Category Archives: Reflections

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

" I feel honored, I am wearing the logo of the business I love working for. I become resonsible for making sure our customers' experience is good." Mike Ogilvie, The Terrace restauant at Bar Harbor Inn. (Wearing Jeff's tag because he left his in his car)

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

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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

Pitcher plant in winter

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

Our backyard sap boiler

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

Last light on the Bubbles.

  “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 […]

Good-bye, Egg Rock Light horn, I will miss you

Egg Rock seen through the fog.

Wild winds and rough water are deafening, but through it I hear the steady, reassuring drone of the horn at Egg Rock Lighthouse. I listen to it a few minutes longer than I would have in the past, because soon it will no longer be calling out in fog and storm. The Egg Rock horn […]

Walnut shells, spiders, and how to cure a fever

A hand-made card from an artist friend illustrates a folk cure for ague.

We were in the land of voodoo when fever struck, but were not tempted to hunt down a magic potion or healing charm. Back in proper old New England, however, we discovered a cure even stranger than anything any voodoo queen could have offered. While visiting New Orleans my husband came down with fever, chills, […]

Appleloosa: The Year of the Apple

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Red apples and golden yellow, apples that are pink with stripes, green with tan specks, and blushing rose. Small cherry-sized bitter-fruited apples, mammoth thick- skinned pie apples. Apples to eat, apples to store for the winter, apples to make ciders and sauce—this is the year of the apple. Trees are loaded with fruit, so big […]

How do you say “Firewood?”

Campwood seller gives message to wood thieves

Campers need bonfires, and bonfires require firewood. Every summer roadside stands appear along edges of roads near campgrounds up and down the coast, and, optimistically, quite a few miles away. This is a seasonal business. I doubt anyone makes a career from selling firewood—it is just one of many jobs that is another piece of […]