HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I hope you are smiling now that a new year has dawned! Up here in Maine, we are being blown apart by snow that just keeps coming and coming. I'm eager to venture out to discover how the animals are coping, but I would need a plow. Don't hold your breath. Prior to the snow, we had more cooperative weather and very low tides brought on by the full moon. I ventured over into Totman Cove to do some sea life hunting. My efforts were not in vain, though the tide was only minus .8. I've learned that Sanddollars may be left high and dry under such circumstances, and found quite a few. Those round things in the face are live Sanddollars. Some were just under the sand leaving a round disc as evidence. Others, left on the surface as the tide went out, had tried to dig under. It is amazing to see these animals use their tiny spines to move oh so slowly. I did find several dead ones which I pocketed, though all of those in the ppicture were returned to the salt water's safety. Actually, I think very few animals prey upon these disks at this size, though when they are very small, bottom feeding fish such as flounders gobble them up.

What other animals, or their remains, can be seen in this picture? I found several small Sea Stars in my searching, and a few small urchins, not included in the picture. There are remnants of a Razor Clam, Surf Clam and Slipper shell, plus those white dots on the brown seaweed which are Spirorbis, a coiled worm. The chin is a piece of rope, and the green is Eel Grass. Aside from my presence, there were several clammers raking for Surf Clams that can be dug at these low tides. No doubt they had chowder on their minds.

After writing the above, it kept on snowing and blowing. Here is what resulted from that storm on a quiet Sunday morning. This is the east side of our house, looking north past the garage to our old barn. I would have to dig a deep path to get into the barn. I walked up to Center Store for the paper, climbing over the plowed ridge by the side of the road. Fortunately, the snow is light and fluffy. As you can see, our homemade wreathes are still hanging with a bow on the horse tie up by the side of the lane. Here is another wreathe that I did not make. it has a story to it. As most of you know, though in Phippsburg there is a garbage collector, most of us take our trash and recyclables to the Transfer Station. There, they even have a "gift shop" where people can grab discarded clothes, household items and odd items. sometimes it is hard to drive away without some kind of pickmeup. This wreath was discarded last Christmas and picked up at the transfer statioon, so that makes it a year old. I was taken with the interesting plant seeds and pods that adorned it. It hanged in the barn all spring, summer and fall. To my surprise, it never turned brown or dropped its needles! I picked it up, and lo and behold the needles on the back were brown! I believe the front greenery was spray painted which meant the needles stayed green and did not drop! Have you ever seen or heard of such treatment? I have a feeling this will be used again next Christmas. Oh and by the way, that is a little man at the base of the snowy tree made from wood chunks left when we had the barn built a couple of years ago. 1/3/10, Ronnie, traipsing through snow in a new year!