Sunrise Thoughts on Half a Habit


This morning I looked out the window at the sunrise and thought: “What a beautiful sunrise to capture on video…” Then my thoughts wandered to standing on the bridge overlook and making the weekly movie of the sandbar beach.

And then I remembered, no more. Apparently the routine has become a habit: look up the tide chart online to check the daily tide predictions, check sunrise and sunset times, put new batteries in the video camera, make a plan for when to go. In all, it would take us about an hour to plan, drive, shoot the video. Then another hour to post the video and write the blog.

A two-hour habit. Me, a creature of habit, said—a little wistfully—to MEH (My Engineer Husband): “It’s Sunday and we don’t have to make the video.”

“Isn’t it grand?” MEH said.

So here I am to let you know: today I’ve only been able to give up half the habit. If you visited today expecting to see the beach video, check out last week’s post and explanation for why it’s not here!

Are you—like me—a creature of habit? Or are you more like MEH—happier to just go with the flow and enjoy the ride?

Cheers,

Julia

p.s. Tomorrow I’ll be posting a very special interview and giveaway for my one-year blogiversary, so please come back!

Hello, Goodbye

What’s left of the trees :(

Today marks the final wordsxo video from the beach overlook. MEH (My Engineer Husband) and I have been trudging (okay, driving) out to the bridge once a week—usually Sunday morning—rain or shine or wind or snow or whatever. It was a year-long project, started on February 13, 2011. I had planned to have next week be the last video, BUT today we arrived at our usual spot and the town had cut down the trees that we used as our backdrop frame of reference.

I saw that as a sign. Enough.


In honor of this being the last video, I decided to make a vlog. Hello! I’m not crazy about appearing on camera (especially January in Maine in the wind…challenging to be out there let alone look decent), but since MEH refused, I decided I’d take the bullet for the wordsxo team. 


I realize it’s almost impossible to hear what I’m saying so here’s the basic transcript: It’s the last video, it’s really super windy and cold, the trees were cut down, thank you Hallie Sawyer for planting the idea for my appearance, thank you to Sara Grambusch for being Sandbar’s biggest fan, goodbye videos.


Starting tomorrow, I’ll be blogging twice a week: Mondays and Thursdays—with no more vlogs or videos in the plans. But I will be writing about writing, editing, the writing life, and where I get my inspiration. You can also count on many more photographs and even a few more Maggie mysteries! So please stay tuned.
I hope you enjoyed the videos—they’re all on youtube, here. Someday soon I’ll be writing a wrap-up blog about them. Have you ever made a change in course on your blog or in your life? How did it go?

Cheers,

Julia

“It’s Maine, Deal with It”

“It’s Maine, deal with it.” This expression came to mind as I stood on the beach overlook at 2 degrees.
I used to have a neighbor who moved to Maine shortly after I did, and she loved to say that to me: about the heat and humidity in the summer, about the blackflies in May, about too many tourists in August, but especially about the snow we know we’re going to get—no matter how mild the season starts out.

When we looked at the thermometer at home this morning it was a flat 0 degrees. So if anything I was disappointed it was 2 by the time we got out to take the video. Luckily, with not a wisp of a breeze, it felt like maybe 3 anyway. I stood in a foot of snow to take the video, and you can hear the crunching of snow under our boots, the zip of my jacket pocket as I take out my iPhone to take a photo of my boots, and the snap of the photo being taken.



Other than those sounds and the slight movement in the water, you’d think this was a still shot this morning. Lucky us, by the time we got to the other side of town (inland) it was all the way down to minus 6 degrees. So cold that even Abby, our black lab, wanted to go home. She held up one freezing paw after another in the crunchy snow, and we lasted all of 5 minutes on the dog walk.

What’s an expression you associate with the place you live? Are there things you just know you’re “going to have to deal with” in your weather and in your life?

