Here on the Vineyard we are subject to visits by ocean storms. Our most recent weather visitor has been the storm formerly known as Hermine. She got to a few hundred miles south of us, and then sat in place, sending us days of easterly winds, including a day-long period of thirty-to-fifty mile per hour air. The ground was littered with leaves, twigs, and rotten branches, and a few trees fell. Hermine’s best gift to us was almost an inch of rain, which we very much needed.
Here’s a selection of photos from the Hermine era.
During the strongest winds, we went to Black Point and Quansoo.
On the beach, the southern sky was charcoal-colored.
Over us the sky was broken.
We’d seen bigger waves, but these were just fine, especially with their windblown tops.
At high tide the waves reached up onto the beach, occasionally reaching the dunes’ toes.
We watched the breaking waves, each one unique, each one fascinating.
The waves feel bottom, rise higher, and fall over themselves.
Again and again and again.
In these next photos, the compression of telephoto emphasizes the power of the surf.
We left Black Point and went to Quansoo.
The wind was strong and the tide was high.
Through the Opening the Atlantic was pouring into Tisbury Great Pond.
When I was young, we always called the breach between ocean and pond the “Opening”. Somehow, some people started calling it “The Cut”. A friend of mine recently remembered, and told me about hearing someone use “cut” for the first time, decades ago. Decades ago I had started using “cut”. Back then, “Cut” sounded cooler. So purposeful and direct.
My friend’s recollection got to me, and I have decided to change my ways.
I’m going to go back to the old way of saying things.
No more “cut”.
From now on, it’s “The Opening”.
To this little sandpiper a choice of words makes no difference.
A few days later, the sky cleared.
The wind was still east.
But the surf was down.
We went back to check on the Opening.
What a beautiful day.