Morning Time

When it comes to morning, I’m not a get up and go kind of girl.  No, I’d rather ease into the day, gather my thoughts and have a couple of hours of quiet time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis time of year no place is better for that than the screened porch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith a first cup of coffee and a few books, I settle in to take notice of the new day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASometimes it is so quiet I hear nothing but the fountain gurgling, but it doesn’t stay that way for long.

Soon the doves are cooing, and I listen wondering what it is they are saying to one another.  Overhead I hear the sound of an airplane and I imagine the people aboard and wonder where and why they are going.  There is the occasional whir of a helicopter, a possible indicator of a life flight or a news crew heading to cover breaking news.  Cars pass by and I can tell by their speed how much of a hurry the driver is in.

All those  sounds are familiar.  What is new is the miracle of spring.  

redbud treeEvery day buds turn to leaves or flowers

wildflowersand butterflies begin gathering nectar for what I hope will be delicious honey.

All around me is color, none more beautiful than the azaleas bursting with it, and I want to take as much in as possible because they won’t be here too long.

As each new day begins, I welcome it with appreciation and there is little that can interrupt my morning time which sets the tone for the rest of the day.

i so appreciate your visit and especially the comments you leave behind

The Wonder of Iceland

Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.

Miriam Beard

If you  enjoy the rugged outdoors, Iceland may be just the place for you as it is full of opportunity to explore the wonders of nature.

IcelandNot many blooming things are native, but here and there among the lava rocks, you find little flowers peeking out adding touches of color to the monochromatic landscape.

IcelandTrekking down a lava path, you are likely to encounter a waterfall crashing down exerting its power.

IcelandHow different each one is ,

Icelandand if you don’t mind getting sprayed with icy water you may be able to explore a back side which is a totally magical experience.

IcelandThere are glaciers, some of which you can actually walk on provided you have proper equipment to keep you from sliding all over the place.

IcelandMost are covered with volcanic ash giving them a very different appearance from ones you might see elsewhere.

IcelandIn parts of Iceland, it is not unusual to see geysers, big and little, 

Icelandthat erupt far more frequently than Old Faithful in Yellowstone.  There is no warning, just an explosive burst of hot water coming from deep within the earth.

IcelandIceland is an island of still active volcanoes like this one hidden this day by  clouds.  It is the one that erupted three years ago causing havoc far beyond Iceland.  Needless to say, the farmer who lives below this volcano hopes it stays dormant for quite some time!

Iceland

Volcanic rocks like rough hewn sculptures act as sentinels and provide challenging climbs for the daring.  The trekking is one thing, but I’ll watch the climbers!

Iceland is, indeed, a land of rugged natural wonder.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Magic Moments

Pipe DreamsIf you were hearing shrieks of delight today, they could well have been coming from me as this was a most magical day.  It was one of those perfect Maine days, a little warm perhaps, which provided a great excuse for a boat adventure.

A few days ago Peter Ralston, a photographer friend, said he had been out to Matinicus Rock and saw hundreds of puffins.  That was all the information I needed to get very excited about going there as in all the years I’ve been coming to Maine I’ve never seen anything other than a photograph of a puffin.

Matinicus RockNow, Matinicus, Abenaki for far out island,  is the last outpost between Maine and Bermuda, some 28 miles off the Maine coast and sitting high in the rolling Atlantic.  There it is right up ahead.  From a distance it’s a little hazy due to the warm air meeting the cold sea.

Matinicus RockAs we get closer to the rocks, we become aware of the astonishing color of the water  crashing against them.

Matinicus RockAt one time there was a full time lighthouse keeper who lived on this solitary spot, but today the only humans are those who come from time to time to study the wildlife there.

Matinicus RockMatinicus is a protected wildlife refuge for the species that come primarily to breed.

Matinicus RockWe had to go round the rock a couple of times before we spotted puffins.  In case you are thinking they are large birds, they are not.  They are quite small which to the untrained eye makes them somewhat difficult to identify.

Matinicus RockMatinicus RockMatinicus RockJust look at these little beauties.  At this point I can hardly breathe I’m so excited.

Puffins on Matinicus Rock Peter Ralston

Puffins on Matinicus Rock
Peter Ralston

If I had a really great telephoto and had been on stable ground rather than a moving boat, maybe my photos would have looked like this.  Thanks, Peter, for sharing.

Matinicus RockThe little ones were flying overhead moving so fast it was hard to capture them, but you get the idea.  

Matinicus RockMaine is the only place the Atlantic puffins find nesting sites which are on roughly five rocky ocean islands.  The best time to see them off the coast is June and July.  Once the weather warms, the puffins move on to cooler climes.  Remind you of people?

