All posts by Karen O. Zimmermann

Karen O. Zimmermann

About Karen O. Zimmermann

Karen O. Zimmermann savors chance encounters with people throughout the state of Maine, and is endlessly delighted with the tales they have to share.

101 Acadian Nights: Sleeping Outdoors in Acadia National Park*

bedroom in the woods

I’d like to say I sleep within spitting distance of the park, but it is about 25 feet from my bed to the border of Acadia National Park, and my spit barely clears my shoes. I can hear the park’s sounds, though, and smell its scents, and the moist drops from the park’s trees find […]

Ticks and tourists return

Seasons vary radically in Maine, from sub-zero temperatures with leafless trees and frozen lakes to steamy summers with ticks and tourists. The time has come to wear insect repellent, do daily tick checks, and remember that when I travel I am a tourist, too. Tick season begins about the same time as tourist season in […]

The call of the elver, eel fishing in Maine rivers.

Dim shapes move back and forth along the banks of the river, distorted by the wavering light of kerosene lanterns. Moonlight shines on a crowd of gauzy structures supported by bits of twine. Nets and tents are illuminated from the lamps inside, and a bonfire is sending neon orange sparks into the sky. This is […]

Is it re-purposing or senseless destruction?

Like many DIYers, I frequently cannibalize one thing to create another. Buttons from a much-loved coat, torn beyond repair, became the closures for an artist book I was working on. Cast aside planks were turned into painted bootjacks, and yes, I have a necklace made out of old clock gears. Where does one draw the […]

Print and wear green for St. Patrick’s Day

A print and wear mustache, you can make one, too! Maybe your favorite green socks are in the bottom of the laundry basket or green just isn’t your color. Some years I am heading to work when it strikes, today is the day for wearing of the green. But too late… This year St. Patrick’s […]

Weather proverbs, a true or false quiz

Weather is a favorite topic of conversation in America, it is safe, not likely to get people wound up, and always interesting. Weather lore has been around as long as there has been weather and people to talk about it, and I will take a weather conversation over politics any day. New Englanders have a […]

But Officer, my teacher told me to

  The four-years compressed into one-year learning extravaganza called the Maine Master Naturalist Program has gotten me into trouble more than once. I have been attacked by toe-biting insects and found myself deep in the woods with an angry goshawk. My last assignment had me talking to the police, or, had them talking to me. […]

It is sap season, why not make birch syrup, too?

Making birch syrup has been on my to-do list for years. I am fond of birch-flavored beverages and am out there tapping maple trees each year as winter turns to spring. Birch sap runs right after maple sap is finishing. It just seemed like a natural fit. I really wanted to tap yellow birch, as […]