Receding Ice

Our forest floor. This has been a warm week and the snow pack has mostly receded from the forest. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Blackberry in Bloom

life_in_maine_blackberry_in_bloomOur fruit plants are going through their annual flowering cycle. At the beginning of May, our wild plum was in bloom. The middle of may brought the blossoms out in our apple and peach trees. Now our blackberry canes are blossoming. These are in our field, but the blackberry under our forest canopy are also out. Click on the image for a larger view.

Celebrating Spring Revisited

life_in_maine_late_spring_panoAt the end of April, I was so excited about the arrival of spring. The flora was returning and the weather was warm. A month later, the forest is a rich mass of green. Oddly enough, in winter, the forest is spacious and full of light, yet there is an absence of life. Now, it is dark and closed, but full of the vitality. Click on the image for a different view.

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The First Foliage

life_in_maine_first_foliageThe emergence of the spring foliage always takes me by surprise. Not only in how fast it  happens—it seems like last week the trees were just beginning to bud—but also in the intensity of color. This evening’s sun seemed to make the forest glow in a burning green-yellow flame.

The other thing that caught my attention this evening was was the scent of new plants. While the air in winter is fresh and clean, it is rather sanitized. You seem to forget the world has a fragrance. And when I passed our lilac trees, the sweetness of the air was almost unreal. It is really nice to see spring taking hold. Click on the image for a larger view.

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May Day 2016

life_in_maine_may_day_2016While the blossoms of our plum trees are still tightly closed, these opened today because of the microclimate created by their proximity to the ground. May 1st was warm, but overcast. Click on the image for a larger view.

Aaaaggh…

life_in_maine_snowYesterday was April 26th (not March 26th, although it looked like it). It snowed all day. This is a bit disheartening. Naomi and I hope the cold has not harmed the budding plants. We are supposed to go below freezing for the next few nights. The daytime temperatures should be in the 50s, which will help. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Red Trillium

life_in_maine_spring_2016We have been having a stretch of warm weather, at least in the low 60°F. The warmth has felt really good, especially since the last two winters have been really long. And with this warm spell, we are seeing a return of life. One of the plants that has just returned to our forest floor is the red trillium or trillium erectum. Like the robin, it is a herald of spring, which gives it its common name—wake-robin. But it is a spring ephemeral, a short-lived plant, surviving long enough to complete its reproduction cycle. By the time the fern return, this plant will be gone. Two things about this herbaceous perennial: it is toxic and the bloom smells like rotting meat (flies are its primary pollinator). Click on the image for a larger view.

Cycles of Life

life_in_maine_cycles_of_lifeWe lost a tree last weekend in the wind. If truth be told, the tree had been dead for some time. It was just waiting for the wind to bring it down.

Poets don’t speak of this season, at least not in waxing lyrical verse. But, for me, the forest manifests a richness that is analogous to its power in the summer. Like ouroboros, the serpent that eats its own tail, the forest is its own progenitor. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Wild Turkey

life_in_maine_wild_turkey_1Wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, usually don’t approach the house so close as they can detect our Newfoundland Hikari. This animal was visiting our bird feeders. For such a large bird, it is amazing how fast they can disappear into the forest. Their plumage is like an invisibility cloak, even with their blue and red heads Continue reading

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Three Trees

life_in_maine_three_treesWhat is this curious addiction to form humans have? We talk about beauty as if it is a quality of things out in the world. But beauty, as the expression goes, is in the eye of the beholder. That is actually a complex statement. You could take it to simply mean it is a personal opinion, but it is more complex than that: beauty only exists in the beholder. Seeing, or rather experiencing, beauty is an evolved human quality—we are built to create it. But, like most human qualities, we have different capacities to experience it. Eric Kandel in his book The Age of Insight states, “The beauty of an image may recruit not simply a positive emotion, but something more like love, an aesthetic addiction…” Beauty, it seems, lets us fall in love with the world. Click on the image for a larger view.

Spring on hold

life_in_maine_spring_pauseAfter a few weeks of warm weather, winter made itself felt last weekend. The temperatures fell to freezing and strong winds made it feel even colder. Even our forest was no shelter against the wind. But despite the brown landscape, we are encourage by the sprouting of our daylilies and daffodils. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Changing States

life_in_maine_vernal_poolI had spent last weekend exploring our forest. Maine in March and early April can feel lifeless and still, but the season holds its own beauty. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Spring Forest

life_in_maine_spring_forestClick on the image for a larger view.

Wind Resistance 2

life_in_maine_wind_resistance_2Click on the image for a larger view.