Archive for June, 2013

Jun 26 2013

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The First Day Lily

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first day lilyDespite my poor gardening skills and general negligence, the day lilies that grow in front of my house do quite well every year. The first one opened today, bright and cheery enough to overrule the dark clouds that ushered in a thunderstorm this morning.

While I was on the road yesterday, showing my book to store owners, I couldn’t help but notice the deep, rich smell of the Vermont countryside – a luxuriant blend of pollen, forest humus, and happy vegetation. Recent rains have intensified it. The word “lush” doesn’t begin to describe what’s going on these days. The growing season has kicked into high gear.

What a pleasant surprise to discover this explosion of color in my yard at the start of the day! I am astounded by this overt display of earthly delight. Who can love nature and hate summer?


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Jun 17 2013

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Enough for Now

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lush forestYesterday Judy and I went for a walk around Aldis Hill. Our dog Matika came with us, of course. There was rain in the forecast so we wasted no time getting out of the house. We knew we wouldn’t be in the mood to go anywhere once it started.

The early morning mosquitoes were there to greet us. We did our best to ignore them, focusing upon the lush forest instead. Recent rains have brought all the vegetation to life. I can’t remember the last time the woods looked this green.

Judy skirted the mud holes; Matika went right through them. I did something in between. One’s attitude towards mud often reflects one’s beastliness. I’m not quite sure why.

Daisies and buttercups were in full bloom on the grassy top of the Hard’ack ski slope we crossed, but the wildflowers that cover the forest floor in late spring were nearly gone. With the Summer Solstice only a few days away, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. That said, I am always amazed by how quickly the warm season goes by. There’s not a day to be wasted.

Lately I’ve been too busy promoting my new book, The Allure of Deep Woods, to get into the mountains as much as I like this time of year. In lieu of deep woods, I slip away to nearby pockets of wildness whenever I can. There is something ironic about this to be sure. No matter. Aldis Hill and places like it are enough for now.


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Jun 09 2013

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Out of my Element

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sailingDuring a recent trip to the Maine coast, my wife Judy and I signed up for a ride on a 55-foot schooner. Funny thing about sailing, you can’t come and go as you please. We had to wait two days for fair wind. Even then, there was no telling where we’d end up.

While Judy gravitates to the Atlantic shore with all its beaches, salt marshes and waves crashing against rocks, I’m more at home in the woods. We both get what we want while exploring the many parts of the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge scattered along the southern Maine coast. That said, it’s good to step out and try something different every once in a while.

Sailing is definitely something different for a landlubber like me. From the moment the boat pulled away from shore, I felt exposed. The ocean is big and dangerous. Nothing but water below and sky above. As we motored out of the harbor, I tried to shelve my apprehension and enjoy the cruise.

Shortly after gaining the open sea, the captain cut the engine and ordered the crew to raise the sails. Then everything changed. Suddenly the wind was carrying us along. The schooner rose and fell rhythmically as it rode the waves. The sun shined brightly through the cloudless sky, a gentle breeze caressed our faces, and the coast rolled past slowly. The sails flapped quietly in the wind as we changed course. And all our hard, land-bound concerns faded away.

Judy was napping in the lifeboat by the time we turned back towards shore. I couldn’t stop smiling. After the sail, we wandered along the coast aimlessly. We could do nothing but eat, drink and be happy. The ocean had massaged us. We were putty in its hands.



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