Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 31: Camden Hills

The mountains of home--
obscured by curtains of rain
till ten miles away.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

May 30: Morning fog

heavy scent of lilacs
cries of gulls, nostalgia
lifting with the fog

Friday, May 29, 2015

May 29: Lark Bunting

Rare bird: right there
eating dandelion fluff
while cameras shutters whirr.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 28: Bar Harbor

Balmy afternoon
fragrance of pending rain--
I get an ice cream cone.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 27: Distraction

From the corner of my eye--
crow flying past.
What am I forgetting?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 26: Home

Vireo singing
his usual summer song
while I mow the lawn.

Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25: Scarlet Tanager

Artist's studio--
tanager in the apple tree
an unpaintable red.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

May 24: Birding basics

Watching the apple tree
she remembers this:
Look for movement.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

May 22: Anna's garden

Along the stone path
catbirds pose in the garden
as if they too were planned.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 21: Petals

I'm not ready:
already, azalea petals
scatter on the lawn.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20: Apple blossoms

Hungry for this:
depths of pink blossoms,
small birds feeding among them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 19: Freedom Mill School

This morning I helped lead ten children on a rainy bird walk near their school in Freedom, through wet farm fields and woods. We saw a nesting Killdeer, heard Bobolinks singing, watched Tree Swallows go in and out of nest boxes, and got a good look at a striking black-and-red American Redstart. Then we went inside and talked about our favorite birds, like chickadees and puffins.

Birding with children--
of course the bobolink
sounds like R2D2.

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 16 - 18: Back on Monhegan

Spent the past three days on Monhegan Island, about 15 miles off the coast of Maine in Muscongus Bay. While this incredibly scenic place is an artist colony and a popular tourist destination, this time of year it's all about the birds. Monhegan lies in the Atlantic flyway and is a notorious migrant trap; many species rarely seen anywhere else in Maine show up there during the spring and fall flights.
It's still early spring out there, with leaves just budding and only the earliest of flowers blooming. Intermittent thick fog added to the chill. But the birds, the birds were on the move, impelled north by forces they don't understand, adding color, and joy, to the spare island landscape.
Manana Goats
Back on the island
goats loosed for summer--
their joy is mine.
Burnt Head in Fog
Shifting island fog
reveals in surf below
errant buoys, eiders.

Hooded Warbler
Early morning calm--
hers is the only motion,
yellow of first light.
A bounty of orange
appearing, disappearing--
hungry for more.

Friday, May 15, 2015

May 15: Anniversary

My husband and I celebrated our 12th anniversary tonight (two days early because I will be away this weekend) at Primo, one of Maine's best restaurants. One of the reasons Primo is so good is that they take farm-to-table seriously: they grow many of their own vegetables and raise their own pigs and chickens on-site. After an amazing, 2-1/2-hour meal, we stepped outside to be wowed again by the starry sky.
Anniversary dinner--
bright Venus hovers
over the pig pen.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

May 14: As the day calmly ends

Backyard pastoral:
a man and his cat watching
sun flare on the river.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May 13: Too much

Robin's egg sky,
garish new poplar leaves--
even the wind can't handle it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May 12: In the mist

A scene from "Wuthering Heights"--
misty barrens,
unseen sparrow singing.

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11: Flash of red

Cardinal flies past
as we drive to the restaurant--
is passion so fleeting?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

May 10: Bird hike

Hiked in Camden Hills State Park this morning, up Cameron Mountain. The woods are finally filling up with bird song. I was serenaded mainly by Black-throated Green Warblers (I counted 20) and Ovenbirds (28) but also heard some other spring favorites: Wood Thrush, Winter Wren, Brown Creeper, and Blue-headed Vireo (36 total species). The leaves are budding and the birds are returning--an invigorating season!
Head up, birding by ear
I almost miss seeing
flowering Wild Oats.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

May 9: Love songs

While I fill my tank
two chickadees singing--
nature's radio.

Friday, May 8, 2015

May 8: As self-possessed as chickens

Cold wind this morning.
Side-by-side two doves
peck calmly in the new grass.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

May 7: 80 degrees in Belfast

First warm night--
street music, chimney swifts,
and suddenly, a longing...

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

May 6: Shine

Who can think straight
with the glare off the river
shining through new green leaves?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 5: What returns

Warblers singing--
still lying across the trail,
winter's broken boughs.

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4: Birdsong

I heard the song of the Black-and-white Warbler, which sounds like a squeaky wheel turning, on my walk to work this morning. One of the earliest warblers to arrive each spring, this was the first one I'd heard this year.
Warbler song--
the warmest weather rolls in
on its squeaky wheels.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May 3: Absent-minded

A crack in the blind--
I forgot about the moon
until it shone through.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

May 2: Blue

There's the blue through spruces
that is sky
and the blue that's sea.

Friday, May 1, 2015

May 1: Frog pond

My husband and I are spending the weekend at the Schoodic Institute, part of Acadia National Park in Down East Maine. This afternoon before dinner we walked through spruce woods to a small pond filled with singing frogs. They quieted when we showed up but eventually started up again, enveloping us in a music so loud we could feel the sound vibrate in our jaw bones. Our ears hurt by the time we left. Overhead, a raven chortled, used to it all.
Old frog pond--
we wait long enough
for the chorus to resume.