We say goodbye to 2018 today, the last day of December. The month has many moods, from melancholy to merry, including weather variations that change the character of familiar sights.

December waterscapes can range from silver haze to eye-popping clarity, from smooth water to jagged sea ice :

Dec 01.jpg
Dec 08.jpg

Snow in the woods and ice in the streams and ponds can create alternative December worlds:

Most of the lobster boats brought in their traps and ended their seasons in November. But, some remained alone in coves and others sprouted booms and masts and became trawlers when the scallop fishing season began in early December:

Dec 09.jpg
Dec 12.jpg

The December snows mostly were of the fat-flake variety that sprinkled more beauty than inconvenience; we even had sun during one snow flurry:

Dec 13.jpg
Dec 16.jpg

As for winter birdlife, the Great Blue Herons that we saw during the month were of the abstract kind, but they did have a merriness about them; the Wild Turkeys thrived during cold snowy December days as well as on unusually warm ones, and a Great Black Hawk — a native or Mexico and Central America that is extremely rare here — decided to celebrate the winter holidays in Portland, Maine, where we “caught” it:

Dec 21.jpg

As for flora, there was little Winterberry here to brighten December roadsides this year, but the Red Twig Dogwood did its best, while Rhododendron leaves curled in the cold and their firm buds held a promise of a colorful spring:

The annual Holiday Concert of the Bagaduce Chorale always provides musical color in December. It was magnificent this year:


December, of course, contains important secular and religious holidays, which were celebrated in Brooklin a number of ways, including neighbor Judith Fuller’s road banners and the General Store’s decorations:

Dec 28.jpg

The Winter Solstice occurs in late December, when the low sun often produces spectacular sunsets to end the year with drama:

Dec 32.jpg

(All the above images were taken in Down East, Maine, during December 2018, except the images of the Great Black Hawk, which were taken in Portland, Maine, during the month.)