We have had some gorgeous weather. And then this happened today….
We woke up to this this morning. About 100 feet of open water. It’s amazing how fast it disappears once the process begins.
The Friends of Messalonskee are having a contest over on their Facebook page. Guess when ice out will be and you may win a prize. I fear I guessed too late (4/15).
We have sprung forward and the ice fishing shacks are mostly gone from the lake. Before long, there will be no ice. Meanwhile, the sunrise this morning was spectacular. It was also well left of the Music Camp … all signs of moving forward.
Twelve sunrises going backward from today. Twelve sunrises spanning a quarter of a year. Each different. All beautiful. How fortunate and grateful we are.
We have good news on Messalonskee! We have new baby loons!
Two of our nesting pairs have hatched healthy chicks. Our pair in the “marsh” has hatched two chicks and the pair on Pratt Island has one chick.
Gary Bennett, Captain Gary of Snow Pond Cruises shared some photographs taken by Peter Agnes this past weekend, when the single chick was a mere 12 hours old.
We love our chicks!
Please maintain headway speed through the narrows, watch for loons on the lake and give them lots and lots of room, particularly if they’re new parents! Please help us help keep baby loons coming and leave no wake within 200 feet of the shore.
We just celebrated our third anniversary in the new house. We can’t believe it hasn’t been longer because it feels like we’ve been here forever – in a good way! We wake up here in the morning and thank our lucky stars that we get to live here.
Winter came early this year and Ned is outside snowplowing the driveway for the second time. This is our second “measurable” snow so far and we had a couple of other days when we had s light dusting of snow. Luckily we have the snow tires on and we are ready to meet winter in Maine with whatever she has to dump on us! Our house is warm and dry and such a special place …
… Even when it’s gray!
It was hazy today. They’re saying that it’s smoke from the fires burning out west. It’s stories like this that make me so grateful to live in Maine. We may have had a hotter than “normal” summer but it’s beautiful and green!
This weekend is our lake association’s Dock to Dock and Door to Door event. It’s an opportunity to spread the good work that the Friends of Messalonskee is doing for our lake and a chance to educate our neighbors. We donated to another lake association for several years and were fooled because they don’t represent our lake.)
This is the second year that Ned and I participated in the Dock to Dock and Door to Door outreach. It makes for a fun few hours and it was a beautiful day to be out on the water. Our friend and neighbor, Janna, has been doing this for several years and asked if we’d like to go with her. We both believe very strongly in caring for our lake – It’s our “million dollar view”! This year we picked Janna up and went up the west side of the lake visiting several camps/homes and met several neighbors who didn’t know about our lake association. Tomorrow I’ll visit the neighbors on our street and I’ll be done with my commitment for this year!
The Friends of Messalonskee is approximately 200 members strong but there are around 700 properties around the lake so we have room to grow! FOM hires and trains Courtesy Boat Inspectors (CBI) for our Oakland and Sydney boat launches. We also work to remove milfoil from our lake. We hired a team of divers to pull milfoil and lay benthic barriers to smother it, too! We’ve seen a lot of success and areas of our lake are now milfoil free. An interesting note, if you live along the shore of the lake and see milfoil attached around your property, call the FOM office and report it (844-476-6976 ext. 906.) We will send someone over to inspect the area and add it to our data base of infested areas. Our 2018 season has ended but we’ll be back at milfoil removal in 2019!
Our annual loon count was a big success. We had five loon chicks and 30 adults counted on the lake this season. FOM placed a loon nesting platform in one of the coves for the first time this year and it was occupied in two weeks time! Ned and I love watching the loons and listening to them, too. We’ll miss them when they head to the coast when the lake freezes again this winter.
FOM is having our annual meeting on September 5, 2018 at the Snow Pond Center for the Arts in Sydney (a.k.a.New England Music Camp) at 5:30pm. It’s just before the Fab Four concert (it’s the Beatles!) We’d love for any interested neighbors to attend and learn more about us. You can also check out the FOM website http://www.friendsofmessalonskee.com. I think we’re going to go to the concert, too! It’ll be a fun evening!