Cheers,

Julia 

This is What 1 Degree Looks Like

(Sunday, January 15, 2012, 7:35 a.m. EST, 1 degrees F)



“How long does it take to get frostbite?” I asked MEH (My Engineer Husband) as we came back to the car after shooting the video on the bridge. 

I asked him this question because MEH wanted to walk a little farther, to get one more photo. He threw me the car keys.

“Get in. I’ll be right back.”

I got in the car and cranked up the heat.

The predicted low for this morning was 0 degrees, but we didn’t quite make it. It was 1F degree as we crossed the bridge; a disappointing 2F degrees when we parked the car—but it was windy to make up for the warm up.

It’s not the coldest temperatures I’ve ever been in, and on the way home MEH and I talked about it. Forty below zero my freshman year in college in Minnesota, I said. I was from California, and it was the coldest temperature I’d ever heard of let alone walked outside in. My friend from Connecticut told me her dad once said if you get colder than 0 degrees it all feels the same. It didn’t.

One of the photos MEH took while I was in the car:
“Ocean on the Rocks”

MEH lived in Anchorage, Alaska, for a while. The story he likes to tell is that he took a year off from college and went back four years later. One winter he worked in a gas station with no heater, and it was thirty below zero on a regular basis. His shift was midnight to eight o’clock in the morning, and he spent the night running up and down the parking lot to keep warm. He pumped the gas so the customers didn’t have to get out of their cars. The first night he tried to wash a windshield, but the washing fluid froze to the windshield and the driver was not happy with him—so he stopped. He never had more than 10 or 15 customers any night. He did a lot of running.

Today will be a good day to edit at the dining room table. MEH will write some software at the kitchen table. His sub-zero running days are over.

How’s the temperature in your neck of the woods? What’s the coldest weather you’ve ever been outside in, and how did you cope?

Cheers,

Julia

January Thaw

(Saturday, January 7, 2012, 3:36 p.m. EST, 40 degrees F)




In comparison to last week’s video, this week’s video looks like it’s in black and white! Although it looks colder, it isn’texactly the same temperature after dipping into the single digits mid-week. Today we stood on the bridge without gloves or hats and amazingly we were warm. The air was still and calm. Two kayakers paddled up to the beach on the glassy water just out of camera view. It felt more like April than January, and it seems Spring is just around the corner….a dangerous feeling in the middle of a Maine winter.
This could be what’s referred to in Maine as a “January Thaw,” except we have barely any snow on the ground. Most years in January three to four feet of snow banks line the streets. I’m not going to lie—I hope it remains a low-snow winter and we get an early start at gardening.

How’s winter in your neck of the woods? Ready for Spring?

Cheers,

Julia

Happy Shiny New Year from the Coast of Maine

(Sunday, January 1, 2012, 10:59 a.m. EST, 40 degrees F)


We stood on the bridge at exactly the time of low tide for this first video of the new year. It felt and looked more like April than January. A kayaker paddled up to the beach right off view, then carried his kayak up the hill to the parking lot, joining a group of other people in a festive atmosphere. Loud music played from one of the cars, dogs frolicked, and one woman shimmy-danced with her scarf—I kid you not.
Being the introvert I am, we made the movie then made a quick getaway in our car, anxious to enjoy a more quiet entry into 2012: returning home to bake a pumpkin pie—my daughter’s favorite—for a first-night dessert.

How do you celebrate the new year? Are you more of a quiet baker like me or a shimmy dancer? Or maybe somewhere in between?

Happy New Year!

Julia

Happy Holidays from the Coast of Maine

(Friday, December 23, 2011, 4:11 p.m. EST, 36 degrees F)



Hope you enjoy this last video of 2011, which I’m posting a couple of days early so we can spend Christmas Eve and Day with our family!

