IS IT WINTER YET?
There have been some very wintry days up here on the Maine shoreline. It only rose to the low thirties for several days in a row producing our first ice. Center Pond was almost frozen over, and here on the shoreline in low lying areas the ice accumulated in dramatic fashion. It didn't stop the clammers and they are now digging in the mudflats adjacent to the Kelp Shed. It was closed to clamming for a long time, but now the clams are diggable and eatable. I didn't stop to dig my own, and proceeded onto the campground to see what was out and about.

The hunting season continues until the end of November, so I've tended to do my hiking on Hermit Island where there is a ban on that activity. Most of you know how "used to people" the deer become, so they would be easy targets for hunters. As usual, the place to see these animals is down where the apple orchard makes for easy pickings. I saw 6 or 7 who were not disturbed by my rolling down the car window and taking a few pictures. Here is one. I didn't see any bucks, but those I did see looked healthy and well fed.

I proceeded to check the beaches on the north end, not even finding one Sanddollar though I was the first one on the beach! The waters were very calm, and if they had been warmer, I would have waded in to look further. I did see someone climb out on a seaweed covered ledge off Sailboat Beach. It looked as if he were retrieving a lobster pot, hopefully it was one of his own. Later, I saw two other traps laid high and dry with long ropes and buoys still attached.

At Sailboat Beach, I turned south on the orange trail and took to the woods. I looked for porcupines to no avail. I did bump into a fresh dropping of deer scat, and pulled out the camera. See how shiny it is! Also in the woods, I stopped to admire something that may not have stopped you in your tracks. These pieces of blue green wood are regularly found while hiking in the woods. The wood is infused with fungal mycelium giving it a distinctive color. At the appropriate season, tiny mushrooms emanate from the wood to shed its spores. I'm told the wood may be collected and used by cabinet makers, but I've not found strong enough colored wood to make that possible. The fungus is called Chlorosplenium or Green Stain. Snuggled in among these brown Birch leaves, the green stain shines out.

It is almost Thanksgiving time, and I wish you all a very warm and wonderful one wherever you are. I am thankful for the beauty all around me, the ability to climb the rocks and trails, and eyes to see these wonderful natural surroundings. As I write today, the wind is howling and the rain is coming down at an angle. I was upset to discover my collection of moth cocoons were blown from the perforated cover I had erected over them. I think I found all the cocoons, but I'll have to figure out a way to make them wind proof. I also had to chase after a bunch of lobster buoys that were blowing in the breezes. When the rain stops, I'll have a lot of tree branches to collect. My turkey is safely in the frig, awaiting cooking time. I'll probably be out hiking while it is cooking.

11/25/08 Thankful Ronnie