June is the beginning of Summer, which is not only a season up here, it’s a state of mind. Just walking on one of our secluded country roads can seem to be a sanity saver.
The temperature and precipitation here in June were slightly above average. This was good for stream life. Our large, tidal streams along the coast seemed to host a larger than usual June migration of alewives (herrings) from the sea. The fish have to run a gauntlet of herring gulls, common loons, and harbor seals.
The small streams in the woods suffered no such indignities and appeared happy to contain enough sweet water to quench the thirst of the deer and other animals that spend much of their day in the woods.
The leaves of the deciduous trees among the spruces and balsam firs in the woods come into Summer fullness in June, acting like fluttering curtains that allow light to come and go in illuminating dapples.
The marsh ponds become polka-dotted with water lily pads and flowers in June. The surrounding arrow arum grows large and lush and the area becomes a home for many creatures, including red-winged blackbirds, dragon flies, muskrats and painted turtles.
Lady’s Slipper and Jack in the Pulpit plants appear in the nearby bog during June.
During the first three weeks of the month, wild lupines poke their beautiful pointy heads up in the fields and along the roadways here; then, they waste away into scragginess before the month is over, leaving us with only a colorful memory.
Wild grasses and small flowers eventually take over our fields in June, including hawkweed, buttercups, butter and eggs, and wild iris.
The fields attract millions of tiny insects, including skipper butterflies that love buttercups. The fields also provide hidden nesting areas for birds, including wild turkeys and bobolinks.
This June, a particularly large black bear started coming through our north field to eat from our bird feeder. We haven’t seen him since we scared him away with shouts and, more important, removed our feeder for the summer.
June also is when many of our lobster fishermen return their boats to the sea, at first stacked to capacity with traps that must be set in the water attached to a uniquely-colored buoy (and maybe with some herring as bait).
Of course, fishing vessels are not our only man-made sea creatures. Memorial Day and June are when the coastal schooners start bringing their tourist passengers to visit our beautiful Great Cove and good neighbor, the famous WoodenBoat School.
For water lovers who don’t like crowds, there are other options.
There was a lot more to June, but the month had to end, and so do we. We leave you to watch this sunset of June 23: