Thursday, July 29, 2010

Flight Risk

Perhaps it was the feisty squirrel that terrified the young blue jay chick in its nest high above in the pine tree. Not yet ready to fledge, it nevertheless made a leap to earth where a neighbor found it with both the squirrel and a dog ready for some sport with the tiny ball of fluff. The mother circled, squawking and scolding; it's what we do when our chicks are in danger. The dog was secured in the cottage, the squirrel shooed away, but the nest was unreachable.

We knew the defenseless chick wouldn't last an hour on the ground. A new nest was fashioned from an old berry box filled with packing materiel and placed in the crotch of a nearby tree while the anxious mother flew from limb to limb above us. Our hope was that she would accept our intervention and feed her baby, but the little chick hurled itself, once again, to the ground and wobbled off through the grass. "A flight risk" my neighbor, a former Naval Air pilot, said. We replaced the chick in its nest, but a little while later, the berry box was empty. "Maybe the parents lifted the chick back to its nest" the pilot offered. Yes, I thought, that's exactly what I would do.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The freshness of a Washington, D.C. spring has long since given way to sweltering heat and humidity. JCB's delicate crabapple blossoms seem like a dream after this oppressive summer that feels like it will last forever.

On Mere Point, the crabapple tree has produced tight clusters of unripened fruit. Take heart, dear one, they are evidence of time passing.

Today's link from "You Must Remember This."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pink Petals ~ Random Memory #18 ~ Iran

A beautiful spring day in Washington, D.C. and the sight of a child in her wondrous world of softly drifting petals recalled another spring, long ago.

Last night: It was late, my finger was poised over "shut down computer", but instead I clicked over to twitter and saw that little augury had a new blog post. It would have been so easy to miss. I have neglected both blogger and Flickr with summer activities which always proceed at a furious pace up here in Maine.

little augury with her agile mind, keen eye and crisp prose has awarded this newcomer in the blogisphere a "Beautiful Blogger Award." It comes with conditions and I need to give those some thought. I am stunned and touched and, for now, I will simply say "thank you." little augury, if I could, I would sprinkle pink petals over your beautiful blog. This post is for you.

Random Memory #18 ~ Iran

I have a memory of a day in the mountains, far outside the dust bowl of sprawling Tehran. There were many such excursions, but the beauty of that day of exploration surpasses them all.

Friday was our weekend and we always set off with friends to a new destination. We drove to small towns and villages, often over rutted tracks to seldom visited points of interest. We saw architectural gems and lovely traditional gardens. We strolled through bazaars and markets and our children ran and played with the local youngsters wherever we went. We brought baskets of food and packed a Coleman cooler and often shared our picnics with the villagers. They, in turn, offered tea and hospitality and gave the photographers in our group access to the flat roofs of their homes with views I will never forget. We were welcomed with humor, curiosity and affection. The women wondered why we were all so thin and had so few children...where was our gold jewelry....didn't our husbands like us? Our children were given candy and kisses. In return, we gave our hearts and I know I and all our friends still miss these lovely people.

But on that spring day in the mountains...sun so warm we didn't need a sweater...the sky was the color of turquoise. There was snow on the ground and the cherry trees were in bloom with their pink petals scattered on a white landscape. Pinpoints of light reflected off tiny shards of ice in the mountain stream. Although the scene remains a bright memory, some of the details are gone. I was so young and the young so often think there will be time to see this sight again, but, of course, I never did.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Something New... and a group of my own #1

I recently launched a Flickr group called "You Must Remember This" with the help of my son, John, who kindly wrote the html for my comment code. For some time I've been tossing around the idea of putting together a collection of images that reflect the personal views of the photographer...of something they feel is irreplaceable. I know there are already thousands of groups covering every aspect of photography, but I always wanted a group of my own to showcase unforgettable moments, places or objects. I'm thrilled with the response and the stunning work; you can see the group here. From time to time, I will provide links on my blog, chosen randomly, because all of the photographs are excellent.

Today's link from "You Must Remember This."

Thursday, July 22, 2010


We turn on the tap and clean water fills our glass. We do this dozens of times a day and we do it mindlessly, letting it bleed from its underground source to sluice down our drains. People have fought for water, many starve from the lack of it. Blood water, water and oil....more precious than oil.

