August through the woods to the water

 We found something sweet on the beach I thought you’d like to see. Feel like taking a walk?  Joe and I have walked the same road almost every morning since we discovered this place over twenty years ago; it’s my favorite part of our day. Maybe it’s still too hot where you are, and maybe you just need a timeout and virtual trip to the beach.  So come along . . . it’s almost three miles, out and back, easy walk!  Musica?  ♫  ♫ –click it on, then come with us!

Already we feel the season beginning to change; the first little hints are in the air, lovely cool rain for one thing, a few red leaves; the cicadas are beginning to drown out the sound of the crows (and that’s saying something).  But every day, rain, snow, or beautiful August morning, we walk the same walk . . . through the woods . . .

On a dirt road where we’ve memorized every stick, birds nest, and squirrel hole along the way . . .

These woods are full of wonderful things; from wild turkeys lumbering across the road, to baby squirrels chasing each other up trees, to the patterns the sun makes as it filters through the trees.  Nothing grows better here than poison ivy. Nothing turns a prettier red in the fall either.  The smell on the road in late summer is pine and hot dirt.

Cardinals flit through the woods…

Wild blueberries and blackberries make a delicious breakfast.

Wild mushrooms are beautiful and scary and we definitely don’t eat them.  If you are familiar with the type of scientific minds we have, you understand why we take no chances.

Homemade signs along the road point the way to little houses in the woods. . .






As we walk along, eating blueberries, we get peeks through tree-openings of our destination. . .

And then, suddenly, the trees end . . .

. . . and out into the open sky we go . . .

 …to walk along the shore of the pond . . . this is the part of the walk I call “Ireland.”

Hundred-year-old fishing shacks line this narrow spit of land, they have an amazing view of the pond out their front doors →, and the ocean out the back ←. . . you can just see a little peek of the sea.


The houses are right ON the water.  In a somewhat scary fashion if you believe in the power of hurricanes which I do.

But they’ve been there a long time; so far, so good.







These houses are all different inside, mostly unfinished with worn wooden floors and open shelves instead of cupboards. They’re not heated, so they get boarded up in the winter.






Beach towels flap from clothelines and front porches. Gulls and Terns dive overhead making all those wonderful beachy noises we love to hear; the waves lap on shore, the smell is wild beach roses, salt, and sand; the aroma of frying bacon floats out to greet us. 

Behind this blue door of one of the shacks lives the sweetest-pot-pie-people in the world.  We found out, if you walk past someone’s house for enough years, someday they will feel sorry for you and invite you in.  Give you coffee, tell you stories, play rummikub with you, and as the years go by, become dear friends.

They even, if you are very lucky, ask you to sit on their porch with them and watch the sun go down.




We stop here and visit as often as possible — but then we go on, to our final destination, to where the road ends and the pond cuts in front of you on it’s way out to sea.

Here’s where we stand in silent awe every morning and drink in the beauty. We come before the beach fills up; while it’s still quiet, just us and the birds.  The pond used to be landlocked, but it opened up during a hurricane and boat lovers along the shore could then have boats on the pond and get them through the opening to the sound.

And this is what the tiny beach there looks like on a summer day if you’re on a sailboat going through the opening….little kids, picnic lunches, umbrellas, and beach chairs.

And here’s what it looks like if you’re on board the sailboat!

But I digress . . . this story could go off into a whole other direction!  But wouldn’t you like to see what we found on the beach?

 I have a photo “collection” of sand castles I’ve happened upon like this.  The photo of this one makes three.  Because it’s August, and another summer is flying by . . .

. . . we stay awhile and search for beach glass and heart-shaped rocks, but then it’s time to say good bye, turn around and retrace our steps back along the pond, through the woods, popping blueberries in our mouths.  And home.

Did you have fun?  Do you want to come with us tomorrow?  OK, get your shoes on, we go at 7.  Be there or be square.♥  

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151 Responses to August through the woods to the water

  1. Country Gal says:

    Oh how beautiful ! What a lovely place to walk and see ! Thanx for taking us with you it was dreamy ! Have a wonderful day !

  2. Carolyn Ann says:

    I wondered about the little rocks on the windowsills and the top of the door ledges in your house. Now I know! LOL! I collect seashells from antique stores and from the beach. The ones from the beach are my favorite. I love the broken pieces of the shells, too. Anyway, it was a lovely walk and I love Chad & Jeremy’s Summer Song. Have a great Sunday!

    • Carolyn Ann says:

      Also, how interesting to have a collection of sand castles. You should post the pictures if its not too much trouble.

      • sbranch says:

        I would, but two of them were before digital and I don’t have a scanner yet — it’s coming soon! All those old photo albums are just waiting for me!

  3. Nellie says:

    Oh, how wonderful! I yearn for such a walk! Our visit to Martha’s Vineyard last fall was amid torrents of rain, and we discovered we are not such hearty souls to embark on a trek to the ocean in that kind of weather.:-) What amazing beauty! Enjoy! xoxo

  4. Joan Watson says:

    Oh, I must visit MV someday! Thanks for taking me along on your daily walk! You have such a descriptive way with words. Loved the trip.

