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In the Right Place: Heading North

Fickle March presented us with some feeble snow last night and is now raining on it to destroy the evidence with her favorite coverup, mud. It’s best to ignore her moods at times like this and think about how cheerful she can be, such as on Tuesday (March 19). That’s when we saw this beautiful old John Deere heading North, just off Naskeag Road.

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(Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: Paws

The furry catkins of American Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) have been a welcome sight recently. They’re usually the first sign that winter is losing its grip, although we’re never surprised by wintery April days.

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Named after the cat paws that they resemble, the furry catkins protect the male plants’ “flowers” from the cold. (The flowers have no petals or scent; they’re just stamens loaded with pollen.) The cat paws soon will disappear. Then, the stamens will cast massive amounts of dusty pollen to the wind, which has the job of delivering some to eagerly-awaiting female flowers and the rest to sneezing hikers. (Brooklin, Maine)

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Inthe Right Place: Worm Time

Yesterday’s full moon was unusual for four reasons. First, it was what farmers called a “Worm Moon,” the moon that comes as the ground is softening enough for robins to find worms.

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Second, it was a “Super Moon,” a full moon that appears during the moon’s closest approach to earth (at its perigee).

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Third, it was a “Spring Moon,” which appeared on the first day of Spring, mere hours after the astronomical second that Spring (the March Equinox) arrived here; this was the first time in 19 years for such proximity.

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And, finally, it was a “Day Moon,” rising above our horizon before sunset and during a very low tide.

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The images in this post are of last night’s moon over Blue Hill Bay and over Naskeag Harbor.

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(Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: Jig-Sawing

 

Old Man Winter’s grip is weakening. The sunny south side of Blue Hill is virtually devoid of snow and the sea ice in Blue Hill Bay is jig-sawing apart.

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Naskeag Harbor, where our fishing vessels moor, is virtually free of ice. Here we see Dear Abbie: in her scallop dredging rig rolling in light chop there:

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(Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: Being

It was a balmy 34 degrees (F) yesterday morning; the sun was warm to the cheek; the sea-scented air was delicious, and some of our neighbors at Amen Farm found satisfaction in just being.

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So did we. (Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: Resorts

As of Saturday (March 16), there still were hundreds of Common Eiders vacationing just outside Blue Hill Falls.

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One day soon they’ll vanish north, but now they’re massed in a flotilla of black-trimmed white males and dark-barred brown females.

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The “Falls” that attract these birds consist of fast whitewater tides within a rocky channel between Salt Pond and Blue Hill Bay. Eiders, our largest native ducks, are among the few birds that can swim in this fast water.

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However, even they strain at times.

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The tides surge into and out of the Pond and become a food funnel – sweeping up crabs and starfish and uncovering mollusks. In the winter, the fast water doesn’t freeze, making this place a far better winter resort than Mar-a-Lago, if you’re an Eider.

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(Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: Concept

Where do you go to find a pink flamingo wearing a leprechaun hat and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the snow? You go to Neighbor Judith Fuller’s place.

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We join in her friendly message to all today, as we ponder the concept of Irish flamingos. (Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: Emergence

Warmer temperatures and rain have been melting our snow fast.

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This means that stone-cold bunnies are reappearing in gardens and lost wagon wheels are being found.

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(Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: Doubt and Hope

Yesterday’s sunny meltdown turned into last night’s feeble snowstorm and this morning’s dishwater light. We’re waiting doubtfully for the bright sun that’s predicted for this afternoon. More than that, we’re hoping for an afternoon like the one on Sunday (March 11) shown here: crisp air, fields of untrodden snow, horizons of vibrant woods, and skies of streaming clouds.

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It’s March, the month of doubt and hope. (Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: Healing

 

In March, parts of the surfaces of our shallower coves become solid with sea ice at high tide; that ice becomes fragmented at low tide when the sea level drops to the bottom. The images below were taken last week. First, there is high tide in part of Conary Cove:

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This is low tide in part of Great Cove:

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Here is a skim of sea ice trying to form around the Town Dock in Naskeag Harbor:

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If it’s cold enough, the sea ice will “heal itself” back into a solid mass after it floats up on the incoming tide. Due to its salt content, sea water doesn’t freeze until its temperature drops to 28.4 degrees (F) and stays there or below for some time. But, the ice contains so little salt that melting it produces drinkable water. (Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: Carousing

Yesterday, March lost control again.

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She woke up raw and surly, started snowing in the early afternoon, added sleet for intimidation, then attacked with driving rain to destroy the evidence.

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She capped her escapade with a nighttime freeze to turn driveways into ice.

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She woke up today clear-headed and warm enough to melt hard feelings, but she can’t remember yesterday. She’s simply got to stop carousing. (Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: Smiles

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The temperature yesterday morning was so balmy (36 F) that Amen Farm’s barn was left open, which brought fresh air and smiles to some of its bearded residents.

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There were some serious moments, however.

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(Brooklin, Maine) .

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In the Right Place: Trudging

“Going cold turkey” was easy for some neighbors yesterday; they even seemed brighter.

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Sun reflecting from the snow often turns on the iridescence of Wild Turkey feathers.

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Although much of our ground is covered with snow and we’ve had some bitter cold days, these tough birds trudge their extensive appointed rounds uncomplaining.

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(Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: Small World

It was a relief to spot these twin yearlings when they reappeared at dusk on Wednesday (March 6). We hadn’t seen them for a while, but we had seen fresh coyote tracks.

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The twins are smaller than many of their 2018 White-Tailed Deer birth mates, having been born later in the year. They’re the slowest of the herd in snow. However, their coats are as dense as any and they seem to be enjoying their first winter. As usual, Mom was close by; she’s partial to maple tree suckers when nosing through the snow for dinner is difficult.

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(Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: Local Color

You never can have too many gas cans or too much rope in your truck. But, you can have too much snow. This truck was one of several fishermen’s vehicles parked yesterday at Naskeag Harbor. Its trailer apparently held a boat that was used to take the driver out to a scallop fishing vessel.

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(Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: Friendly

This charming landmark near the corner of Naskeag and Back Roads looks like it was designed for Maine snow. Owned by neighbor Sharron Ellis, it was built in 1899 — without the porch — by her grandfather, Minard Freethy. The porch was added by Sharron about 1997, but its parts date from the 1850s.

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Some think the house originally was a Sears, Roebuck Company catalog house shipped in parts, but Sharon doesn’t think so. It looks more like a version of American Foursquare architecture, which was popular in the late 1800s.

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Whatever it is, it’s a friendly sight on the way to the harbor. (Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: Clarity

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Waking up in the clarity of the new day after the storm – in bright air and brighter sun; blue sky and bluer sea; whitened spruce and all-white field. Wondrous.

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(Brooklin, Maine)

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In the Right Place: More

We awoke this morning and watched March – the glorious month of Spring and Daylight Savings Time – doing it again.

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We’re in the middle of another one of her snowstorms, with about seven or eight inches of the wet variety already accumulated as we speak.

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We lost power in the wee hours, but it came back about 8 a.m. The Mourning Doves are having trouble finding their usual breakfast; the Dark-Eyed Juncos and White-Throated Sparrows have switched to suet, and none of them is thinking about taking a bath.

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After it lets up a bit, we hope to get our driveway plowed and then shovel out the house entrance way. If the sun comes out, it will be stunningly beautiful. Meanwhile, we’ve left a light on.

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(Brooklin, Maine)

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