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Playing in Traffic

May 8th, 2011 by Beth Colt

Sam Waterston entertains the actors attending "The Actors Symposium" last week in Woods Hole.

What is it about actors that captures your imagination and makes you want to know more about them?  You look at Sam Waterston’s familiar face and you think — is he like that guy he played on “Law and Order”?  Is he funny?  Is he smart?  Does he really know how to write a great closing argument?

Well, if you had been in Woods Hole last weekend, you would have discovered the answer to these questions and much more.  In collaboration with the Woods Hole Film Festival and the Woods Hole Inn, actors gathered here for a weekend of learning about the craft and the trade of acting professionally.    Caroline Pickman, of CP Casting gave a two hour presentation on the expectations of the audition process, including getting the actors up on their feet to try out some of her audition material (known as “sides” in the business) from a Showtime television series.  And Beth Colt presented a session on working with agents and managers, what to expect and how to engage the professionals who are the gatekeepers to a good career in acting.

But by far the highlight was our time with Sam Waterston.   In the interest of full disclosure, let me explain that Sam and I worked together about a decade ago.  Our company was called Stardance Productions and we developed many projects and made one wonderful movie together (called “A House Divided” starring Sam, Jennifer Beals, Tim Daly and Lisa Gay Hamilton for Showtime).  So I know Sam well, and am reasonably well-equipped to ask him interesting questions.

We started with how his career got started (Yale undergrad, summer stock and then cast in the play “Oh Dad, Poor Dad…”).  I asked him if he ever had a day job and he told a delightful story about working at Macy’s back when they sold bundles of theatre tickets.  Like all of Sam’s stories, this was a self-depricating tale that ends with his firing for insubordination to a customer.  It was hilarious.  He told us about booking “The Killing Fields” (for which he was later nominated for an Academy Award) and his transition to television in the NBC series “I’ll Fly Away.”  He shared tidbits about Roland Joffe, and many of the other notables he has worked with (Woody Allen, Jeff Bridges and more).

Sam’s general advice for the young actors in the room was not to pursue acting unless you have to,  as he put it, “Only if there is nothing else you can do.”  The demands of the profession are so bruising he told them, it leaves it’s mark on you.  But he also advised, “You have to play in traffic if you want to get hit.”

Woods Hole is more than established as an international epicenter for the life sciences and oceanography, so it is a pleasure to see the reputation of this little village extend itself into the national arts scene.

We are playing in traffic here, and we intend to keep playing until we get hit:)

Sam Waterston and Beth Colt at the Actors Symposium in Woods Hole May 1, 2011.

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Farm to Table

April 14th, 2011 by Beth Colt

Exploring the hands behind the farm part of farm-to-table.

At the Woods Hole Inn, we often spend a lot of time on the “table” part of farm-to-table but today I got to head out into the field and see one of the farms that we source food from in the summer.

Coonamessett Farm was founded over 30 years ago by Ron Smolovitz, who along with his wife had a passion to save a piece of open land slated for development.  On their 2o plus acres, Ron farms everything from lettuce to turkey.  His rolling meadows with their vineyards and neat rows of lettuce, tomato, zucchini and summer squash are quite the summer destination for everything from weddings to the passionate members of his CSA.

Spring is the time to visit if you want to see where all that bounty comes from, so I headed over there yesterday in the pouring rain with a list of the produce we consume weekly to supply our breakfast kitchen and Quicks Hole — for example, 50 lbs of fresh tomatoes a week to make our signature pico de gallo fresh daily!  Try over 20 dozen eggs a week for the Woods Hole Inn’s fresh baked breakfasts?  Yeah, it all adds up.

It was pouring anew when Ron and I zipped into his rain covered golf cart and sped across the meadow to the growing cluster of greenhouses.  Ron put in a windmill a few years back and he explained that running the farm vehicles on electricity rather than gas helps keep down the price of vegetables.

We met with Stan Ingram, field boss at Coonamessett, who was literally ankle deep in mud transplanting rows of baby plants to larger containers (those are his amazing hands in the photo above).  The long low plastic roof of the greenhouse cast the most gorgeous diffused light and the drum of rain on the roof was soporific.  A lovely tiger cat leapt to greet me with a deep purr.  What a peaceful place, I thought.   “Earlier today when it was really coming down, we could not have held a conversation in here,” Stan remarked with a wry smile.

We talked about when they expect certain crops to come in, why they can’t grow tomatoes earlier (heating the greenhouses to 55 degrees costs too much money) and the logistics of getting relatively small batches of produce down to Woods Hole two or three times per week.  Their crispy arugula is essential for our “Wicked Fresh” salad — a best seller at Quicks Hole — but at the end of the day, it’s all about logistics.  Stan offered to plant more basil and cilantro to meet our weekly demand.  He also cautioned me against holding him to any dates.  I guess the plants mature when they feel like it, not just for our Quicks Hole opening day (which is May 6th this year, by the way).

Another exciting development is the local cultivation of oysters which Ron is going to distribute.  I signed Quicks Hole up for weekly delivery of the new “Sippewissett” which is out in Buzzards Bay fattening up right now from the cold winter.  Ron says the first of them will be ready by mid May.  Yum.

I left with a list of wholesale prices, an order form…  and a greater sense of purpose.  It’s not easier to source this way, actually it’s much, much harder.  But the sense of satisfaction in knowing my little business can be a part of keeping this meadow open for Ron and his golf cart?  Yeah, that feels good.

Hopefully it tastes good too.  Come check it out this summer at Quicks Hole, 6 Luscombe Ave in Woods Hole.  More info and our menu at www.quicksholewickedfresh.com.

Lettuces feeding the people of Falmouth all winter grow in the Coonamesset Farm greenhouses.

Stan Ingram, field boss at Coonamessett Farm, in the greenhouse earlier today.

Ron Smolovitz, owner of Coonamesset Farm told me how he learned to do all this as we toured his many greenhouses: "Trial and error," he said.

Going Green in Woods Hole

April 13th, 2011 by Beth Colt

What is this plaster cow doing in Woods Hole? Read on...

Woods Hole — Members of the Woods Hole Business Association were treated to a tour of the Woods Hole Research Center facility this week where they learned about the scientific organization’s cutting edge green building practices as well as the scope and nature of the WHRC’s research and policy initiatives.  The morning started with a presentation by Dr. R.A. Houghton, acting director of the WHRC and world authority on the carbon cycle,  and was followed by a tour of the main offices of the WHRC on Woods Hole Road.

