Thursday, September 30, 2010

Caught! ~ Random Memory #20 ~ Maine

Catching squirrels in the attic, they are then relocated a few miles up the road!
Porcupine in the woods, Brunswick, Maine

This post is inspired by creative commenter, Home Before Dark, and her uneasy relationship with nature in her backyard. I loved her phrase, "Appalled and the night visitors" in the comment section of my previous post.

The abundant wildlife in Maine is stirred into frantic action each spring and autumn. Our depleted feeders light up with the colors of migrating birds, restless skunks perfume the night air and drivers are wary of deer and moose on our country roads. We wake up early to put the trash out so the raccoons will not leave a trail of garbage littered across the dooryard and lawn. Hunters and gatherers are stockpiling food and finding warm nooks and crannies to nest in our attics and basements...and this is where I draw the line. I'm never thrilled by the sight of a rodent inside our house! Peter has caught at least nine squirrels in the attic in his Have a Heart traps and the captives are then transported to a new location. The practice makes everyone feel better, it's humane and, in this way, thousands of rodents crisscross the state to make new friends and babies while improving the gene pool.  We are considerably more ruthless with the staggering number of mice. Nor am I fond of porcupines that strip bark killing our beautiful trees, or when they cause our beloved dogs to go to the vet's surgery to remove painful barbed quills. We are a rural state that has not covered its landscape with urban sprawl invading wildlife habitats, but still, we inevitably clash.

Random Memory #20 ~ Maine

Our Dutch friends, Anneke and Eric have arrived at the airport in Bangor, Maine, exhausted after a long series of flights from their home in Spain. It is an early October evening and the daylight is quickly fading as we drive home to my small coastal village. On the way, there is a stretch of road on RT.15 that makes one feel as if you are a million miles away from civilization prompting Eric to ask if there is a lot of wildlife here. "oh yes" I said, "deer, moose, porcupines, raccoons, bald eagles, skunks...." and, as if on cue, a large dark form charged my car. "Bears" I said over the thud of impact. I didn't hit it very hard and the bruised animal loped off into the woods. Later that night a game warden came  out to inspect the car and pulled a small tuft of fur from my shattered headlight. "Yup, that was a bear" he said.

We had a wonderful time with our friends and, all throughout their visit, saw an extraordinary variety of wildlife on Maine's scenic back roads. Eric teased Peter that he must have stationed people  by the side of the roads to release the creatures at strategic moments, but that the timing with the bear had been just a bit off.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Night Lights

There are nights when sleep eludes me and I am drawn to the lamp light like a moth. The dark walls of the cottage glow and the reflections remind me of the fireflies I used to catch as a child. Those little flashes of light trapped in a glass jar with holes in the lid that I watched until my eyes grew heavy.

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

As a post script...Something had an encounter with a skunk outside our bedroom window. Incredibly, I slept through it, but Peter and the dog had a restless night!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Message in a bottle ~ "Sincerely, Jill"

Waning summer, it is a picture perfect September day. Yellow/brown goldenrod in the dense brush dot the shoreline with pops of color from ripening rose hips. There is a brisk breeze and surf crashes on the rocks. Three of us have cameras and I think there is such a thing as too much focus because it is the fourth in our party who finds the sealed bottle lying on the stony beach. Inside are waterlogged jigsaw puzzle pieces which are carefully pried apart and fitted together. The message is from Jill, but the bottle's origin is undecipherable even though much of the day is spent drying and separating the pieces in an effort to unlock Jill's message. A message delivered by wind and water. Was there ever an email, text or tweet with so much charm?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cottage Industry

"Timonium Tape"

Ryan rolls out a strip of Duck Tape.

The rose pen!

My brand new wallet!

Paige models a Duck Tape hair accessory.

Continuity is one of the great joys of returning to a summer colony year after year. It is difficult to differentiate one season from the next on Mere Point, yet we have grown to know and love three generations of our neighbors in this place. It is really the children who mark the passing of time, although their activities are much the same. They still plunge fearlessly into ice cold water to swim for hours on end, forts are constructed from odd bits of wood (always available!), they turn their faces to the wind in boats, play whiffle ball in the meadow, invent games on rainy days and apply their boundless ingenuity earning a little money to buy Judy's penny candy at the marina.

Blackberries are sold by the side of the road and rocks and shells are painted in bright colors. Beads are strung into bracelets and necklaces more precious than gold. Our cottage dresser drawers are full of these treasures. Sometimes when I hold a small glittering object in my hand, I wonder which year, whose child made this, before replacing the small fragment of history back in its small box, knowing, full well, I'll never be able to "simplify."

Young Paige (10) and Ryan (13) launched "Timonious Tape" this summer creating a rainbow of wondrous accessories made from humble Duck Tape. I was utterly entranced by the business-like brother and sister team and their considerable inventory. Together, they have produced wallets, purses, and whimsically decorated pens which sell briskly, although the entrepreneurs told me the profits are mostly rolled back into the business. I was an eager customer, I always am!

Ryan told me there is an additional benefit working with Duck Tape. It is an excellent way to remove warts!

Duck Tape applied as first aid!

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

Friday, September 17, 2010

Washington D.C. Days and Nights

The fitting.

A zoom shot and crop...a little grainy, as if blinking through sand in my eyes. A lump in my throat.

A few stolen days of summer; planning, wishing and waiting for autumn beginnings. Unforgettable D.C. days and memorable sunsets from a rooftop garden.

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

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Calm Before the Storm

Heat haze on Casco Bay.

Osprey nest on the dock. Upper Goose Island, Casco Bay, Maine.

The coolest place in Maine today was out on the water. We aren't used to ninety plus degree temperatures in Maine, especially in September! Some schools canceled classes yesterday and today because of the unusual heat, very likely a first in a state that usually keeps students home after snow storms!

Earl has been downgraded to a tropical storm for coastal areas, but we are stocking up on water and batteries for likely power outages. Right now, it is still and hot. A few of the boats have been hauled as a precaution...and we wait in this strange interlude.

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

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Games on tiny little discs the size of quarters! Note the silly bandz!

The conventional wisdom is that you should write what you know, so I will offer a disclaimer, right now. I had never seen a PSP, or Playstation Portable, until my young friend, Ben, proudly introduced me to his and asked me to write about it. It started with a discussion on blogging and my Silly Bandz post and the curious notion of writing and publishing anything and everything online. Heady stuff for a ten year old boy....grownups too, for that matter.

Ben, all bone and muscle with a burr haircut I can't resist ruffling when he streaks past on his boyhood missions. There is only one speed; streak. He can get more mileage on a peanut butter sandwich with the crusts cut off than anyone I know! This complicated little soul who raids my refrigerator for feta and fruitpops stole my heart a long time ago. Oh right! The PSP! Here is a list of questions from Ben I was supposed to ask, but didn't before the summer's day moved on at warp speed, Ben's speed.

1. "What does the PSP do?"
2. "Can you buy movies?"
3. "Does it have internet?"
4. "Can you download movies?"
5. "Can the PSP type?"

So, in the end I googled! Imagine a ten year old with that much media in his pocket in a device smaller than a pack of cards!

Btw, Ben, thanks for sending me that awesome ringtone for my cellphone!

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

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