March 26, 2012 § 1 Comment
Last week was absolutely spectacular here. Daytime high temperatures were hovering around 70 degrees; the sun was shining; birds were chirping; and seeds were sprouting. This week it’s back to typical March weather. Although the sun is still shining, the wind has whipped up, and the temps have dropped. It’s pretty bitter cold out there today. So let’s think spring.
On Thursday, Boogie and I took a short drive over to Reid State Park for our first visit of the year. We weren’t the only ones. The Mile Beach parking lot was almost full, and there was a crowd on the beach. And, of course, several hardy souls were actually jumping around in the surf. We walked the entire length of both Mile Beach and Half Mile Beach, then rounded Todd’s Point, and walked across the marshes to get back to the car.
I just have to say I love Reid State Park. I think it should be a contender for Most Beautiful State Park in America. The combination of two long sandy beaches with the rocks and pine trees is beautiful. There are wetlands and dunes and lots of shore birds. But to top it all off, there is a great snack bar that’s open in the summer and actually sells tasty hot food, ice cream, sodas, and all the typical stuff you’d want to eat at the beach. There are tons of picnic areas tucked in among the trees and clean bath houses. Away from the beach, there are lovely hiking trails through the woods. This place is perfection.
Anyway, I took my new camera along for a test run. It’s a tiny little Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS.
And, speaking of the new camera. Earlier in the week, we had a lovely walk along the Ledgemere Road, and I took a few pictures.
Unfortunately, we didn’t make it out to any Sugar Shacks for Maine Maple Sunday. This has been a bad year for maple syrup because of the early spring. Maple trees like cold nights and warm days in order to start making sap, and we’ve had warm days and nights too early. On top of that, the weather on Sunday was dreadful, and we had a project to finish. So we jettisoned the plan to drive through the Maine countryside sampling syrup. Maybe next year.
March 15, 2012 § 1 Comment
Well, we made it back to Five Islands late last month just in time for an early spring. While we’re happy to be back in our little cottage on the rocks, it was very difficult to say goodbye to our dear friends back in Maryland/DC/VA.
When we came up here for the initial six months, we fully expected to return to life in Silver Spring in January. So, while we missed our friends and neighbors, we were enjoying the adventure of a temporary Maine life. But, as plans are wont to do, ours changed along about December, and we made the decision to move to Maine indefinitely.
We went home to Maryland in January knowing that we would be packing, storing, or tossing 20 years worth of stuff and preparing for a real move. All this corresponded with our busiest period of paid work since we started our business about 14 months ago. So that last couple of weeks in Silver Spring was incredibly busy and stressful. In fact, I’m not sure we would have survived the move without help from Tom, Sandy, Charlie, Jim, and Shelley, who either helped us pack or rode along and unpacked at this end.
We packed in several lovely evenings with friends before the departure. I shed many tears as we said our goodbyes. Frankly, I was a blubbering mess. And it wasn’t just the people. I realized how much I do love that old house on Thayer Avenue, not to mention Thayer Avenue. But I am confident that we’ll be back there at some point, and we’ll be spending quality time with our friends during frequent visits to DC. And of course, they all know there is a lovely guest room waiting for them in Five Islands, not to mention a cocktail or two.
So on to the next adventure. Maine, what have you got in store for us?
Within days of our return, the biggest snowstorm of the winter dropped 10 inches on us. It was a lovely, dry, sweepable snow that melted within a couple of days.
Within days of the big snow, the sun was out and the temperature was up to almost 60 degrees. One morning I spotted a bald eagle flying over the river in front of our neighbor’s house. I went out to see if I could get a picture and spotted two adults on a large nest on Hen Island. The nest is too far away for me to get a good picture of the pair, but I can see them well with my binoculars (the perfect Christmas gift: thanks Robert). Here’s a shot of Crow Island. The nest is in the top of the tree behind the house (which is actually on Little Crow). In the shot below this one, if you look closely, you can see a white spot in the nest. That’s the eagle’s head.
It’s been fun keeping tabs on the pair. Yesterday one of them landed on the osprey nest that sits atop a platform in front of Little Crow. It seemed to be eating a fish and I ran for my camera, only to find the battery completely dead. Doh!