  5. mari1017 says:

    Oh, Susan – what a perfect post for a hot, hot, hot August morning!!! It’s almost 98 and 1000% humidity here in Virginia, but you just brought back all the dirt roads, white beaches, ocean breezes, and fragrances of a morning walk in New England! Do you just love finding a sand castle or lover’s hearts entwined in the sand before the tide takes them out to sea? ♥♥♥ thanks for the smile!
    p.s. Can I wish my sister Rosie the happiest of birthdays today? She is not only my sister but from miles away also and still my best friend 🙂
    ♥♥♥ HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROSIE!!! ♥♥♥

  6. Mammamisia says:

    Witaj Susan! Kilka dni temu odkryłam Twojego bloga i Twoją twórczość. Już dzisiaj marzę o Twoje książce z przepisami. Mieszkam w Polsce i tutaj nie spotkałam się z Twoją twórczością. Od kilku dni jestem Twoją wielbicielką i postaram się zdobyć Twoją książkę choć jeszcze nie wiem jak. Podobają mi się ilustracje i przepis na piknik. Wszystko jest takie domowe pełne ciepła i miłości. I love Your Blog!!!
    I love your books! I dream about Heart of the Home and Christmas from the Hearth of the Home.
    Im sorry but my english is very bad.
    Serdecznie Cię pozdrawiam z serca mojego domu z moja rodziną i dziękuję za wszystkie Twoje dzieła i twoją twórczość.
    Thank you for that.

    • sbranch says:

      I just put this comment into “Google Translate” and here’s what Iza wrote…

      Hi Susan! A few days ago I discovered your blog and your creativity. Today I dream of your book of rules. I live in Poland and here is not met with your creativity. For several days I am your fan and I’ll try to get your book yet but I do not know how. I like the illustrations and a recipe for a picnic. Everything is such a home full of warmth and love. I Love Your Blog!
      I love your books! I dream about Heart of the Home and Christmas from the Hearth of the Home.
      Im sorry but my English is very bad.
      We warmly greet you from the heart of my home with my family and I thank you for all your work and your creativity.
      Thank you for that. Iza

      • sbranch says:

        Watch what Google translate just helped me do…

        Hi Iza, jestem tak szczęśliwy, przyszedł się przywitać! Wyglądasz bardzo kreatywną osobą do mnie! Twój blog jest piękne! Jestem tak szczęśliwy, że znam. Mają wspaniały dzień! Susan

        No, I do not speak Polish. I hope Google translate doesn’t fool with me!

        • Angie(Tink!) says:

          Hopefully you can count on Google Translate! lol…all amazing to me Sweet Sue! xoxo Poof!♫♥

      • mari1017 says:

        What a privilege and blessing to touch so many people’s lives through your art and “happy gene” ! What a wonderful note 🙂

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        oh my goodness this is amazing Sue..I am Polish & Russian…I still have relatives that speak polish fluently…wow! xoxo Poof!

        • Carolyn Ann says:

          Such a nice post from Iza! Susan, you are so funny! I hope google translate doesn’t fool with you, either!

    • Karen P says:

      Welcome, Iza, to a very nice group of “girlfriends!”
      Witamy, Iza, do bardzo ładny grupy “dziewczyny!”

  7. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Hello Sweet Sue…Yes…I had The Most Fun! I Drank in The Beauty…all The Magic of Your Walk through the Woods to The beach on Your Most Enchanting Island….ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…& I Thank Thee…Oh How I Loved Your Video of The Sandcastle…& omggggggggggggg The Cardinals flitting through the Woods…& Your “Ireland”…My Heart♥ skips a Beat…Today Is My Baby Jonathan’s 29th Birthday (Yay!) & I Baked Him Your Coconut Cake…it’s gonna Be Scrumptious! so We are Twirling into Birthday Bliss & I have a Huge Smile 🙂 on My Face…Thanks again for sharing Yours & Joe’s Delightful Walk…see ya at 7:00 am! L♥ve & Hugzzzzz xoxo Poof! (Birthday Pixie~Dust Everywhere!) 🙂

  8. Karen W says:

    I love the morning light. I like to watch it cover the earth each day.Thank you for showing me your light… it is so cool and green. Right now we have hot white light here in the south. Hopefully we will soon have our lovely blue gray again when this heat breaks. Please continue to let your light shine!

  9. Lesley Kemp says:

    It’s a beautiful day here in Folsom, California. Not too hot, not too cold—just perfect. I loved tagging along with you on your walk. I could smell the beach salt air—wonderful. I’ll be ready at 7am with shoes on.

    • Diane (formerly Martin) Pino says:

      Hey Lesley, Long time no see! Imagine meeting you here!
      (I’m not surprised!)
      Just had to waive hello!
      <3 Diane

  10. Lin says:

    What a lovely post, Susan, thank you! Like a mini-vacation. You’re moving Martha’s Vineyard up my list! Beautiful pictures!

  11. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Did I read somewhere, some time ago, that you and Joe had bought one of these beach shacks and fixed it up? Or maybe this isn’t where it is located? Thanks for the morning walk…and look at the ocean for us land-lubbers… 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      We did, I thought one of these days I might do a post about it and show some photos. We sold it years ago.