Happy Holidays with love from Maine,

Julia & MEH



Deep Blue Cold

(Sunday, December 18, 2011, 1:04 p.m. EST, 24 degrees F)

We’re in the deep chill, with a high today around 24F degrees. With a brisk blowing wind it felt much colder than that while we were standing on the bridge overlook.  There were a few ducks and geese swimming in the frigid water right off the sandbar, but it’s hard to see them in the video because the camera was being buffeted so much by the wind. Although it was cold, the view was incredible—with the intense deep blue color of the water and a set of solo prints on the sandbar—and for the first time ever you can also see the shadow of the bridge.

I hope it’s warmer where you are!

Cheers,

Julia

45 Degrees of Separation

(Sunday, December 11, 2011, 7:08 a.m. EST, 22 degrees F)

Full moon setting: this photo was taken 45 degrees to
the left of where we stand to shoot the video, toward the mainland

I visit this spot on the bridge (at least) once a week. This morning we arrived at sunrise—at 22 degrees the coldest since we started to record the videos. The beauty was absolutely breathtaking, captivating, magical; so phenomenal that words truly cannot describe. A full moon setting, the subtle pinks rising and reflecting from the water, a flock of Canada geese floating on the water just out of video view.




So beautiful that, after taking the video in the usual direction, I turned the camera about 45 degrees and took another. Now you can see the more intense pinks, the flock of geese congregated and warming up before they take flight.





Despite the frigid temperature, we stood on the bridge for almost ten minutes and then we walked more, in another direction toward another vantage point, to take some still shots toward islands north of us.


When I watched the videos at home, what struck me most was the incredible stillness interrupted by the cars zooming by. I marveled at the fact that the people in those two cars (and others we didn’t record) drove by the stunning beauty without even slowing. And it made me remarkably glad that I started making the videos—so that for at least the time it takes to make the video, I am required to stand and just observe and truly see what I might otherwise pass by. And it made me wonder…..what masterpieces of nature do I drive by or take for granted every day?

Are there places and things you pass by everyday that you never really notice? Are there times you force yourself or take the time to really slow down and see and observe?


Cheers,
Julia 

From Sandbar with Love

(Sunday, December 4, 2011, 11:06 a.m. EST, 45 degrees F)

Last week, after the weekly video showing the astronomical high tide, one of the commenters said this (after two weeks running of high-tide videos): “Dear Sandbar, I miss you. Love, Sara.” Thank you Sara Grambusch for that comment that made me smile! Sara’s a favorite blogger of mine, and you can read her posts here at her blog.

But first,watch the video—I don’t think you’ll be disappointed because even though it’s the beginning of December, at 45 degrees it’s still warm enough to enjoy a walk on the beach. And there are three people and a dog doing just that. And thanks to Sara I made a point of going to the beach overlook at lower tide!

I really enjoyed going out to the island this morning—connected to the mainland via bridge, the one we stand on to make the video. Not only was it beautiful as always, but it was wonderful to get out of the house. I’ve been working long hours editing at the dining room table, and the fresh air and sunshine felt really good.

But more than that, my WIP that I’m in the process of editing, takes place on an island in Maine. Getting out to a spot that is very similar to the one I’m describing in my book is just what I needed. I’m really happy with the progress I’m making, and the story is in the forefront of my mind all the time. That mini-working-vacation on the bridge is just what I needed to keep me on track and give me some writing inspiration.

Hope your writing is going well too—where do you go for inspiration?

Cheers,

Julia

Happy Almost-December (!?) from the Coast of Maine

(Saturday, November 26, 2011, 10:56 a.m. EST, 53 degrees F)

We went to the beach overlook today about 15 minutes before high tide (forecast for 11:11). An astronomical high tide of 11.8 feet was predicted, and I wanted to see what that looked like. (Flood stage in nearby Portland is considered 12 feet.) An astronomical high tide is caused by gravitational pull alone—not meteorological forces like wind or storminess.

As you can see in the video, absolutely none of the sandbar is showing. The small sliver of shore land beach usually there during high tide is not even visible. The video shows the serenity and peacefulness of water and you can hear a few birdsbut the cars on the bridge were omnipresent this morning, and it took us 15 minutes to get this short video clip without car sound in the background!

