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Shades of Green

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Pictures from a walk through Scott’s Landing Preserve.

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Ferns are lush.  Some of the trees mark an old road from the landing.

P1000819Thank goodness volunteers from the Island Heritage Trust maintain the trails.  They would soon be lost in the dense growth that now covers an old homestead.

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A closeup of one of a small stand of iris almost crowded out by the brambles.  It was a splendid day for a short hike.

Gray Rock

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Or is it grey?P1000592A recent crossword puzzle had the clue: “grey and ochre”.  I knew as soon as I counted the squares that the answer was “colours.”   It’s that British “U” as in honour or labour.  I might not have caught on right away if I hadn’t been thinking about gray and grey – because I tend to switch between the two.  And I wasn’t conscious that “ochre” was a British spelling.  The “U” problem I had learned from work as a copyeditor.

This gray is Deer Isle granite.  On closer inspection it turns out the color is a combination of gray, white and black bits.  When it is polished the black shows up even more.P1000589This small rock I found on our beach.  The large one is from a recent hike.  Nearby, I saw these flowers, whose names I wish I knew.P1000594

Shore Hike

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Maine is a huge state, but there are small hiking trails tucked away in unlikely places.  One is called Shore Acres, a walk through woods to the eastern shore of Deer Isle.  P1000568The trail is often swampy, but this year it was dry.P1000565

There’s plenty of moss, even in the middle of the trail.P1000567

Huge granite boulders are characteristic of the eastern side of the island. P1000569

This pink granite is not Deer Isle Granite, however.  That has more black and gray, less pink. It was near high tide, when the boulders look their best, I think.P1000570

The trail back from the shore to the parking area is called Stonewall trail.  Who is Stonewall, I wondered.  Here he is.P1000580

A short walk, only a mile and a half, but someone has to maintain it.P1000582

This sign made me think of blogger Russel Ray (http://russelrayphotos2.com/)  I suspect he could make a whole post about this Anonymous, to whom we owe so many traditional songs and melodies.  And this Anonymous works all year, on an island that depends on summer people.

Rainy Day Trip

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When it’s not sunny and dry enough to be out on the beach or walking a trail, I am usually indoors with a book.  But at least once a year, when the weather is wet, I go to an antique store.  The Big Chicken Barn is a landmark on the Ellsworth Road from Orland. P1000560

More than an antique store, the Barn houses several dealers on the ground level, while the second floor is all books.  Walking end to end at the slow pace required to see what’s available is a long walk.  The different stalls have different specialties, but the predominant items are dish sets, glassware and cookware.P1000559

One visit a year is enough for me, but I’ve been visiting for several years now in search of two items: a small square Pyrex baking dish (mine broke years ago) and an enamel double boiler.  The latter are quite rare; apparently it’s not uncommon to burn out the bottom of a double boiler.P1000558

One year I found a new glass lid for my Dutch oven.  Another time I found a small Pyrex mixing bowl I needed.  This year all I came away with was a book – and it wasn’t even poetry.  Though the books are nicely arranged in categories: fiction, biography, poetry, art, religion, socialogy (so the sign spells it) the poetry section, as I have found in most used book stores, was tiny. Do poetry readers keep most of their books, or do they wear them out?

Summer Solstice and a Celebration

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Today is a Lowellesque June day.  It’s nice of the clouds and other natural forces to let the sun come through boldly on this longest day (in the Northern Hemisphere).  Here the day is 15 ½ hours long, sunrise to sunset.

 Trees in Sunlight


Trees in Sunlight

The solstice has gradually become more the “other New Year” for me than September.  This is partly because I now live in a place where school starts in August and other things rev up at different times.  It is also partly because I have no one returning to school―except myself, to help some elementary school students with their reading.

June Wildflowers

June Wildflowers

When I return from vacation in mid-July I am at once involved in planning, in sorting submissions for Sin Fronteras Journal, and in a thickening schedule of other activities.  So I spend June days walking on the rocky beach and wondering whether there are things I should do differently this time around.  The place where ocean touches land is said to be an edge where things can arise from the depths, perhaps displacing the set of thoughts, plans, ideas, that lead one into the same old patterns.starting off

This June day is also a great day for a party.  Deer Isle and Sedgwick celebrated the 75th anniversary of our “great green bridge” this morning by closing it for an hour, so people could walk across it.  Led by a bagpipe and drums and including a mandolin orchestra, a great crowd walked across, while a sailboat circled below and a small plane flew overhead.  A perfect June day.walkers

“Great green bridge” was our family’s name for this bridge, copied from a children’s book called “The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge” which is about the George Washington Bridge connecting New York City and New Jersey.  Does anyone else remember that book?  It had, appropriately enough, a grey cover.sailboat

Maine Woods

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woods early

A few pictures from a hike I took recently through woods toward a beach.  It was a warm day, good to be walking among the trees, in and out of the sun.

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The path was often exposed roots.  Apparently trees don’t mind being crowded.

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The destination was this bar formed by low tide.  It is a real beach, and a popular one, though that doesn’t show here.  Two children were building sand castles at the far side; other people were set up with awnings and towels.  A lot to carry in for a mile, I thought.  I soon returned to the shade of the woods.

woods return

Maine Flowers

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Buttercups

Buttercups

I visited a site which has human as well as natural history.  There was a store, a dock, a farmhouse, even an Indian shell mound.

Daisies

Daisies

Now there is a beach and a meadow.  The native growth has covered all the foundations.

Wild Rose

Wild Rose

That brown area beside the top rose is a stalk with rose hips from last year’s roses.  I once imagined myself as the kind of person who would collect rose hips to make my own tea.  This meadow and its history brought to mind settlers and those who live off what nature provides.

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The beach by the meadow

 

Maine Rocks

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rocks 1

Rocky Beach

Dropped stock
from an enormous
overturned truck.

rocks 2

Lupines

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lupines blue

Lupines are one of the short-term pleasures of the Coast of Maine.  The Chamber of Commerce here held a Lupine Festival for several years.  Apparently it was not very profitable, either because it rained, as it does a lot in June, or because the lupines came too soon.  This year they are right on schedule, and no festival to greet them.

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There are still lots of people, both locals and PFAs (that’s People From Away, like me) who stop to enjoy them.  These come from a field near our house, far from the road.  Here they are for you to enjoy.

lupines pink

Maine Rocks

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We live near a rocky beach where I like to walk.  Walking on rocks uses the leg muscles differently from a flat surface, so it takes me a few trips to get my “rock legs” back.

low tide

I didn’t pay a lot of attention to tides on my visits to the coast as a child, but at this latitude they are significant.  The vertical difference between high and low tide is about ten feet.  On the sloping beach that covers a wide stretch; all of the rocks in these two photos will be under water at high tide.

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The highest tides leave little walking space.  The best time to walk is mid-tide or lower, when the rocks have had time to dry out.  (Slipping on a wet rock is definitely dangerous.)  So I am very much aware of the fact that the tides shift by up to an hour each day.  And I wonder what the world would be like if the moon did not take longer or less than 24 hours to go around the earth.  The tides would always be at the same time.  And would the moon look the same to us too, always rising at the same time and in approximately the same shape?  How dull!  The phases of the moon not there to help early humans begin to make calendars!

I was pleased to see that my “tree lizard” had survived the winter.   (See “The Giant Lizard of Lounsberry Beach” posted June 28, 2012.)  While a large log rolled up on the beach by storms often stays there, it is usually tossed around quite a bit, and acquires some new seaweed dressing.

tree withh rock

I’ll be checking in with him to see if there’s a sequel to his story.

 

 

 

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