      • Nina says:

        Well we would all love to see it Sue please! And hear some stories about it!
        Thanks for taking us on your walk today probably won’t be seeing you at7.00 tomorrow though as it will be 2.00 in the morning here! lol xxxx

      • CAROL O. says:

        OH…THERE YOU GO…I also sent an email…and included your little beach house…I remember………

  12. Ann Y says:

    Thank you SO much for taking us along on your beautiful walk ! I will think of it each morning on our walk ( at 5:15 AM) through our neighborhood. How blessed you are to be able to walk to the ocean each day….with someone you love. No ocean here…but blessed with someone to love and a little cottage house we love to share. And now, a walk to the Post Office to mail some REAL letters, and on to a little ice cream stand that has been open since 1937…all homemade, wonderful flavors, a little creek running behind it – where you can sit on a picnic bench and watch the children look for minnows and chase the ducks. Almost as good as the ocean. Thanks again for such an inspirational blog !

  13. Ginny Stanley says:

    Dear Susan,
    We live in the country and I love to go for walks. I’ve always wondered what your little road to the beach was like. Thank you soooooooooo much for showing us!
    Love your posts and can’t wait to see what’s next. You make life seem so “normal” – which is a good thing. Sometimes I think my life is hum-drum but when I see your posts and pictures and feel the “connection”, I realize my life is good! How could my life be hum-drum when I have so much in common with Susan Branch!!!!!!!!!!-lol.

  14. Linda Pintarell says:

    That was a lovely walk! Thank u! I could smell the ocean breeze – my favorite scent. I live near the ocean in CA but don’t get down there often enough – must change my habits and enjoy the beauty which is so near.

  15. Maria says:

    Dear Susan,

    What a lovely way to start the day! It makes me feel like I am right there with you. I have been fortunate enough to go to Nantucket every summer since I was a little girl, except for this one! So, seeing these pictures of Martha’s Vineyard helps me to be on the islands in spirit! Oh how I miss it! Thank you for bringing a little of it to me to enjoy!
    P.S I have all of your books and just love them!

  16. kathya says:

    I was born and raised in Southern California and still living here many decades later. I have always dreamed of being in New England. Now I can take walks with you and Joe in the evening listening to Patti Page, and in the morning listening to Chad & Jeremy. Perfect music for a perfect walk. I close my eyes and can almost believe that I am actually there. I will look back on these posts often as a way to de-stress when the need arises. Thank you so much for sharing!

  17. judy says:

    Wow. That was lovely. Thanks for taking me along, it was just what I needed!

  18. Connie says:

    Thanks for the lovely walk.

  19. As I started reading your post I called my hubby in to see the photos too.. he just wrapped his arms around my shoulders as we read together. He said, “Now honey, this is where I would love for us to retire to…just you and me and all of this glorious beauty.”

  20. dawn says:

    I’ll never forget riding bicycles with Ramon down that path in October, following the map Joe was kind enough to copy for us. It was such a lovely way, so quiet! I am so glad I know that path now, so when you write about it, I can remember.
    What happened to your fishing shack? I think I remember you having one…
    I’ve spotted the first signs of you-know-what here, too. There are yellowing leaves on a few branches and sprinkled on the walking path I take with the dogs every day. It’s such an exciting time, enjoying the end of summer, looking forward to what comes afterwards. 🙂
    xoxoxo Big hug for you!

  21. Karen C says:

    What a loving walk! Thank you for guiding us along the way. I can almost feel the sand between my toes, and the breeze in my face. This old Fl gal misses the beach. What a great August day! Here’s to enjoying what we have left of our summer days! Hope you have a great week and a wonderful rest of the summer!

  22. Jackie says:

    Dear Susan,

    Again you take us back to a simpler time…good music, good friends, great walks, perfect summer weather, the beach, the woods, so much wrapped up into one neat, perfect package. I came home from errands on a very warm day and plopped in front of my computer to visit your blog …. turned on Chad and Jeremy (are they still alive?) and read the blog….made my day and made me smile. Thank you so very much. Oh, and keep up the good work! Cheers!

    P.S. I think we all would like to live your life and live in your house!

  23. Susan Edwards says:

    Thanks for the early morning walk to the shore. I so enjoy each day’s posting. Today’s helped me dream of our upcoming vacation (in the fall) to the shores of North Carolina (Emerald Isle).

  24. Judy C in NC says:

    I loved every step I took along this walk and every breathe I breathed. Lucky for you and Joe to have such a beautiful place to cleanse your soul and nurture your spirit. Thank you for sharing another part of your day. Judy C in NC

  25. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Huge SIGH!!! I loved tagging along, thanks you 2. Seeing the red cardinal up close and personal made my heart go pitterpatter! It looks like sailboating is almost as fun as walking through the woods and on the beach. Loved the music too! I found a ♥ rock on the beach at Ft Bragg CA, 2 weeks ago, and thought of you & almost sent it to you, but, I wondered if you have collecting restrictions (although I did have to explain to my husband it was a ♥ shape, “Mmhmmm” he said)? For instance, it’s ok for my grandkids to bring me heart rocks & beach glass, but I do have restrictions about other ways of obtaining them. 🙂 If you have collecting restrictions too, I will add the ♥ rock to my collection, and think of you when I look at it!!! What a wonderful Sunday you’ve had…..a day of blessings! xo

