Sunday, July 31, 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

July 29: After dark

at home after dark
we hear geese flying over
there's Saturn and Mars

Thursday, July 28, 2016

July 28: Insomnia

A sort of relief
by the time the first bird sings,
something else awake.

July 27: Backroads

Driving home after dinner
fawn in the headlights,
stars out the window.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July 26: Body art

In from the garden
my arms are smeared with
saffron patches of pollen.

Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25: Meditation

Among the flowers
bees and a skipper.
No politics tonight, dear.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

July 24: Wealth of orange

In the trailer park,
by the cellar hole--
every yard rich with lilies.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

July 22: Day lilies

Stealing lilies
under cover of dark
from my absent neighbor's yard.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

July 21: Cat nap

Hazy afternoon.
Cat's mournful song of outside
keeps me awake.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

July 20: The Darkling Thrush

Before moonrise
we walk up the mountain.
Far off, a thrush singing.

(Title stolen, of course, from Thomas Hardy.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July 19: Osprey nest

Atop the old mill's smokestack
nest of loud Ospreys.
The whole town hears them.

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18: Squid fishing

jigging for squid
in the foggy harbor at night,
flashlight a false moon

Sunday, July 17, 2016

July 17: Eastern Egg Rock

Yesterday my husband and I were fortunate enough to be able to go along on an outing to Eastern Egg Rock in Muscongus Bay. Normally the island is off-limits to visitors, as it's a protected seabird nesting site--most noted for being the island where Project Puffin, a National Audubon program that has restored Atlantic Puffins to Maine waters, originated. But we (and several others) were accompanying Project Puffin founder Steve Kress for this special trip, and thus got to spend almost two hours on the island observing the birds and learning from the five summer interns about their work and lives there.
Being in the blinds so we could watch the birds was a thrilling experience, but even more moving was witnessing the hopeful signs of new young life on the island: nests with eggs and fuzzy chicks of several species, including Laughing Gull, Common Tern, Black Guillemot. (Puffins nest in not-very-accessible burrows underground, so we couldn't see those.) While the interns report good nest success so far, the real challenge for the parent birds is getting enough food into their chicks for them to fledge and reach adulthood. Climate change has affected offshore patterns of the fish that terns and puffins feed their chicks, so food availability is the critical issue for these birds right now. Only time will tell how many survive this summer. But when you touch a fat, wriggling fuzzy butterball of a chick, hope is tangible thing.

Eastern Egg Rock--
seabirds swirl and clamor,
my heart a fixed point of joy.
Gulls and terns overhead. The buildings are the interns' community space and their outhouse.
Atlantic Puffins, as observed from a study blind
Laughing Gull nest with eggs and chick
Black Guillemot chick held by island intern
Atlantic Puffin, adult
Black Guillemots, puffin and Laughing Gull. The red numbers mark puffin burrows.
Common Tern and its whining chick
Project Puffin founder Steve Kress shows us a Laughing Gull egg

Saturday, July 16, 2016

July 16: While driving

This is the haiku I wrote in my head while driving busy Route 52 to Belfast yesterday:

Driving to the lake
I swerve to avoid it--
child's pinwheel in the road.

A little way up the road I swerved again to avoid another thing in the road, just my side of the double yellow lines. As I was passing it, I realized it was a small painted turtle, head up, very much alive. So I pulled over, got out, stopped a huge truck headed right for it, picked it up, and quickly put it on the other side of the road. I was so relieved that the truck stopped just in time that I almost burst into tears. The driver of the truck said, "There's your good deed for the day!" and seemed pleased that between the two of us, we'd saved the turtle.

So here's the amended haiku:

Driving to the lake
I swerve to avoid it--
turtle crossing the road.

Friday, July 15, 2016

July 15: Hot

Steamy morning--
humming "Too Darn Hot,"
my mind on a summer past.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

July 14: Rockport Harbor after dark

Before the rain falls
headlamps of squid fishermen
shining in the dark.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

July 13: After dark

Summer evening--
cat sits in the window
watching the dark deepen.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July 12: Sparrow

heard over the lawnmower--
sparrow's repeated song
such a hopeful sound

Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11: Morning walk up the mountain

walking side-by-side
scent of pine needles in sun
small blue butterfly

Sunday, July 10, 2016

July 10: Tidewater Farm

For two summers a Little Egret, a species from Africa, has been spending its breeding season in Falmouth, Maine, rather than Europe. One of the best places to observe this bird is at Tidewater Farm, a housing development in Falmouth with a conservation parcel that includes the abandoned buildings of the original farm. The boarded-up old house, with broken windows and graffiti, sits near wetlands along a tidal river. The egret flies upstream with the tides to feed in the shallows, often in the company of native Snowy Egrets. 

I had tried to see this bird a few times, with no luck. But today, thanks to my bird guide friend Derek (of Freeport Wild Bird Supply), in this interesting setting, I finally saw the Little Egret. Not only was it a life bird for me, but it happened to be ABA-area lifer #500, a milestone. Another story 

Abandoned farmhouse
on a tidal stream--
feeding egrets come and go.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

July 9: Rainy garden series

Visited the beautiful Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay this morning, despite persistent drizzle. The paths were less crowded than usual, and the colors and scents of the summer blooms seemed more vivid in the rain.

standing just so
under the flowering dogwood
fragrant pink sky

atop the weathervane
trilling junco
this garden is his

crouching down
so the lavender's eye-level,
I imagine fields full

Star of Persia allium
blown-out blooms
fireworks above the ferns

rain on rose petals
all-natural rosewater
flush of memory

Friday, July 8, 2016

July 8: Newburyport

Brick buildings, sidewalks
of an old harbor town.
Chimney swifts overhead.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

July 7: Distracted

Distracted at the meeting
by a butterfly.
I didn't chase it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July 6: Tiger lilies

Drone of a lawnmower,
hillside covered with lilies.
Try to stop thinking.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 5: End of travel

Arrived home at last.
River, vireo's song
sound exactly the same.

Monday, July 4, 2016

July 4: Red, white, and blue(bird)

This family of bluebirds,
parents feeding young,
carries the day's happiness.

July 3: Long Falls Dam Road

the length of the road
summer blizzard of mayflies
swirling in headlights

Saturday, July 2, 2016

July 2: Dusk

waiting for fireflies
three deer in the lower field
a bat overhead
Spending Fourth of July weekend at Claybrook Mountain Lodge

Friday, July 1, 2016

July 1: Covert operations

The crows, and whatever
they're yelling at--all hidden
by summer leaves.