The cottages in our area are precariously perched on the shoreline. Our shallow wells slowly recover and we all know the sound of a pump sucking air and debris. Some have water that turns brackish as the water table drops from heavy use. We have a rusty vein that produces water the color of tea. This summer we installed a complex filtration system and the water immediately turned crystal clear. It is a miracle and every drop is a gift! Beautiful water.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On a small Maine island...#4 ~ The Osprey

There have always been nesting ospreys on the island for as long as I can remember. We have watched them fishing and have seen them soar with their catch high above the boat. Once, we observed a dramatic aerial battle with a lazy bald eagle trying to steal a large fish from the osprey's clutch. The incredible scene lasted for quite some time. The two raptors circled and looped and performed dizzying dives until the more agile osprey finally eluded the larger clumsy would-be thief.

Even though the island is inhabited, we are always careful to leave no trace of our presence, but the ospreys know we are there and swoop and circle high above with their familiar squeaky "cheep cheep." After taking a few photographs, we climb aboard the boat and leave them in peace.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On a small Maine island...#3

It is so peaceful and I feel like time is standing still, but it's only the island playing a trick. I see the rugosa hugging the bank with fragrant blossoms ripening into rosy hips. It's already mid-summer.

Monday, July 19, 2010

On a small Maine island...#2

There is no one here as we walk the length of the island. Overhead we hear the chatter of birds and the "cheep cheep" of the osprey in its nest. There is no one here at all...until we unexpectedly spy two small guardians. A very rare capture with my camera, indeed.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

On a small Maine island...#1

With a view of Mere Point from a small Maine island in Casco Bay.

The fog from the previous week has lifted and in its place is the kind of classic Maine day we dream about all winter long. Summer..."Maine, the way life should be" and the way it isn't after howling wind and thick ice and a house that is dark and cold after the power has been out for hours. But today is perfection. We pack a picnic and jump in the boat leaving thoughts of winter far behind in our wake.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Banned in School

The unicorn.

The phoenix.

Sorry to be so behind in reading and commenting on everyone's blog posts. I've missed it more than you can imagine, but it has been a busy (delightfully so!) week at the cottage with family and grandchildren.

When the children arrived, I noticed all three had a collection of the silly bandz that have been banned in schools across the country so I thought it would be fun to post a perspective from an insider's point of view.

I remember hula hoops and pet rocks, but in terms of popularity, the silly bandz craze has left those fads of yesteryear in the dust. The brightly colored bandz come in a variety of themes and forms and can be stretched to wear as bracelets. They instantly retain their original shape when you take them off. Here are a few details provided by my pint size entrepreneurs:

Twelve packs cost $3.00 and come in a myriad of colors as well as tie dye, glow-in-the-dark, sparkling and plain. Some of the shapes are quite rare and set off a frenzy of trading. For example, a unicorn or phoenix would demand at least five bandz in payment and one of the techniques of a good trade is to negotiate with a much younger child (I'm sure there must be some lessons in capitalism here!)

Beware of knock-offs such as "Crazy Bands" which have a slightly different color, are thicker and don't stretch as nicely.

I was curious why such a simple item had acquired the kind of notoriety that it has been banned in so many schools across the country. My small connaisseurs said the boys flick them in class warfare and unfair trading practices cause conflict in the classroom. While I was pursuing this line of questioning, a regional dispute broke out across the picnic table over a phoenix which required swift parental intervention and stiff sanctions against the offending parties. I closed my notebook, the interview was over!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4th

Departing for the July 4th boat parade.

A cottage full of family and lots of celebrating on July 4th! I'll be (slowly!) catching up with everyone soon. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Online in Maine ~ Random Memory #17 ~ Maine

Both Peter and our daughter, JCB, have an eye for all things tiny and intricate. It is as if their vision has a built-in zoom lens and I have been the fortunate recipient of countless miniature gifts. Sometimes their offerings are opalescent shells, frosted sea glass, smooth pebbles, doll sized bouquets of bluets and lily of the valley and many other treasures too numerous to count. The little presents rarely come with an explanation, there is no need.

Random Memory #17 ~ Maine

Wordlessly, a bit of pine lands on my laptop while I am online in Maine...

Older posts you might enjoy....