The buildings that house the 60+ employees of the WHRC are about as green as it gets,  using eco-friendly strategies to offset 90% of the energy consumed on the campus.   How do they do it?  With special heat transfer systems that capture natural energy and reuse the heat that comes off computing centers,  many solar panels, a new windmill, extensive insulation strategies and plenty of window light combined with all compact fluorescent lighting.  Because the WHRC is especially focused on carbon use, the organization selected sustainably forested and reclaimed woods for most visible locations in the building.

WHRC also works hard to change individual behaviors — many of the scientists and staff walk or bike to work, buy carbon offsets when they travel, turn off the lights when they leave a room.  The most interesting strategy for behavior change in the building is the use of a plaster cow with a tattered straw hat pulled over its well-worn ears that sits in a main hallway, waiting to be dragged to an office if anyone forgets to close their window before leaving the office at night.  Tour guide and research assistant Tina Cormier said, “You do not want to arrive in the morning and find that cow in your office…  It only happens once.”

Member of the Woods Hole Business Association are committed to bringing green principles into their daily work as well.  The restaurant owners partnered with Cavossa Disposal last summer to start a paper and plastic recycling station where the waste stream is greatly reduced by proper sorting and re-use.  This effort would not have been possible without the donation of dumpster space on Woods Hole Oceanographic (WHOI) property and will continue this year with more local businesses joining in as well.

In addition, the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) has just completed a renovation of the Loeb Laboratory, winning gold level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification of the 66,000 square-foot facility in the middle of Woods Hole.  The Loeb Laboratory is the MBL’s central research training facility and the cornerstone of its world-famous life sciences education programs.   “Climate change is one of the most pressing scientific problems facing our generation. I’m honored and proud that the Loeb Laboratory has achieved LEED gold certification and look forward to continued efforts that we can take here at the MBL to be a responsible member of the global society,” said MBL Director and CEO, Gary Borisy.

Speaking for the business community, WHBA chair Kevin Murphy said, “We are in the epi-center of one of the most important research communities in the US, if not the world.  When our esteemed neighbors tell us that the small changes we make to our business practices can effect the world?  We show up and we listen to that.”

Natural light floods the WHRC campus.

Amazing board room table made of a sustainably harvested Brazilian hardwood anchors the sunny conference area.

Woods Hole, a picture postcard village, postmarked from around the world.

From the Mountaintop

April 2nd, 2011 by Beth Colt

Contest winner Jordanna Silverberg atop Copper Mountain in Colorado.

In the summer of 2010, we decided to start offering our guests a custom designed t-shirt and announced a photo contest.  We asked guests to wear their “Woods Hole Inn, old number 28, Stylish Lodging and Victuals, Upper Cape Cod” shirts in unusual and visually arresting locations.  We asked them to take photos and submit them to us via email or Facebook.

Ask, and ye shall receive!

A full year and many submissions later, on April Fools Day 2011 we held a staff meeting and voted on the winner.  This is the most subjective of contests, we admit:  What is “unusual”?  What does “visually arresting” mean?   Our winner, pictured above, impressed us with a gorgeous location, one that is stunningly different from Cape Cod and provides a cool contrast to the t-shirt.  We liked that she was atop a mountain at a hip American winter resort.  And we fell for her big smile.  A smile that reminds us of the looks on the faces of our customers as they check out from the Inn, a blissed out, can you believe I’m really here? sort of face that made us all smile in return.

Jordanna wins a free two-day stay at the Woods Hole Inn, subject to availability and to be used by December 31, 2012.  We hope she books soon as we are filling up fast for summer 2011 and we want her to get a great room, enjoy our pillow top mattresses, luxury linens, gourmet breakfast, free bikes to explore the Shining Sea Bikepath and easy access to the Martha’s Vineyard ferry.  We are looking forward to more of her special smile!

This was a hard decision as there were many good entries.  We received photos from far flung spots like Kensington Castle in England and Devil’s Kitchen Sinkhole in Sedona, AZ and as well as close by ones like Hadley Harbor which is a short boat ride across Woods Hole passage.  We decided to offer our runners up a free Woods Hole Inn mug, to be hand delivered when they return to the inn (many of our guests are repeat customers so we have every expectation that they will be back and if not, we will ship it).

Thanks to all for participating in our contest.  Hold your breath for this year’s contest which will be announced when you check into your vintage restored room at the Woods Hole Inn.  And… drum roll please… here are our runners up:

Sara Isenberg in Santa Cruz, California.

Heidi Forbes Oste in Hadley Harbor.

Kelly Schwartz at Devil's Kitchen Sinkhole in Sedona AZ

Morey Phippen at Kensington Castle.

Spring is Around the Corner

March 18th, 2011 by Beth Colt

Spring is coming to Woods Hole

I know it’s getting warmer because I have forgotten to put my slippers on three mornings in a row.  Now, when it’s really cold outside, my kitchen floor feels like ice and there is just no way that I can “forget” the slippers that wait under the radiator for me with their soft lambswool lining.  I went out yesterday with no scarf or hat.  And the time change means its light until well after 6 pm.  So, it’s coming, my dear friend called spring.  Maybe not here yet, but soon.

Yesterday was gorgeous, sunny calm no wind, and all of a sudden the streets of Woods Hole came alive with people.  St. Patricks Day green was observed on many, and the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Black Dog was packed with business owners and new friends.

I took another photo walk this week, and here are my spring-is-around-the-corner photos:

Secret beach, with public access looks gorgeous even on a chilly day.

Witch Hazel (NOT Forsythia as originally stated) starting to bloom near the pond. This morning there was a tiny frost but it has recovered.

Snow in the Hole

February 27th, 2011 by Beth Colt

Landfall Restaurant, closed for the season, in snow.

Landfall Restaurant, closed for the season, in snow.

Charming little house on the back side of the Eel Pond in Woods Hole.

I woke up to Facebook messages about historic snow in Los Angeles, then looked out my window and saw that we had a wonderful dusting of our own here in Woods Hole.  Since we just relocated here from LA, it struck me as pretty ironic that it would have snowed in both places!

Add to that irony that Steph, our chef for Quicks Hole, is in LA this weekend trying all the cool food spots that inspire the Quicks Hole menu (La Lotteria, Ammo, Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, Clementine and much more).  The hope was that she would get some good eats and a little sunny R&R, well deserved vacation in warm tropical Los Angeles.  Ha.

