Friday, July 31, 2015

July 31: Blue Moon

Blue moon rising
over harbor lights--
even the ducks are restless.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

July 30: On the boat

Monhegan ferry--
everyone stands to watch seals
which stare back at us.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 29: Night fog

Under the misty moon
fog-shrouded island
is a beautiful ghost.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28: Monhegan House nocturne

A bat flies over!
Strumming guitar, waves' backbeat
lull us to sleep.

Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27: Focus

Fog obscures the summit.
Berries along the trail
that we pause to eat.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

July 26: Morning at the B&B

Not quite awake.
Rain on the roof harmonizing
with cardinal's whistles.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

July 25: White River

We drove on Route 107 along Vermont's White River this afternoon. The water was very low, as is typical in summer, but we could see signs everywhere of damage caused by the floodwaters of Hurricane Isabel a few years ago.
We follow the river
low now in its stony bed.
Cows graze the floodplain.

Friday, July 24, 2015

July 24: Woodstock, VT

One farm to the next
we drive through green valleys
following the river

Thursday, July 23, 2015

July 23: Eau d'eau

Walking along the river--
smell of fish, mossy rocks.
Time keeps on slipping.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 22: Farmers' Market

Camden Farmers' Market--
last strawberries of summer,
first sunflowers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July 21: Dampness

Mist veils the mountain,
marks the spider webs.
Wrapped up, I take a long nap.

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20: A Summer Day

Cat waits at the chipmunks' hole
all afternoon.
That's not a metaphor.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 19: Thunderstorm

Earlier today I read a great (and terrifying) article in this week's New Yorker on the potential for a massive earthquake to devastate the Pacific Northwest in the next 50 years or so.

Article on earthquakes--
thunder's vibrations tonight
make me nervous.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

July 18: Quest

Chased an alleged Yellow-billed Loon reported yesterday on Green Lake in Ellsworth. No luck, but spent a lovely morning with two friends scanning the waters from the pine-shaded dock owned by a random nice woman who graciously invited us to watch for it from her property.
No rare bird found.
Instead: wren's song, blueberries,
loon chicks, wide-open lake.

Friday, July 17, 2015

July 17: Eagle Hill Institute, Shadbush berries

Tromping around a sunny field looking for skippers and other butterflies this afternoon, we came across several fruit-laden shadbushes. I had never before tried this ambrosial fruit. Now I'll be fighting off the waxwings whenever I see one.
Our instructor Bryan Pfeiffer shows us how it's done
The world offers this up:
sun-ripened shad berries,
azures blue as sky.
Cherry Gall Azure

Thursday, July 16, 2015

July 16: Eagle Hill Institute, Bogs

Today we took field trips to Jonesport Heath and Harrington Heath, two sphagnum bogs that feature a couple of uncommon butterfly species: Crowberry Blue (host plant Black Crowberry Empitrum nigram) and Bog Copper (host plant Small Cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos, not to be confused with Oxycodone).
Plebejus idas empetri
Lycaena epixanthe
I love bogs and the stunted, specialized plants that such an extreme habitat produces: insectivorous plants like sundew and pitcher plants, miniature spruce and tamarack, cotton grass, cranberries, crowberries, and cloudberries, and delicate, unexpected orchids like this Grass Pink:
Calopogon tuberosus
Bog in summer--
empty pitchers waiting to fill,
sparrow's July trill.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 15: Eagle Hill Institute, Luna Moth

One moth most people seem to know and that everyone marvels at is the Luna Moth, Actia luna--or as I heard someone refer to it recently, "the lunar moth." In addition to its beauty, the Luna Moth is interesting because, like many moths in their adult form, it doesn't eat. It doesn't even have a mouth. The sole reason for its brief existence is to mate, lay eggs, and produce more Luna Moths.
Luna Moth's short life--
it's not about beauty
but about making more.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 14: Eagle Hill Institute, Moth dump

Spent a good part of today sorting through a pile of moths from a trap that was set in a field last night. We sorted them by family and then tried to identify genus and species. By bedtime, squadrons of dead moths were lined up and labeled--immersion learning at its best.
Sphinx moths stare at us
over their new labels--
order from chaos.
Photo by Bryan Pfeiffer

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13: Eagle Hill Institute, Field Work

Swinging my net
I decapitate clover
but not the butterfly
Great Spangled Fritillary (I didn't catch this one)

July 12: Eagle Hill Institute, Day One

Spending a week studying butterflies and moths at Eagle Hill Institute in Steuben, Maine. The first night we stayed up late photographing moths at UV lights. Instructor Hugh McGuinness says we had over 150 species, some of them startlingly beautiful when examined up close.
moths at the light
each one a Rorschack test
an artwork briefly hanging
Green Arches: Anaplectoides prasina
Cherry Scallop Shell: Rheumaptera prunivorata

Saturday, July 11, 2015

July 11: Tadpoles

Beneath the water lilies--
fat brown tadpoles
already sprouting legs.

Friday, July 10, 2015

July 10: Today

These satisfactions--
wood lilies blooming,
a long, good book just finished.
Yes, Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See was as good as everyone is saying it is. I spent the entire afternoon sitting in the sun in my green, tree-sheltered backyard finishing it, while the vireo sang on and on over my head.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

June 9: Seven o'clock and all's well

Cardinal's near-dusk staccato.
Jeep with the top down
blasting NPR.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 8: Making hay

Freshly mown hayfield--
I can't help but think
of the nesting Bobolinks.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 7: Blueberry wine

Misty summer night--
drinking blueberry port
Jackie made last summer.

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6: Massage

During my massage
New Age flute music
interrupted by crows' caws.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

July 5: Hike

At our feet on the trail:
one butterfly wing,
evidence of past drama.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4: Under the pines

In my mother's yard--
sap not rain drips
on our Fourth of July picnic.

Friday, July 3, 2015

July 3: Dessert

Salt marsh at sunset--
we finish our ice cream cones,
heron flaps slowly past.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2: Backyard, Summer

The backyard is rich--
unmown, thick with ferns, daisies,
loaded with green stuff.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 1: Young crow

After the rain stopped--
young crow's strident begging,
its red mouth open wide.