The tides of Cobscook Bay in Down East Maine are big and ferocious, punctuated by a boiling mass of whirlpools called the Old Sow. Gulls feed in a frenzy here as the churning waters swirl fresh food through the bay.
My husband and I visited Weskeag Marsh this morning, a salt marsh in nearby South Thomaston that this time of year can be teeming with migrating shorebirds. Numbers were scant on the rising tide--just a handful of yellowlegs and "peeps" and a gathering of egrets almost out of sight in the back of the marsh--but it was a beautiful morning to stand in the fading weeds at the marsh's edge, soak up some sun, listen to the crickets, and just be.
cicada's long whine
reeds waver in heat shimmer
To preserve the health of both our cat and the surrounding bird life, our cat is only allowed outside for brief supervised forays of the backyard while wearing a harness and leash. We both enjoy these mellow respites in the green backyard by the river. Despite the restraints, she calmly eats grass and explores the lawn, while I do a crossword, read a book, or check email on my iPad...
I was up on Ragged Mountain today helping with some boundary work on a property Coastal Mountains Land Trust hopes to conserve. Indian Pipe (or Ghost Plant), a parasitic flower often associated with beech trees and now in bloom, was scattered throughout the forest understory.
dropped acorns and ghost plants
haunt last year's beech leaves.
Attended a talk/reading in Belfast by behavioral zoologist Bernd Heinrich, whose most recent (and very interesting) book is The Homing Instinct: Meaning & Mystery in Animal Migration. He read from the book and also talked a bit about the human connection to home.
Talk on homing instinct.
Driving back roads--
geese gathering in mown fields
My mother's birthday.
Waxwings gorge on blueberries,
a happy flock.
And Mom, you'll appreciate this: later in the day, the blueberries were approached by an acquisitive family of four crows that strutted together right down the driveway for a snack, much to the annoyance of the local Blue Jays.
We played tourist today. Sailed on the Schooner Surprise this morning out of Camden Harbor with (almost) my whole family, to celebrate my mother's birthday. Then we all enjoyed an al fresco lunch together on the river: lobster rolls and whoopie pies. Later, my husband and I hiked out our front door and up Mount Battie in nearby Camden Hills State Park, making the most of this long, sunny summer Sunday and a rare day off together.
same vireo singing--
you still laugh at my stories.
Hiked up Beech Hill today with my birder friend Brian, who goes up there almost every day. He pointed out a pattern of sap wells that a sapsucker had made a few weeks ago, and sure enough, a young sapsucker--hard to pick out in its drab juvenile plumage--was there feeding at them. A hummingbird also buzzed by to check them out, as well as many bee-type insects. A veritable community feeding station.
sips from its parents' sap wells
surrounded by bees
I spent the afternoon selling organic blueberries at the Land Trust's blueberry stand on Beech Hill, as the berry crew worked busily behind me feeding boxes of freshly raked berries through the winnower (which removes the leaves and greenies). Boxes and boxes of berries, berries rolling past on the conveyer, squished on the floor, piling up in buckets...