Familiar forms are reemerging from the deep snow, silhouetted by the bright sun that is bringing them back to us.
Familiar forms are reemerging from the deep snow, silhouetted by the bright sun that is bringing them back to us.
Cover those ears! It’s sunny out there, but it’s very cold and going to get colder over the weekend. We’re caught in a mixer bowl that continues to churn us in winter weather.
Our mid-week Nor’easter blizzard moved on, sucking cold Canadian air down on us, creating potential winter storm conditions for next week. Today’s early morning temperatures here were in the 20s, with whitecap-producing wind gusts up to 16 miles per hour.
Over the weekend, the weather tellers predict, actual temperatures will not exceed the teens and the bone-penetrating wind will continue. Nonetheless, today’s sunny sharpness is beautiful. (Brooklin, Maine)
Simplicity and Complexity within a quarter of a mile from each other:
The third Nor'easter within the first half of March swept in slowly, surely, and steadily about 11 a.m. yesterday. The blizzard never stopped snowing here until about 2 p.m. today. It looks like we got more than two feet of snow on our property. All the images in this post were taken while it was snowing -- sometimes a fine mist of snow, sometimes a near white-out.
MARCH 13, MORNING
The storm blurred the landscape as it invaded Naskeag Harbor and streaked across the fields along Back Road. Our driveway was plowed in the early evening as the snow came down.
MARCH 14, 2018, MORNING
It snowed all night and into the early afternoon, varying in intensity all the time. We had a few momentary power snaps, but never lost power long enough for the generator to come on. An incomplete survey indicates that we did not lose a single tree. The vengeful climate gods seem to have a soft spot for Brooklin.
At about Noon, conditions lightened up, the snow was very fine and disapating, and one of Jerry Gray's crew plowed us out again.
A recent one-sided conversation with our good neighbor Dottie, pictured below, inspired two questions: (1) Why do we call a man’s hair patch on and under his chin a “goatee” and a female goat’s similar hair patch a “beard?” and (2) Why does that get my goat?
As to the first question, beards can grow on both Billy (male) and Nanny (female) goats, but not all goats have beards.
As to the second, apparently there once was a practice of placing a friendly goat in a racehorse’s stall overnight to keep the horse calm before a race; competitive owners sometimes stole the horse’s goat (“got their goat”), making the horse upset and unable to give a peak performance in the race. (Brooklin, Maine)
We’re under a Winter Storm Warning for our third serious Nor’easter in the first half of March. The vengeful climate gods are expected to return and drop up to another foot of snow on us starting about noon tomorrow.
Meanwhile, we’re avoiding the already-accumulated snow by walking the rolling and winding back roads around here, sometimes not having to share the dramatic winter landscape with a single car or truck. (Brooklin, Maine)
What is brightly colored, lurks alone in dark places in the summer, and gathers in groups in sunny front yards in winter?
This is an image of a seasonal high-end condo down the road about a mile. It has wonderful water views and is taken each spring and summer by members of the famous Martin family.
Additional Images and Text Added March 9, 2018
MARCH 8, MORNING
It’s been snowing and blowing here since yesterday afternoon. The weather tellers are now predicting that we might get 12 to 16 inches of snow, which isn’t bad for a March lion. We haven’t lost power yet, but did have one annoying power snap, just long enough to intimidate all the digital clocks and get them blinking. The snowflakes are small, but they’re sticking to branches and needles. Fortunately for the weighed-down trees, the wind gusts are mostly less than 10 miles per hour. Here are some morning images:
MARCH 8, AFTERNOON
The snow continues incessantly, sometimes very fine, sometimes fat; still no significant wind and no flooding. The private drives through the woods have been plowed once; the public roads are being plowed and "salted" continually; driving is no problem, except for one part of Back Road, where a tree is down. Here are some afternoon images:
MARCH 9, MORNING
We awoke to a beautiful morning and with thanks to the weather gods for sparing Brooklin from any significant damage during two March Nor'easters. (Our theory is that those gods signed up for summer courses at the WoodenBoat School here and want to make sure that the courses start on time.) It looks like we got about a foot of snow in settled areas of our property. Here's what it looked like at 8 a.m. this morning as we gazed to the Southwest over our North Field to Great Cove and Babson Island and other islands in Eggemoggin Reach; the open Atlantic is just out of frame to the left:
We took the image below yesterday to remind us of what a clear, crisp, hint-of-spring March day looks like. We’re in for several foul days, with icy rain and up to a foot of snow, according to the weather tellers who have issued a Winter Storm Warning for our county.
Of course, such generalizations often are not exactly right for each coastal town in DownEast Maine; many towns have their own mini-climates, depending on the size of harbors and other topography. Often, it’s snowing in nearby Blue Hill and not here and vice versa.
The remembrance image above is of Acadia National Park as seen from Brooklin across Blue Hill Bay. Later today or tomorrow, we may not be able to see across the Bay. (Brooklin, Maine)
Above-freezing temperatures are opening the ice on ponds here, bringing us to the time when we can play the cloud game with them – imagining what the gaping holes look like. Yesterday, as you see, we found Jimi Hendrix’s guitar.
As we speak, this and many other Christmas wreaths are still displayed on homes and barns around here – and they will be until at least Easter. Why? The reasons that we’ve gotten mostly are these: “That’s what my parents and grandparents did” and “I like the way they look.”