The weather’s unusual pattern continues. After our Halloween storm, we had a long stretch through November of unseasonably warm weather—receiving no more snow until the day before Thanksgiving. Then, just in time for our family coming home for Thanksgiving, we received another 6 inches of snow. Remarkably, as we made our way down to Boston to pick up our daughter at the airport, the Interstate pavement was dry and snow free within 20 minutes of home! Our travel was uneventful, and her flight was actually early!

Now today and for the week ahead, we have temperatures forecast in the 50s! And the snow is beginning to melt again. Happy Almost-December?!

Meanwhile in the garden, here’s the view we had out our window for our Thanksgiving feast…we are having a lovely Thanksgiving weekend, and I hope you are too!



Things in the Sky

Bonaparte’s Gull











This morning I woke up when it was still dark outside and looked out of the skylight over our bed to an amazing sight: a few wispy clouds drifting by a crescent moon surrounded by some very bright stars.


“Amazing view,” I said to MEH (My Engineer Husband), who was still sleeping because he’s a little less enthusiastic about early mornings than I am.


Nonetheless, MEH had to see. And we looked at the beautiful sky view together.

“A crescent moon, the bright stars, and a satellite,” MEH said sleepily.

“A satellite?” I looked up and saw what looked like a moving star, crossing the sky framed by the skylight window.

“Yeah, I think it’s the Space Station.”

Sure enough, when I looked at NASA’s website, the ISS (International Space Station) crossed over southern Maine at 5:01 a.m., this morning, visible only for 4 minutes. And we happened to see it—what are the odds: a cloudless morning in Maine, we happen to look up through a very small window just for the 4 minutes the ISS is traveling 17,500 mph, about 240 miles from Earth. (By the way, if you’ve never seen the ISS before, check out this NASA website to see when it will be in the skies near you—it’s an amazing and extraordinary experience.)

“Bye guys,” I said to the 6-member crew as the ISS sped from view.

A very exciting way to start the day.

(Sunday, November 20, 2011, 7:04 a.m. EST, 49 degrees F)



Less than two hours later, we stood at our usual bridge overlook to make the weekly beach video, and we witnessed another flying thing we’d never seen before. If you look closely in the video, through the Birch tree on the right, you’ll see a white bird flying close to the water. We’d never seen this bird before, so despite the high tide, we walked down to the water’s edge to get a better view.

When we got home, we compared our photos to our bird books and online resources and discovered we’d seen a first-winter Bonaparte’s Gull. This lovely bird stayed very near shore and let us take as many photos as we wanted to.

Goose, Goose, Goose, Goose, Crow

(Sunday, November 13, 2011, 7:14 a.m. EST, 44 degrees F)




Our lovely stretch of weather continues! And in addition to the lovely scenery, this video provides a rare opportunity to hear the voice behind wordsxo. Yes, at about 37 seconds into the video, I have a very brief conversation with a passer-by, and you cannot avoid hearing my voice. 
“Pepper Pete” in better days.

Aside from this novelty, primarily geese and ducks dominate this week’s video! Also—more notably to MEH (My Engineer Husband) and me—you will see a crow fly through the video toward the end. We’re big crow fans; you can read about that in the post I wrote about MEH and the crows. And watch for more posts about crows coming up very soon!

Meanwhile in the garden…. You may recall the large potted pepper plant, nicknamed “Pepper Pete.” We had hopes of wintering the plant in the house and putting it back outside next spring. But a few days ago we discovered “Pepper Pete” is infested with aphids. So “he” has been put out to pasture on the porch. There are still peppers to harvest, and the weather has been mild enough that we may still get a few peppers! In mid-November in Maine, this is unheard of, at least in this gardening family!

Our other news is that we’ve been getting the bird feeding station ready for winter—squirrel proofing it—and putting out suet and thistle, too. We also put out corn for the squirrels and chipmunks, because I’m a fan of all woodland creatures!


