Tuesday, May 31, 2011

i'll sing you songs

do you ever find yourself hungrily inhaling familiar air, gulping down great whiffs of it? and when you do, the smell you draw into your nostrils hits you hard, provokes a memory? does a scent fill you up and lead you back across the years to a spot which had a hold on you, perhaps still does, unleashing images and feelings forever imbedded in your psyche?

when my sense of smell is awakened by anything resembling a pineneedley-mountainy-woodsydirt mixture i am transported to where i spent summer after childhood summer. i sniff. i slowly drag the scent deep inside my nasal passages.

i am at the river. i remember this.

down by the rocky swift river in the white mountains of new hampshire during one of the hottest julys on record—according to my mother—my cousins and i wiled away the hours in that happy summertime land of childhood where our only responsibility, our only steadfast endeavor, was to play, to play hard.

so we did.

our daily attire for the hard work of river play consisted of rapidly fading and fraying bathing suits. there certainly wasn't a lot of  laundry to be done since we existed in suits which were soaked river water fresh every day. yet our day in and day out routine of sliding down boulders and pulling ourselves up boulders took its toll on our suits—when we got back to boston my mother promptly tossed mine in the trash.

we stood knee-deep in the rushing river which, back then, was clear as gin—fresh and clean enough to drink!—and hauled rocks off the sandy bottom to build our own private swimming hole. the river wasn't too deep or wide and it was full of rocks and boulders so we could, in places, hop-scotch across the rapids and tumbling whitewater without getting our feet wet if we were careful. the daily game was: who can get across the river first -without falling in!

we worked off and on for a few summers, repairing, excavating, enlarging, to create our perfect swimming hole, humming and singing to pass the time. (we'd sing i've been working on the river to the melody of i've been working on the railroad.) we called it "ye ole swimming hole." our parents wondered why we spent all our time on such a project when the river offered many of its own nature-made pools to swim in. oh dear silly parents, the answer was obvious: we want to make our own swimming hole, one we design and build all by ourselves! 

the site for our engineering feat was carefully chosen near an isolated place on the river where we pitched our tents. for years my parents had loved to camp out in the summer. they were back-to-nature, back-to-the-land kind of folks, people who recycled and composted way before that became the thing to do. in the summer during my early years, while my friends went to organized camps and their parents played tennis and golf, i lived in a wilderness camp; i built swimming holes, rode down the river on an air mattress, swam and hiked. my parents chopped wood, bought food from local farmers and also swam and hiked. in addition, we had a very basic—no plumbing or electricity—very old and run down, but perfectly dry, hunting cabin where the adults sometimes slept.

ye ole swimming hole boasted three large, grand, slightly angled boulders with flat tops which circled the perimeter where we were building up the sides with rocks we dug out of the middle. on the far side of one of them the river fell off and a three-foot-high waterfall cascaded over the stones. below the falls was a small, calm, bath-tub sized pool surrounded by the gushing whitewater. even with temperatures in the 90's, our bodies soon became icy in the mountain water. we would flop on the hot, hot sun-baked stones to warm up, then head back into our pool once we had toasted all sides, and swim or sit under the waterfall and freeze our heads off. then back up on the hot stones again, joyfully repeating this scenario over and over.

another memory is sparked by a black and white photo of me from those river years: i have medium length, straight blond hair pulled back in a ponytail. i am about seven years old and i am wide-mouthed, singing a song while dancing around the campfire at dusk. someone had a guitar and i remember singing songs. first i would belt out the real words of the song, then i would sing my own crazy made-up version until my wonderful song started to get on everyone's nerves and—according to my mother—my mother would politely tell me shush, it was time to sing the real words again with the rest of the people gathered around the fire.

pshaw! those people just didn't appreciate a good song when they heard it!

songs of summer, songs of the river, songs of the way it was, all part of the melody of childhood.....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

deep enough

my grandmother was an artist who painted still life's and landscapes. in 1944 she went to the barn and found a shovel and dropped it beside a bed of peonies and irises. she walked up to the farmhouse and retrieved the long, cylindrical packages she had wrapped in layers of paper, canvas and burlap.

when i was twelve years old the house where i grew up north of boston developed a problem. a kind of sinkhole had gradually manifested itself and gaped unattractively near the edge of the yard where it sloped toward the pond. the lawn dropped off and leveled back out again beyond this rude intrusion in nature's plan. the canker on their land deeply disturbed my parents; they stood on the edge of the abyss and wondered how to fix it.

