Category Archives: seasons

Ice (almost) Out

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.

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March 2018 – In Like a Lion

IMG_2532The 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.

IMG_2533This 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!

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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.

IMG_2537We 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!

 

Ice Fishing Season

img_7877It’s here!

Well, actually, it’s been here for several weeks if not months, but this is the first time I’m writing about it (or anything) here.

Ice fishing huts have popped up all around us on the lake. The ice is more than 18 inches thick according to Ned’s last drilling attempt this morning. His drill bit is 18 inches long and he didn’t get to the water this time. Amazing!

Last weekend we saw a pickup truck drive across the lake from the Sydney boat landing to just in front of the Lakeside Adventist Christian Campground. Several people got out of the truck to set their traps. Brave souls!

It sure it beautiful!

Eagle Games

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For the past several mornings (and the days that follow) we have had the privilege of watching a family of Bald Eagles on the ice in front of our house. While they are almost a mile away, they’re HUGE birds and appear to be even from a distance.

The first morning we spent an hour watching them with the binoculars. They were huddled on the ice in a large group around the closest ice fishing shack. As our day progressed, we watched them again and again. They’d fly off, come back, re-group but always the same five eagles. Two with full adult plumage (white heads and white tails) and three all brown (immature).

Never did we imagine that we’d get to watch them for days … and days! Our Marblehead family came up for an overnight and the eagle family thrilled them, too. Even with people playing out on the ice, the eagles remained. A neighbor was kind enough to tell us that the eagles are waiting for the left-over fish that were caught. It was a lightbulb moment for us but, man, those birds are patient!

In the afternoon and evening we’ve watched one or two of the eagles fly off. Once down the lake right toward our house, several times toward the Advent Christian Campground next-door. Every time it’s thrilling to watch.

Ned and the dogs and boys were out on the ice on Wednesday morning having a blast. The eagles were just beyond them on the ice. Amazing!

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For most of my life I had never seen an eagle in the wild. They had a spectacular eagle habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo. I saw pictures of them in books. I even watched “nest cams” on the internet. When I moved to Florida, though, I started seeing them in the sky, along the side of the road (for real!) and on airboat rides. We saw one one winter when we came to visit Maine for a couple of days in the old house. It has always been a treat to see eagles but this day-after-day-on-the-ice-in-front-of-the-house thing has just been awesome! (In the truest sense of the word.)

IMG_6276We had a bit of snow overnight and it’s raining now and relatively warm (39 degrees at 8am). The ice in front of our house is all broken and there is open water this morning but the eagles are out on the ice.

It’s Saturday and there are a lot of ice fishermen out on the lake. In my humble opinion, our view is spectacular but adding a family of eagles to the mix ups the game by several million!

We are so lucky to live here!

We don’t miss Florida even a bit.

 

Snow!

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Winter has finally arrived in Maine

Winter has finally arrived in Maine.

We are fully enjoying every day on our lake, even as it gets colder and snowier! Each day the vista is a little bit different and equally beautiful. We can sit up in our bed and look out to see the early morning … sometimes with a sunrise and sometimes before the sunrise. Not often after the sun is up.

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We are early to bed and early to rise here. Perhaps because we don’t want to cover the windows (or haven’t yet). Or maybe it’s because we don’t have cable TV.

We were “worried” about getting in and out of our driveway and have been lucky so far. We seem able to get out after we clear the drive. The scariest part is making the turn on the hill. We each have a couple of hundred pounds of sand in our trunk and that may help. I have studded snow tires on all four tires, and am convinced that was a good investment. I think we’ll be going the 4-wheel drive way when we next purchase vehicles if, for no other reason, it will make us feel better.

Today the granite artist is supposed to be coming to “fix” our granite joints in the kitchen. I sure hope he can make them acceptable. We’ve been waiting forever to get it finished and I want to get the backsplash installed!

For now, suffice it to say that we are settling in and life is good. No question that we made the right move for us! We are so grateful to live in Maine!

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We did it! We live in Maine!

 

Mass = Anticipation + Snow

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Gravity, (”the Earth sucks”, literally), and small crepuscular furry rodents, are joining forces to rain down upon my land, at all times of the day, with no warning for what could be a painful convergence – acorns. Similar in some way to the yearly Persid meteor shower, randomness and regularity somehow showing up together, the small orbs manage to strike a variety of materials which by necessity litter my lawn. 100 year old beams, aluminum staging, a diesel two-man lift, aluminum, canvas, plastic, cardboard, grass.  If you got hit on the head with a falling oak nut  would you think it happened “to” you or “for” you? And would it hurt?

(Assuming the mass of the acorn is .005kg , and is dropped from a height of 10 m, then the velocity just before impact is 14m/s. The kinetic energy just before impact is equal to its gravitational potential energy at the height from which it was dropped-K.E. = .49 J, leading to an average impact force  F= 4.9N….I’m just saying)

I heard something one time about Mainers enjoying summer till  July 4th or so, then preparing for winter.  At the time I couldn’t quite understand.  Now , having been here  five months, and not having spent a winter in the far north since college at Syracuse,  I am beginning to prepare, at least mentally, and I can see that the natural world is also. A neighbor has finished splitting wood for this season and has taken delivery of 3 or 4 chords of green wood for next year.  I have also put up some wood but only because we had to take down a tree and it would be wasteful in this place to let wood rot. Snowblowers and canning supplies are being advertised in Sunday newspaper inserts which oddly don’t appear in Florida papers.

I wake before the sun rises and the frequency of falling acorns has increased to where its a game now to imagine what exactly the small nut hit on its path that gravity and perhaps eager chipmunks have propelled it on.  But acorns weren’t falling a several weeks ago when the hummidity was like a sauna, the box of salt almost falling apart because as you probably know, salt is hygroscopic. Autumn approaches, critters stuff their cheeks, or nests or whatever they stuff with food, wood is being delivered.  Soon leaves will color and fall in a mass vertical exodus.

Insulation is almost complete as is plumbing and electrical rough in. Perhaps a plumbing inspection next week then drywall. I will spend today and tomorrow staining cedar shakes from the lift so the porch can be started. The list of things to do, or buy, or make continues expanding, anxiety gnaws at me. (“Take me away Calgon.”)  I make decisions and quickly forget. What would the Donald do?

 

“Shakes Alive Melvin!” from Ned Warner on Vimeo.