So I scarfed my tea and toast to get out quick enough before it all melted.  Here are some of the photo observations:

Love the brave souls that just leave their boats in the water year round. I guess they are the first back out fishing in spring!

Pinky's Marina, politely referred to as a "seasonal" business.

From Juniper Point you can see the ferry coming in from Martha's Vineyard with Nonamessett Island dusted with snow beyond the Woods Hole Passage.

Private docks on Little Harbor in Woods Hole, MA.

Steamship Authority in Woods Hole - ferry to Martha's Vineyard. Only on a Sunday morning in February does this look empty. For all the summer people who fight the crowds here in July, this is a rare and amazing sight.

Hydrant waiting for a doggie guest from the Woods Hole Inn pet room:)

Hydrant waiting for a doggie guest from the Woods Hole Inn pet room:)

TV Writers Symposium

February 11th, 2011 by Beth Colt

Coffee and Writing in Woods Hole this winter.

Fifteen writers gathered in Woods Hole last weekend (Feb 4-6, 2011) for a symposium on writing for television lead by P.K. Simonds (“Ghost Whisperer” and “Party of Five”) and Laurie McCarthy (“CSI,” “Ghost Whisperer” and “Windfall.”)   The group gathered Friday night at the Woods Hole Inn for wine and cheese, introductions and ice breaking as the sun set over Woods Hole’s Great Harbor.

The next morning, the writers gathered in the Quicks Hole restaurant while Laurie and P.K. presented their take on the current TV business, everything from the recent writers strike, to the pressures of show-running, to how to handle network notes.  The information-packed morning and afternoon sessions were broken up by a break for lunch.  In the evening, most of the crew headed to the Captain Kidd for “Dinner and a Movie” led by Judy Laster of the Woods Hole Film Festival.

The series, a joint partnership of the Woods Hole Film Festival and the Woods Hole Inn, continued on Sunday with a final session focusing on how to break into the business.  With plenty of time for Q&A from the experienced writers, most of the participants spoke of feeling jazzed about the process, and said they were energized to go home and keep writing.  See their actual comments here.

Enjoy the photo essay of a weekend of good conversations, insightful questions and continuing learning about the nexus of art and commerce in the loveliest little village on Cape Cod:

Cheese plate at the Woods Hole Inn worthy of Rembrant.Ice breaker wine and cheese on Friday night was a hit with writers.

Guests enjoy complimentary breakfast before the Symposium begins.

P.K. and Laurie lead the Symposium in Quicks Hole.

The group is engaged by Laurie and P.K.'s presentation.

Photo of the group of writers at the end of the Symposium.

Chilifest on the Vineyard. Fire in the Hole!

February 4th, 2011 by Beth Colt

The Martha's VIneyard Chilifest rocks!

So I keep hearing about this Chilifest thing, like “Ooh, you are living here now?  You HAVE to go to Chilifest…” and I am like, what is Chilifest?  Well, as I learned last weekend, the Martha’s Vineyard Chilifest is an INSTITUTION.  And it’s a whole lot of fun, so let me take you on my little initiation journey.

It all started days before actually, when we began testing chili recipes and trying on costumes.  We settled on “Fire in the Hole” – a spicy braised short rib chili with a hint of Mexican chocolate.  Steph really knocked herself out on this one and after a few sample batches I agreed, this is the one!  We cooked and prepped all Thursday and Friday — smoking fresh peppers and chilis in our outdoor grill, shaving Mexican chocolate, braising an enormous pile of short ribs.

I braved snow and ice to drive to the Costume Company in Arlington (thank you Jeannie!) to rent a huge pile of Revolutionary War costumes — Fire in the Hole, like Woods Hole, get it?     I lived at Staples printing banners, menus, handouts.  I hired an actress to help hand them out.   Yes, I am really committed to making this a big event for Quicks Hole, our groovy casual farm-to-table taco stand on the ground floor of the Woods Hole Inn.

Finally, the actual day dawned and I was up early walking from my house in the village to the Inn.  The light in the early morning in Woods Hole was so stunning (I’m not out of my house this early usually!) that I wore my camera around my neck and snapped a few pictures:

Woods Hole at dawn, morning of the MV Chilifest.

Cold but so still, the early morning light on the channel to the Eel Pond.

Guests of the Woods Hole Inn were happily dining in the front room and I dashed through the office to grab costumes, menus, signs and more.  Steph and Jay lugged gallons of cold chili in covered buckets across the street to the ferry.  Amy and I followed shortly thereafter.  The ferry was so packed with people, they asked 45 people to get off!  Volunteers, they said.  No one budged.  The girl next to me snickered — she had just poured four shots of peppermint schnapps into her Dunkin Donuts extra large.  She was NOT getting off and neither were we.

Once we arrived at the vast tent at the Portugese American Club, we warmed up and tried a few of the other chilis — there were 40 contestants there and more than 2000 tasters.  The Corona beer was flowing freely, plenty of limes, and a great Jimmy Buffet style band was playing all your island favorites.

Giving you a feel of the TONE of Chilifest.

The place was packed by noon and we handed out a ton of our Chili to consistently good feedback.  The security guy standing next to our table was moonlighting from his day job as a warden in the MV jail.  He kept noticing people who had come into the jail drunk and disorderly — not a bad guy, he would say, but let’s just say We Know Him Well.

Well, we lined right up and passed out thousands of little cups of our chili.  The Chilifest is a fundraiser for the Red Stocking Fund, a really great island charity.  WMVY the local radio station supports it, helps judge and sells all the tickets with their promotions.  We met a bunch of the DJs and so many other locals, it was really cool.  Here we are as we got ready to serve the crowd:

Amy Campbell, Beth Colt, Jason Malone and Stephanie Mikolazyk of Quicks Hole restaurant in Woods Hole.

There were regular people, drunk people, people in outrageous costumes, TV personalities, official tasters from WMVY, lots of our friends and business associates from Woods Hole and so, so much more.  A picture is worth 1,000 words so here is the rest of the day in photos:

Partiers taste our "Fire in the Hole" chili -- Quicks Hole 2011.

Man urgently tastes chili.

Doreen Boidleau Barton and Christina McMenamy have a ball at the #MV Chilifest tasting the Quicks Hole chili.

Great hats!

Andy Salthouse and Chris Kazarian get lucky.

These glasses were popular at Chilifest 2011.

Dina Pandya enjoys Chilifest at the Quicks Hole stop.

For the record I was not "Captain Morgan" but I did enjoy a laugh with neighbor Kevin Murphy (owner of "Shuckers").