i peeled back the top of the packet of radish seeds and poured some in my hand. my husband loves radishes. we had built a new house and i was planting another garden. the soil was dark and rich, full of worms. the smell alone was enough to get me through the day.

laddie-boy, the family dog when i was in high school, ran past me with a big, reddish, dripping lump in his mouth. i thought it looked raw.

standing on the grass in front of the peonies and irises on her farm in latvia, omi, my latvian grandmother, gently cradled the packages in her arms before she put them in a box beside her on the ground. she pushed a wisp of hair out of her eyes and stared down at a spot on the earth near her feet.

my parents decided to "compost" the old washing machine in the hole, in addition to a rusted-out wheelbarrow, four lawn chairs, a few metal barrels and a pink bathroom sink—all dilapidated, and at that moment, all very useful in filling an unwanted hole. my parents composted organic material (the only people i knew who even had any idea of what composting was). why not this stuff?

i sprinkled a few seeds in each small cavity along the fifteen-foot row. i filled in the holes and patted the soil carefully. i watered the newly-planted seeds with a fine, light spray from the garden hose and hoped for a good harvest.

grab that dog! somebody shouted.

blow after blow, the shovel mercilessly stabbed at the green grass, turning up clod after clod of good earth. omi rested and wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand.

i watched from a second floor window as my parents dragged the junk to the edge of the offending orifice and then pushed the items in one by one. conveniently, on the other side of the house, my father was systematically removing part of a rocky hill, one wheelbarrow load at a time, to scrounge for stones to use in the rock walls he was building on the property. (it took him twenty years to get rid of a chunk of the hill and longer than that to build all the walls.) now he had a place to dispose of his hill.

as the radish globes pushed through the loam underground, the greens on top grew large. but when they were finally pulled out and inspected, the radishes were disappointingly small and lumpy. the ones i had planted at our other house in portland were bigger. these tasted ok, though. my husband liked them.

our dog was under the beech tree with his jaws wrapped tightly around a stolen pot roast. (not the first thing he had ever stolen, either —in addition to food, his list of larcenies included socks and underwear, too. woe to those who liked to hang their washing on a clothesline.) he proceeded to excavate a hiding place for his prize. that black labrador / norwegian elkhound pup had a magnificent nose and a lust for raw meat. what a thief. we never did find out who was missing a pot roast..... or socks. or underwear.

my grandmother laid the box containing her carefully wrapped oil paintings in the grave she had dug, satisfied the soviet army would never find them there.

my parents planted grass on top of their land reclamation project. the addition of fill well beyond the hole itself enlarged the lawn, offered more space for plants, and improved the look of the landscape.

i no longer grow vegetables. i grow perennials.

laddie ate his last pot roast in 1980. we sprinkled his ashes where he liked to bury his bones.

my grandmother threw dirt on her artwork. she intended to dig up her oil paintings when she returned to latvia after the war.

but she never did.

after omi left the displaced persons camp in germany, she climbed aboard an american troop transport ship—a liberty ship—with her family and other refugees. as the ship sailed into new york harbor, the statue of liberty welcomed them to america. omi lived out the rest of her days in boston.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

hermit thrush music

a pool among rock
if there were the sound of water only
not the cicada
and dry grass singing
but sound of water over a rock
where the hermit thrush sings in the pine trees
drip drop drip drop drop drop drop.....
-t. s. eliot (from the wasteland) 

where the little stream flows behind our house in the maine woods, i hear a hermit thrush sing his end-of-day song in the tall pines.

may's evening shadows linger around the pines' silhouettes while the bird's ethereal and somewhat mournful notes hang flute-like in the air, the last lonesome sound in the otherwise quiet forest.

in the house i move from room to room and switch on lights, banning shadows as the gloom creeps in.

the thrush's descending musical phrases fade and disappear like an echo in the night.