Perhaps another partial reason is that, in this land of Balsam Fir, Spruce, and Pine, Mainers have a rich tradition of creating Christmas wreaths for themselves and others. The state is one of the major producers of such wreaths for shipment worldwide and, in recent years, has been donating the wreaths for Arlington National Cemetery. (Brooklin, Maine)
This is the rolling sea from Eggemoggin Reach into the Atlantic Ocean during yesterday’s surge from Winter Storm Riley, the so-called Nor’easter that attacked the Atlantic coast:
In Brooklin, we had high tides of over 12 feet both days in addition to storm surges that increased those tides to an estimated 15-plus vertical feet of water. Here are the Town Dock and the WoodenBoat School piers, as well as what remained of Naskeag Point during the surge:
Measured wind gusts here reached at least up to 26 miles per hour. The Town Dock got a bit of a swamping yesterday during the gusts, but we’ve seen no significant damage here.
Here are a couple of our well-dressed neighbors out for a stroll. These are Bantam Chickens, a small and fancy fowl that originated in Southeast Asia.
They’re named after the seaport city of Bantam in Indonesia, where sailors picked them up and sometimes fought them to the death. They’re popular here as pets and show birds, and their eggs are tasty, albeit half the size of those of our domestic chickens. (Brooklin, Maine)
This image of foggy Great Cove was taken here a few minutes ago in soft rain and six-mile-an-hour winds. We’re waiting for what many journalists are calling a “Nor’easter,” a term loathed by some Mainers and linguists who consider it a pretentious sea-faring affectation by writers who sail urban desks.
Part of the problem is that long-time Maine and Massachusetts coastal residents charmingly drop their “Rs” and pronounce their “THs.” They would say something like “Nahtheastah.” But Maine critics have lost that word war, according to sympathetic linguist Mark Liberman.
So, the weather watchers are telling us that a “nor’easter” will hit the Maine coast this afternoon with swirling winds of up to 55 miles per hour coming out of the Atlantic Ocean from the northeast. As of about 2:30 p.m. today, the wind started to pick up to about 10 MPH gusts, as we can see here, looking northeast from Brooklin to Acadia National Park across Blue Hill Bay:
February is when the weather gods play hide-and-seek with winter. As part of the game, the spectacular winter sunsets and afterglows become diminished, but there are always a few February dusks that are stunning:
One day in February can be warm and green, the next cold and white, followed by a thaw and then more snow or rain:
And then there’s February fog. Sometimes it storms in like a rogue cloud determined to destroy all sunlight. At other times the fog turns the landscape into a dreamy fantasy.
This year's February was warmer than most, producing sights of complacent wild and domestic life:
The snow and a decent amount of rain raised our water tables so that drought shouldn't be a problem in the summer. The woodland streams looked particularly robust during the month:
There also were other February weather-oriented sights, including a vintage tractor heading east and a bull moose heading north:
We mustn’t forget two special days in February: the Superbowl, in which our Patriots lost after a good game, and Valentine’s Day, which produced some interesting sights around here:
In the end, we’ll remember February mostly for its many transformations.
For larger versions of the above images, as well as many additional images of special moments in this February, click on the link below. (We recommend that your initial viewing be in full-screen mode, which can be achieved by clicking on the Slideshow [>] icon above the featured image in the gallery to which the link will take you.) Here’s the link for more:
You know a building is old if it has original Dovecotes, a Scottish name that some Americanized into “Pigeonholes.” In days of yore, doves and/or pigeons were kept in these come-and-go nesting areas atop barns and stables. The birds provided eggs, “meat,” and fertilizer to the estate or farm.
The Dovecotes in the above image are in the WoodenBoat School Boat Shop, which was a substantial stable more than 100 years ago. The Shop also still sports the stable’s original slate tile roof:
We awoke yesterday shrouded within dense fog. And then, one of those small winter dramas was restaged by the weather gods. The sun, trying to reclaim its domain, began to probe the fog’s weaknesses. As shown here, bands of light appeared in the clouds, mirrored by glistening streaks on the sea, all on our sliverized stage.
It took the sun all morning to repulse the invader, but, by the early afternoon, a bright blue sky with scattered white clouds met a darker blue sea with a rolling incoming tide, and golden sunlight gilded the fields. Bravo! (Brooklin, Maine)
There’s a lot going on in this barn wall, not the least of which is a crowd of angles claiming to be always right. But, we’re most taken by the color and character of the shingles and the question as to whether they’re real “shakes.”
Historically, shakes were a form of shingle made from split wood, different from other shingles made from sawn logs. Prior to the 19th Century, shakes were riven (hand-split) from straight-grained wood, such as white cedar. A mallet and axe or froe (a tool with a long blade and short haft) would be used by craftsmen to rive out thin wedges. The more durable heartwood from the inner tree was used.
For hundreds of years, shakes and other shingles have been popular here for their look and durability. (Brooklin, Maine)
Yesterday was sunny with a high of 47 degrees (F), crispy-clear air, and a mild wind. Stated another way, it was a gotta-get-outside-day. When we did, as you see below, we gazed at Babson Island in Great Cove, while the low tide was starting to ebb.
We also imagined a common summer scene there: a schooner anchored just off the beach; its passengers talking and laughing on the sand; lobsters baking in a portable drum above a crackling fire; gulls banking above. (Brooklin, Maine)