This was the birdfeeder yesterday before we squirrel-proofed it. “Mr. Grackles,” as we call all
squirrels, could empty this of seeds in a day. This is the view I see out the window over my desk.

But don’t worry, Mr. Grackles is still being well fed! 


                                                                 

Picture Perfect (Video) Day on the Coast of Maine

(Sunday, November 6, 2011, 11:30 a.m. EST, 50 degrees F)


Incredible. To have this weather in November is spectacular. The view from the overlook was phenomenal today. And it was a little surreal to watch the two Great Danes on the beach. (I truly thought they were ponies as we pulled into the parking lot!) An absolutely stunning day that words cannot do justice.


Meanwhile in the garden… we are clearing up the garden beds, going through a rushed fall clean up following last weekend’s surprise snowstorm. Almost every trace of the snow is gone now so today we’re tidying up: raking beds and some leaves, planting some daffodils, putting up a new mailbox (our old one was rusted through), mowing down the mint, pulling carrots, and putting away trellises, bean poles, etc., etc. Later today I’ll make a big pot of chili that we can eat for several meals this week, and then I’ll get some editing done on the WIP while MEH (My Engineer Husband) writes code to display graph overlays on a scientific instrument.

Here’s what the perennial bed looked like in July, what seems like yesterday!
This is how the perennial flower bed looked after we finished cleaning it up.
(That really WAS yesterday!) Later today we’ll plant Daffodil bulbs in this flower bed!

Happy Snowtober Nor’easter Video

(Sunday, October 30, 2011, 1:32 p.m. EST, 41 degrees F) 





You can’t really tell from the video but we got our first snow last night—“only” about six inches where we were, but 18 inches in other parts of Maine and 26 inches in other parts of New England! We got off easy with this one. The media is calling it “Snowtober,” a rare October snowstorm.

In addition to the snow, it was also very cold…26F degrees, our coldest temperatures this year. It was especially cold in our house after we lost power. The temperature in the house hit 54F degrees right before power was restored at a little after noon (a huge thank you to the wonderful crews of Central Maine Power). Today the snow has stopped, and much has melted away; all that’s left is high winds up to 35 mph.

You can really see the winds buffeting the camera in today’s video. What a difference from last week’s tranquil sunrise! And I think you can see some snow on the distant shoreline (high tide is hiding the sandbar beach).



We planted the garlic yesterday!

Meanwhile in the garden…. yesterday when we knew the storm was coming, we quickly went out and planted garlic—knowing it would be our last chance to plant this fall. Then we mulched it with straw, and sure enough today the garden is covered in a blanket of snow.

And covered with straw!

And this morning…. WOW!!
What a difference a day makes!


Canada Geese Take Flight on Casco Bay

(Sunday, October 23, 2011, 7:32 a.m. EST, 40 degrees F)



This morning we timed it to get to the beach overlook a little after sunrise. A few weeks ago I was there at sunset, and the sun reflected oranges and yellows on the water. It was beautiful! It was high tide, and I was hoping to capture the rising sun on the water and the same effect as I observed a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately it didn’t work out quite the way I planned, and although the video is beautiful (and I love the flying Canada Geese!) it wasn’t quite the finished product I was hoping for. As always, I do my best to plan and predict how the “video shoot” will go—to do that I always check the tide table the day before—and decide whether I want to take a video at low-, mid-, or high-tide. Then I check the time of sunrise and sunset.

But still, sometimes I can’t pull off a video I’m pleased with. And that’s how it goes in writing, editing, and in life too—no matter how much we plan and try to make things happen a certain way, reality often intervenes.

Today it was the non-reflective water, a guy sitting nearby in his truck playing loud music (at sunrise! I don’t think you can hear it on the video), lots of cars going by so it was hard to squeeze in a video when a car wasn’t going by (we stayed there for 10 minutes to get about 40 seconds of video), and finally the battery going dead on the video camera so I had to stick with a piece of footage I was less than thrilled with instead of trying again.