Monday, May 23, 2011

the stone house

{the ocean, in the distance past the heather garden, was veiled in fog}

fog, along with drizzle, has had a good hold on the coast lately. my mother was up from boston so we took a morning drive down to freeport's stone house. the stone house was originally a private summer residence. it was left to usm and is now used for writer's conferences and other functions. it stands lonely and alone at the end of the peninsula.

not a soul was around; we had only fog for company. what an ideal setting for an agatha christie type mystery novel. spooky. all we needed was to run into a dead body on the lawn......
fortunately no bodies were to be seen, but with over a week's worth of nothing but dampness, i'm afraid i am going to see moss start to grow between my toes like it does along old gray lichen-topped stones.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

keeping time with the waves

once upon a time in march an ibis explained her ibis dance to me:

i tilt my head and lean down,
i fluff my feathers just so,
i lift my wings a tad,
i concentrate like crazy,
i focus using my perfect eyesight,
i take serious strides with my





five long steps forward
a quick three hops back
six sure-footed sashays sideways
keeping time with the waves.

boy oh boy oh boy, look what i see.
dipping my curved bill
strategically into the sea
i taste (gulp) one fine fish, then (gulp) another.
oh, what a day!
oh, such a day!

and on such a day
do you think,
would you possibly consider,
um, maybe,
if you might like to,
fish and splash

Saturday, May 21, 2011

grocery shopping

the grocery store is, in a way, like a museum. it houses an impressive modern collection, albeit a perishable one, of food. it exhibits an array which boggles the mind with its infinite variety, color, form and texture; it contains a collection you can taste. (tell me, how many museums can make that claim?)

and, as you will see if you make it to the end of these scribbles, the grocery store offers a collection that speaks to you.

a few of the basic groceries i buy (and politely share with my husband), foods that are my sustenance, are things like tea, pomegranate juice, when pigs fly bread, apples, bananas, fresh pasta, skim milk, cheese, fresh fish, fresh veggies like zucchini, broccoli, baby spinach, tomatoes, greek yogurt and chocolate. and some wine. and some vodka (tastes good with the pomegranate juice).

the last time i was in the grocery store purchasing these items i decided to get a headache along with my groceries. that's not a typo; i'm serious. i thought i would pick an aisle that, to me, has the most variety of a single food item in it, and see if i could possibly take in all the colors and words and razzle-dazzle; make sense of the offerings, you know? i knew in advance an aisle like that would make me feel a little dizzy, a little giddy, a little nauseous, and i would experience a slight headache from all the stimuli.

can you guess what aisle i picked?

the one that is so packed with choices it almost mocks you? i dare you to pick just one box....

the cereal aisle.

for adults maybe these shelves don't pose a problem (except the headache part). but if you have kids with you.....

lucky charms and trix. kix. apple jacks, cocoa pebbles, golden grahams, froot loops (the spellchecker didn't like that one). reece's puffs (isn't reeses candy?), cinnamon toast crunch, frosted flakes.

also granola, raisin bran, special k, smart start, fiber one, bran flakes. i think these are supposed to be the healthy ones.

not only can you get cereal here, you can also be entertained. there are special messages just for you written all over the boxes. the cereal is desperately calling out with insistent exclamation marks! stop, look (and listen!). i did. here is a tiny sampling of what i saw:

save on pampers! (yum!)

no sugar or salt added! (tastes like the box it's packaged in.)

with natural and artificial flavors! (i would hate to have one without the other!)

crispy, glazed, crunchy, sweet! (all on, and maybe even in, one cereal box. if you ever need an adjective, forget the thesaurus. just visit the cereal section.)

rocks your whole mouth! declares a very bold box.

america's #1 source of wholegrain! (in all 50 states!)

kid tested (you bet), mother approved (questionable)!

download 15 songs free! (what does that taste like?)

crunch.a.tize.me cap'n! (ahoy! should kids even be reading this?)

win kinect for xbox360! what does that mean?

do you have a headache yet?

Friday, May 20, 2011

sometimes it just....

rains and rains and rains.
it has to, you know.
the earth drinks
the green deepens
spring continues her dance.

the rain doesn't bother me too much. there's always a lot to do indoors and outdoors and this way, with the rain, i don't have to choose whether i'm tackling the in or the out. the decision has already been made for me. once the rain stops, though, there's gonna be sooooo much work to catch up on outside.

during a lull in the rain i stepped outside with lille and lizzi. the dogs' noses led them straight to a tiny baby gray squirrel who was eating fallen bird seed under the plants near one of the feeders. at first i couldn't even see the poor frightened thing, but i heard him squeaking. i thought the pups had stumbled upon some mice or voles or birds. instead they had discovered a very bold bundle of fur, who was either a recently displaced, tossed-out-of-the-nest baby struggling to survive without his mother's milk, or a rapidly-growing, ultra-hungry youngster grabbing some extra chow.

