The holidays were mixed. We spent a very quiet Christmas weekend. We never got around to getting a tree, I couldn’t see the point because no one would be sharing it with us and, in the end, it is always a mess of needles and water.
InsteadI hung a red bow.
And lit my candle chimes.
Well, it turns out this wasn’t enough for Tim. So next year, we will have a tree.
New Year’s Eve was celebrated with family and a Buche de Noël, complete with merengue mushrooms. I finally joined the Great British Breaking Show craze and have upped my baking.
I also tried my hand at their staple dessert, macarons. I used the wrong sort of almonds, ground instead of flour, and cheated by filling them with Nutella, but they were a hit.
I received candle molds as a gift and had just enough saved beeswax to make two adorable candles. This reminded me to order bees for next spring since my hive flew the coop, so to speak.
Days are getting longer but I got to watch the sun set behind the hills at 4 pm yesterday.
We have already had a chance to play with the snow thrower a few times, have had countless fires, moved wood around to keep up, and slept in the cabin.
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse was dark for a month after a lightning storm zapped its LED bulb. I met the Coast Guard electrician who told me the bulb was sent to Australia for repair! Yet on my one of my final days as a keeper, four men in blue coveralls arrived in an unmarked truck. Much less dramatic than other locations where they arrived by helicopter.
And just like that, we had a light again.
It was comforting to see it from my bedroom window once again.
I was very busy my last week, seeing the sites and packing up the house. Tim and I had visited all but one of the bridges on Acadia’s carriage roads. I made a final trip and saw the last of the lot, the Cliffside Bridge.
As its name implies, it is built into the side of a cliff. I couldn’t be sure it even crossed a stream.
Cobblestone bridge is the first carriage road bridge built and the only one made with cobblestones, not granite. It sits just outside the Park and is my personal favorite. I liked it so much, I crossed it on three occasions.
The second time was with Tim when we came upon this whimsical tree carving.
Complete with stick figures and a porcupine or beaver.
Then I cleaned house, packed up the dishes and linens for the NPS and gathered my pantry, projects and clothes and headed home.
I loved living on the sea’s edge with waves crashing beneath my windows but, ” There’s no place like home “. (Have I mentioned I played the good witch, Glenda, in fourth grade).
I strapped on our chainsaw chaps, which were still set for my waist, donned the helmet and got to work. I immediately felt like a tough guy. Tim gave me lots of tips and we made quick work of a large fallen branch on the lawn, and got three!! pieces of firewood.
I hope the tree survives. I believe it is a copper beech and it is a beauty. It holds its leaves until January and then they fall after they have turned a beautiful, golden copper color.
We used to hang the bird feeders on it but recently moved them closer to the house. It’s better than Netflix. Yesterday, a chipmunk stuffed its cheeks and only stopped when it couldn’t poke its head back into the feeder because it was too big. We’ve had cardinals, too many blue jays, goldfinch, who are almost fluorescent now, chickadees, nuthatches and tufted titmouse.
The blue birds picked the perfect box to build their nest. We won’t be here to follow their activity though and the hummingbirds and bees will be on their own. Who knows what mischief they will get into.
We may have had the last snow of the season and I didn’t even have to shovel, while Tim continues to recover.
I’m finally getting more comfortable putting myself out there. I took a wonderful trip to DC to visit my daughter, my first domestic flight. I wore a real N95 the whole time and declined food so I could keep my mask on.
I stayed in a hotel she built! That was fun.
Rode the metro.
And ate mostly outdoors in restaurants, and perhaps imbibed bit too much.
I bought this new wide angle and macro lens for my iPhone. I am hoping to get some good shots of the Milky Way during our next caretaking stint in Acadia National Park (with the wide angle, not the macro).
We heard Itzhak Perlman play at the Flynn Theater stayed in a hotel in Burlington overlooking Lake Champlain and home.
Friends came to town and we spent the week exploring the Adirondacks with them. I always wonder why we travel so much when we love where we live. Ah well, the adventurer in us all.
We hiked long and short hikes, up mountains, around lakes and through some mud. The views make it all worthwhile.
I spend a lot of time looking down, watching my feet and there is a lot to see there as well. It has been a wet summer and mushrooms flourished.
But as the DH always says, “There is no such thing as paradise”. Despite the pandemic and uptick in cases, a local music festival brought lots of visitors to town; we got out of dodge and headed to the Great Camp Sagamore.
I came out of the shower to find this creature on our bed. I walked around it and didn’t see it doing much, then I wriggled the blanket, nothing. Jokester DH had found a fishing lure and thought it would be a nice surprise for me.
We returned home to our peaceful cabin. Now it’s my turn to make sure the bees are fed for the winter. There was not enough honey for me to take another harvest so I put the boxes with partially filled honey frames below the larger brood boxes. I think they will clean them out and move the honey up to the brood boxes over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, I am also feeding them sugar syrup. So far I have given them 30 pounds of sugar in a syrup mixture and more to come.
I’ll weigh the hives in a few weeks to make sure they have enough food to last the winter.
It’s a jungle out there. We hear coyotes most nights, deer snack on our shrubs, rabbits keep the driveway clean of clover and greens, and I am not sure what the snakes do, except cause me to let out a shout whenever I see them.
Summer is flying by with so much pent up activity taking place. But at the same time the Delta variant is surging. Stay safe, get vaccinated.
Our wildflower patch turned out to be mostly black eyed susans, which are pretty nonetheless. The honeybees aren’t interested. Our untended field is just as pretty.
We clearly needed a vacation from our busy schedule. Tim booked a little cabin on Lake George and we brought Sparky along for the ride.
We swim when we can and are just chillin’, sometimes literally. I’m wearing a wool cap this morning. I decided to try my hand at jewelry making this trip. It’s another hobby that travels well.
It is surprisingly relaxing just getting out of your own environment. There are no overhanging chores waiting, so the mind can wander: watching ducks, looking at clouds, and taking daytime naps.
Sunsets are guaranteed to happen every day, some more beautiful than others. We only have to marvel at them.
The palette inspires my weaving.
I am making more napkins on my table loom. We lost one of the two I made in Maine this winter so now I am making six for home.
My band weaving group is going to meet again after more than a year apart. I was inspired to try a 3 heddle technique on my inkle loom. I had to correct a few threading mishaps but now this will be easy weaving while we chat away the afternoon.
I’m using a Japanese stitch pattern to make an Aran style baby sweater. Similar but different. It seems more delicate and lacy.
Down another rabbit hole. I am trying a new quilt technique where you cut 6 (or 8) identical triangles and arrange them into a hexagon. I use a hinged mirror to predict the outcome and plan the layout.
I try to create a little something every day. And keep a sense of wonder.
The season reportedly runs mid-May to Father’s Day (which this year I optimistically thought was June 6). A few of those weeks they can be a real nuisance; ferocious one might say.
Their favorite spot to dine is around the neck and wrists where they leave itchy welts. My neighbors and I wear these Adirondack necklaces and bracelets during the season.
Now to make matters worse, we have deer ticks, the little culprits best known for Lyme disease but also responsible for several other tick-borne illnesses such as babesiosis and anaplasmosis, also nasty in their own right.
Today, I pulled a deer tick off me. I had worked in the garden the past few days and didn’t follow tick precautions. I usually either shower as soon as I am done outdoors or wear tick repellent. But it’s early in the season and I had black flies to contend with so I was lax. No more.
Last night I dreamt lots of scorpions were on me. That thought persisted during the day until I took a hot, hot shower and scrubbed with a washcloth. It was the only way I could be sure an itch wasn’t another tick. I’m glowing!