In the end, all ten gallons of our chili was handed out with a smile.  We won nothing more than the joy of spending the day on Martha’s Vineyard listening to good music and laughing with new friends.  We were tired, oh so very tired, but it was worth it!  A great day.  See you all there next year — 364 days and counting.

Steph and Jay haul all our stuff back on the ferry. Thank God Quicks Hole is just across from the ferry landing!

Dark by the time we got back home -- happy to be back amongst our neighbors in WoHo!

January on Eel Pond

January 22nd, 2011 by Beth Colt

Walking around the Eel Pond in winter.

I ran out of steam paying bills at my desk and decided to take a walk around the Eel Pond this afternoon.  The clear, still air is colder than usual today in Woods Hole.  My brisk walk while the sun was setting revealed boats, houseboats and summer docks stashed for winter.  Despite the feeling of summer in storage, the streets were full of joggers and walkers, some moving slowly with ski poles to be safe on the ice, others sprinting as if training for next year’s road race.

Rounding the corner of School and Millfield Streets, I watched the sun bow at the horizon, hovering past the frozen pond over the academic buildings beyond.  Like a large movie lamp, it illuminated the faces of the houses looking west.   At it’s finish, it turned from orange to bright red before sizzling into the sea with a glowery purple.  Woods Hole in winter brings new meaning to “magic hour.”

Here are a few highlights from my walk:

Houseboats in the Eel Pond for winter storage.

Locals hunkered down inside, lights on as dusk arrives.

Summer is a distant memory for this float.

The frozen pond is lined with dingies and motorboats awaiting the thaw.

Chilifest on Martha’s Vineyard

January 19th, 2011 by Beth Colt

Leaving America behind on the short ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard from Woods Hole.

Mid winter gets cold and lonely out on Martha’s Vineyard.  And that is why we have MV Chilifest!  An annual ritual that draws thousands of participants from on the island and off, Chilifest 2o11 is on Saturday January 29th this year, starting at 11 am on the island.  Hosted by WMVY, the local radio station, Chilifest raises money for a local charity.  And is the hottest ticket on the island in winter.

What is Chilifest?  A four hour party under a tent in Oak Bluffs, complete with all the chili you can possibly eat from local eateries (each competing for the blue ribbon of “Best Chili”) PLUS alot of beer, mariachis and fun.  See a video of last year’s event right here.

Chilifest has a cult following, and getting tickets can be frustrating.  Which is why you are happy you have friends at the Woods Hole Inn.  We are selling a Chilifest package that will rock your proverbial red sox off.

Here are the details:  Three days, two nights at the Woods Hole Inn which includes free parking in Woods Hole and a wonderful gourmet breakfast, two tickets to Chilifest 2011, plus ferry tickets…all for $249?!  That is a sweet deal.  The small print: first come, first served; queen room only at this price.

Book now, ONLY BY CALLING 508-495-0248 during business hours — you will not regret it.

Vineyard Haven in January, where you will dock when you come to Chilifest.

Winter Walks

January 17th, 2011 by Beth Colt

 

Woods Hole Inn guests Douglas and Mary enjoy a quiet moment at the end of the jetty on Stoney Beach.

It’s been cold here — oh yeah, it’s winter — but we still give our walking tour of Woods Hole in whatever kind of weather, because Woods Hole is dramatically beautiful 24/365.

Douglas and Mary came up from NYC for a four day getaway.  They took me up on my offer to see the “secret spots of Woods Hole” and we wandered out the front door of the Woods Hole Inn on a sunny morning to explore.  I took them down Water Street, over the drawbridge and past Woods Hole harbor.  I told them all about the history of this little village at the edge of the sea, about the whalers, how the harbor was especially protected like Nantucket’s, the clearing of all the trees up the hill for building ships, the way sheep used to graze everywhere, the coming of the railroad and the industrial age here, then the arrival of scientists from Harvard and the importance of the industry of science to the last 100 years, and finally the development of tony Penzance Point and the turn to a luxurious summer retreat at the edge of the world.

We walked up Bar Neck Road and peered at the Penzance guard gate and the manicured (even in winter!) hedgerows of the mansions out there.  Then we walked to Stoney Beach where Douglas and Mary walked out the jetty, gazed out at Buzzards Bay and embraced.  It was such a romantic spot, I snapped the photo above then quickly turned away to give them a little privacy.  Standing out on that rocky jetty, thrust into the ocean so calm, it looked as if they fell into a magical spell, bathed in the spotted light of the water with the positive ions of the ocean’s atmosphere washing over them.  I defy you to not feel relaxed in this sublime spot.

It was especially clear and I was able to show them the windmills of Falmouth and the railroad bridge over the Canal at the top of the Bay.  In the other direction, you could see to New Bedford and imagine the joy of a fisherman heading out to sea on a calm day like this one.

We continued up Gardiner Road and peeked in at the hidden beaches, then up the hill on Buzzards Bay Avenue, densely wooded now and more for houses than grazing sheep two centuries later.  Back on School Street, we paused at our third view of the Eel Pond where a man was rowing a boat through the ice — crunch, crunch — to get to the gammed houseboats frozen together in their protected spot by the shore.  We stopped at the Woods Hole schoolhouse and reflected briefly on the storied history of science as well as the instincts of this village to preserve this old building.

When I left Douglas and Mary back at the Inn, I gave them a copy of Susan Witzell’s charming “Walking Tours of Woods Hole” for further study.  I imagined them poring over it back in their room — or perhaps just taking a well-deserved nap.

Douglas and Mary, guests of the Inn, on our winter walking tour.

Views to the Eel Pond on our winter walking tour, winter 2010-11.

We watched a man crunch his rowboat through the ice on the Eel Pond to get to the houseboats. I learned later he was one of the caretakers. Note the submerged boat to the right of the houseboat cluster -- that will be a project come spring!

The Woods Hole school house is now used as a preschool and in summer, houses the Children's School of Science, an amazing program that has existed here for 100 years.

Holidays Are Here!

December 7th, 2010 by Beth Colt

The holidays are here and we celebrated today with an open house!  Sara and Steph cooked all yesterday, making little phylo dough pastries piped with fresh apple, smoked salmon with red onion capers and dill on little pumpernickel toasts, mini turkey tea sandwiches with real stuffing and cranberry sauce and my favorite, fresh jumbo shrimp perfectly steamed with lemon and bay leaf for dipping into two delectable sauces.