This week with my WIP it was the same way: I planned and thought I could predict how things would go. I had everything all set up on the dining room table. But when it came right down to it, I was distracted and had lots of things to take care of in my house and in my life. So the editing of my manuscript had to take a back seat.

This afternoon I’ll sit down with my notebook and try to make a realistic plan for the upcoming week—building in room for distractions and unexpected things that may need my attention. Then tomorrow I’ll sit down and try a little harder.

And meanwhile…. Autumn continues to wane, with the leaves “past peak,” we’re starting to see a lot more bare branches, a reminder that winter is just around the corner!



Windy Sunrise on the Coast of Maine

(Sunday, October 16, 2011, 6:56 a.m. EST, 52 degrees F)

This morning we went to the beach overlook at sunrise—6:56 a.m. The eastern sky was streaked with beautiful pinks, oranges, and yellows. (Unfortunately we don’t face east when we take the videos; we face north!) It was very very windy this morning, so much so that it almost sounds like rain, and there were small waves cresting along the sandy point.

As we stood on the bridge, waiting for the best light for the video, our dog kept pulling MEH (My Engineer Husband) toward the path to the beach. Finally MEH relented and headed down to the beach while I took the video from the bridge…which means on this week’s video, you can see MEH and Abby strolling down the beach. While MEH was down there, he took some amazing photos of the sunrise!

As I took the video, I was excited to see a lobster boat with what we think was a “steady sail” on the back! A steady sail keeps the boat from rolling when it gets windy and the seas kick up—certainly the case today. And believe me, the wind had a definite chill to it, yet another reminder that winter is heading our way. Soon we’ll be standing on the bridge taking videos in the snow and ice, just like in our very first video postcard, Perfect (Maine) Beach Weather.


Finally, here’s one of the photos MEH took of the sunrise. Greetings from the coast of Maine!




Indian Summer on the Coast of Maine

(Saturday, October 8, 2011, 3:44 p.m. EST, 80 degrees F)

 

This week we had two nights of frost—a definite shock to my system. But today’s temperature was back up into the 80s—hitting 87 degrees at one point!

This seasonal confusion can only mean one thing: Indian summer. NOAA defines Indian Summer is “an unseasonably warm period near the middle of autumn, usually following a substantial period of cool weather.”

But here’s the thing…even though the temperatures can almost fool me into believing it’s summer again, I know it’s too good to be true. Several days ago I blogged about winter coming….today I’m taking a video of the beach looking like it’s summer. Later this week it will be fall again. Then perhaps we’ll have another dip into winter before switching back to fall once again.

Such are seasonal changes in Maine, one step forward then two steps back. On one hand, it gives us plenty of time to prepare for the next season—on the other hand, we get almost enough time to get used to one season before it changes again. Of course this can only go on so long before the inevitability of winter settles in.

Meanwhile in the garden, the zinnias have now been hit by a heavy frost, so their colors have faded to brown, but the tree leaves are starting to change colors in earnest. So we continue to have color in the garden!

Great Blue Heron on a Rainy Beach

(Saturday, October 1, 2011, 8:10 a.m. EST, 61 degrees F)



It’s been raining off and on this week, and this morning we went to the bridge overlook in the pouring rain to make our weekly video. Usually we take our videos on Sunday, but tomorrow a half marathon road race will close roads and make it impossible for us to get to the bridge.

What a difference a week makes—last week the beach (and bridge) were totally socked in with thick fog. This week, it was a beautiful, albeit wet, view. We timed our arrival with very low tide in hopes of seeing and recording some seabirds, and we were not disappointed. If you look above the tree on the left, you’ll see a Great Blue Heron (GBH) standing in the water.
But wait for it—at about the 17-second mark the GBH takes flight. It took me a few seconds to figure out why. And then I saw a dog, running down the length of the beach chasing the bird. The dog’s owner comes into sight a few seconds later. I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that I didn’t get a longer look at this beautiful bird.