  26. Dya says:

    Great pictures and post, thanks for taking us along with you. I love walks through the wood, try do do it every afternoon, but I don’t have an ocean at the end , ‘just’ a river, but I enjoy the views and the ‘space’ .
    Happy walking

  27. deezie says:

    Hi Susan
    I can’t wait to show those pictures to my husband, he loves Martha’s Vineyard. The walk through the woods and to the beach was fabulous! I loved every single second of it. I can’t wait until we move there in a few years. Then I get to experience that every day also:)
    How fun to have owned one of those fishing shacks. I hope you share the photoes with us, that would be so much fun. I collect heart shaped rocks too, how can you not just love heart shaped rocks.
    Have a wonderful day Susan

  28. Katharine says:

    I loved our walk to the beach. The forest reminded me of walking in Sweden and finding a clearing in the center where you will find many fairy rings (mushrooms..I’m sure you know). It was magical and I wish I was there again. The seashore, with it’s wild roses, reminds me of the Connecticut shores in Luanne Rice novels. Have you read her novels before?


  29. Marilyn says:

    I felt like I was walking along with you! We are in the midst of a horrendous heat wave and the sight of green trees and the cool, blue ocean was a sight for these heat weary eyes.

    I love Martha’s Vinyard, the site of many childhood vacations.

    Were you able to find beach glass and heart shaped rocks today?

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  30. Pom Pom says:

    I took the walk twice! I think that’s why I bought bacon at the grocery store this afternoon! Oh, those “fishing cabins” look divine. Don’t you love beach towels flapping in the wind? How I adore the ocean. Thank you for the lovely walk.

  31. Pat Simon says:

    Dear Susan:
    You have inspired me to keep my camera at my side in the morning – the sun comes up over my balcony, peeking through the trees. And when school begins for me in a few weeks, I am going to keep my camera handy and take pictures of the kids coming into my Library, especially the kindergartners for the first time. I’ll snap some photos of their faces when I tell them “of course you will take out books this very first day of school – what is a Library for if not for checking out. I’ll snap pictures of my first graders looking for the biggest book to check out so “everyone will think they are in the 5th grade :)”. I’ll snap pictures of my 3rd grade girls trying to decide which three Nancy Drews they will check out (thank goodness I have lots of Nancies in house). You have inspired me to become again the new Librarian I was all those years ago, looking forward to the beginning of a new school year, new books, new stories, 325 hearts depending on me to show them the way to a lifetime of reading and learning. Thanks, as always, for highlighting the beauty we sometimes overlook.

  32. Doreen Strain says:

    Thanks for letting me tag along on your stroll this morning. I so enjoyed the music as well as the sound of the leaves shimmering in the trees as they blew in the breeze that came from across the sea. And, hearing the screams of the sea gulls announcing our arrival to the waters edge brought a certain joy to my soul. I could hear the gently giggles of the children that worked so diligently on their castle that they left for the eyes of our hearts to see. Let us not forget the feel of the morning sun on our bare skin and the smell on the wind of the salt water and the lapping of the waves as they danced across the threshold of water and sand. Ahhhh yes, what a wonderful walk. One that renewed the sense of peace in those of us that slipped on our shoes and decided to come along with you and Joe. I’ll see ya in the morning Girlfriend ! I might not comb my hair before we go in the morning since it looked like a bees nest when we got back home today from our walk! FOSB 4 ~ Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  33. Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

    That’s exactly what I’ve always imaged a walk would look like at your place. Some day when I get to that “item” on my Life List I’ll be able to see it in person. Right now we’re still in the hot and sticky time in August here in Ohio. Beautiful days but not so much fun without a pool or lake to be beside. I did enjoy the thunder storm this afternoon. Everything looks so nice and green!!

  34. Jacqui G says:

    Hi Susan,
    Do you ever go to Homeport? My cousin used to take me there for a lobster dinner whenever we would visit. I love the fishing village of Menemsha- this reminds me a little of that. So beautiful! Thanks for sharing your life:)

    FOSB 4-Ever

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, Homeport and Menemsha, both wonderful. Menemsha was the fishing village in Jaws and really looks like that.

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        OK, I have a question as I’ve never watched Jaws. I’m one of those people with an active imagination who sits on the edge of their seat, peeking through their fingers at the scary parts of scary movies, or leaves the room temporarily… Here’s my question: Are there enough pretty pictures of MV iin Jaws to warrant watching it or is the most of it “scary”??? I also heard that the new movie, Jumping the Broom, was filmed on MV and has pretty pictures. Has anyone seen that? Thanks! 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          Don’t watch the first 15 min of Jaws and you’ll be fine. I don’t like a lot of that stuff either; seems real to me! But after that first thing, I think you’re pretty much OK, unless I’m forgetting something. which I probably am.

  35. Tina in Ky says:

    Thank you and Joe for the Lovely walk thru the woods, to the shore…. what a peaceful way to start or finish the day. Have a wonderful Week!!

