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I am watching the snow fall this morning from the kitchen window of our Inn here on Cape Cod. This will be the first appreciable snowstorm of the season on the Cape, a season that has thus far been unseasonably warm. We have enjoyed a significant number of days well above average temperature for this time of year and abundant sunshine that left our lawn green long past its typical winter dormancy.
This past week we hosted a couple from Virgina up to visit their daughter who was camping at Sandy Neck, the 8-mile barrier beach the Inn faces on Cape Cod Bay. On break from school, she and several classmates were studying ecology alongside faculty from Wheaton and Boston Colleges. Using Sandy Neck’s research cottage (historically known as the Halfway House) as a base camp, students collected, organized, and analyzed data on resident wildlife.
On one excursion they spotted and photographed a snowy owl on the large spit know as “Little Neck“ just past trail 6. Though we have often heard the distinctive cry of the snowy owl, we have never seen one up close. Apparently, although not a typical winter visitor to these parts, every year this is a spotting of one or two of them, most typically at Sandy Neck, though others have been seen in Yarmouth and Chatham, and at South Cape Beach and Nauset this year. Known to be highly nomadic, the owls are expected to remain on Sandy Neck for several more weeks.