FIRST DAYS IN MAINE..
I am finally in Maine, arriving in 40 degree, and very rainy, wet weather! I came in time to participate in the memorial service for Dave, held on the 26th down on the far end of the island where he had his gardens. The weather cooperated by holding off the raindrops as friends and family spoke of how Dave had shaped the island and devoted so much time to making it comfortable for campers. On the way back to the Kelp Shed, I followed the harbor-viewing trails, continuing to ponder the loss - and at the same time - presence of Dave. The view on the left may be recognizable by you...? Somehow the oak leaves to the right caught my eye. The old, fallen leaves lie darkened; new leaves with a floral sprig lay on top, broken from a fragile new stem. I felt comforted knowing that this mighty oak above had many more new leaves to grow and shadow the land, giving cool comfort to those grieving or those enjoying a camping adventure.

Fortunately, the weather improved for the holiday weekend and campers were able to maneuver around puddles to find dry sites. The sun beamed warming rays to these early, bug free campers. It was cool at night, so warm sleeping bags were a requirement. A brisk breeze made some exposed sites at risk, but there is nothing like the first outing to celebrate the camping season.

As for me, I enjoyed a bird walk at the Center Pond Preserve on Saturday. The wind and chilly morning temperatures made birding less than perfect, but we were able to see or hear the following birds: Red-Eyed and Solitary Vireos, Blackburnian and Black and White Warblers, PeeWees, Ovenbirds, Mourning Doves, Tree Swallows, Grackles, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Great Blue Herons, and others. Flowers in bloom include Pink Lady's Slippers, Jack-in-the-Pulpits, Gay Wings, Dwarf Ginseng, Starflowers, Goldthread, Canada Mayflower, Bluets, and Trailing Arbutus. The last flower was past its prime. We had been alerted that there was a white Lady's Slipper along the trail, but sadly found that its stem was broken with the bloom lying on the ground! It gave us a chance to look deep into the bulbous flower and examine it more closely. Sometimes, bees visiting this flower get caught in its pocket. There were none in this floral moccasin. It is possible that the stem was broken in the strong wind we've been experiencing. If some one were to have picked it, why leave it lying?

On our property, we have a large Horse Chestnut tree that is now in full bloom. The tree is attracting an assortment of insects and birds - all buzzing to beat the band. The Hummingbirds are in heaven, as Dave is......more later.

6/1/04 Ronnie in Maine