We were joined by friends of the Chamber of Commerce, many of the local B&B owners, all the local Woods Hole business people as well as new friends and neighbors.  Our tree is huge and gorgeous this year — ready for our guests to enjoy through the holidays.

Our 2010 Christmas tree at the Woods Hole Inn.

There were lovely little desserts like petit fours and peanut butter kiss cookies, and our guests seemed to have fun mingling, listening to Christmas Carols and even swigging some egg nog at noon.

 

Turkey Tea Sandwiches were a hit at the party.

Peanut butter with dark chocolate Hersey kisses...yum!

And here are some of the nice people who joined us.  It really was a great time and I hope you will join us when we do it again next year!

Jay Zavala, Falmouth Chamber of Commerce and Judy Laster, Woods Hole Film Festival director enjoyed the repast.

Trish and Kevin Robinson of the Captains Manor Inn.

Veteran’s Day Celebration

November 11th, 2010 by Beth Colt

Our special Veteran guests dig into breakfast at the Woods Hole Inn.

As part of a nationwide effort to honor veterans, the Woods Hole Inn joined B&B’s around the country in offering a free stay to those who have served or are actively serving our nation.  Over 900 inns are participated nationwide, representing over $325,000 donated in this unique effort to recognize the importance of Veteran’s Day.
The Woods Hole Inn welcomed Vets (or active members of the military) and their families on November 9th with a champagne and cheese reception at check-in.  Ushered into the vintage restored rooms, the guests were cradled in the lap of luxury.  The next day, as the nation gathered to honor veterans and our military, these special guests relished the Inn’s sunny breakfast room and a gourmet breakfast of home-made corned beef hash, apple tart, fresh fruit, vanilla bean Greek yogurt, Sippewissett pound cake and plenty of hot coffee.

Sippewissett Pound Cake, fresh fruit and home-made corned beef hash were on the menu for the Veteran's Day breakfast.

This Veteran’s Day event, representing 2,700 donated rooms nationwide, is a brand new program started this past summer by Kathleen Panek, innkeeper of Gillum House in West Virginia.  A plethora of publicity has materialized and like many inns around the country, rooms at the Woods Hole Inn were claimed within a week of joining the program.

The overwhelming response from the military and veterans was, “thank you for thinking of us.”

Here are a few of our guests and their stories:

Chef Sara Dillon serves veteran Lucille Taylor and her husband James.

The Taylors came from Leominster, Mass for a quick getaway by the sea.  Lucille is retired but served many years in the US Airforce.  They were feeling a little under the weather and were not able to join in the prosecco and cheese welcome, but they said the pillow top rest perked them up…”Like sleeping on a cloud,” said Lucille.

Trish and Rick Barone with their sons Jimmy (9, on the right) and Ricky (11) of Hull, Mass.

The Barone family loved staying in Room 5 (a suite – perfect for a family of four).  Rick Barone served in the US Coast Guard for over 20 years.  He was stationed in Woods Hole several summers when former President Clinton visited Martha’s Vineyard as part of the presidential security detail.  The Barone’s read about the promotion in the Boston Globe and wanted to come back to Woods Hole, a place where they hung out early in their relationship.  Rick particularly appreciated being in a restored old building, wanting to know when it was build (1878) and some of the history of the place (Don’t get me started!) “We love it here” said Trish, “and we plan on coming back.”

Haney and Lauren Hong of Cambridge, Mass.

The Hongs were looking for a respite from student life at the Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass.  Haney, who originally hails from Los Angeles, spent three years in San Diego as a submarine officer.  He was then promoted to the Pentagon in Washington DC, where he served as part of the strategic think tank for the Secretary of the Navy.

The Hongs were really sweet about how much they liked the Inn and told me they would tell all their Cambridge friends about what an easy getaway Woods Hole was from Boston.  “The photos are great online,” said Lauren, ‘but it’s even better when you get here.  It really feels like home, more than just a vacation away, so comfortable .. like I am staying at my Aunt’s house.”

Brian and Tammy Jester of Falmouth were also part of the fun.

Brian and Tammy Jester just drove across town for a little getaway, and I wish I got a better picture of them as they are a handsome couple.  Brian served TWO campaigns in Iraq where he was a Warrant Officer in the Army.  He also served in the Coast Guard in the early 1980′s and was stationed in Woods Hole on a Buoy Tender (the big boat that cleans and places the buoys).  He and Tammy have four kids and two of whom have also served in the military.  Like many Falmouth residents, the Jesters said they don’t get down to Woods Hole that much, even though it’s only a few miles away.  They were very grateful for the good night’s sleep and Tammy said, “My mother would love this place.”

It was an honor and a pleasure to make the Inn available as part of this nationwide giveback.  What a great way to celebrate Veteran’s Day.  And a special thank you to Kathleen Panek for getting this ball rolling and inspiring all of us to come on board.  We look forward to next year!

Prosecco and local cheeses welcomed the Vets as they arrived at the Woods Hole Inn.


Hurricane Season

September 4th, 2010 by Beth Colt

The night of Hurricane Earl.

Hurricane Earl.  We watched you on the news, tracked you online, fretted about you for days.  We boarded up windows, moved all the outdoor furniture indoors, warned traveler not to come, even shut our restaurant down in anticiaption of your messy arrival.

The hatches were battened by noon Friday.  And then we waited.  I took a nap.  I saw half the staff headed to the beach for a last minute swim — it was so hot and humid.  In the late afternoon, I took a long walk with my mother.  Waiting, watching.  A gust of air would come and we would say — here you come now.  And then nothing.  You are such a big tease, Earl.

Finally in the late evening, with guests tucked happily in their air-conditioned rooms, I went to bed with all the windows closed, storms down.  I was ready for you, Earl.

And then you never really came.  Some rain, a little wind.  But there is no flooding, no power outages.  Just another sunny day on Cape Cod.

So it was a whole lot of prep, for nothing but a whimper.  I am relieved, but also somehow disappointed.  I was enjoying the crisis and now that there is no crisis, I feel like an army general who has been stripped of my responsibilities.  Now we put everything back, we return to the normal flow of things.  We chalk Earl up to a fire drill.

I guess I am glad we never really met Earl, but I was ready for you nonetheless.

Great Reviews

August 19th, 2010 by Beth Colt

Looking out to sea, a short walk from the Woods Hole Inn.

There have been days spent just looking out at the water, contemplating why we are here and what does success mean.  Of  course, many hours are consumed with the day-to-day keeping guests happy, making beds, whipping up batches of chocolate muffins, hanging out the last of the laundry in a stiff breeze.  Sometimes it gets so busy you can barely think.

