FROM MEXICO TO MAINE.....As mentioned in a previous writeup, Phippsburg experienced a storm of large proportions while I was down south. Seven inches of rain fell along with 70MPH winds causing considerable damage and power outages. There are a number of trees down along the harbor at the campground. Roger and Mike have been busy clearing the way, with lots more to be dealt with. Most of the trees were uprooted, leaving a circular disk where their roots had once held. I hiked down along the shoreline checking things out. The only structure I saw that was hit by a trees was Christina's domed house down near the lobster pound. A tree landed squarely on that structure, unfortunately. Fortunately, that is a summer residence.

The lobster pound escaped damage, though Chris's house next door was without power for over a week! I discovered a diver ready to descend in the cove to retrieve lobsters to send to the market. The price of lobsters has risen, but not enough to make a good profit on holding these animals over the winter. This diver will be busy filling wire crates with lobsters in the next few hours. The lobsters will be held in the crates for a while before being sold. This retrieval process will go on until a final drain and removal of all the remaining lobsters. I hope to witness that procedure in the next couple of weeks. The lobsters are semi dormant, but are not currently being fed. The diver has to search them out, moving rocks to find their hiding places.

The weather continues to be unusually mild and almost spring-like. My hiking friends joined me for a hike into Totman Cove this week to explore the cove and its adjacent trails. It was calm and sunny. I was able to find two small Moonsnails on the exposed wet sand, before going over to check the clamming activities. I was surprised the cove was open to digging after all the recent rain, but it was. Three clam diggers carried away bags of their catches, which will fetch $50 a barrel (a large bag full). In the picture, you will note the load of seaweed that has washed into the cove. One wonders how long that will remain on the sandy areas, but the clammers were able to find diggable spots. Incidentally, the clam flats over on the Kennebec side are closed for digging. This cove is often closed during the summer months, but not now, enabling these diggers to make a buck.

The trail into the woods at Totman Cove has been rerouted in those areas where there were dangerous areas along the creek. There are still some wet areas, but no snow. Unfortunately, ATV's have navigated through the trails in places, an activity that has been discouraged in this Land Trust protected area.

I have a word of advice for you readers that I did not follow myself yesterday. I headed over to West Point and on the way spotted a beautiful Red Fox along the way. For some crazy reason (like going back into the house with sandy shoes) I did not have my camera along. I missed some closeup shots of this animal who was amazingly close and attentive. I think it had something wrong with its leg which made it limp slightly. I think it was saying to me, "DON'T EVER FORGET YOUR CAMERA!" So close your eyes and imagine the beauty of that animal that lives in our woods. 3/12/10 Ronnie, learning a lesson the hard way.