Fort Hill Lupines and Rainbows and Sunset
For a few weeks in the early summer, lupines bloom in northern New Hampshire and Vermont. Ordinarily I try make a trip up to Sugar Hill in New Hampshire for the Celebration of Lupine Festival. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lupine Festival was cancelled and the local landowners specifically requested that visitors do not travel to Sugar Hill to enjoy the lupines. Luckily, I was able to find a field of blooming lupines much closer to home at the Fort Hill section of the Cape Cod National Seashore.
I’ve visited Fort Hill several times. One time it was a humid and hazy day and I left with a photograph of the rising tide filtering through the salt marsh. Several other sunrise and sunset trips have brought me a mild tick infestation but no keepers. It’s a tough spot - naturally very beautiful but difficult to photograph. The lupines, which are not native to the area, bloom in a field on the slopes downhill from the parking lot and are easy to find.
On this particular evening, I debated driving out to Eastham. The skies were cloudy in Barnstable, rain was in the forecast, and I hadn’t been able to confirm if the lupines had bloomed yet this year. Rain splattered my windshield as I drove down Route 6 but slowed to a drizzle as I pulled into the parking lot to see a large field of blossoming lupines waving in a stiff breeze.
The rain ended up being a huge bonus. As the sun sank to the horizon, the sky behind me lit up brilliantly orange and yellow and the sun sparked off a giant rainbow that stretched from one end of the Fort Hill salt marsh to the other.
I spent about an hour carefully picking my way around the lupines as the sunset glowed at my back, casting the flowers in a beautiful glow.
I ended up fully soaked by the rain but had a blast exploring these close to home lupines. And I definitely have a bunch of photographs from Fort Hill that I’m excited to share.