And it all feels worth it when a reporter comes to stay and really “gets” what you are trying to do.  I could not be happier about the recommendation we just received from Westchester Magazine and thank Malerie (who we loved visiting with when she came by on her research trip) so here it is (read the full article here with all her fab recommendations):

Woods Hole Inn
28 Water St /// Woods Hole, MA (508) 495-0248
From White Plains: 4 hours

The Woods Hole Inn is located just steps from the Martha’s Vineyard ferry.

Beth Colt and P.K. Simonds (producer of Ghost Whisperer) purchased a dilapidated hotel/boarding house, originally built in 1878, and turned it into a nautical chic, “vintage-restored” inn. With walls of turquoise and seafoam pastels, white wainscoting, distressed wood floors, and knickknacks cleverly displayed, the Inn is on the funky side of adorable. Across the street from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), it’s just a fishing rod cast away from the Martha’s Vineyard ferry. Woods Hole (which Colt nicknames WoHo), draws both island hoppers and brainy scientists to its almost-too-perfect-to-be-true fishing village environs.

Room: Nine rooms are witty studies in white with walls and pillows in emeralds, jades, and blues for punch. White furniture is topped with trinkets that can be found in Home Goods or local gift shops—and small white extremely clean bathrooms are stocked with handmade green starfish soaps. Ask for room #4 ($150-$280), which has a direct view of the Ferry and the WHOI Research Vessel (of Titanic discovery fame). Beyond the boats you view the serene harbor and at the end of the day a rapturous sunset over the harbor islands.

Board: Until late 2009, the inn did not have a resident breakfast chef, so reviews were, let’s just say, unkind. Enter Sara Dillon, foodie extraordinaire, hired to put the B in the B&B. Her soaked steel-cut oats granola and asparagus/caramelized onion tart are revelations. She happily bakes breakfast from scratch every day and, says the divorced Sara, “I’m the happiest housewife on the planet.” For lunch and dinner, try soup or salad at Pie in the Sky (10 Water St) or, if you want to feel like a pirate, have a beer at the 100-plus-year-old Captain Kidd (77 Water St). Discerning diners won’t have to go far at all. The pier-side Fishmonger Café (56 Water St) next door has an inventive chef who can purée cauliflower, cook fish, and sauté mushrooms to perfection.

Only Here: Colt is so sure that you’ll be enamored of the drawbridges, lighthouses, boat-filled harbors, and secret beaches in Woods Hole, she’s got a weekend photography package, which allows you to tag along with an award-winning photographer to make your own memories ($495 includes two nights’ lodging, a two-hour “photo walking tour,” and a copy of Walking Woods Hole, a guide to walking around Woods Hole, as a keepsake. After October 31, the price is $400).

While Here: Skip on over to the Martha’s Vineyard Ferry (steamshipauthority.com; $15 roundtrip) and spend the day on the island that celebs and presidents love—only 30 minutes away.

Facts: Room rates ($99-$325) include afternoon tea and coffee, chef-prepared gourmet breakfast, and free parking.

We look forward to welcoming the good folks of Westchester with open arms:)

Walking around WoHo

July 28th, 2010 by Beth Colt

Naushon Island in the distance.

From our summer guest blogger Caroline Matthews:

I’ve had the great opportunity to live like a genuine Cape Codder: on the water. The nights are always cool and comfortable out on the back porch and the mornings start right at 6:45 thanks to the friendly folks at the Steamship Authority. What to do when you’ve got no TV, no Internet and the world literally as your oyster? Go explore, of course!

My two favorite things in the entire world are taking photographs and swimming at Stoney Beach. Beginning a day with both truly improves my mood and productivity while I’m running around the restaurant and attending to guests at the inn. There’s just something about finding a vacant beach and knowing you’re the first of the masses to take a dip in the Atlantic’s chilly yet comforting waters.

Woods Hole gets crammed with tourists in summer but if you venture past Water Street, the village is home to a hardy population of under a thousand. Traffic builds rarely during the day (except when the drawbridge goes up for a visiting sailor), and the quiet lanes and hedgerows are punctuated by crickets, birds and the occasional screech of a child at play.

Once the day is in full swing, the village can get hectic with all of the foot traffic — people dragging their rolling bags and fighting for a spot in line at one of the two local coffee shops.  Sometimes it feels almost like an airport with all the hustle bustle.

A morning along Eel Pond.

That’s what makes the quiet mornings so precious to me. Woods Hole reminds me of the unique treasures found only in a slow-paced life.

 

Pets welcome at Woods Hole Inn

July 28th, 2010 by Beth Colt

Pooches and kitties are welcome in Room 6!

Why leave charming Fido at home when you will both be happier if you stay together?

Grab a leash and show Fido this quaint walking village.  Cross the drawbridge and peek at the mansions of Penzance or head toward Surf Drive on the quiet bikepath.  You will be amazed by the vistas across Woods Hole Great Harbor,  across Vineyard Sound or up Buzzards Bay to the Cape Cod Canal.  Fido will like the smell of the freshly mowed grass and the bunny rabbits that scamper under the hedgerows.

You will enjoy the local shops; he will appreciate the cool sea air.

You will like the choice of restaurants; he will gobble the treat at check in.

You will like the pillow top mattress; he will thank you for the stylish doggie bed.

At the Woods Hole Inn, we understand the joy of traveling with your pet.

Hop on, hop off: WHOOSH TROLLEY

July 27th, 2010 by Beth Colt

I’m pretty fond of chugging along in my dated 12 MPG Suburban back in Texas, but after being hired by an eco-friendly inn and restaurant, I figured I’d trade in my tank for a bike or a better pair or tennis shoes. I was so thrilled to explore the nooks and crannies of the village during my first few days, but then I realized I needed groceries! And shampoo! And toilet paper!

Quicks Hole has the only market in town providing fresh produce, milk, eggs and specialty cheeses. But Falmouth, just three miles up the lush Woods Hole Road, has an adorable Main street stuffed with tee shirt and souvenir boutiques, ice cream and candy shops and three supermarkets.

WHOOSH Trolley takes visitors on up to Falmouth for shopping and good eats.

Fearful that there’s not enough time to go to the Vineyard? Grab a famous tee at the Black Dog General Store. Be sure not to miss Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium for a typical Cape Cod treat: ice cream and fudge. Try the lobster ice cream if you’re brave!