the labs would never bite or hurt a squirrel intentionally, but lille, the young one, ever alert to the possibility of a retrieve, could, in her drooling enthusiasm, have given the itty-bitty toddler a major heart attack so.....

i grabbed the dogs' collars and held on tightly, allowing the snub-nosed mite a chance to haul his roly-poly rear end up a tree. i was surprised at how he just sort of jogged over to the safety of a big white pine. maybe he was dazed by being snuffled and slobbered on from head to toe. i was also surprised the munchkin didn't give the dogs a good nip on their noses. maybe he thought his baby milk teeth were useless against my (unknown-to-him) lovable monsters.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

on wolf neck

the holes, like pocky scars in the dirt, filled with rain and formed miniature black pools beside the road. fog hung low behind the trees, somberly inching along the shore and up through the fields, a sad gray form leading the rest of the slow procession of muted flat tones.

the trees, heavy and bent as if burdened with the weight of widow's weeds, dripped with dark dampness.

the sun remained hidden.

the road was empty. there were no cars or bicycles; not one person out there that misty morning on wolf neck.

Friday, May 13, 2011

fiddlehead green

in the yard i see magic. that's a fact. one night i went to bed. the next day i got out of bed. nothing special about that.

but when i looked out the window, there it was.

that almost indescribable shade of green which in maine appears suddenly, after rain and sun and warm air have had a chance to do their thing in the second week of may. we wait so long for a little peep of green, and then one morning there it is.

i am talking about fern green, fiddlehead green. not grass green or chive green. grass and chive green are lovely and all, but fern green, that achingly soft color of new life, is special. it only lasts while the spring growth is in its early stages and soon it, too, will change into darker, dustier shades. because the color is fleeting, it is sweet and rare. if you don't pay attention it will pop into the world and, as with the birth of all living things, quickly grow and be gone.

fern green is the shade of leafing out, like the birches, oaks and forsythia in the yard. i see some moss between the flagstones in the pathways that is light green, too. fern green is crisp celery green, an inside-freshly-cut-avocado green; green mixed with a dab of lemon yellow. delicious.

~fiddlehead air~

a fiddlehead furled, clutching
tightly to protect her embryo
of green leaves uncoiling
pulsing in rhythmic pain
the sweet juice of life
flows up from her roots
a spasm spilling tiny
delicate leaves which erupt on the edge
of the forest floor in a pang.

andante allegretto allegro
between discomfort and peace
listen to the ache of wildness as dozens play
on the wind, a melody born
in golden sun, a cry
in the woodland air
of fiddleheads newly emerged
soft moist tender
an orchestra of green whose harmony
quietly murmurs
a joyous air
for us all.
can you hear?
to the end.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

eet is likah seaweed......

it's may and it's time, the only time, for the umbertide fruttovendolo (vegetable guy) to put the barba di frate (monk's beard) out in the market/grocery store. the only problem is, i have never seen this delightful vegetable in maine. have you? (up there above these scribbles i hope you guessed that's a picture of pretty looking, icky tasting....not that i have....daffodils, so unlike barba di frate, which is DELICIOUS. monk's beard looks kind of like chives, but tastes nothing like chives. i did not take a photo of it when i had the opportunity, so i had to make do with a picture of daffodils for an only-available-for-a-few-weeks-in-spring representation.)

the photo i should have taken of lovely, bright green monk's beard would have been in a london restaurant last may when i ate it for the first and only time. the heavily-accented waiter in this very good, very italian restaurant (most of the staff were yakking in italian) suggested i try it with my dinner. i remember he was a pleasant and gregarious sort of fellow. when i asked him what barba di frate is and where it grows he replied eet is likah seaweed, but eet is notta seaweed. riddle food. this was getting interesting. now i was curious indeed.

