February - March 2013
Winter tranquility across
the National Seashore
It's winter tranquility at the National Seashore. Although the Blizzard of 2013 raised its anticipated havoc, you cannot beat the serenity that follows. Snowshoeing on the Nauset March Trail, cross country skiing on the fire roads or a stroll on the storm-eroded beaches.
Cape Cod National Seashore is truly a four-season National Park.
In addition to the $40,000 committed last year to three special Seashore projects — restoration of Penniman House grounds, wayside exhibits along the Province Lands Bike Trail and the Making Waves program for under-served urban youth — the board has voted funds in 2013 to cover some small, but important items to enable certain programs or provide needed equipment for the National Seashore.
Thanks to all members who support the good work of the Friends in helping the National Seashore.
Evening Amphibian Walk
We are excited to continue our amphibian education this spring! At 7:30 p.m. on April 11, National Park Service Wildlife Biologist Robert Cook will lead members of Friends on an evening walk of about one mile among the vernal ponds of Eastham.
We will be listening and looking for such early spring amphibians as the wood frog, spring peeper, and spotted salamander. As well, we will be learning about some of the many species of wildlife that live and thrive unbeknownst to most people on the lands protected by Cape Cod National Seashore.
RSVP early, as the group will be limited to 20. This event is for current members only.
Thursday, April 11, 7:30 p.m.
Meet at Salt Pond Visitor Center, Eastham
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-957-0729
Recent acquisitions for the
Old Harbor Life-Saving Station
Even though it is winter, the work of Friends continues. One project that is ongoing is furnishing Old Harbor Life-Saving Station at Race Point beach in Provincetown.
In October, we acquired the 1899 Annual Report of the Life-Saving Service. This book will be part of the Keepers Office display. It was included in the Furnishing Plan, as was a Watchman's Clock. Such an instrument was on our Wish List at an estimated cost of $1000!
The Surfman on beach patrol carried a Watchman's Clock. He was obligated to carry the leather bound timepiece to a site where a key was stored. In the case of Old Harbor, it would have been at the southern end of the beach, probably abreast of what is now the Fish Pier in Chatham. Inserting the key, and turning it punched a paper dial, showing the time he punched it.>
The Keeper had the only key to open the clock, and could verify that the patrol was properly carried out. Surfmen faced disciplinary action if they were guilty of "missing a punch."
Fortunately, we have obtained two such clocks! One was donated, the other purchased at a fair price, much lower than the estimate. Both clocks need to have leather cases made for them. These clocks, without their leather covers, weigh 1-¾ pounds each!
The earlier clock is an Imhauser with a patent date of 1876. The later one, a Newman's, has a patent date of 1901. There is evidence that Old Harbor may have had both of these, as the inventory book shows receipt of paper dials for both Imhauser and Newman clocks.
News from the National Seashore
Phenology Volunteer Needed
Additional plant phenophase volunteers are needed for salt marsh vegetation monitoring that is scheduled to take place on May 15 during low tide (mid-morning.) This work involves working for several hours and will be done in various salt marshes around the Seashore.
An ability to walk short distances over uneven terrain is required. Please contact Megan_Tyrrell@nps.gov if you are interested in signing up for this unique monitoring exercise, where we will count stem density of salt marsh cordgrass.