The open-air trolley only costs $2 and leaves every half hour from the Steamship Authority just down the street from the inn. Strike up a conversation with the drivers, the owner of the red trolley car has the most character, and maybe he’ll let you toot the horn.

I’d trade my Suburban for a worn pair of tennis shoes and the trolley anyday.

Keeping it local

July 24th, 2010 by Beth Colt

Downstairs from the Inn, we are lucky to be neighbors with an amazing little restaurant called Quicks Hole.

Open for lunch and dinner, this place is beyond the bomb-dot-com.  Our favorite part about it is their commitment to going green.  Like us, they support local farmers and fisherman, use compostable takeaway products and generally do everything they can think of to be responsible about the environment.

Chef Steph from Quicks Hole shops the Sandwich Farmers Market, July 2010

Chef Steph Mikolazyk grew up on the coast of Rhode Island, daughter of a lobsterman.  So she knows her lobster rolls and makes a wicked authentic quohog chowder with roasted local corn.  Steph ventures from behind the line a few times a week to visit local farms and pick the produce herself.  She likes to take heirloom tomatoes and use them with her crispy skin striped bass, or garnish the brioche lobster rolls with sweet pea tendrils.  Whatever looks good this week ends up in her amazing specials.

Keeping it local and fresh takes extra time, but it’s worth it when you taste the food.  Inn guests delight in a cool sangria with hot lobster tacos moments after check in, and most of our staff eats at Quicks every day.  You know its the coolest spot in town when you also see the local plumber, two fisherman and a nobel laureate sharing chips and salsa at cocktail hour.

Quicks Hole— another great reason to stay at the Woods Hole Inn.

Quicks Hole unites with water-loving community to celebrate Independence Day

July 4th, 2010 by Beth Colt

Wacky water-loving locals and researchers combine sea life and patriotism to celebrate the Fourth.

The not-so-sleepy town of Woods Hole kicks off the Fourth of July every year with a town parade sponsored by the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory. The event showcases the summer lab students who convert their knowledge of the local marine life into festive water-themed floats.

Quicks Hole, an eco-friendly newbie to the Hole, joined in on the fun and passed out 300 Melville’s Olde Tyme handmade lobster pops to the crowd along Water Street on Sunday that included a coupon for a free bruschetta bite.

“We’re a restaurant that’s all about our community,” said Beth Colt, owner of the restaurant and Woods Hole Inn. “We are a Cape Cod loving establishment that only sources local seafood and produce. We love the locals and we jump at any chance to interact with them.”

Quicks Hole is a casual dining experience that offers Baja themed cuisine located at 6 Luscombe Ave., just a block away from the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.

Everything is genuinely wicked fresh and prepared daily by a chef who knows the water. Raised by a commercial fishing family, Stephanie Mikolazyk from Rhode Island can attest to the positive influence that Quicks is having on the community.

“The demand is fresh and we are ready and able to provide that,” she said. “That being said, we’ve got to give back to our oceans. People notice what we’re doing: most of our dishware is compostable, we recycle everything we can and support efforts to keep everything local. It’s a great feeling to be giving back everyday.”

The restaurant has only been in business since the summer of 2007 but is quickly becoming a staple stop in Woods Hole. It now includes a fresh market that is restocked daily with local eggs, free-range organic honey, produce, grab-and-go lunch items, milk and specialty cheeses. Quick and convenient are at the top of their list at Quicks, but above all, they strive for providing a unique dining experience with friendly service and of course, wicked fresh seafood.

Quicks Hole marches in the annual Fourth of July parade outfitted in lobster costumes.

Everything is wicked fresh at Quicks Hole and just by eating there, you're helping create change.

One of many posts from guest blogger Caroline Matthews

July 1st, 2010 by Beth Colt

Summer in Woods Hole.  Long evenings where the light lingers past 9 p.m.  Steady ocean breeze from the Southwest.  Cocktails on the stern of a wooden boat in seersucker suits and floppy hats.  That’s what it looked like to me from the glossy magazines.

I am excited to share my many adventures with you as I wander in and around Woods Hole.

In my 22 years of relentless travel, somehow I had never made it to this corner of the world.  I’m from Texas and like to explore with not much more than a backpack, a Lonely Planet guide and my Nikon D80.

Needless to say, I jumped at an offer to come to Woods Hole for the summer and explore.  They told me they needed “marketing advice” which is fine since I just earned a BA in PR and journalism.  But what I really came for is the chance to do a little more urban archeology:  What makes this place tick?  Why do people return here year after year?  What is the real Cape Cod?

In my first week I spent a majority of my time wandered the village of Woods Hole.  Two words: absolutely stunning. There’s a surplus of great seafood just waiting for a dash of cocktail sauce. The people are so unbelievably friendly— I certainly have made a friend for life with one of the locals who grew up North of here in Chatham.

Literally only a stones throw from the inn, Stoney Beach provides some of the best sunset views in the area. It never seems to be crowded once the darkness pours in over the horizon-- perfect for peaceful reflection.

My favorite thing to do so far is to borrow a bike and head down to Stoney Beach for some amazing sun set shots.  Nothing makes me happier than to feel the weight of my camera in my left hand as the shutter closes in and out.  In a blink of a second, I’ve got it— a moment that I will remember forever.

Even though Woods Hole is technically a village, there certainly isn’t anything sleepy about it.  The nightlife is great. There’s awesome live music almost every night and tons of people to meet, even out on the streets.  The ferry horns sometimes get me right up at 7 a.m., but I certainly don’t mind.  It just means I start my day with a swim and a bike ride.  There’s just nothing like that.

I may only be here for six weeks, but I look forward to sharing my perspective with you.

Busy bridal weekend at The Woods Hole Inn

July 1st, 2010 by Beth Colt

I was so thrilled to catch this glimpse of the bride perparing at Woods Hole Inn.

There’s no better way to spend a bridal weekend than at The Woods Hole Inn! Last weekend we had brides galore preparing and honeymooning with us. It felt like a scene out of “Philadelphia Story” with boxes full of beautiful hydrangea and lilies bouquets delivered to our front desk.

Surrounded with smiling friends and family, several bottles of hairspray and two very busy makeup artists, the bride in Room 5 glowed as her mother whispered “Good luck.” We were lucky to get a few snapshots while she was getting ready. I loved the peek-a-boo through one of our vintage screens.

We also had a honeymooning couple who celebrated all evening and collapsed here for their first night as Mr. and Mrs. They enjoyed Sara’s French toast bread pudding, strawberries, blueberries and several cups of strong coffee in the morning. Good luck and come back next year!

What a fun weekend to have celebrating guests occupying almost every room. We love hosting wedding parties here at the inn and cannot wait for our next batch of brides to roll in! (…Like tomorrow!)

Brangelina come to the Woods Hole Inn

May 26th, 2010 by Beth Colt

Justin Bieber eat my dust:)

Are you ready for your close up?

Just like producing a movie, at the Woods Hole Inn we are crafting great vacations, one customer at a time.  Every movie begins with a great script and the Woods Hole Inn is no different — our script calls for us to make you feel pampered and welcome the minute you walk in the door.

I started my career in Hollywood, managing a group of actors and producing a few movies.  I don’t want to make my career sound too glamorous because it wasn’t — thousands of people like me toil behind the scenes as part of the grist that turns the Hollywood mill.  But I did learn a thing or two about star treatment that I use everyday in running the Woods Hole Inn.

I like to welcome guests the way I would welcome the star of my film onto set the first day — smiles, warmth and plenty of free bottled water.  I like to clean the rooms imagining that Oprah and her entourage might walk in later tonight.   I like to train staff to show off their knowledge of the local scene as if they were job interviewing for locations manager on “Jaws.”   I hope breakfast comes out feeling “Like Water for Chocolate”  and your pillow top reminds you of James Bond.

These are hard things to achieve and we don’t always get there.  Has there been a bad day when the electrician made a mess right before check-in, the phone rang too many times to answer and a guest waited at the front desk feeling more like Rita Wilson than Tom Hanks?  Yes.  Now you know why Bruce Willis throws temper tantrums in his trailer when the coffee is cold — even on a movie set with a staff of hundreds, mistakes happen.  So we apologize and try again.  Most of our customers are much, much more amenable than Bruce (visit the inn and I’ll share a few hair curlers for you).

In any case, nothing makes us happier than getting it right and I want to quote an email we received last night, because I think we succeeded in making this couple feel like Brangelina:

“My wife and I just finished a three day stay at the Inn and I can’t stop talking about it to anyone who will listen. From the second we walked through the door at 28 Water Street the warmth we were greeted by, yourself and the Inn, captured our hearts forever. I cannot say enough about the cleanliness of the room and the efficiency of the staff.

We have stayed in Woods Hole before, but by far the location of the Inn is far more noteworthy than any other places we have stayed. We found it a complete luxury to drop our car off with the valet and not have to think about getting around for the rest of our stay. The area restaurants and attractions all within walking distances on the scenic main strip of Woods Hole, as well as Quicks Hole located in the same building.  Talk about convenience.  Not to mention the activities you planned and executed for us (ferry tickets waiting for us, wine chilled in our room, walking tour of Woods Hole, massages at Bellezza Day Spa) all completely flawless in their delivery. The things you said were going to be done, were done.

How can I write our happiness with the Inn with out mentioning Sara the Breakfast Queen. I can’t express to you enough what a pleasure it was to wake up at our leisure, walk down the hall, open the breakfast room door to find the smell of freshly brewed coffee, homemade breakfast treats, and Sara’s smiling face. To say the breakfast she prepared for us each morning was delicious would be an insult. The word just doesn’t do enough credit to her skill. We especially liked the Linguiça and Asparagus bread pudding. I can still taste its’ warm flavorful goodness.

We have spent the last few days figuring out excuses for us to return to the Inn and believe us it’s not hard, if we could come every weekend we would!  Again, Thank You for all of the wonderful memories we were able to take with us in celebrating our 5th year of marriage. We hope to see you soon!”  — guest from Worcester, Mass.

I feel like Sally Field’s did in her famous Oscar speech  — “You like me, you really like me!”  We live for this kind of feedback, and I am grateful to my tremendous staff for another star turn.

And when Brad and Angelina actually arrive?  We are ready for you.

Divine Granola

May 13th, 2010 by Beth Colt

A message from a recent guest, verbatim:

I was a guest at your wonderful inn over the weekend, and TRULY enjoyed my stay. It was the icing on the cake for my weekend in Martha’s Vineyard, and I have not been able to stop thinking about it! I am emailing now to ask you a question that you probably do not get often, but I really enjoyed the breakfast I had on Sunday morning, and I couldn’t get enough of the granola you guys had out to mix with the greek yogurt. I went to the local grocery store after I returned to Boston to find a similar type of granola, but I couldn’t find anything like it. Do you mind telling me where it is from? It was a very dark granola with raisins in it, and it was really delicious! I would appreciate it so much if you could please let me know!

Thank you and I hope to hear from you!

Sincerely,

Veronica

Dear Veronica,

Our unique Woods Hole Inn granola is growing more famous by the moment and we regret that we can not reveal the special formula.  When a national food magazine contacts us for the inevitable story about it, we promise then and only then to reveal the secret to the world.  In the meantime, you will just have to come back and stay with us again!

Continental breakfast at the Woods Hole Inn; homemade granola with Greek-style yogurt is on the bottom left.

Spohr Gardens

April 30th, 2010 by Beth Colt

A public garden near the Woods Hole Inn.

I took a walk in Spohr Gardens the other day.  It was so quiet in the woods, with these cool old millstones lining the path that leads down to the pond.  Along the pond there is a spot to launch a canoe or kayak, and a collection of huge old metal objets like anchors and enormous chains.  I sat by the water for a few minutes, ripples of the dominant southwesterly breeze fluttering over the protected pond.  How rare the opportunity for quiet contemplation in our busy world!

This amazing resource was given to the public by Martha and Charles Spohr whose main stipulation was that their six-acre property on Oyster Pond be open daily.  Volunteers keep it well-planted and beautifully maintained.  I’m told the daffodil display in spring is particularly impressive, but they were not up yet for my meditation.

Cape Cod needs more Spohrs, generous souls willing to give away a valuable piece of property despite it’s potential for residential development.  Pockets of open land like this one are a prized part of the fabric of life in Falmouth.  What an incredible resource, both for visitors like me but also for all the frogs, geese, swans, osprey — the flora and fauna of the Cape perpetually squeezed into smaller open spaces.

If you come to Woods Hole, don’t leave without a jaunt into the Spohr Gardens.  This temple of nature will refresh and revitalize you — not just with it’s beauty, but also with the spirit of  it’s inspired donors.   Thank you, Charles and Martha, for my own mindful meditation on your land the other day.   Your gift inspires me.  And I’m quite sure I am not alone.

Upright millstones and an plaque honoring the generous Spohrs.

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