Pond, located on an eponymous named road, right in Harwich Center.  We stumbled upon it last year when looking for the Lavender Farm.

Like most early New England towns, in Harwich you could live your whole life within just a few miles.  I noted in this case just how compact things were/are: at the entry of the short road, which is the only way into the cemetery, on the left is the monument works and on the right is the funeral parlor.  Just a few doors down are the old storefronts where you could buy your goods, the town’s major churches, town hall and the old academy school.  Pretty much everything from birth to death and beyond, right there in a tight little group.  My, how our lives have expanded in scale since then!

The reason this caught my attention last year was stumbling upon the following gravestone.  I don’t know whether this reflects better the burden these folks carried through life, or how they felt upon it ending.  They certainly wanted to state it out loud – this is quite a large/prominent stone.  We have to hope the little local shop at the end of the road got the commission of making it!

A heavy burden to carry...
A heavy burden to carry...