Cuttyhunk Fenestration.

There are no curtains on a certain set of windows on a certain northeast-facing house, located just northwest of Cuttyhunk Town.

Here are those windows seen from the outside, from a path that leads to the house.


Twenty windows! Assuming you have all your fingers and all your toes, and no supernumaries, that’s a window for each of your digits.

This set of windows is on a porch, a fine, simple, classic New England summer porch.

How classic? Inside, the ceiling is not white, but is pale blue, as a porch ceiling is supposed to be.


Some will tell you that the blue porch ceiling is a Southern tradition, but I can tell you that porch ceilings in New England have been painted thus for many generations.

The floor is spatter-painted, a technique found  in many old New England homes.


Spatter painting (some call it “splatter’) is believed to have first come into vogue in the 1840’s.

The porch is full of history, full with decades of family memories.

Those memories include the year that the porch roof blew off in a hurricane. Blew off in one piece, I was told, and dropped into a patch of bayberry bushes. Cuttyhunkers are practical people, the roof was hauled back where it belonged, and nailed back in place. (Please see Rebecca Lovell Scott’s comments below, for more details.)

In one piece.

The view framed by these twenty windows extends from Vineyard Sound to the southeast, and to Buzzards Bay to the northwest .

The first reflex of a camera or device-toting human, after the initial “Wow!”,  is to take a picture.


Window…the word comes from Norse words meaning “wind’s eye”.

There’s a lot to be seen from these windows.


Included in this view are Vineyard Sound, the Elizabeth Islands, the harbor (Cuttyhunk Pond) and the town.

Looking more closely…


The pyramidal roof is the US Coast Guard boathouse.

Looking northeast.


Copicut Neck, connected to Cuttyhunk by a spit of rock-reinforced sand. In the far distance distance is Penikese island, which between 1904 and 1921 was used as a Leper Colony.

Sash frames ajar turn a single opening into multiple images.


Near focus creates abstracts.


Distant boats on floats.

Looking down to slope, rail, and path.


All turns gray in catfoot morning fog.


After night came foggy morning — obscured, grayed, obnubilated.

Imagine the light that pours in here on a clear and sunny dawn!

There’s a postscript.

RLS has sent the light of the clear and sunny dawn.

photo (1)

Thank you!


2 responses to “Cuttyhunk Fenestration.

  1. To be historically accurate, it was Hurricane Carol that picked up the roof, and dropped it in a patch of bayberry bushes…A.P. Tilton not only nailed it back on but also affixed it to cement anchors using (according to Cuttyhunk lore) long metal bars scavenged from the barges recently run ashore on the beach (henceforth and still known as Barges Beach even though the elements have long since dispersed said barges) to keep the waters of Vinyard Sound from breaking through into the channel.

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