The Snow Owl

categories: Cocktail Hour


I am back on Cape Cod (“where I belong” are the next words that spring to mind.) Saturday was my first night here and when the light shafted down on the beach and bog after a day of rain I fell right back in love. Color and light like nowhere else (except maybe Iceland, where I looked out during a stopover on a flight to Europe and swore I was in East Dennis). My goal here is to, in Melville’s words, “take a book off the brain.” It has been a long time since I have spent full days writing to the exclusion of all else.  It isn’t easy–this morning was a bitch until I had a “formal” breakthrough–but it’s undeniably great. I was worried I might go crazy being here alone, and while I still might, I am excited about the big writing days ahead. My companion in all this is Buddy, who I am dog-sitting for.


While writing is my top priority here, I thought it would be nice to have a complementary quest. I’ve always loved quest books where the quest is never quite completed. The Snow Leopard comes to mind.  And since I had heard there were snowy owls here, I decided that I would not just write a book but see an owl. I had seen one once before on my beach off of Sesuit Harbor fifteen years ago. It was just sitting there in the sand not ten feet away from me, an ambassador from the arctic.


So today I set out after a morning of writing, binoculars in hand. But the thing about quests is that they are supposed to be difficult, sometimes to the point of being impossible. My quest for the next three weeks will be a failure I’m afraid, not because what I sought was unattainable, but because it was too easily attained.  What do I mean? Well, here are the results from day 1 at West Dennis Beach:


Oh, and my walk earlier in the day:




And one more of the owl:







  1. monica wood writes:

    I saw three snowies in Biddeford yesterday. Just amazing.

  2. Tommy writes:

    Dude, it’s a message from God saying, “Get back to work!”

    I talked to Elvis last night. Said he dropped 30 pounds since October, and got his swagger back. Good news – thought you’d like to know!

  3. mike writes: