it’s still winter.


Posted: March 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: nature, neighborhood, photos | No Comments »


icicles

serious icicles.

it just keeps snowing and snowing and snowing and snowing
we got snowshoes which is awesome – morning dog walks are much better with snowshoes!
can you believe that: A) we moved back to maine exactly one year ago! and B) there was no snow on the ground on this date last year! i’m pretty sure this has been one of the snowiest winters of my whole life.

snowshoeing

morning snowshoe expedition

snowberries


the winter


Posted: January 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: heating, life, nature | 1 Comment »


snow!

snow! snowy woods

snow!

morning walks with Laika in the woods behind our house

puppy in the snowy woods

snow pup by the frozen stream

The last time I spent a whole winter in Maine was seventeen years ago. I mostly remember hating it a lot, always stepping in slushy puddles with bad shoes and being freezing and miserable and counting the minutes until I could move away and never come back. I’m cold-blooded and can’t do anything when it’s chilly, I really just want to be warm all the time and lie in a hammock, sweating gently and drinking lemonades. Spent most of my winters perched on the kitchen counter with my toes on the woodstove, or else sitting on top of the furnace vent with a fleecy blanket and a good book, waiting for the furnace to roar on and inflate my fleecy blanket into a puffy tent of hot air. Always thought I’d end up living my life in some hot and steamy place, but for some reason I love people who love winter, so I’m back in Maine and it’s winter and it turns out it’s OK. We must be near the half-way point now, and I think it’s not going to be so terrible. Snow is the best part of winter and we’ve had a few really good snowstorms and a lot of pretty flurries. We’re lucky enough to work from home so we don’t have to drive around in it. We’ve got this beautiful path through the woods out back and it’s been awesome to bundle up and stomp through the snowy forest with the puppy. Also I think being an adult makes the winter more bearable. I don’t hate the world for making me live here because now I could drop everything and move to the tropics if I really wanted to but instead I’m staying here with my boo and my dog and my loving family and my crazy house and my path in the woods, because I like all those things. Also I don’t care about looking like a dork in puffy jackets and boots and whatever. Totally used to looking like a dork by now. I just want to be warm and dry in my enormous winter jacket and hiking boots and layers of long underwear and woolly socks and hats and mittens and scarf and gloves and everything. I think when I was a silly teenager I made the mistake of trying to look cute in the winter and ended up with frozen toes and fingers and hating my life all winter. Now I am a hermit and I only hang out with people who love me no matter how many pairs of long underwear I’m wearing. Also the winter is probably more bearable because I’ve been gone so long! We never really had a real winter during four years in Argentina, not like this! So it’s kind of new and fun all over again. I really want to get a pair of snowshoes now, so we can tromp around the forest with greater ease.

snow!

We had originally thought we’d be closing off the 2nd floor for the winter and moving our bed into the diningroom or something, only living on the first floor of the house. But we just never really got so cold that it seems worth the bother. We hung a transparent butcher-shop curtain (you know, like in the dairy or meat section at the grocery store?) in the doorway of the livingroom, to keep the woodstove heat contained to the central core rooms, and keep the drafts out. Hung more plastic over various doors and windows to stop the drafts. Upstairs, we have a little electric heater in our bedroom, we close the door and turn it on at bed-time and it keeps our noses from freezing while we sleep. We have a little electric heater in the upstairs bathroom and it keeps the bathroom toasty warm (we keep it on low all the time to make sure the pipes don’t freeze in there). It’s totally manageable. We have a few cozy warm zones, and then you just have to jog through the cold rooms to get from one warm spot to another. And then bundle up and go outside to stack firewood or play in the snow.

snow pup


Local Attractions: Mid-Coast Maine


Posted: January 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: fun, Local Attractions, nature, tourism | 1 Comment »


Pemaquid Lighthouse Port Clyde 

Wild Flowers On The St. George River Schooner Steven Taber in the fog

Mount Megunticook LookoutIsle au Haut, Maine 019


View Mid-Coast Maine for visitors in a larger map

I wish I got to spend more time in Maine’s mid-coast area; it’s beautiful and filled with interesting stuff to do – nature, history, art, craft, food, museums, concerts and festivals, antiquing and flea-marketing, beaches and boating, hiking, rugged and remote stony coastlines and pretty little seaside towns filled with victorian mansions. Here’s a quick overview of the region from Downeast Magazine. The Maine coastline is a convoluted fractal landscape of fjords and islands and peninsulas, and a lot of the interesting stuff is way down at the end of peninsulas so it can sometimes take a long time to drive a short distance. Route 1 is the coastal route that heads from Portland all the way up towards the Canadian border; it passes by some gorgeous scenery, salt marshes and busy harbors as it hugs the contours of the coastline and passes through dozens of amazing little seaside towns and tourist stops, but it’s a two-lane road that tends to get brutally congested during summer weekends and basically for the entire month of august and anytime there’s some event going on, plus especially backed-up at all the bridges where it crosses from one peninsula to another – we’ve sat in some epic traffic jams on both sides of the bridge in Wiscasset. So either bring some snacks and good tunes and be ready to take it slowly, or else consider strategic use of 95 or 295 to get up to Augusta and then head east to the coast. You’ll miss some lovely scenery but in the busy season it’s often the faster way to go. If you do pass near Augusta, it’s seriously worth stopping for a meal at A1 Diner in Gardiner, a cute and colorful classic diner with excellent eats including some great sweet-potato fries.

