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A New England summer done properly requires a trip or two down the Cape, but if you haven’t had the time for a break yet this season, don’t fret! Ethan Daniels, author of Under Cape Cod Waters and our resident marine photography extraordinaire, is happy to provide you with these stunning images from the Massachusetts seascape—sans the traffic and sunburn.

Not only does Ethan provide us with feel-good photos, he also shares his valuable insight with us about the state of Cape Cod’s ecosystem. Click each image to enlarge.

“Cape Cod’s freshwater ponds and lakes allow everyone clear windows into the magic of enclosed aquatic ecosystems. With patience, virtually the entire food web of a pond can be observed, from the decomposing organisms all the way to the apex predators, which may be fish or reptiles. The more time I spend exploring and photographing various ponds across the outer Cape the more changes have become obvious. It is difficult to determine why particular transformations in ponds and lakes are occurring, but some alternations are of particular concern. The accumulation of nitrates and phosphates lead to quick phytoplankton and algae blooms. Alien species and overharvesting of certain organisms also pose significant problems. Fortunately, ponds and lakes are small islands, finite bodies of water whose ecosystems can respond quickly to proper management and treatment. Not only do ponds and lakes harbor an array of beautiful life, they also are indicators of the general health of the environment around us and thus deserve attention.” –Ethan Daniels

Pining for more beautiful Cape Cod photographs? If you don’t already have a gorgeous copy of your own, check out Under Cape Cod Waters and let it serve as your yearlong reminder of sun and summer.