  36. LJ says:

    I enjoyed the walk to the beach with you and Joe. Thanks for inviting me. Those fishing shacks along the beach reminded me of the story “Clifford and the Big Storm.” Hope the Big Storm doesn’t happen but if it does, then I wish Clifford is there to help. 🙂

  37. Peg Shelton says:

    Your blog for today was perfect. I dream of visiting MV. I’m reading Gladys Taber’s “Cape Cod Journal.” I found it in a little used books store around the corner from Walmart central offices in Bentonville. Between her writings and your pics I’m there in spirit. Small world, isn’t it????

  38. Siobhan says:

    Another beautifully timed stroll to the music…so delightful! What the heck is rummikub? 😀

  39. Carmel says:

    I just had a great day taking a dear friend to brunch in Annapolis, MD. The heat and humidity was off the charts but the water with sailboats were still a sight that took our breath away. We found some lovely, lovely independently owned shops and sweet people there to help. Then to come home to your beautiful walk to the beach just made my summer day even longer with wonder. Many thanks. Do you and Joe still have your little (and gorgeous) beach “shack?” It seemed like such a magical place.

    • sbranch says:

      No we sold it … but we had some wonderful times there before we did. Sometimes having more ends up as having less! We ended up trying to live two lives at once, one out there, and one at our house in town.

  40. Karen P says:

    Beautiful walk today, Susan! And, oh, Chad and Jeremy….perfect accompaniment to the dreamy stroll. You always are able to put such PERFECT music to your pics that take us there! Lovely, simply lovely! xoxo… kp

  41. carol pfeiffer says:

    Susan, thanks for the lovely walk, and how generous you are for sharing. Maybe someday Dana (my daughter) and I can take that walk. She talks about a trip there quite often.

  42. peg says:

    oh, to walk with you and Joe each morning…..but, somehow, i think that would be intrusive of your space. your early a.m. walk together is a ritual, if you will, …and i would never dream of encroaching on your time together. i totally get the neighbors and the invitations to sit and chat after years of watching you two go by.

    trust me, Sue….you are blessed….and we are so lucky to ‘know’ you…and travel via your blog each day to your world….its like coming home….it feeds our souls, inspires us and gives us cause to stop and breathe all that is Susan Branch.

    love you, Sue. ♥

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Peg, what can I say, you’re too nice, I feel like an example of whatever you put out there comes back to you a hundred fold …xoxo

  43. Madeline says:

    Lovely! Do I remember reading a number of years ago that you bought one of those little houses?

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, when I get a scanner I’ll put up some pictures…we had such a good time with the before and after of that little house.

      • Madeline says:

        Ooh, I would love to see the photos! It must be the most charming and inviting little house.

        • sbranch says:

          I’ll definitely do it…it was a wonderful little place, we called it the shack, when we bought it, the bathroom floor went right through to the sand!

  44. Brenda says:

    I enjoyed this post. We live in Michigan and our favorite time away from home is to be on a beach or close enough to a beach for hubs and I to take a walk to it or on it. We always bring home bits of sea (lake) glass and pretty rocks. We have containers of them. I would love to join you at 7 in the morning.

  45. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Susan (and readers): Do you want to hear something strange and funny? This morning I read this blog before we went on our Sunday morning walk in the nature area near our house. I didn’t click on the “music” at the beginning as I was kind of hurrying so we could get going before it got too hot out. My husband looked at the pictures over my shoulder and I made the comment it was smart of you to take these pictures of your walks because years from now, when you are too old to walk it, you will have the photos to enjoy. I think this inspired Norm to grab our camera when we went out the door, and he shot some pictures along our walk. (which he had never done before) After we got back, we went over to the local Walgreen’s to print out the photos and get a disk made. (We don’t print out photos often so there were a LOT of photos!) While we were waiting, a song came on the music system in the store and as it was playing, I told the young clerk that I knew I was old enough to be her mother and I would date myself saying this, but that was my favorite song from ‘way back, it was popular when I was in high school. Guess what song? Now, tonight, before I turn off the computer I clicked to listen to the music at the beginning of the blog and imagine my surprise to hear the SAME SONG!!! I called Norm in and said, “Isn’t this the same song that was playing at the Walgreen’s?” and he confirmed it. In instances like this, we look at each other and say, “Da-da-da” which is our abbreviated song from the Twilight Zone theme song (which I could never remember the tune correctly so we both started a one note “Da-da-da” which we both know what it means…) I also thing an instance like this is referred to as serendipity? 🙂

  46. Michelle says:

    Thank you so much for this beautiful ‘walk.’ I just found your blog a few days ago and have thoroughly enjoyed it! Looking forward to more reading!

  47. Mary says:

    Thank you!!!! for sharing a little bit of your heaven with us!!! *sigh*

  48. Mary says:

    P.S. We live in CA, and in all our many travels to the beach, I have never found ONE piece of seaglass 🙁

    • sbranch says:

      I’m just thinking, I don’t think I ever did either! Perhaps you need centuries of boats and bottle tossing? Joe and I wanted red sea glass so bad, we bought a bottle of Red Rum just because of the bottle, broke it in a bag, walked out to the end of the jetty, and threw it in. Did we ever get any red? No, but we think somebody must have! PS Not sure what happened to the actual rum!