The dogs are happy to be back in Maine. Boogie is in his element. He loves being off leash and running around in the woods looking for chipmunks and red squirrels. He is perpetually ready to play. I see a trip to Reid State Park in his near future.
And the full circle of life plays out right here on Lewis Road. Since we’ve been back the cats have killed two mice. The last kill was particularly gruesome, so I’ll spare you the details. But suffice to say these two are brutal. Here’s Olive recovering from a night of mouse hunting. Trust me, she’s ferocious.
Okay, my camera is poised to capture some new adventures in Five Islands and beyond. I’m pretty excited about Maine Maple Sunday on March 25th when we get to visit sugar shacks, see how they make maple syrup, and sample the results. Maybe I’ll pick up a jug or two.
January 15, 2012 § 1 Comment
Alas, we finally had to end what I’ll call Phase I of our transition to Maine life. The exciting news is that our first 6 months in Georgetown cemented our devotion to the place. So we’re going to make it what Robert calls “semi-permanent”. The trouble is we are also devoted to our home in Silver Spring, so we don’t want to sell it or say we’re not going back (thus the “semi” in “semi-permanent”). But for the foreseeable future, we’re going to make our home in Maine.
Thus, Phase II. We have to pack up the rest (or shall I say the bulk) of our belongings in Silver Spring and either store them or bring them to the significantly smaller house in Maine. So, we have come back to Silver Spring for several weeks to make our arrangements, rent out this house, and soak up city life. Don’t worry, our wonderful Five Islands neighbors are watching our little cottage on the rocks. I fear the mice and squirrels are also watching it, and moving in, but what are you gonna do.
Anyway, I am missing Georgetown even as I’m enjoying being back in Silver Spring. The joys of walking to every possible amenity, socializing with neighbors who we’ve missed terribly–not to mention all of our dear friends–has been a pleasure. And don’t get me started on my house and my yard here. I admit, I didn’t appreciate them before I got back last week and realized how wonderful this old place is.
But, the Sheepscot River beckons. I get my fix by checking the Bath weather cam occasionally. They got about 6 inches of snow and a nasty layer of ice earlier this week, so the picture has been of a frozen Kennebec River. You see Arrowsic and the mouth of the Sasanoa River across the way. I’m going to have to talk to the Selectmen about setting up a web cam at Five Islands.
December 30, 2011 § Leave a comment
On Christmas morning we awoke to “sea smoke.” It’s what happens when the air is much colder than the water below. Stunning. Then the snow started mid morning, just for Katy’s birthday. It was another beautiful, gentle snow, only about two to three inches in total. Enough to make everything beautifully white. Mark and Katy were visiting and Mark made great use of his new fancy camera. All the photos below were taken by either Mark or Katy.
The day after Christmas was gorgeous, sunny and bright. We took a drive off the island to Brunswick for lunch. Sewell Pond on Arrowsic was frozen and several ice fishermen were out there catching fish called black crappy. We ventured out onto the ice for some quick pictures and then made a run for the shore.
On Tuesday, Mark, Katy, and I took a drive up the coast to Rockland. We stopped along the way in Damariscotta to see the Whaleback Shell Midden. Had a nice lunch at the Thomaston Cafe. Stopped at the Owls Head Light. Saw the trap tree in Rockland. And ended the day at the Olson House in Cushing. A wonderful outing.
December 17, 2011 § 1 Comment
I woke up this morning to a beautiful snow. Big, fat flakes falling slowly. It snowed steadily all morning, leaving about an inch and a half covering everything. But now it’s already melting, so no hassles with shoveling or plowing. I took a walk down to one of our neighbors’ docks as the snow came down.
December 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
The weather has been absolutely amazing for weeks now. Today, the 5th of December, was 50 degrees and sunny. We’ve had days in the low 60s recently. I thought I would share some miscellaneous shots from our walks over the last week or two. Each lovely day seems like a gift, as we’ve been trained to expect horrible weather in Maine by now. Maybe people have just been spreading rumors about Maine winters to keep the rabble away.
The one exception to the warm weather came a couple of days before Thanksgiving. A storm dumped about 6 inches of snow in Bath and more west of us. Fortunately, there was no snow to speak of in Five Islands and we didn’t lose power. But when we went to dinner on Thanksgiving day, we were shocked to find a winter wonderland only a few miles up the road from us. Dinner at the Squire Tarbox Inn was great by the way.