In Hancock and Knox Counties, Maine
If there had to be only one time and place to meet Summer in her beautiful prime, it would be August on the Down East coast. Lost serenity can be found here simply by thinking "Yes!" -- and only that -- when Summer's sea breeze touches your face.
Yet, poignantly, Summer also passes her prime in late August and begins to age quickly, although we make believe that we don't notice. Where once all was vivid green, brown rashes are starting to appear. Coincidentally, children and their parents need to leave the waters and woods and return to school and work. It's then that memories of Summer's stunning beauty begin to get clouded. When those memories get really dark, it's time to take out the Postcards From Maine and shuffle through some of the "good parts" of August's story.
August here is when flowered porches seem to say, "Come in; visit awhile!"
It’s the best of times for the little tourists that have finished the hard work of raising a family and are now resting before their long, tough trip home.
It’s when the flower gardens are overflowing with primary colors; apples are turning red on the boughs, and the woods are bristling with ripening black raspberries that we pick and eat without qualms.
However, for the usually well-coiffed male Wood Duck, its a time to hide in remote marshes; he's now bald and can't fly well due to his summer molt. (He's in his "eclipse" phase.)
Nonetheless, August also is a time for public events. It's the beginning of a two-month country fair season across the state. Town commons and perennial fair sites are filled with amusement park entertainment and, more important, opportunities to celebrate a pastoral way of life.
It's also when prehistoric-looking Pileated Woodpeckers put on summer dinner shows: gobbling fat insects for their entrees, tossing down viburnum berries for their desserts, and then flying off, cackling maniacally.
(A bird that is pileated ["peel-ee-EIGHTed"] is one that has a crest on its pileum, which is the entire top of its head. But, you're cautioned not to confuse the Pileated Woodpecker with another strangely-crested subspecies that also cackled maniacally this August: the Pileated Politician.)
For sailors, August can provide light breezes for contemplative gliding as well as stiff winds for vigorous tacking.
In fact, it’s when some of the most eager sailors have four legs.
In the end, though, August is at its wicked best when you bask in your special place and smile at life.
And, of course, August is much more. To see larger versions of the above images, as well as more images of the month's moments that we'll use to spark our memories, click on the link below. (We suggest that your initial viewing be in full-screen mode. To do that, click on the Slideshow icon [>] above the featured [largest] image in the gallery to which the link will take you.) Here’s the link:
Barbara and Dick