      • Doreen Strain says:

        Susan, your too funny!

      • Jeannie M from NC says:

        I’ll bet you don’t! lol, lol

      • CAROL O. says:

        Check early in the morning…and when the tide is low…around the rocks…Sea Glass has a way of getting stuck in the rock area…It shines up at you….and you spot it….a lot of it is green…but its fun to find torquise…and susan I found 1 piece of red sea glass….and its Heart shaped….!!

    • Jeannie M from NC says:

      I never found any either, growing up in Laguna Beach!

    • Diane (formerly Martin) Pino says:

      Try Glass Beach near Fort Brag in Northern California 🙂
      But my secret (well, not so secret anymore) favorite place to find beach glass is Bodega Bay Dunes beach (it’s a State park) though I find a lot less now than I used to.
      <3 D.

  49. Courtney says:

    Hi Susan,
    I recently joined your blog and I love it. I’ve been a big fan of yours for years and have all of your cookbooks. In fact, one is currently on the kitchen counter, open to the pesto recipe which I make every summer and freeze to enjoy all winter. I go back to your cookbooks to read and savor as well. It’s fun to follow along with you in the blog…like a little cookbook page per day!

    Thanks for the lovely walk. MV is such a wonderful place!

  50. Treese says:

    I would love to see the before and after pictures of the little cottage I read about in Original Willards. Did you and Joe keep it?

  51. Gert says:

    Susan! Well here I sm 7 am & ready to go! Smile … What an amazing post especially for me! Thanks to you I am able to walk again.,along this path that leads to the almighty ocean!! After reading this late last night, as I laid my head on my pillow I had sweet dreams and such a restful night!

    Bless you my dear friend,
    xoxo Gert

  52. DarleneB says:

    Hi Susan, thank you so much for sharing your walk with us. It is just like I imagined it to be!!!! So beautiful xoxo

  53. I know you are so grateful, every day, that you have such a place to live. Everything is nigh-on-to-purrrrrfect there, my Dear. And I am happy for you.

    And greatly appreciate the peeks into your lovely life, which you share with us.

    Oh I know! No life is always lovely! I know. I know. I know.

    And I also know that in “Pretty Blog Land,” we try to concentrate on the nice parts. Because “Pretty Blog Land,” is a refuge for so many of us. A sweet and gentle place, to kick off our shoes, wiggle our toes in the grass, and let out a deep and contented sighhhhhhhhhhhhh. “Pretty Blog Land” is our grown-up-place, where we know we can pop into and be safe. Like a childhood “Secret Place.”

    Thank you for all the peeks you give us, into your life.

    Gentle hugs,

    • sbranch says:

      Everything you say is true. But I have often longed to go on vacation and leave me at home! Just go somewhere without me! How fun! I love being part of this gigantic world-wide “secret place.”

    • Jeannie M from NC says:

      I love your name for blogs! Pretty Blog Land! Great!

  54. Sylvia says:

    I will be with you at 7am, if not physically, in my heart and looking at your blog.
    It is a wonderful walk I will take everyday. I hope you will take us on this walk every season. I would love to see the changes. Thank you!

  55. grace thorne says:

    my guess is, the little houses are closer to the water than when first built. that’s one thing i loved about the vineyard; driving down the road the beach is right there on both sides in some places…so close! like most coastal areas on the atlantic, it’s beautiful!

    • sbranch says:

      You are so right! There’s about a football field worth of sand missing from the back side of those houses from a photo we have of our old one in the 1940’s. One thing, in order to keep the pond open to the sea, they have to dredge the sand down the channel, and when they do, they put the sand they pull out onto the beaches of those houses! Like 20 or 30 feet of beautiful white sand. But within a year and a few nor’easters it all goes away again.

  56. Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

    Hmmm… I must have taken the wrong road. I was waiting for you and Joe at 6:59!!! Must have missed you. 😉 Loved the walk — so many of your pictures nudge at my long-forgotten memories of beach walks in Santa Barbara (yes, when Chad and Jeremy were played everyday on the transiter radio!) We wondered through trails or sometimes would ride our horses to look over the cliffs and catch the sea breeze. Seems like we were always outside (otherwise, if you stayed inside, mom would find lots of chores to do!) Flash forward to today… my walks now include 4 of the most beautiful and funny grandkids and a chocolate lab, and if we’re really lucky, our old cowboy PopPop joins us. We huff it up to the lake 1/2 mile away, dodging rabbits and watching squirrels dash up the trees. Occasionally we’ll drop a fishing line into the waters… in 12 years, not one fish has taken our offer to hop onto the hooks! But, we just know in our hearts that one day we’ll come home with something that looks more like a fish than bait!! I appreciate their laughter, teasing and even the squabbling… more memories stir. Thanks again for all your blog entires. Hmmmm – I haven’t come across one that I don’t just love. You are the potato chip of bloggers… can’t read just one! xoxo have an enjoyable and safe day my BFF!