Meanwhile in the garden….we haven’t had a hard frost yet (which will kill most of the vegetables) so we are still harvesting the few non-blighted tomatoes, peppers, and beans. Swiss chard will survive a hard frost, and we’ll be harvesting kale until it’s buried in snow (and if it’s like last year, it will survive until next fall!).

We also had a surprise! A small crop of late new potatoes—which we combined with green pepper, spring onions, eggs, and cheese to make one of our favorite breakfast scrambles!



SLOW. Bump.

I’m telling you, it was foggy. And I don’t even remember this old car passing me. Ghosty, huh?

It’s been foggy lately, really foggy. So this morning, it was pretty audacious to think we could take our usual Sunday morning video of the beach overlook. But it didn’t stop us.
It should have stopped us because I was already in a bad mood. And we didn’t have much time.

Standing in our usual spot on the bridge, in the fog, I began to realize the folly of our way. We made several strategic errors this morning.

1. It’s foggy. Really foggy. You can’t see anything in the video. Nothing. Except the trees right in front of our face.

2. The traffic wouldn’t stop going by. And then, they would slow waaayyyy down as they passed us. For the first time ever, it seemed that people wondered What are they looking at?I was afraid someone would actually stop and ask me something like: Are you that weird blogger who posted a video of me walking my dog on the beach? (Thankfully no one stopped, but at least 10 cars went by and every single car slowed down. Every single one.)

3. We brought the dog. We rarely bring the dog. She (a) would not stop panting, I’m pretty sure you can hear her in the video, and (b) a well-meaning, very nice runner stopped to talk to her in the middle of one of my attempts to make the video. I’m pretty sure you can hear her (the runner, not the dog) talking to MEH (My Engineer Husband) at the end of the video.

4. I was going to wait a few minutes (after the traffic cleared and the runner went by) and make another video. But the camera’s batteries died. And we didn’t bring any back ups.

5. I thought about waiting until the fog cleared and going back and taking another video with new batteries. But instead, we need to return a coffee pot we bought yesterday (it leaks water all over the counter because it has a broken float). And we need to buy a dishwasher because that’s leaking on the floor and doesn’t get the dishes clean anymore. (MEH tried to fix it last night, but there’s too much wrong with it to make it worth the money to repair.)

6. Did I mention I’m trying to edit that first draft?

True confession time. I was grumpy. Really really grumpy. So, finally we gave up and sad to say, stuck with a video that you can see practically nothing of interest in (on viewing it at home, I did notice there is some nice birdsong in it, though!). We turned around to leave. As we did, yet another car slowed down. I grumbled to MEH. “Really? Another car slowing down? If they ask me what I’m looking at, I’m going to say: ‘didn’t you see the 7 moose right on the other side of the bridge?’”
Just then I noticed the sign about 8 feet from where I was standing: SLOW, Bump. And then I noticed the area under construction on the other side of the bridge, that drivers were clearly slowing down to avoid.

So, apparently everything really isn’t all about me. Not today anyway.

Ever had one of those days?

Cheers,

Julia


p.s. Oh, here’s the video.

(Sunday, September 17, 2011, 8:25 a.m. EST, 68 degrees F)

Late Summer Wading on the Coast of Maine

Saturday, September 17, 2011, 12:46 p.m. EST, 65 degrees F




I could have called this post “Waiting” instead of “Wading” because right off camera there was a crowd of about 20 people obviously waiting for something or someone. They were all looking over the water into the distance, scanning the horizon.


The air was sharply cooler this week, and last night we had some light frost. It was only 37 degrees (F) when we went on our dog walk this morning….brrrr. A shock to the system and a harbinger of things to come.

Meanwhile in the garden….we still have tomatoes, green beans, and (hopefully) another crop of potatoes, if we can beat the heavy frost. The zinnias are providing a last blast of color.



Cheers,

Julia

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!