Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dad Vail ~ Peeling Back the Years

I've been caught in a loop of packing and unpacking so smilla4blogs has been given short shrift in the month of May.

Peter and I were in Philadelphia two weeks ago attending a crew reunion to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Georgetown's victory at the Dad Vail crew races. The foot path and Schuylkill river are unchanged, as is the picturesque boat house row, but the event bears little resemblance to the old days of picnics on a patchwork quilt of blankets spread across the grass. Now there is media coverage from water and air and cheers are interrupted by the drone of helicopters. Large strategically placed screens show details of the rowing participants and an enormous crowd stretches along the river bank.

Dad Vail Regatta 2012 ~ 157

Dad Vail Regatta 2012 ~ 004

Dad Vail Regatta 2012 ~ 159

Dad Vail Regatta 2012 ~ 146

Dad Vail Regatta 2012 ~ 148

The Georgetown crew was little more than a club in the late fifties. Years later an extraordinary coach took a group of young men and turned them into winners. He opened a door to their potential and heart and he did it on a shoestring. They raised money to buy better equipment and rowed...and rowed. I imagine stiff frozen hands grasping oars on many a frigid morning with a thin light casting pale reflections on the Potomac. Blades dip in and out of water while Washington sleeps. Perhaps it was those early morning practices that turned the boys into athletes and poets...at least that's the way I thought of them and still do.

The following photos were submitted to the Crew ~ Cadle Era archive for the reunion by various crew members

1962 Dad Vail

1962 Georgetown Varsity Crew, number 1 at the Dad Vail finish line.

1962 Georgetown Crew

1962 crew...rough practice on the Potomac.

Don Cadle

Coach Don Cadle.

1964 Olympic Trials

1964 Olympic Trials.

In the photos below, the fellows are honored in a row-by at the 2012 Dad Vail.

Dad Vail Regatta 2012 ~ 098

My first glimpse. There's a lump in my throat and tears threaten to fog up my camera's eye piece.

Dad Vail Regatta 2012 ~ 109

Dad Vail Regatta 2012 ~ 110

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rockin' Robin


This little robin has been pounding out a beat on our guest bedroom window for days on end. Our persistent friend inspired me to search for that old favorite, Rockin' robin on Blip F.M. where I found this 1972 recording from The Jackson 5. Just try to stop tapping your feet!

Meanwhile, the sun is out, the air is soft and the fruit trees are about to burst into bloom...apple, pear and cherry...

Apple Tree ~ At Home

Cherry Blossoms ~ At Home 01

Cherry Blossoms ~ At Home 02

Many years ago the old cherry tree attracted thousands of migrating hummingbirds. We saw them from an upstairs window, darting from blossom to blossom, their iridescent bodies reflectng the light. All the motion caught our attention and it was lucky we had binoculars on hand. We haven't seen them since...at least not in those numbers, but we watch every spring hoping to see that incredible sight again.

The Old Pear Tree

The same pear tree as in my header. I pick the ones I can reach in autumn and they are delicious!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo ~ Downeast Style


Even under dark low clouds, a few days have brought a slight tinge of green to the rocky slope on Caterpillar Hill in Sedgwick. May in Maine...and we are on our way to El El Frijoles!


On a previous outing, I took a photo of El El Frijoles (the best name for a Mexican restaurant in Maine!) and posted the image on Flickr. The owner left a comment to say they would be cooking up chilis rellenos for Cinco de Mayo so off we went...joining neighbors for a celebration, Downeast style!



All fresh organic ingredients in the chilis rellenos!


On the drive home, we notice pretty reflections on a pond just over the Sedgwick line, in Brooksville. The scene looks peaceful and idyllic...


but on closer inspection...



the seagulls were having a little celebration of their own! It is not unusual to be one of the "chosen" in Maine and sometimes their selection seems arbitrary. The gulls relentlessly perched on Peter's boat motor one summer making an awful mess. He tried everything he could think of to scare them off including a fanciful whirligig and netting. The birds appeared to enjoy the challenge! Our mooring was dropped a few yards away the following summer and the seagulls chose another boat.

Happy spring! Happy May...summer is coming!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

At Home in Maine

I've neglected my own beautiful state on this site in recent months. There was more travel than usual, but also our "open winter" (as many locals call a winter with bare ground) did not fuel my imagination. There were few snow laden pine boughs, vistas of white and cold light through ice. I hasten to add if last winter was not inspiring from a photographer's point of view, it was very much appreciated from a personal perspective!

Sedgwick, Maine

Spring in Sedgwick, Maine. This and the following photos were taken a few days ago.

In my corner of Maine, gardens, woods and shore are slowly awakening...far behind spring in other locales. Buds are swelling and forsythia is at its peak. There are other flowers too, bluets, dandelions and an occasional periwinkle; small shy blooms hugging the warmed earth. it is still too soon to expose a long slender stem to cold night temperatures and icy wind driven rain. Nevertheless, winter's dull browns are softened by a fresh green filter through the trees and some lawns have had a first mowing. Tightly curled ferns nestle by streams and soon fiddleheads will be on the dinner table.

Good Honest Bones 04

Forsythia brightens this abandoned and weathered old home with its good honest bones in Brooklin, Maine.

Blue Hill ~ early spring 01

Blue Hill ~ early spring 02

...and this Flickr comment on spring in Maine from a Mainer living in Alaska.

"Open water?!?!! I am now officially homesick."

Blue Hill ~ early spring 03


With a view of Blue Hill Mountain.


the last five images are all of Blue Hill, Maine.

The month of May is bringing two more gifts, brighter and sweeter than any spring flower. JCB and her gentleman are beginning a new chapter. Soon, they will be at home in Maine.

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