  57. ginny says:

    Susan, You have the best of both worlds! You have the ocean and all that summer brings, and you have winter, yet still have the ocean. We live in Michigan, have abundant lakes, but no ocean. We have winter, and frozen lakes, but no ocean! I dream about what life is like on Martha’s Vineyard, and through your blog, I can be there! Keep the photos and videos coming, especially around the ocean and your beautiful home!

  58. Carol Lichwala (gramz) says:

    I remember walking on the beach with my friend Betty Fazio in Vineyard Haven many years ago. She is a famous artist who lived there for quite some time. You may even see some of her art work in your local galleries. Unfortunately she is in a nursing facility here in W. Mass. I spent many summer weeks with her back in the 70’s. It is truly a piece of heaven on earth. Now my favorite vacation spot is Orleans. There is an adorable little cottage attached to the Cottage Street bakery that we stay in when we are there.
    I love your blog Susan, it helps me start my day on a happy note.

  59. peg says:

    Sue ~ do you have any photos from your little beach shack that you had for just a little while? You know, where you and Joe put shells on the porch for luck? It would be fun to see them! ♥

    • sbranch says:

      I do Peg, I have some great before and after photos of the shack, but I don’t have a scanner yet! Getting one soon!

  60. Paula B. says:

    Sigh, August is a special month, one we on school vacation try to hold dearly on to. Are there any better days than those August ones at the beach! We always took our family summer vacation to the Cape every August ( to the same cottage colony where my parents had honeymooned, in August…). Thanks for taking us along on your daily walk, as always the post was enchanting!

  61. That was a really amazing walk. I’ve always been fascinated by Martha’s Vineyard and, unlike so many other places, it looks like I’d always hoped it would. You seem to have the best of all worlds with the ocean, the ponds, the woods… The big white houses in town and the little, gray fishing shacks at the beach. Thanks for taking us on your walk with you! Next time, you could tape the whole thing and we can pretend to join in on the conversation!

    By the way, I know that Jacqueline Kennedy had a home on Martha’s Vineyard… is it very near you? Can you see it from the beach?

    • sbranch says:

      She lived up-island in a very protected gated and rather isolated place….she could see the ocean, so I suppose if you were in a boat, you could see her house, but it would take much more work than I think it would ever be worth. I’ll try to video the walk when the leaves start to change!

  62. Kimi says:


    Your pictures are just a moment in time! for us… but for you its endless. Always enjoy the beauty that’s is around you” for some one can only dream.

    Thanks for sharing

  63. Angie Scott-Chavez says:

    Just when I think you couldn’t do anything more to make me want to run away from home…you post this lovely stroll to the pond! Your life is SOOOO wonderful – and you are SOOOO gracious to share so much of it with us. *Sigh* Susan, you are the Sister I never had, the Mother and Grandmother who left us too soon and the Girlfriend who makes me remember, every day, how worthwhile life is with you in it! You awe and inspire, you cajole and encourage, tease and titillate your readers. ‘Keeping us coming back for more – like ‘life junkies’. Bless you for being you! I’m making a little wager with myself that, in reality, you are really a Guardian Angel in disguise, using the internet to multi-task your way to saving us poor lost souls who are hungry for a little beauty and love. Thank you for the sanity and solace you provide. Much love to you. -One of your grateful minions…-Angie

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t want to not say anything, because that would seem like I wasn’t reading, but what can I say, I’m definitely reading! But overwhelmed. Thank you Angie! Grateful right back at you!

  64. Barbara (WA) says:

    I’ve been curious about this path to the sea so thank you so much for showing it to us!!

  65. Barbara says:

    I just love your blog ……….. the virtual strolls through the paths you take …… and the ability to dream while I’m awake ……. reading your wonderful blog. I can’t wait to open anything new that I see from you. Thank you for sharing “you”.

  66. Jeannie M from NC says:

    Susan, you so deserve such a paradise on earth! As you do your little piece of Heaven on earth in Cambria! Love the stroll, and the music! What a great song that is and was when it came out (yes, I am from that erra!) I will be up walking with you tomorrow morning, my cat Gwinny always starts trying to get my up between 6 & 7, the only early cat we’ve ever had! Course it’s me getting up, not my darling husband! But I love the mornings, so peaceful.
    Love ya,

  67. Laura Croyle says:

    Dear Susan,
    Absolutely Lovin’ your blog!! It’s truly a Treasure! Thanks SO much for sharing your everyday life with us. It’s like reading a Gladys Taber book, only better, because of your photos and wonderful artwork. I realize I’m at the end of over a hundred posts and you probably won’t read this, but I just had to put in my two cents worth! 🙂 I remember that Summer Song by Chad and Jeremy! I was just a young teeny-bopper when it played on the radio. I used to listen to it and dream of perfect summer days….I’ve never been to Martha’s Vinyard and may not ever make it there, (I live in the pacific Northwest) so it’s a real privilege to get to see it through your eyes!
    Hugs, Laura

    • sbranch says:

      I read every one of these, because they are all so wonderful! xoxo Thank you for writing.

      • Laura Croyle says:

        Thank-you Susan for your reply! What a wonderful surprise!! 🙂 It amazes me that you really do read all of these, but it made me feel special, and I guess that’s one of the things that makes You so special! What a great thing a blog is, connecting us all together like this.
        Hugs and Blessings,

  68. Laurie Anders says:

    LOVED this post. Wishing I could be there too. Thank you for sharing.