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Local Attractions: White Mountains


Posted: January 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: fun, Local Attractions, nature, tourism | No Comments »


full sweep

Crawford Notch, New Hampshire misty lake chocorua

alpine zone trail signpost mossyrocks

Jackson, NH Barn Diana's Baths

Franconia Ridge / Crawford Depot / Lake Chocorua / Franconia Ridge / Imp Trail / Rattle River Trail / Jackson barn / Diana’s Baths

View White Mountains for visitors in a larger map

Limington is almost in the foothills of the beautiful White Mountains! North Conway, New Hampshire is only 40 minutes from our house, and while North Conway itself is basically just a big traffic jam with hundreds of strip malls and discount shopping outlets, it’s also the “gateway” to mountain fun and outdoor adventures in and around the White Mountain National Forest and Appalachian Trail. In early September the air should be crisp, the sunshine warm and clear and the earliest leaves will be starting to change color – really a perfect time for hiking and exploring in the White Mountains. Clear days will give glorious views of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast (6,288 feet), famous for some of the earth’s highest recorded wind speeds at its summit, which is accessible by the Mount Washington Auto Road as well as by (a tough) hiking trail. The Kancamagus Highway is a really famous pleasure-driving destination for fall visitors to see the bright fall leaves covering the mountainsides in autumn colors. It takes about an hour to drive the winding, twisty Kancamagus from one end in Conway, NH to the other end in Lincoln, NH, cutting through the remote White Mountain National Forest. It follows along the rocky Swift River bed up into the mountains and takes you over high passes with sweeping views of the white mountains all around and lots of pull-offs to admire the scenic vistas. In the fall the Kancamagus gets kind of busy with lots of sight-seers and leaf-peepers, but it shouldn’t be too filled with traffic, even in fall foliage season.

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fall forest


Posted: November 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: life, nature, photos | 1 Comment »


fall forest

The fall leaves have been so incredibly spectacular for the past month. Every single day, rain or shine, I go outside and think “I can’t believe we live in the middle of all this! I feel so lucky!” The only unlucky thing is that Laika tore a ligament in her knee last month, and is on bed rest until it heals (locked up in her little crate all day every day, poor thing!) so we haven’t been doing our wonderful long walks in the woods with her. Anyway, in the past two weeks a few fall storms and windy days have brought down a lot of the foliage, but here are some photos from a walk near the orchard in Hiram earlier in the month. It’s a little sad to think that all this wild color is a bright farewell to the season and soon there will just be bare branches and snow and howling winds. Sigh. Time to put on a Nick Drake record and another sweater.

fall forest

leaves

fall flowers

the back field

nice stone walls


walking in Mike’s woods


Posted: August 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: dogs, fun, nature, neighborhood | No Comments »


walking in Mike's woods Laika

walking in Mike’s woods, Laika in the big meadow

Our next-door neighbor Mike owns almost 40 acres of land out behind our house, and he’s always encouraged us to go out and explore his land. There’s a dirt road leading out behind his house, and a network of paths all through the woods, and a huge meadow that he’s been working hard all summer to keep mown and cleared. I can’t believe it took us until mid-summer to finally get out into the woods behind our house and start exploring, and I’m so glad we finally did. I’ve been taking the puppy out for walks most days, it’s easy to pass a whole hour or two wandering and looping around all the paths and splashing in the stream and exploring the woods.
In other news, I got a “polaroid” type app for my iPhone so that’s why all my iphone snapshots are now fake-polaroided. Its kinda silly but… since my iPhone photos always come out smudgy and cruddy-looking anyway, it’s funner if they at least look old and cute…


more flowers


Posted: June 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: garden, nature, photos | No Comments »


flower Aquilegia, or Columbine

blue bellflower, and aquilegia

poppy seed pods

poppy seed pods

is this some kind of little rose? baby raspberries

rosa acicularis? and tiny raspberries

POPPIES!

wow! I love poppies! what a treat to find them blooming in our yard in limington.

rosebud with ant

rosebud with ant

clover cheery buttercups

clover, buttercups


springing!


Posted: April 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: excitement, nature, photos | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »


I think the previous owner of our house worked in landscaping. Heaven knows he wasn’t a carpenter and didn’t do much home maintenance, but it seems like he really put some love into our yard! Everything’s been dry and dormant through the winter but now that it’s starting to get warm we are excited to see what beautiful new perennial plants peek out to brighten up the yard each day, it seems like there’s something new sprouting or blooming, every time we visit!

spring flowers springing

rhododendron?

spring crocuses! spring flowers springing

crocuses and daffodils

spring flowers springing

sunny bunches of daffodils are bursting out everywhere

violets

violets on the shady side of the house

mystery bush

mystery bush: what is it? we’ve been eagerly watching the buds grow and open, hoping to figure out what kind of a plant it is. still a mystery – looks like a purple cauliflower bush!

rhubarb!

we have SO much rhubarb. Richard makes great rhubarb pies!! Any other recipes to suggest?

spring buds!

spring buds on trees


misty morning


Posted: April 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: nature, photos | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


Woke up early to go meet the mason and talk about restoring one of our chimneys. Beautiful misty morning drive.

misty morning

misty morning

misty morning


winter sunset


Posted: December 26th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: nature, neighborhood | No Comments »


winter sunset

days are short in the winter. view towards the uphill neighbor’s house


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