Monday, November 24, 2014

Water Taxi

Here in the foreground is one of the small water taxis that service the the islands of Casco Bay. I've never taken it or any other for that matter on the water. Let me think back a moment. I've probably only taken a street taxi about 10 times in my entire life, and most of those were during my collegiate years when the Greyhound, due to bad weather, got in well after midnight. It was about the only way you were going to negotiate East Avenue at that time in the morning. The bus station was located in a pretty shady part of the city too. I must say traveling that stretch along the New York Thruway in the winter months, late arrivals seemed to happen a lot. Now, on the water, if I'm heading for an island excursion or just a day trip cruise, I'll hop a ride on one of the Casco Bay Line ferries, that are lined up here in the background and at the ready. Riding them with the 'island crowd' is always a treat too. They always seem to lugging such an interesting conglomerate of stuff in their bags. Life on these islands is different than spending your days on the mainland. That's for sure.
Taxi?
Taxi!

*Note: just hate to watch that meter movin' so fast. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stand Alone

Amid the cursed, brown, dying bamboo this birch tree takes its stand in the fog. Have you ever stood alone? Could you? I can't really say I have. I think it would be extremely difficult for me. I've taken lots of sides in my life but can't ever recall being on an island alone. I like company. I've always been a team player, and I think I've been pretty good at it. I like results too. When I do anything, I want results. Call me a pragmatist. I can live with that. I know the value of the numbers game. I've always been one who likes to play the numbers. I'm not talking gambling here. That's not a game I play, ever. I sure would love to win the lottery though. That Jaguar would look so wonderful parked in my driveway. 
Being the only one with a winning Megabucks ticket?
I could do that.
But as they say, "Gotta be in it to WIN it."
Maybe I need to rethink this 'standing alone' deal.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bit o' Blue

Some days you just have to look to the heavens. Last week we had one  of those exciting cloud days with pretty much cloud cover all day. It was hard to see them moving, but they were. At one point, when I was up back, the sky broke to display this patch of blue. It didn't last very long, but you got an idea at how fast those clouds were motoring. Things were moving fast like the approaching holidays. I'm just happy 'lake effect snow' doesn't move fast or travel long distances. Elenka's cousin Irene and her family live in Hamburg, New York, the epi-center of all that snow last week. Most reports coming from the area were saying they got close to 80 inches. Yikes! Before Thanksgiving? That's scary. We live near the deepest lake in Maine, Sebago, but you seldom hear the about snow building off the lake. Let's see five days until 'turkey time' and I still have a few outdoor items to take care of this weekend: birdhouses taken in, some leaves to be mowed about, a couple of loads of wood to be moved to the garage, kindling to be chopped and stacked in the woodshed out back and the porch roof to be secured.
These will keep me honest till turkey.
Hopefully the snow will hold off until March.
Ya, I'm dreaming.
I do that a lot these days.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Walled In

Stone walls are pretty much New England. They are a way of life up here. They are relentless. Around here, if you look long and hard you'll see them everywhere. I've had friends from 'away' on their first visit to the area remark, "Who built all these walls?" This one is on our property nestled in the woods, and to be perfectly honest I had never really checked out this corner and the wall until a couple of weeks ago. Elenka pointed it out to me, and I ventured over. I do believe Robert Frost has captured the essence of the 'lives of walls' in his poem "Mending Wall". I can't help thinking of his words as I stroll along the rocks, or attempt to cross over one...
In these parts, farmers went for the stones, they found while clearing their land, long before they they looked to wood for fences to mark property lines.
"Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast..."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Coffee Pot

Giddy up!
Some days I just want to load up a pack horse and hit the trail. I'm just dreaming of course, but in another life... Do you believe that we've been here before in another life? That we come back? I like to dwell on that feeling that I've been down this road before, but I can't seem to dig up a lot of evidence. As for 'coming back', I'm a bit more pessimistic. If in the big picture of things this really is some sort of merry-go-round we're on, I hope I'm given a choice whether I'll be in for a return engagement. There are some worlds I want no part of in an Act II. Being a card carrying agnostic, puts me in a tough place from time to time, but I'm living with it.
No, I don't want to return as a coyote.
No, I have no interest in being a waterfall.
A cowboy on a distant planet?
Pass.
Ok, this has got to cease right now!
Then again, maybe a month on a dude ranch would get it out of my system.
What do you think?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Talk

