Category Archives: Reflections

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. […]

Don’t let that snow get away! Preserving snow crystals is easy (or so I was told).

  I live for snow. I am not a skier, I just love walking in the stuff, sitting outside with a book and tea in the white, and taking far too many photos of things poking up through the snow, draped in snow, casting shadows on the snow… (Oh, if you are here just for […]

What is ice fishing really about? At Great Pond, it is not just the fish

American flags on a jeep

400 plus souls gather in a field of ice. Three boys toss a ball for their dogs. A silver-blue Miata cruises with its top down. Fires dot the expanse, and a small group huddles around each one, warming hands and roasting hot dogs. It is the annual Great Pond Fishing Derby. Fish are the reason […]

Life behind a nametag: Do you wear your name on your shirt?

In decades of being gainfully employed I have never* had to wear a badge with my name on it. I never really thought much about them. The bag girl at the local supermarket has one, flight attendants wear them, my daughter had polo shirts with her name when she drove a team of horses, and […]

Ferns, feathers and the Maine Master Naturalist program

Natuturalist tools

Ferns, trees, wildflowers, dissecting kits, owl pellets, field guides–how could I not be in? The Maine Master Naturalist Program offers intense, wide-ranging study of, well, all things natural, and in Maine. I applied the day applications opened, and was fortunate enough to be one of nineteen adventurers accepted into the Mount Desert Island Program. Oh, […]

Maine is melting

What is winter, anyway? Winter in Jamaica is not winter in Maine, and winter in New Zealand is something else entirely. Even winter in Maine changes with every year. It can be cold. It is usually cold. There is snow, skating, ice fishing, and skiing. It can provide a recharge and refresh from soft, indolent […]

Maine’s winter woods—it’s a different world without snow

With little or no snow covering the ground, the woods this winter felt like a foreign land. The underbrush was completely exposed, and fallen logs, normally deep beneath a covering of white, were there for any passerby to see–and trip over. Frost-rimed holes edged in green moss revealed the winter home of a red squirrel, […]

Feeling Sappy

Sitting by the fire, sap simmering in a stainless steel pan, sparks fly bright and hot, drifting high into the black sky before fading. I am alone, but connected to the perhaps thousands of fellow Mainers tending their syrup with me tonight. Freeze, thaw, hot, cold, this is the season of contrast. Cold nights and […]

When is the ice safe? Ice-walking in Acadia

  “When is the ice safe?” I am asked. There are plenty of answers to this, but the only right one is: “It depends.” Safe for a skater does not mean safe for a snowmobile. There is a generous amount of info out there on judging ice safety by its color, whether it is early […]