Saturday, June 30, 2012

Farewell to Aunt Grace

The Visit


There are many blossoms in my messily tended garden of memories.


When I think of Aunt Grace, especially in these last few days, I almost always picture her in the gardens she loved at Tiger Hill. They are not formal gardens, but I think they reflect her personality. There are bright pops of color from geraniums tucked along walkways and nestled against rocks...and I've always loved the unruly profusion of blooms that tumble over the fence at the entrance of the drive.


Perhaps you've noticed the wild roses that frame the ancient well that has a distinct list...

...and I love the cool enclosure of the fairy garden where Aunt Grace coaxed and nurtured her flowers and plants for as long as I can remember.

Yes, Aunt Grace was absolutely a woman ahead of her time. A business woman as well as someone who was capable in so many ways, but what I will remember was her sense of fun that bubbled up whenever I saw her and all our long conversations of just being silly and conspiratorial girl talk. No one could miss her high voltage charm at a party or family gathering. All girl, bright nails, tinkling bracelets and feminine clothes.

The same person, who, hours earlier might have been weeding, canning strawberries, bookkeeping, needle pointing, or engaged in a thousand other practical matters.

A dog at her side, and always a large one!

I will think of her whenever I see a small bouquet...a fragrant flower with a spray of this or that...

...I will remember her beautiful table settings with countless extra dishes and pretty plates. Little touches so often missing in today's busy world.

I always wondered what magic, what sleight of hand was responsible for this delightful contrast of practicality and glamor.

And I will always always remember her last gift to me. It was a day like so many others sitting on her sun porch.

Aunt Grace, lacy, silky and coiffed. She looked beautiful, with a megawat smile, eager for family news and conversation. I can't even begin to guess at the effort it took for her to make that visit so if we had all the time in the world. I kissed her and said,

I'll see you tomorrow

I didn't.

Instead, the next day I walked around the point in her footsteps while she slipped away from us....

...taking in the bend in the road, the pines, rugosa, and rocks I knew were imprinted on her heart...and it was there, on that short sweet path that I said farewell.

A Touch of Fall 01

Aunt Grace

April 25, 1920 ~ June 24, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mere Point in Bloom

The rainbow of spring color arrives much later in Maine, but when it does, our world explodes in a riot of color that takes your breath away....and it happens all at once. I've been walking around Mere Point experimenting with settings while photographing everything from tiny humble bluets to flashy poppies. Coastal blossoms are always ruffled by sea breezes and here is Mere Point up close, macro in motion, Maine style!

Bluets 03

Views of the Fairy Garden 01

Views of the Fairy Garden 02

Mary's Garden 01

Mary's Garden 02

French Lilacs

Shy Columbine

Lace Hydrangea

Iris in the Memorial Garden

Poppy Splash

Fragrant Rugosa

Bachelor Buttons

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

When I Think of Maine

Morning Calm

Our cottage, nestled beside its quiet cove, always comes to mind when I think of Maine. It is a protected place for boats and swimming is delightful on the incoming tide...mud and warm rocks acting as nature's heater. Some might think of the jewel-like villages that dot the coast and others dream of Maine's mountains, rivers and lakes. The iconic images are her rocky shores, of waves crashing on ledge with a sound that quickens the pulse. The following photos are from an excursion to Acadia National Park's Thunder Hole where the waves were even more dramatic after a storm the night before. People have lost their lives in this place, ignoring warnings in extreme weather and climbing over barriers. The waves are not rhythmic, you never see the big one that will sweep you out to sea.

On the Edge

On this day waves forcefully sluiced through the cut in the rocks. The sound is like a shot from a cannon. We lingered awhile listening to the thunderous booms, but my lens was focused on foam, froth and salt spray.

Please click on the images for detail.

Thunder Hole 01

Salt Spray 02

Salt Spray 03

Salt Spray 04

Salt Spray 05

Salt Spray 06

Friday, June 15, 2012


Low Tide ~ Lyman Morse Boat Builders

Low tide at a saltwater inlet in Thomaston, Maine. Streaming clouds hint at the storm that is due to arrive later in the day.

Lyman Morse Boat Builders

By the water's edge at Lyman Morse Boat Builders...we have arrived for the Christening of the Petrel.

Petrel Christening 14

Her graceful lines are indescribably beautiful and no detail has been overlooked. It has taken my husband's cousin 38 years to plan, design, and build her. She is one man's dream. Her name is Petrel. This is how WIKIPEDIA describes this unusual seabird.

The word "petrel" comes from the Latin name for the Christian Saint Peter, and refers to the habits of certain species to hover just above the ocean waves, with their feet barely touching the water, thus giving an appearance of walking on water, as St. Peter is said to have done.

Petrel Christening 04

Petrel Christening 16

Her Christening was on dry land due to the approaching storm, but someday the Petrel will sail in Maine waters and beyond. She would withstand the incoming weather, but we might not!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Proposal at Saltwater Farm

Salt Water Farm ~ May 01 the first time we have arrived in bright daylight for a Full Moon Supper at Saltwater Farm. At last we can fully appreciate the view over Penobscot Bay in Lincolnville, Maine.

Newly Turned Garden

Signs of activity are everywhere. Newly turned earth shows the beginnings of new gardens and spring flowers add color beside the granite steps to the patio and kitchen. Pansies have recently been planted in terracotta pots.

Salt Water Farm ~ May 02

Salt Water Farm ~ May 03

The day is warm so cocktails, spiced with lemon and lovage, are served outside with artful baskets of grilled toasts, spring herb chevre and pickled spring garlic.

Cocktails by the Sea

Lemon and Lovage

Saltwater Farm ~ May 05

There is a buzz of anticipation. A couple is arriving and the young man intends to propose by the water's edge. At last we see them slowly walking toward the shore. Another guest, unaware of the unfolding event, seems to think that is an attractive destination too. Ladleah, one of the talented chefs, quickly follows to intercept the guest so the moment won't be spoiled.


There is a chill in the air as the sun sinks lower and we retreat inside to the long country table set with brimming jars of fresh bright daffodils and glowing candles. I think, if she said "yes", they will walk back up the hill holding hands.

Daffodils and Candlelight


A happy cheer of congratulations erupts from all the assembled guests!


The Hearth

A fire crackles in the kitchen fireplace which also serves to keep the food warm. The menu reflects the season.

First ~ Herbed Gnocchi, Brown Butter, Fiddleheads

Second ~ Lettuce and Lovage Soup, Preserved Lemon

Third ~ Hake, Farro, Golden Brook Farm Greens, Saltwater Farm Asparagus, Sorrel Vinaigrette

To Finish ~ Hazelnut Chocolate Brandy Cake with Wooly Apple Mint Ice Cream

Hazelnut Chocolate Brandy Cake

At the conclusion of this wonderful supper, the young women of Saltwater Farm sing a love song to the newly engaged couple.



And after affectionate goodbyes, the Super Moon lights our long drive home.

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