Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pottery, Poetry, Pasta and Power

I went to the studio on Saturday to finish some pots and mugs I'd started on Thursday. I pulled some handles for my mugs and hand built others. I set the pieces out on the deck to dry and enjoyed the beautiful September sun while adding some embellishments.

One of the bowls I made on Thursday came off the wheel a little dented so I just went with it, sculpting it to look kind of like a somewhat crumpled paper bag. At the end I decided to add a decorative rim on the top so now it strikes me as an Easter basket. I was tempted to add a little arced handle but I resisted. A little too cutesy I think. The mugs were looking a little boring so I decided to carve hieroglyphics all over one of them.

I was ravenous by the time I left the studio so I stopped at the hotdog stand on the street just outside. There's quite an interesting couple who own the stand, regaling me with magic and funny stories while I sat in the sun and enjoyed my hotdog and root beer.

I drove out to camp, fed the birds and squirrels, drank a glass of white wine and wrote some poetry. Cobby came to visit and it worries me that he's looking a little skinny. I really wish I knew where he lived and if someone cares for him. He's so beautiful and friendly and I'd love to take him home but I know he wouldn't be as happy as a housecat as he is out here with full reign of the stream.

By this time I was getting hungry again and my meager stores of cheese and crackers and PBJ at camp weren't looking that appetizing so I drove home and threw together a spinach lasagna which came out of the oven just as Rick was returning from his gig playing at a wedding in Freeport.

It's now Sunday morning and as I was writing my post we lost our power for some unknown reason. It's another beautiful sunny day, with little or no wind. Losing power is a fairly common occurrence here in Belgrade Lakes. This time of year it's no big deal except I can't post what I've written to my blog without getting out of bed and digging my Verizon wireless card out of my backpack. Plus my coffee is getting cold sitting out there in the coffee pot and no microwave to reheat it. Very minor inconveniences as opposed to winter when one really relies on electricity to keep the furnace running. We figured out soon after moving here that wiring our furnace to a back up generator was a necessity. So now we feel pretty secure regardless of vagaries of the weather.

I decided to be completely lazy and curl back up into my cozy bed and wait for the electricity to come on. It only took about an hour but now it's almost 11 a.m. Jared is making me French toast and it's smelling very yummy. Time to get up.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Elvin's Farm

I took a drive over to Elvin's Farm in Readfield today after our staff retreat and walked away with an armload of flowers which I turned into these four bouquets. I've always been a sucker for a beautiful flower and they have rows of beautiful selections. Fortunately, you can cut your own at a small fraction of the price you'd pay in a florist shop.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cathedral Pines, Eustis, Maine

Spent the weekend up in the Eustis area. Left Belgrade Lakes around noon on Friday, after getting up at four a.m., unable to sleep. I was definitely ready to sleep about half way to Eustis. Pulled off at the picnic area in Carabasset Valley and shut my eyes for five minutes and felt like a new woman.

Met Cindy and Mary at The Plaza in Stratton for a couple drinks, then went over to the campground and Woody helped me set up the camper real quick. Cindy then drove us over to Grace's house. What a nice surprise. Last time I saw Grace she wasn't really talking and really didn't seem aware of her surroundings. But this time she was talking in full sentences and really hopes to be able to walk again before long. She had a brain aneurism and a stroke a few years ago and it's been downhill for her for a long time. She was always so full of life and she's only about 50 now so it's so sad to see her like that.

We took her back to The Plaza with us and had some drinks out back around their campfire with some interesting locals. Rick got into town about 10ish and picked me up there and we went out to the campground and crashed. I slept extremely well and woke up to probably 40 degree temps. We had a campfire to warm up and after coffee and breakfast Rick and I headed out to the North Branch of the Dead River for a paddle. It got warm very quickly and we were in short sleeves for most of the paddle.

We saw an interesting assortment of critters on the paddle. First these ducks. I'll have to do some internet research to figure out what kind of ducks they are.

and this turtle.

We sat in our kayaks at the foot of the dam and let it pull us slowly around in a whirlpool about five times while we ate a snack and drank a beer. I always expect water rushing over a dam to create a fast current that you really have to paddle against, but more times than not it seems that you encounter a whirlpool of varying strength. I'm sure at some dams it could be quite dangerous, especially if you were swimming. But in most of the places I've been, it just creates a lazy little whirlpool where you can just kind of go with the flow. This one took us full circle about once every 3 or 4 minutes.

Came across this heron on the paddle back.

There were several - maybe 5 or so loons just off our campsite. They were very vocal all weekend. At one point one of them went flying in circles overhead, calling the whole time. Very odd, but very cool.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Moonlit Paddle

The September night was unseasonably warm
sporting a full moon and calm waters
Nighttime, the marshy stream holds magical realities
reflecting eerie silhouettes of beauty
the moon, stars, trees along the shoreline
Drifting along and gazing down into the reflecting sky,
you're sometimes not sure if your
journey is of the water or the air
Bats flutter about and occasionally their flight pattern
intersects yours as you skim stealthily across the surface
Haunting calls from unknown species
as well as your familiar friends –
the loons and bullfrogs
And who knew ducks were creatures of the night till their large flapping
wings emerge from the shadows,
a distinctive squawk emitting friendly greetings of welcome
to the evening marsh
It's easy to lose the channel and find yourself bushwhacking through
the wild rice that grows in dense patches throughout the stream
gliding blindly, reeds hitting your face,
trusting that open water is just up ahead
Sitting in their kayaks, faces turned upwards, inhaling the sweet smells
and feeling a warmth from the bright moon
the four friends break open a beer and drink
to the enchantment of of the night
before reluctantly turning to begin their paddle
back to the familiar.