Water, water everywhere

This hand pump supplied water for dinner and Saturday night baths..As I was reading some stuff about water one morning this week, I was reminded of the water source of my youth – a twenty-foot deep hand-dug well. It sometimes is difficult to believe that we in 2020 are not far separated, measured sometimes by the calendar and sometimes by miles, from having no imagining of conveniences such as computers or water that simply appears at the turn of a knob.

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Sunrise on Muscongus Bay

Sunrise over the eastern shore of Muscongus Bay.At 6:30, more or less, each morning, the eastern horizon becomes a strata of pink and orange as the sun glows, then rises over the peninsula that defines the eastern boundary of Muscongus Bay. Within an hour, Ol’ Sol has risen midway from the horizon, turned the thin cloud stratus a translucent oyster white, and burned a widening path like a celestial version of the earth-bound lobster boats that leave their wakes across the bay. Continue reading Sunrise on Muscongus Bay

No More Tears

George the Seagull pretends to not care while plotting his thievery..Coming up on a year ago, I visited an eye doctor. I was constantly crying. My eyes would not stop with the waterworks.

He told me the problem was I was not making tears, which was irritating my eyes, which was making them water like Marsh Creek after that rain we had at the end of July. He prescribed eye drops that would make me make tears so my eyes wouldn’t be irritated so they would not, well, make tears.

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Sea ducks, coral reefs and sunscreen

Gulls and other birds feed as an incoming tide slams against the Maine coast.I recently spent part of a week-long vacation watching the ocean come and go, while a friend and fellow journalist attempted renewing a relationship with what last year had become his pet seagull. The incoming tides smashed and crashed against a huge rectangular boulder about the size of twin Chevrolet Carryalls stacked one atop the other. Every half-dozen or so waves would match timing and reinforce to send spray 30 to 40 feet in the air. But unlike the Chevy trucks, the rock notably did not move when several tons of ocean slammed into it’s side.

In front of and beside the granite outcrop, a hundred or so Common Eider ducks swam and dove for food stirred up by the incoming tide. As is usual (though there are exceptions), Eider males are the flashiest of the species. Their raiment is in starkly contrasting black and white. The women of the species clothe in finery of mostly gray and brown. Now and then, one or the other would stand up on the water to rearrange its wings, like someone rising from the dinner table to pull down a jacket or blouse. Then back to the bottom for another small fish or mussel.

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Different kind of drawbridge

“He’s in the tiny shack just behind the even smaller one.”

A road worker told me where to find the South Bristol swing bridge operator. The 78-foot span was built in 1933 to provide land vehicles passage to Rutherford Island, Maine, over “The Gut,” a narrow slot of water between the open ocean and the enclosed haven used by area fishing boats.

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Vacations are about the people

A 985-pound Johnson-powered pumpkin

Going on vacation is loads of fun, especially in the people we meet. Like the night in Maine last week when we had dinner at the Salt Bay Café in Damariscotta, Maine. Couples three were we, sitting to our first dinner on the rocky coast of the Pine Tree State. We each ordered our favorite choice of fresh-from-the sea fare.

[pullquote]… he would grow a pumpkin – his first “boat” was 754 pounds – and build the boat, but he would not get in it.[/pullquote]

I had oysters. I love the things on the half-shell, with jalapeño relish to spice ’em up a touch.

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But, Baby, it’s cold outside

Winter in Maine; that's me in the middle(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 1/10/2014)

The sun is well up as I write this, and still the temperature has climbed only to plus-two degrees Fahrenheit.

You know it’s cold when even in still air you generate enough wind just by walking to frostbite your forehead as the air flows between your wool stocking cap and your sunglasses. New-fallen snow is dry and fluffy, and squeaks beneath your winter boots or snow tires.

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