As we walked in the dark across the parking lot of the Samoset Resort last night, on our way to visit the outdoor Ice Bar there, a Snowy Owl flew over our heads and landed in front of us in full view on the roof of the fitness center, its white body shining in the dark.
Decided to spend our holiday afternoon watching "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit," a decent action flick in which hot young Chris Pine, as CIA agent Jack Ryan, goes up against the great Kenneth Branagh as a Russian baddie.
It's almost sundown
when we emerge. But
we've been to Moscow and back.
Spent our last full day in Florida soaking up the seaside sun and warmth with a second hike at Stump Pass State Park and a visit to the beach at Blind Pass State Park on Manasota Key. So much to love: shorebirds at surf's edge, diving pelicans, sea grapes, crying ospreys, dolphins passing by offshore, colorful shells tumbled by waves, a gopher tortoise thoughtfully chewing on a blade of grass, anoles rustling among dry palm fronds, and always the ancient rush and rhythm of the waves...
Spent the morning in the lush, primeval cypress swamp of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, then a few hours this afternoon in the sandy pine flatlands of the Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area. In between, we had lunch at a fast-food franchise off I-75.
After Bangor was enshrouded by ice yesterday morning and our flight was delayed five hours, we felt very fortunate to be on the only plane leaving the airport that afternoon. Our gratitude was bolstered by the fact that on the drive to the airport we passed many cars off the road--even after conditions had improved--and when we got there, we were surrounded by hundreds of troops--men and women who had been deployed for months overseas and who were now going to have to wait one more long day to continue their flights home to family.
I felt relief tinged with a little guilt when we finally arrived in the warm embrace of Florida late last night for our vacation.
Outside the airport
Killdeer cries in the rainy dark
beyond the palms.
And then this unexpected stopover on the drive to my mother's house:
At Beech Hill Preserve today came upon a large dead tree, still standing, which has been vigorously attended to by a Pileated Woodpecker this winter. The bark-less trunk is pitted with extensive excavation work, and piles of fresh wood chips surround its snowy base.
Every day the woodpecker
returns for more.
I understand that hunger.
Driving Route One south from Belfast this afternoon, enjoyed the brief, wan sunlight shining on the gray winter waters of the bay and the familiar line-up of islands that I've recognized since childhood.
Same islands in the bay
that as a child I named
from my grandmother's porch.