If you’d like a packet of information to be delivered to your house, let me know. I’ll get you one!
We hope all of our lakeside neighbors will become members and get involved! It’s a lot of fun!
We are watching the lake and waiting for ice out. The water is getting wider every day. Last night we made a bet. I think ice out will be 4/29. Ned says 5/2. We’ve bet a nickel. We’ll see who’s right.
The last two days have been warm here on the shores of Messalonskee. We have spent the better part of both days in the sunshine working in the yard and getting ready for spring cleanup. There is a lot of spring cleanup to do – we lost a tree last winter in the high winds and there’s a lot of raking to do. We never got the flower pots in before the dirt froze so we have that to finish, too. We could use a full time gardening crew! (Not likely to happen!)
Ned has also been planning and chipping away at some granite that he found under the old house. He’s going to make a bird feeder. When the demolition of the old boathouse was complete, he used the backhoe to move the boulder to the front corner of the house. Now he’s decided to move it to the center of the garden nearest our driveway. He’s been “noodling around” a plan to move a 1000 pound rock … yesterday he worked it into its spot. Using a winch, some chair, a sheet of plywood, and some logs he moved the rock across the yard. I watched!
Ned is rebuilding our boathouse with Tom and the Chore Store. They’ve completed the platform on top of the old concrete foundation (a slab was poured late last fall under the old garage end) and then up went the walls. Another day and we had a roof. Watching a building being stick-built is really amazing. Tom and his crew do a great job and Ned is thrilled to have a sturdy building again. He will use the back end as a workshop and the front will still be our boathouse in the spring, summer and fall. We hope the big dock spiders have gone out into the woods never to return.
Today Ned went for his first “swim” when his waders weren’t as long as the water was deep. It was a cold shock for sure! Never the less, he persisted in getting the scaffolding up so that he could wrap the front of the building with whatever-the-wrap is. I wish I could tell you that I have been involved in the process, but I haven’t. I’ve been busy working at the Yardgoods Center while my boss is out of town. I’m tired from being on my feet and sore but I still love working in the yarn shop!
Our Florida friends are still asking us if we are ready to leave Maine in the winter and if we regret moving up north. The answer is still and unequivocal “NO!” We are so thrilled to wake up in this beautiful place every morning. We love watching the birds return to the feeders, watch the ducks arrive back on the lake. We loved watching the Bald Eagles on the ice all winter long. The feathered loons should be returning soon. The human loons have taken their ice fishing shacks off the ice for another season. It was a good winter and we continue to feel so lucky to live here.
The snow started last night around ten o’clock (pm). I woke up at some point during the night – maybe it was when my husband, dreaming, kicked me in his sleep? – and wondered if our power was still on. I didn’t hear anything but didn’t want to get out of bed either.
This morning when we woke up, the snow was falling heavily and several inches were on the ground, although, with the wind, it’s hard to know exactly how much we have. The porches are all snow-covered. The lights and screens are, too!
As of ten o’clock (am) it’s still coming down and we’ve (the royal we, I have to give credit to my husband who takes care of my little dogs!) cleared a “spot” for the little dogs to go outside and husband has gone out to fill the bird feeders. We have feeders around the yard and have recently added a thistle feeder for the finches and a cracked corn feeder for the squirrels.
We have seen our first flocks of goldfinch and red-winged blackbirds. We have lots of birds in the winter … juncos and our year-round chickadees and all sorts of wonderful woodpeckers. Watching the birds is something I’ve loved since childhood. My dad was a bird watcher. He taught me everything I know about wild birds. I know he’d be thrilled to know we are carrying on his tradition … and the tradition of “fighting” with the squirrels!
March has come in like a lion! It’s beautiful!
I can’t believe that there’s a crispness in the air already! The summer is flying by … and this weekend is Labor Day already! How is it that time flies by so quickly? I decided to choose a few pictures of the summer from beginning to end to show you what’s been going on at our house this summer.
It’s been a wonderful summer and we look forward to the rest of the summer days. And the cooler weather of fall.
We are so fortunate to live here!