Sunday, August 07, 2011


Maine icons

Well, in less than twenty-four hours I've experienced two of the most iconic living things that people often associate with Maine. First, blueberries, which are ripe for the picking now and are blatantly offering themselves up all over the place, and second, moose, who are shier and prefer to be left to their own devices whenever possible. The blueberries Ryan and I raked yesterday afternoon a few miles from our house, at the organic pick-your-own Staples Homestead. I used to rake blueberries when I was a kid, so I felt right at home carrying a big white bucket and metal rake while heading out into the fragrant fields. We raked enough to fill half of the freezer for the winter, then also picked berries off the highbush blueberry plant we have here at home. Pie is in my immediate future:

The moose were a bit closer to home too. Hodge the Cat woke us up early this morning to let us know something unusual was transpiring in the backyard. He was transfixed at the window and we were too. The photos are a bit blurry since I was taking pictures through windowglass, but you get the idea. Look at this brown beauty:

She was huge yet completely elegant and even delicate in her motions. And she had company:

They were very tender with each other. So companionable. Mother and calf perhaps. We watched them amble around the lawn for several minutes, then head off to graze in the field next door, then finally return, walk right by the vegetable garden without stopping to eat a thing, and head off into the woods behind the house. Amazing. I've only ever seen moose two or three times in memory, and certainly never this close or for this long. Shortly after six a.m. on a Sunday morning and my eyes were very wide open indeed.

Regarding another Maine icon, the island: I had a wonderful time on Islesboro. Sold several paintings at the exhibit I was in, had time to paint several more, swam in the ocean during those hundred-degree days we all experienced, ate lobster and a mess of clams, played a lot of Scrabble, and even read a few books. Also, due to a serendipitous series of events, I talked with a charming book blogger, Thomas. He recounts the details of our meeting here. I've been reading his blog for two years or so and quietly enjoying his fine writing about literature, art, and home life. And he now has kind things to say about my paintings, so naturally I shall adore him henceforth. All in all, a perfect island sojourn.

Except for one thing. I missed the legendary Islesboro friends-of-the-library sale by a week. But, I have been fortunate in my book finds since then. The legion hall up the road from us had a giant yard sale this weekend. The basement of the legion hall was full of books. The books were priced at one dollar a bag. I bought five bags, feeling terribly guilty and deeply exultant at the same time. Less than ten cents a book, my my.

O the amazing bounty of summer in Maine! Let me remember, when deep winter returns!

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