Well, when you get right down to it, it'll be more of a book comment than a talk. For the most part, my reading interest seems to always fall into the fiction realm. Something must be up though, because my last few selections are falling into the non-fiction category. If you read and liked the book The Endurance, the story of Shackleton's incredible voyage, you'll LOVE In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides. It's the amazing tale of journey of the USS Jeannette and her crew. On many occasions while turning the pages, I kept saying to myself, "This can't be happening". But it was and it did. Pick it up. What a story! If you have family who are members of the 'Greatest Generation' and who played a role in the the Good War, you'll want to read Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken, the courageous story of heroism that is the life of Lou Zamperini. If you enjoy stories where a theme of 'against all odds' runs across each page, you'll want to put this book on your Christmas list. On more than one occasion, I couldn't stop thinking of what my Uncle Leonard and his plight aboard his B-17 must have gone through during his agonizing end. In some chapters, I had to put my finger between the pages, close the book and just stare off to blue sky. His was a life that might have been. The imagination is a pretty potent tool.
So, any recommendations for my bookstand?
It's a long winter up here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Four Step

Here we have a few steps up to a family plot near the ponds at Evergreen Cemetery. The sun shines brightly this morning, but the temperature will stay solidly in the mid-30's all day. With the leaves down and pretty dry, it seems like we're heading into that waiting period, just waiting for the death-covering of snow. We've had snow in October before. Last year, I think it was, the 'little marauders' of Halloween had to dodge snowflakes, and November dawned with a solid layer of snow. Luckily, like most early storms, the snow usually doesn't stick around all that long. Most Thanksgiving, around these parts, find the ground frozen but free of whiteness. Although I do remember one Portland vs Deering Thanksgiving Football Game, where the teams played in a driving snowstorm on a six inch carpet of snow. During the game, they had adults shoveling the yard markers from one side of the field to the other.
I don't expect to be snowblowing before eating turkey in a week, but you never know.
I do know this.
Weather-wise in this state come early winter...
Life's crapshoot.
Roll your dice.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Last Rites

Mother Nature works fast!
Last week on a trip to the garden, I noticed that the lilac bush at the corner was still full of leaves, some yellow, some still green. Today, about 3 days later, just about all of the leaves have fallen. I count 10 still hanging on for dear life. I thought the still colored leaves lying on the snow were a good contrast to most of them at the foot of the small tree.
That's all I've got today.
Weather? There's another icy, snow mix a fallen all around me now.
Some days I long for a cocoon.
This is about it with regards to fall colors around our place.
The last rites have been performed.
Rest in peace, autumn.
Yes please, a moment of silence.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bus Stop

Well, you certainly could say that this bus has seen better days. Over the last 15 years or so this bus has been parked on the front lawn of this old farm house near the river. I noticed the other day that now the house had joined this motorhome in the world of the 'abandoned'. This vehicle must be home these days to plenty of varmints, the likes of which I don't even want to imagine. I'm sure in its time it provided lots of enjoyment on family trips, but these days the wheels on this bus aren't 'going round and round'. Its rollin' days have come to a close. Even the Dead, with all their equipment, wouldn't take a chance on this baby.
This 'road yacht' as been docked!
Kinda sad, really.

*Hey, if you put your ear to the side, just above that rear tire, I think you can hear The Hollies' "Bus Stop"(1966).
Funny.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=It75wQ0JypA

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Deck Fright

"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown." King Henry IV

When the sun crept across the deck yesterday morning, this is what revealed itself to me. Not quite a month into his reign and he's already beginning to droop a bit. This morning his crown of white is all but gone. Even for Shakespeare, this feller's 'reign of terror' was a swift one. All in all, he ruled about 10 hours. In the play, King Henry, with this quote, is complaining about not being able to get a decent night's sleep. The vilest of the vile and those working mundane, boring jobs are drifting off to never never land he complains, but not the supreme ruler of the land? He might want to recall how he seized the thrown and what he had done to his predecessor. Anyone might have trouble getting his 'snooze on' under those conditions. 
Now that I think about it, I'm in a stretch of restlessness these last few weeks. Sleep seems to come in bursts.
I wonder what that's all about?
Might a hypnotist be an answer?
"You are getting very sleepy..."

