Following last night's brief post:
We were visiting Cape Cod, natch, off-season, and a rainy weekend it was, too. Nevertheless, we found plenty to do, including a visit to the Thornton Burgess Museum
Though that modest structure and presentation (enhanced by miniature interior-wall-mounted dioramas of Burgess
animal characters in action, carefully realized via three-dimensional carved wooden models from cartoonist extraordinaire Harrison Cady
's original illustrations) was a bit underwhelming, a more stunning Burgess
-like tableau was hidden out back.
Though it was sprinkling, I was drawn to the Museum's grounds behind the building, where the perfectly-kept lawn sloped down to the bay waters. It wasn't so much the swans visible about 100 feet from the grassy bank that attracted me as the tangle of trees and brush directly behind the Museum: there appeared to be a tangle of vines along the shore, beneath a willow -- the kind of natural formation I recall Charles Vess
would move toward at a moment's notice during any exploration of any woodland area.
Sure enough, it was evocative of Vess
and Arthur Rackham
landscapes: the mass I had seen wasn't a tangle of vines, but the roots of an upended tree tipped away from the water, the trunk lost in the thicket of brush and overgrowth, the weatherworn tipped flatbed of the roots and angle of the fallen trunk forming a sort of forest doorway into a secreted eddy.
There, quietly sitting beneath the shelter of willow tree leaves, were two adult white swans. They were undisturbed by my appearance, and I savored a long privileged look into this shimmering, deep green hidden harbor. It was a magical moment, more Burgess
than anything we'd seen that morning, though I confess I also wondered if Totoro
might have been laying further within, completely hidden from sight.
I quietly gestured Marj, Mike & Mary, Mark & Jeannie over for a look. Hey, why the hesitation?
I guess from where they were standing, it looked like I was taking a whiz on sacred ground -- thankfully, they made the trip down the bank and savored the view, too.