Quiet Stillness on the Coast of Maine

Sunday, September 11, 2011, 7:50 a.m. EST, 50 degrees F

For the first time this late summer, it was colder than 50F degrees when we got up to take the dog for a walk. I’m here to say that 48.9F feels pretty cold after a hotter-than-average summer, and I’m a little nervous about the impending winter.

By the time we got to the bridge overlook it was just 50 degrees on the water. A beautiful, glorious clear day with almost no clouds in the sky. The video is remarkable by its uneventfulness.

We talked to two birders today (first ones we’ve encountered on these Sunday mornings!): one, a young man on the bridge with binoculars and a camera with a long telephoto lens—photographing “migratory birds” he said. I asked him what kind, and he simply responded: “oh, loads.” The woman, who we met on the way down to the beach (we took our dog down to walk by the water), when asked if she’d seen anything interesting, first said…. “oh, a little,” and then casually commented on a “Pileated” (Woodpecker) that was exhibiting “weird behavior.”

I found it mildly intriguing that for the first time in seven months we met our first birders by the bridge—and this time two of them—and both independently were looking in the same direction and seemed to be purposeful in their activities. Yet both were vague with what they were looking for when we asked them and were not very specific in what they had seen. My vivid writer’s imagination kicked into overdrive.

Meanwhile in the garden….wabi-sabi is setting in, and I am trying to enjoy the late-summer overgrown and fading garden. We continue to harvest eggplant, beans, tomatoes, and many other vegetables. We made two large pots of tomato sauce this week. And we will harvest apples from our apple tree for the first time since we moved into the house more than 10 years ago—for some reason it’s apparently a good year for apples!

The row of sunflowers outside our living room window is now about 9 feet tall!


  1. CMSmith says:

    Your photos are lovely.

    In your post I can sense the peace and calm that I often associate with the end of busy summer and beginning of cooler, shorter days.

    I hope you get to see some of the “lots” of migratory birds.

  2. Cynthia Robertson says:

    Love the sunflowers!

  3. Pet says:

    You do live in a wonderful place!

  4. Christine, Glad the peace came through — and you’re so right it felt like the beginning of the cooler shorter days, sigh! I hope I get to see the loads of migratory birds too, so far no dice!

    Cynthia, I love the sunflowers, too… they are fun to see from the inside except sometimes at night when they brush against the screens they give us a scare! haha 🙂

  5. Pet, I must agree, it is beautiful especially during the warm times of year! Thanks 🙂

  6. So jealous that you can grow your own food – and fresh apples! So fun to have met birders, too!

  7. The air really does look crisp and cool! Your sunflowers look beautiful too. I’ll have to tell Sophie about the woodpeckers. She’s into those birds right now.

  8. Ann says:

    So beautiful! I Love the picture of your apples….It was cooler and the humidity was less here, but all of a sudden *BAM* we got socked with humidity! It feels like walking in a warm, wet sponge….ugh!

    Are you going to roast your sunflower seeds?

  9. Mmm those apples look incredible. Sounds like you had a great day! 🙂


  10. Julia ~ The video being remarkable in its uneventfulness sounds good after your recent lashings from Irene. I enjoyed the serenity of watching the still waters as I ate my breakfast.

    The vagueness of the two birders would also put my mind into overdrive trying to fill in for their lack of the specific! I guess that’s a thing about we writers: we’re trained to be specific, so other people can seem vague (when to them it probably seems a normal way of responding). Those birders gave the kinds of responses MEH-B tends to give :~)

    Your harvest sounds incredible! Especially the apples, after waiting ten years for a crop. I adore your sunflowers too.

  11. Beautiful. Enjoy your harvest bounty. That is great. I do not have a green thumb, but I wish I did. My DH tells me to stay away from the garden. I am not even allowed to weed it. Oh well…

  12. Valeriebrbr says:

    your blog is lovely! And any friend of Charissa The Wonderful is a friend of mine! I’m a new follower! Happy Monday!! ~Valerie.

  13. Melissa, Thanks, wish I could share the garden bounty with you! It is wonderful to know exactly where our food is coming from, no question!

    Leah, The sunflowers are a favorite of ours, too. Tell Sophie I love woodpeckers, too… I have a Pileated Woodpecker that often hunts for food on the tree outside my office window! Beautiful!

    Ann, Ugh, sorry you got more humidity… probably heading our way, too. I HATE that wet sponge feeling! 🙂 Not sure about roasting sunflower seeds, we’ve done it in the past, but usually we just love watching the birds get them!

    Ashlee, The apples are so wonderful and such a huge surprise (we’ve never before had good ones from that old tree!)

  14. Milli, So true about the coast feeling so wonderful after Irene — that was not a happy visit, no question! Glad to give you serenity during your breakfast 🙂 Isn’t it so interesting how vague replies can fill our writer minds with questions? I was so curious to grill them but …. they seemed not to be inclined… go figure 🙂

  15. Karen, That’s so funny about your DH telling you to stay away from the garden. I so wish I weren’t allowed to weed… (although by the height of some of our weeds, you’d think I wasn’t! 🙂

    Valeriebrbr, So happy you found my blog via Charissa! And so glad you followed and commented. Very very nice to meet you! 🙂

  16. JM Merchant says:

    This really does sound like the ideal place for a writers retreat 🙂