  69. CAROL O. says:

    OHHHH…that was awesome…I loved the walk….you have talked about it for so many years….who keeps it clean….???…and I also remember you said once…that you and Joe took over a little BEACH HOUSE at the end to call your own…..?
    Do you still own it??? You used to talk about it a lot….and I love the ocean and the Beach Shoreline…(my final resting place)…right down here in Southern Cal in the Southern end… you know the area…and I love looking for SEA GLASS…and its hard to find….but fun…thank you again for all your lovely words and thoughts…carol o. from California

  70. em says:

    Hi Susan – is that Lagoon Pond? And are you going to tell us about beach plums someday?

  71. Beth says:

    Thank you for sharing such beautiful pictures. I look forward to reading your blog every day. I love seeing your pictures -it makes everything more “real”. I absolutely love all of your books, and now we have this wonderful blog. I am planning a mother-daughter adventure next year with my best friend and our 4 daughters. Of course, we will be coming to Martha’s Vineyard for this adventure! Your Girlfirends book is our inspiration 🙂 Looking at your pictures makes me want to live there. As your neighbor, of course 🙂

  72. Susan says:

    Thank you for inviting me along on this morning’s walk. I hope I didn’t disturb you, as I laughed and wept in gratitude for my long ago New England childhood summers.

    • Doreen Strain says:

      It’s wonderful Susan how moments like that can bring back so many memories that they actually make us laugh or sometimes cry. What’s even greater is the fact that we can experience it. Just think of how nice it felt to cry about it. Just allowing yourself to feel those feelings is such a nice thing. I’m originally from the New England area and I tell you…it stays with you for your whole life. It becomes a part of your being, and when you move away…part of your heart stays there! New England hugs to you my friend! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

      • sbranch says:

        I know, once I experienced the flow of the seasons it became like life … Not that a person doesn’t want to escape from life somewhere around the end of February! 🙂

        • Doreen Strain says:

          I used to know that feeling well Susan. I used to do it. Just pack the suitcase and head for the warmth! It made winter just a little more tolerable. FOSB 4~Ever ~ Doreen ~ 😉

  73. Maura says:

    A beautiful walk! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  74. Sharon from Maine says:

    Wonderful walk to the beach through the woods, seeing it through your eyes. I could almost smell the salt air at the beach. I love wild mushrooms and yes, those funny looking ones on the trees in layers are edible, and they are called ‘chicken of the woods’ but if you don’t know wild mushrooms, you need to be very careful, because there are so many poisonous ones. My mother was from Germany and she used to walk with her father gathering wild mushrooms, and she taught me a lot about them.

    PS —- My daughter Angel’s birthday is August 7th, too – a beautiful day! – Thanks for letting us walk to the beach with you Susan!

  75. Diane Pino says:

    Susan, I can’t think of anything to say that hasn’t been said – all your posts are wonderful, but this is my favorite so far… thank you!
    I keep coming back over and over (and over and over!) to look at your post and watch your video and read the comments and DREAM!!! (good thing a post can’t get worn out!).
    Can hardly wait to see your post about your “beach shack!”
    <3 D.

  76. Angie says:

    Hi Susan

    I love the picture of the pretty cardinal in the tree. We just moved, and in our previous house we had 2 cardinals that would visit our back yard. I really miss them. Also, I was wondering what did you use to film your lovely sand castle video.? Was it a flipcam or another kind of video cam . Been thinking about buying a flipcam. Have a great morning walk tomorrow!!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a little point and shoot Canon “Power Shot SD800” that I got for my birthday four years ago, my first digital camera. The quality isn’t great, but it works pretty good. I wish the cardinals would hold still!

      • Angie says:

        Thanks for the reply. I have a Canon Power Shot 890. I love it, but I haven’t tried using it to video. I’m not very tech savvy! But I love your pictures. I live in Florida so there isn’t much to the change of seasons, so I live vicariously thru you and your pictures. When I was a young girl I could have lived at the library. I remember summer reading about families that went on vacations to their boarded up house on their summer island and I was in heaven. I think of my summer vacations long ago when you talk about your house on Marthas Vineyard. Good memories!

  77. Melissa says:

    Thank you. I needed that. I have not seen or heard the ocean in years. Best wishes.

  78. Donna Miller says:

    thank you, thank you, thank you. Days and days of 100+ are getting to me, this is so peaceful. And, I LOVE the song, I had forgotten all about it 🙂

  79. Sharon says:

    I follow a couple of other blogs, and although they are good, yours is by far the best there is! You inspire and what may start out as a hmm kind of day, brings sunshine to an otherwise cloudy one. Thank you for sharing so much of your beautiful days and prescious time. The walk on the beach and the music was wonderful! Thank you for bringing happiness and fun and seeing the simple things in life that can bring so much meaning to our lives.

  80. caroline delao says:

    OOOOHHHHH thanks so much for that wonderful walk. I also feel the season changing here is Santa Paula, California. I want so much to visit vintura and try and find rock shaped as hearts. 🙂

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