A quick chat with photographer and landscaper Burt “Spruce” Balkind.
N MAGAZINE: How did you get the nickname Spruce?
BALKIND: I have a small landscaping company called Spruce Landscaping—that’s how I got it.
N MAGAZINE: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
BALKIND: I was a medic in the Army National Guard in the eighties.
N MAGAZINE: How did you end up on Nantucket and what’s kept you here?
BALKIND: I came here for “one summer” after graduating Montana State University and the ocean and people kept me here.
N MAGAZINE: What do you think poses the greatest threat to the future of the island?
BALKIND: The greatest threat to the island is being loved to death. The second is sea-level rise.
N MAGAZINE: You’re very active in the year-round community. What are some of the organizations you are proud to be a part of?
BALKIND: Nantucket Coastal Conservancy, Marine Mammal Alliance of Nantucket, the Nantucket Tipping Point, the American Red Cross, and the Nantucket Amateur Radio Association where we provide emergency communications when needed.
N MAGAZINE: You pulled papers this winter for the Nantucket Land Bank, but have since decided not to run. What would you want the Land Bank to be doing differently?
BALKIND: If I were on any Nantucket board, I would bring an ecological and environmental viewpoint to counterbalance the development-centric direction we seem to be heading down.
N MAGAZINE: If you could bring back one thing from your early days on the island what would it be?
BALKIND: My early days only go back to the early nineties, so, with that in mind, I would like to bring back the uncrowded Nantucket that I only caught a glimpse of.
N MAGAZINE: You’ve been capturing the island for many years now with your company Kindflow Productions—what’s one photo or reel of footage that you’ll never forget?
BALKIND: I caught a super full moon rising with a gull flying through the middle of the moon. I recently took pictures of the full moon lighting up the bulb-less Sankaty Light.
N MAGAZINE: How would you sum up Nantucket’s surfing scene in three words?
BALKIND: Eclectic surf tribe.
N MAGAZINE: What’s the most underrated part of the island?
BALKIND: Eel Point.
N MAGAZINE: What three items would you put into a time capsule so that people would understand Nantucket two hundred years from now?
BALKIND: A scallop shell, jeep keys and a bottle of Cisco beer.
N MAGAZINE: What’s one local secret that summer people might appreciate?
BALKIND: Get to the beach before 10 a.m. and you will have your choice of spots.
N MAGAZINE: What’s your favorite saying or words of wisdom?
BALKIND: It’s a play on my last name: Be all kind.