There is much more to share about Matinicus, but It will wait until tomorrow.  In the meantime, enjoy the puffins and feel the cool ocean breeze blowing in your face.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Joining

Seasonal Sundays

Country Style

No matter what the style, I love going to a home that says come on in and stay awhile.

country houseThe second I saw the rockers on the front porch of this country home I wanted to be right there with a Jodi Picoult novel and a big glass of sweet tea.

country houseInside is just as inviting.  I love the vignettes,

country houseeach one created to perfection with objects that have been lovingly collected.

country houseIt’s easy to see from her collections what catches the owners eye.  I love the red transferware

country houseand would take any of the things  here.  If the bottles were empty, you can bet I would be filling them with wildflowers.

country houseSpeaking of wildflowers, the watercolor above this charming setting perfectly captures the colors outside the windows this time of year.

country houseThe kitchen invites you to linger and have just one more cup of morning coffee.

country houseIt’s fun just sitting at the table studying the collection of tins.

country houseThe blue door in the living room reminds me of the Olson House in Maine which was subject for many Andrew Wyeth paintings.

country houseYes, I could stay here for a while, and when the day is done I can think of nothing more pleasant than snuggling right here and listening to the night sounds of the country.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Walking the Dirt Road….Again!

dirt road winterHow many times have I mentioned walking the dirt road that is just beyond our house?  No matter what the season, I love its curving up and downess, the sound of close by water lapping against the rocks, the peacefulness.  In winter, when all is white, walking the road takes on new dimension.

dirt road winterIt is closed to traffic except that generated by two and four footed creatures!

dirt road winterHere and there is evidence that people have gone before

winterand a neighbor’s cottage hidden by trees in other seasons is visible.

winter Objects otherwise unnoticed stand out against the icy whiteness.

winterA browned leaf falls gently on the path and is locked in place.

winterRocks, sites of summer picnics, are buried beneath the snow and the view  to the bay unobstructed as no boats remain in the harbor.

winterBranches creak with their snowy weight

winterand snow melt works hard to find a way through the ice to the sea.

All around me is robed in white.  My breath is frosty, fingers and toes are cold.  Even my camera feels frozen in my hand so it must be time to trek back home for the steaming warmth of hot chocolate.  This Texas girl loves a bit of Maine winter each year, but I think I’m glad it’s only a bit.

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…and Snow it did!

Camden Snow BowlNow you wouldn’t think the midcoast of Maine would be a place for winter skiing, but 10 minutes from our house is the Camden Snow Bowl which this time of year is humming.  A few inches of new snow and more to come makes it a very fun place to be.

Camden Snow BowlKids here learn to ski young, and they’ll go up and down the slopes until the parents or grandparents yell uncle!  Don’t you wish you had that energy?

Camden Snow BowlThis ski area is not to be confused with fancy ski resorts.  Most days, skiiers are taken up the mountain on a T-bar though when the snow is good and the crowds are really big, the chair lift does operate.

Camden Snow BowlThe lines for the ride up the mountain can be pretty long, but no one seems to mind.  There’s probably as much time spent waiting as there is skiing  as the runs here are pretty short.   No problem, that just means more times to go up and down!

Camden Snow Bowl

After a while the cold weather forces a break so the skis come off

Camden Snow Bowland the lodge becomes crowded with folks warming up with hot chocolate

camden Snow Bowlor restoring energy with snacks brought from home.

Camden Snow BowlThen it’s back out where where the sound of laughter bounces off the mountain.  I love a child’s rosy red cheeks,

Camden Snow Bowlthe excitement in a kid’s face when she knows she’s gotten it right.

I’m not out there skiing any more, but there is joy in watching and with my camera in hand I love capturing those special moments.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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On the Porch

screen porchMost of my days start on the porch where I can hear the faint trickle of water from the fountain, hear bird sounds, think quietly, read and enjoy that first cup of coffee.

chamelionSometimes I’m joined by a little critter who found its way in and lounges above my head.  So long as he doesn’t jump down, I’m OK with that!

screen porchI had to beg and plead for this space when we built our house.  The architect and I envisioned it as something wonderful, my husband couldn’t imagine ever spending a minute there making the cost of the porch unnecessary.  I don’t remember now whether the architect just made it a part of the total design or if the hubby got so tired of my whining he gave in!  In any case, the porch has been much used and enjoyed.

screen porchUntil a few days ago, past their prime cushions were on most of the furniture and no where could I find replacement pieces.  After spending hours on the internet, I finally found Cushion.com in Sherman Oaks, CA.  Pick your sunbrella fabric, send your measurements and a couple of weeks later custom cushions are delivered.

embroidered pillowAdd to them embroidered pillows on sale at Pier One and there’s a whole new look.

holiday decor on the porchWith it being the holiday season I could see no reason for the porch not to have some festive touches.  Santa speeds by a candle lit tree, probably off to hear children’s special Christmas wishes.

holiday decor on the porchA reindeer finds its way onto the porch, no doubt waiting for Santa’s request to pull his sleigh.

holiday decor on the porchAs long as the weather stays nice, there’s no question many evening meals will be enjoyed here, and there’s no better time to use the Christmas dishes than now.

Santa platesWith their happy Santa design, these are my favorites.  They are Bella Ceramica and were ordered from an unremembered catalog some years ago.

porch tablescapeMother gave me the Spode Christmas tree glasses and taking them out of the cabinet for the season is like welcoming an old friend as well as a reminder of her.

porch tablescapeBecause they are so easy to make, I have many sets of seasonal napkins.  All you have to do is serge the edges, no hem required!

porch tablescapeIt’s time for that second cup of coffee.  If you are any where close, stop in.  It only takes a second to brew another cup, and it’s a beautiful day on the porch.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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