Life In Progress

I will not confuse my career with my life.


Leave a comment

Nectar

*070513 hummer sugar 3

The hummingbirds are rightly preoccupied with the huge honeysuckle bush in the garden. Even so, I hung the nectar feeder out last week and saw my first customer belly up to it the other day. With all this hot weather, I thought it was time to refresh the feeder yesterday. The package of hummingbird sugar stated that it had no artificial coloring but when I dropped it into the water, there were some interesting pink swirls to contemplate.

Now it’s time to park myself on the front porch, sip coffee and watch for hummers.

*070513 hummer sugar 2

*070513 hummer sugar 6

*070513 hummer sugar 4

*070513 hummer sugar 5

Advertisements


Leave a comment

A Good Breeze

a-070413 front porch breakfast

Summer is on my mind. Probably because we don’t have a/c in our old New England farmhouse. Oh, we’ve gotten good at when to close and open windows and shades over the years to deflect the sun and the oven-hot rooftop breezes. Even with strategically placed fans sleeping for the handful of really warm nights in Maine can present a challenge.

Plenty of porch time is my solution. By early afternoon, the sun has finished baking the front decking and a good breeze begins to traverse the length of it. A cool fruit smoothie, a new Davis Leatherworks tooled notebook (a gorgeous, US-made version of the Midori Traveler’s Notebook), toys to play with and plenty of pets with Mr. Wonderful made for a perfect holiday at home yesterday.

Mister, mister, mister!

a-070413 stego fighting

a-070413 mystery bug

a-070413 front porch view of


Leave a comment

Free Time

062313 sea hunt ink sm

It’s finally summer in Maine — I’ve been waiting for comfy porch weather and it’s here in spades. I love the afternoon breezes that keep that side of the house cool, the porch is perfect for hanging around, sipping iced tea (read: beer), drawing in a sketchbook and playing with my toys like any other respectable grown woman would do with her free time. A few weeks ago, I had Stego, the expanding dinosaur sponge in a gladiola vase. Fun to watch him grow and to sketch his progress. Now it’s Stella the sea star in the spotlight. Stella and some kid’s toys I found on the walking trail. Finders keepers, kids. Oh, okay, I’ll put them back on the trail when I’ve had my fun.

The last rain storm washed away the rest of the pine pollen and I no longer have those pesky allergy symptoms dogging me, so I’m one happy camper.

062313 sea hunt setup sm

062313 sea hunt sm cover


Leave a comment

We Aim to Please

060813 portia chomps grasses 1

Mr. Wonderful is an indoor-outdoor cat. Likely a Maine Coon mix, he adopted us over eight years ago by living under our porch and terrorizing our other cat at the time. He wouldn’t let us touch him for nearly six months and even after that we weren’t permitted to inspect him to see whether he was a tom or a female. So, because he reminded us of another cat we knew, Miss Kitty, we sort of assigned him to the female category. His first trip to the vet was quite enlightening, I should mention, when we finally found out “Portia” (so-named because of her/his time under the porch) was a male! The name stuck and occasionally my husband reverts to calling Mister a “her” (I suspect just to goad me and of course my reaction never disappoints!)

Now we mostly call him Mr. Wonderful and he’s made himself a very dearly-loved member of our family. We love him so much, we grow wheat grass for him and his indoors-girl cohort, Chitra. Even though he has the run of the place outside during the day and a whole field of grass behind the house, he knows we aim to please. Mister-mister gets his wheat grass fed to him one succulent blade at a time.


Leave a comment

Treasure Tossed

The Little Falls impoundment of the Presumpscot River is down again. Sappi had an initial draw down in July to assess work on the dam and this week they’ve got it down even lower than before for repairs.

We went down to check it out Tuesday evening, accompanied by a very vocal Mr. Wonderful. Meowing his concern, he followed us onto the silty bank, inspected the middens where the raccoons feast on freshwater clams under the tree roots, then made himself comfortable on the rocks while we rooted around in the mud.

The first things to catch my eye were some clams languishing on the silt. I gently placed them into the water so they’d at least have a chance to survive the hungry raccoons. I feel a little guilty about the ones I probably missed. Mucking around for the clams, I uncovered two pieces of a broken depression glass sugar bowl and a number of other large, thick pieces of broken glass bottles around an area of exposed ledge which usually has several feet of water over it. I wanted to get a shovel and dig. Maybe I’ll do just that, tomorrow, before Hurricane Irene arrives.

Many years ago, people repeatedly came down to this beautiful river and unceremoniously hucked their household trash into it. Tuesday evening, we went to that river, recovered some of that trash and arranged it carefully on the bench on our back deck. As though it was treasure.


Leave a comment

Draw Down

This week, Sappi Fine Paper is working on the hydro dam at Little Falls on the Presumpscot River. Living along the Little Falls impoundment, we received a postcard in the mail a couple of weeks ago, notifying us of the fact that Sappi would need to draw the water down to a level sufficiently low to perform routine dam maintenance. They do this every year and it’s always rather exciting for me, because I get to explore the tree roots, rocks and sandy banks that are usually submerged in the artificially high impoundment.

Yesterday, I put on my Wellies and climbed down to the exposed bank to have a look around. The water level seemed to be about where I imagine it would if there weren’t a dam downstream. (What a pipe dream.) The natural slope of the bank and the placement of the trees tell the story about how it would look in its natural state. Currently, the banks are at constant risk of erosion from lapping water undercutting them. The big trees are giving way one by one in this unstable situation. In our 26 years here, we’ve seen three large trees fall along that bank. Two right into the water (one of which got caught up in the Little Falls Dam) and one big oak fell back onto our property, providing us with some firewood and a handy riverside trunk for sitting.

It’s stressful to witness the clouding, silting and erosion caused by the wake every time our downstream neighbors make one of their frequent trips in their fast motorboat. Today, I was astonished to hear the boat racing upstream even with the water level lowered. My heart sinks a little every time they roar past and the water slaps the riverbanks. I imagine the two blue herons I saw yesterday feel the same.