A BIT OF MARCH MADNESS?
After a very deep freeze during the week, we are now experiencing significant thawing. This was the scene in Totman Cove a few days ago. I managed to navigate down the snow covered roads and trails to view one of my favorite scenes, looking south out to sea. The beach below was littered with ice and frozen seaweeds. Usually, this is a good place to find interesting shells and bones, but not today. Instead of beachcombing, I seized the opportunity to do more "walking on water". The wetlands behind the dunes were frozen and inviting! I explored that area looking again for bird nests, to no avail. I walked the ice and wondered if a frog's ears could hear the vibrations. Imagine spending the winter sealed in a frozen tomb!

I explored the shore where it leads up into North Creek, picking my way around chunks of ice. In a protected place, I was delighted to find floral remnants of Wood Lilies. It is not the place you might expect to find these lilies, but I counted a dozen of the capsules that remained after that beautiful red lily produced its seeds. This is one of the winter activities that I enjoy...finding and identifying plant remnants that stand to remind us of another season. Some of these flower capsules are quite beautiful, and stand out against the white background of snow. The remnants of Indian Pipe remain in the woods, and on the shoreline stalks of Evening Primrose and Yarrow remain. Those are the Wood Lily seed capsules to the left - baring witness to the fact they were not picked and were allowed to produce seeds. Amen.

Now for some excitement, maybe a little March Madness without the basketball! I was down at the local school helping with a program when on the way out I bumped into Eric Wallace, a local lobsterman. He was there to pick up his son, and said, "Have you seen my Calico Lobster?" He led me into the library where a salt water aquarium had been set up, and there walking around was this unique crustacean he had found in one of his traps! Eric said he finds blue lobsters and once a red (uncooked one), but this was another rarity. He said one in 30 million! So here you have it. We talked about "sexing" these animals and he turned it over to show it was a male. Eric has lots of experience with these animals and pointed out the large, ham shaped crusher claw as another feature of these male animals. Count the legs........look at that meat inside the "tail" - would you dare cook this rare animal? Maybe you better travel up to the Phippsburg School to see this animal for yourself! Believe me, I did not doctor this photos!

So it has been an interesting week up here in Maine. Last night we had our first overnight where the temperature remained above freezing. It rained, and the puddles are everywhere. There is a lot of snow to melt, however, so the scene is still wintery. I just may remain dry inside and enjoy some basketball on the TV. Who is your team?

3/11/07 Ronnie, experiencing March Madness......