Karenhammond's Blog

March 28, 2014

Spring Comes to a Small Maine Island

Filed under: Uncategorized — karenhammond @ 3:41 pm
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March is certainly not going out like a lamb here on my small island in Maine. On Wednesday high winds blew down trees and took out electric lines for more than 12 hours, as if winter were not giving up without a fight. But I’m happy to report that as I walked around the island today, still bundled in a winter coat, hat, gloves, and two scarves, I could just feel the soft fingers of spring beneath all that bluster. So, maybe, just maybe, we can talk about something besides the weather.
First, though, I do want to give a shout-out to all the small towns like mine across America where people pitch in to help each other. I routinely check in on an elderly widowed neighbor, but it was my turn to accept help during the recent lights-out. My husband was out of town on a business trip, the temperature was in the 20s, and I couldn’t get our cranky generator started. Thank goodness for the mechanically-inclined lobsterman up the street who came to my rescue. When you live in a remote area like this, everyone’s talents are needed and appreciated.
On to April. A few more lobstering boats are showing up in the harbor although our summer visitors are still keeping their distance until the snow disappears and it warms up. We really won’t see most of them until June, although a few will rumble across the bridge late next month and throughout May. Finally, it’s time to at least think about gardening, boating, and all the good stuff that comes with living in Maine or elsewhere in New England. If you’re looking for vacation

Maine lobster boats like this one will soon fill the harbor.  Photo copyright N. Hammond

Maine lobster boats like this one will soon fill the harbor. Photo copyright N. Hammond

ideas, you may find just what you’re looking for in my guidebook-for-people-who-don’t-like-guidebooks: Backroads & Byways of New England: Drives, Day Trips & Weekend Excursions. Happy vacation planning, wherever you dream of visiting.

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March 21, 2014

Springtime in Maine

Filed under: Uncategorized — karenhammond @ 4:18 pm
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At last…the first full day of spring is upon us, the sun is shining, the birds are tweeting ecstatically and we can almost overlook the still-huge mounds of snow blanketing our small Maine island. There are no signs of summer tourists yet, and with another big snowstorm on tap for next week, it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing them any time soon. At this time of year, I think all of us (about 100 brave souls) who live here year round give ourselves a virtual pat on the back for making it through another winter. And this winter was exceptionally cold and snowy, even for New England.
As I’ve chatted about before on this blog, those of us who love New England in general, and Maine in particular, wouldn’t live anywhere else. The seasons of the year do mimic our lives when you think about it…springtime when everything is fresh and new and anything is possible; summer when the world, and we, are at our peak; autumn when life both outside and within slows down and we become more contemplative; and of course winter, the sunset of the year and of our lives.
Speaking of sunsets, the vernal equinox sunset was spectacular. It’s the kind of scene that has inspired so many Maine artists and writers through the years. Let’s hope there are many more gorgeous sunsets to come as spring arrives on our

Spring sunset over a small Maine island copyright N. Hammond

Spring sunset over a small Maine island
copyright N. Hammond

quiet island.

March 13, 2014

“March”ing Toward Spring in Maine

Filed under: Uncategorized — karenhammond @ 1:34 pm
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My little island feels isolated from the world today, wrapped as it is in heavy fog and swirling snow. Enough already. It’s March and we should be looking for daffodil shoots and crocuses, not spreading sand on the driveway in hopes of getting out sometime soon. This has been a real old-fashioned New England winter, but at least those of us who toughed it out will have excellent bragging rights when the summer people return. The former island store used to have sign up that read, “If you’re not here in the winter, you don’t deserve to be here in the summer.” A little snarky, maybe, but those of us who stay out here all winter appreciated the thought.
There’s one bright spot. Birds are definitely returning. We have a pair of pileated woodpeckers busy in the trees, I’ve seen a couple of robins, and a pair of chickadees actually seem to be in nesting mode. I hope not, for their sakes, as another heavy snowstorm is due within a few days.
Spring is just a little more than a week away. It’s always a glorious season in Maine….and never more appreciated than it will be this year.

Dreaming of an island lobster bake as winter lingers on. Photo copyright Nathaniel Hammond

Dreaming of an island lobster bake as winter lingers on. Photo copyright Nathaniel Hammond

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