{chives, similar to barba di frate in appearance only}

the name of this wonderful vegetable does not describe it in the least. it is not at all hairy like a beard. yuck. nor is it like seaweed in taste or texture. it is nice and firm and has a good crunch, like lovely thin green beans. just a quick steam or a dunk in boiling water does the trick. it was served with a bit of lemon, and had a slightly salty taste because its natural growing habitat is in salty areas beside the sea (hence the waiter's indicating it was like seaweed), though tragically not the sea around here.

too bad when we scoot across the pond again in june it will be too late for barba di frate.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

the fabric of a maine island family

when the mayflower set sail from england she carried in her belly a person who helped sow the seed of a maine branch of the dyer family. having started out in plymouth, massachusetts, some dyer descendants decided to head north in the late 1700's, to vinalhaven island in maine. it was on vinalhaven in the early1800's that a talented and hard-working dyer housewife promptly began her endeavor - the stitching of an exquisite woolen quilt which has been passed down through the family for generations. in the near future it may become part of the permanent collection of the farnsworth museum—a museum celebrating maine's role in american art—in rockland, maine.

i have seen and touched this lovely antique quilt thanks to denny denham, and let me tell you, it's a beauty. denny's mother was a dyer, and it was her wish to have the quilt given to a maine museum where it could be properly cared for and preserved.

embroidered and pieced wool quilts are the rarest type of eighteenth and nineteenth century bed covering. the maker of the dyer family quilt created her design using multiple techniques - quilting, piecing, and embroidery. all the fabric was most likely produced in the home. the main fabric is a plain-woven light brown wool and the backing fabric is a plain-woven pale yellow.

the consistency of the wool embroidery yarn colors indicates an expert dyer. (no pun intended - could the family name possibly be an indication of a skill passed down through the generations?) the talented quilter needed colors for her quilt, so i like to envision her stepping outside her homestead on the island one fair day, and collecting the necessary plants which could easily have produced the variation of vibrant dye colors in the threads. that was how dye was produced in the old days.

most of the quilt's squares and triangles are made up of a floral design, but the four blocks across the top which cover the pillow area contain rather unusual motifs, distinctly maine motifs. cod fish (three fins across the top and two underneath the fish suggest cod) are stitched on two of the blocks. another one features a two-masted sailing ship. an american eagle decorates the fourth block. the quilter was obviously proud of her new england roots, and with her quilt she celebrated being part of a tightly-knit american fishing community.

if we take a close look, the dyer quilt unfolds a marvelous tale of maine island history. it allows us to peek into part of the daily routine of a maine family, and imagine a long faded way of life.

woman of the island, you do speak to us across the centuries. you tell us an eloquent story—a story of your life on an island in maine—not with pen and paper, but with a pleasing folk art design, patiently, lovingly, created with fabric, and a needle and thread.            

Monday, May 9, 2011

see you under the banyan tree

this spring when we were down on the gulf of mexico, we ate at a small place just above the beach. the outdoor dining area was situated on a casual outdoor deck one step above the sand. in the middle of the deck stood a large, shady banyan tree.

i've traveled a bit and i have eaten in a lot of restaurants, but this simple deck was one of the best locations in which i have ever eaten dinner. the food was nothing special, although they did serve some nice wine, yet with pelicans, great egrets, white ibises, little blue herons, and yellow-crowned night herons for company (and my husband, too!) who can complain? oh, and did i forget to mention? as the shorebirds swooped in the wind, the sun eased toward the horizon against a backdrop of yellows, oranges, pinks and reds, and plonked into the sea right before our eyes! fantastic!

and then there is the majestic banyan. banyans, a kind of fig tree, are all over florida. no two are even remotely alike. i love banyan trees - how they are dependent on fig wasps for pollination; how they send their trunk-like roots down to the ground from high in the air; how those strangler roots (hence the tree's other name, strangler fig) can envelope any object or structure where they germinate, including the banyan tree itself, in their thick, twisting, snake-like tangle; how the spread of the tree's branches can cover a few acres; how they can grow to be one hundred feet tall, six-hundred feet in diameter; and how they can live for two thousand years. a most interesting tree.

just think, alexander the great is believed to have camped with an army of seven thousand men under the sheltering branches of one banyan tree. how many trees can claim such a thing?

hundreds of years ago in india the umbrella-like banyan provided a cool spot out of the blazing sun for hindu merchants and traders to conduct their business. the tree's comforting shade was also a popular location for village meetings and community gatherings. the custom still continues. no need for directions; simply announce i'll see you tonight under the banyan tree. i wish our town had its official center under a mammoth tree instead of a town hall, at least in the warm weather.

the banyan - the national tree of india, believed to fulfill wishes, a sacred symbol of everlasting life - climbing up to the sky. with its seemingly unending growth and the gigantic spread of its lush branches, it is as if the banyan tree is reaching toward heaven, yearning to brush its boughs against the vaulting blue expanse of eternity.

Friday, May 6, 2011

thinking of the sea

i am thinking of your sea
my sea
my home.

i am thinking of
the days spent raking
in the dirt, removing dead leaves and twigs
winter's cast-offs
straining for a breath
of a crocus
a daffodil, a forget-me-not.

a forget me not sea
endless blue floating in front of my eyes,
pushing, willing me to remember.
i will not let you go when
i am thinking of other matters
distracted by the quick flash of messages
demanding a response.

for what could be more important
than that faithfulness
you offer?
the friendship you lay before me
with no demands?

i am thinking i am home
set free in this vast

Thursday, May 5, 2011

a sunset with flair

do you ever wonder where the day goes after it leaves you far behind? do you think about the night ahead? do you hear noises and see shadows, creaking and flitting things, too quick to catch but slow enough to remember?

an event which repeats itself over and over.......another end to another day on this sphere we call our home. the bright golden star which warms us, lights our way, and helps grow our food, once again leaves us behind with a burst of pink flare, and then exhibits its own heavenly flair as it touches the tangerine edge of the world, drops into the darkening sea and, in a flash, is gone. tomorrow ushers in a new day, fresh with possibilities, unique and, quite simply, a miracle.....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

a turtle called henrietta

one of my favorite animals is the sea turtle. sometimes i wish i was a sea turtle. wouldn't it be nice to swim around in the ocean all day long, just floating and eating and observing life without a care in the world, and only coming out of the water once in a while to lay your eggs and.....whatever?

i guess the next best thing to actually being a turtle is to swim in the ocean with a whole bunch of turtles. one summer in hawaii i had the opportunity to share my little spot in the sea with turtles, or i guess it would be more accurate to say, the turtles had the opportunity to share their little spot in the sea with me.

the first time i splashed into the calm, reef protected water during my week with the turtles i had no idea there were tons of the beasties swimming directly underneath me. i was absentmindedly swimming along on my back in the warm bathtub-like salty sea, when all of a sudden a fat chunk of driftwood popped up and floated along beside me. i squinted at it for a minute (i have wretched eyesight) and was startled to see the piece of wood open its mouth and blink.

without even realizing it i started talking to the wood - well, that is, by this time, after squinting some more, i obviously recognized the wood for what it really was - a loggerhead sea turtle. (i don't usually carry on conversations with wood.) wow, you scared me there for a second. you are one big turtle, henrietta.

once the words were out of my mouth i quickly looked around to see if anyone had heard me. there were quite a few people in the water. i felt my face getting red. phew, thank goodness, no one was swimming within earshot. how embarrassing. henrietta (for some strange reason i have this need to name animals) dunked back under the water. i dunked under, too, and opened my eyes.

the world which spread out before me and under me in five or six feet of clear water was extraordinary. right in front of me were three turtles, the mature henrietta, who had about a three-foot long shell, and two smaller loggerheads, about a foot and a half each. a short distance away i could make out the blurry shapes of several more turtles floating near the white sandy bottom.

the salt was stinging my eyes so i swam around on the surface for a while. in the days to come, whenever i went swimming with the mob of turtles (litter of turtles? herd? gaggle? pod? school? pack? bevy? covey of turtles?) i always brought my snorkel and mask, and we all had a very nice soak together.

Monday, May 2, 2011

the woods are waking up

the woods out back are finally waking up. the sun shineth! and the temps have hit 60! a lot of little bits of green are sprouting up everywhere along the forest floor and in the garden. and the buds! the buds! there are buds on the trees all over the place, but they are still so tiny they don't show up in any pictures. yet. but soon they will. even though the buds are visible (please believe me), for just a short while longer the trees will remain an awkward ensemble of black skeletons lurking behind the house.

i bought several pots of tiny daffodils and campanula over a week ago. the table and the windowsills in the kitchen looked great with all that yellow, purple and green color. after enjoying them indoors, i added them to a bed of already existing daffodils, oregano and chives in the garden.

last year at this time we had a big tom turkey and his lady visiting our yard every day for a couple weeks. i haven't seen any wild turkeys in the yard this year. where are you, my extra large feathered friends? this is opening day of the spring wild turkey hunting season in maine. gobblers beware!