Friday, November 14, 2014

Blue Morning

I'm a bit blue this morning. As you can see by this early 6:15 AM shot, the first arrow of this winter has been slung and has hit its mark. Looks like about 2 inches. Follow the line of the hose to the garden, and you'll see old man winter's folly has stuck to any able branch in the vicinity. Although they say the whiteness won't last the weekend, I am glad I finally got around to burning that huge pile of brush up back Wednesday night. If this was the weekend before December 25th, I'd be excited, but for now I'll be a bit blue and wait for the sun to do its thing. It better. You see, I have work to to that involves the woodshed this weekend.
Load that cart.
Stack that wood.
Bye green!
See you in March, if I'm lucky.
Hopefully, like the wicked witch of Oz, "I'm melting, melting, melting ...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Seven

If you detest sports, please move along...

Art and Sports are entwined today. When I think of the number 7, there is but one person that comes to mind: MANTLE, Mickey Mantle of my hated New York Yankees. My love of baseball was groomed watching "The Game of the Week" on Saturday afternoons. That I could sit there by myself in front of the Philco and watch a baseball game someplace around the country was a pretty big deal for this kid. This game, the Friday night fights, the Olympics and a little hockey was about it in the early days of TV up here in my corner of the world. Dizzy Dean, an ex-pitcher for the Cards, Cubs and Browns, was a colorful figure, who broke just about every grammatical rule on the planet each telecast, but I loved listening to his broadcasts. Jay Hanna "Dizzy" is in the Baseball Hall of Fame, made the cover of TIME magazine and was the last National League pitcher to win 30 games. Now, that's a record that's stood some time.  It seemed that just about every Saturday I had to watch a Yankee game, but at least I could watch Mickey bat. He was amazing!
When I heard that the Portland Museum of Art was going to install the Robert Indiana, a resident of Vinalhaven, Maine, piece "SEVEN" in front of the museum, it was Mantle's number not art that came to mind. Why the 7 at the museum? The building is located at 7 Congress Street. The sculpture will stand there indefinitely.
Didn't think I could connect, two of my loves, baseball and art?
Sort of a 'tangled web' today.
Play Ball!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Needle-Laced

The truth often contains many lies. And for sure, fiction is stranger than the truth in all its disguises. You see, when we were but pirates this was for sure a stash of buried treasure left behind by the likes of  Black Bart. Shinny, gold doubloons brimming to the top. On other days when dressed in army gear, from head to toe including our heavy helmets, it was loaded with a cache left behind by the Germans in their bunker. On our horses after we had ridden into the canyon, it was a treasure trove hidden away by the bad guys on the run, that for sure had a hefty reward attached. We'd spend the reward on pretty girls dancing at a local saloon. Sure, we certainly had well-cultivated imaginations. As you can see, I had a full plate, along with hitting homeruns at Gulliver's, struggling to make one more catch at the goal line in a fading fall sun, discovering the fairer sex, listening to record with friends long into the night and about one million other things.
You are correct. 
We took deep breaths in a mighty dream world.

And now back to THIS world...
This box was found on a long, meandering driveway last week.
You bet I looked inside.
Contents: buckets of sand for ice and snow and two shovels.
Truth or fiction: What's your pleasure?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Photo Album

Happy Veterans' Day!
You know, I learn something new everyday. Here a photo album that I've probably glanced at well in excess of 100 times since I first spied it a cardboard box. I was probably about 12 at the time. The contents meant little to me other then they were pictures of soldiers. Drinking coffee, playing cards, cutting hair, standing in snow, riding in the backs of trucks, leading against jeeps and smiling for the camera, they are all here in this leather-bound collection of war duty. Hundreds of pictures taken by my Dad, during his time in Rome and his exploits during the bloody battle at Anzio. During the two years he served in WWII, he was quite a photographer. Go figure. I never really stopped to think about this before. Even today, at my age, I'm still learning about my world.
Leonard, Steve, and Don thank for all you did for us during the 'Good War'.
And have a wonderful day where ever you are! 

*Bottom, middle photo of soldiers standing in snow: my Dad is the second from the right.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Blondie

Are you strong?
I like to think I am. Now, I'm not talking about in the weight room strong. I'm not a quitter. If I start something, I want to take it its conclusion. I want to complete the deal. During my professional career, I had a mantra that the kids often heard me repeat over and over, 'finish strong'. Try not to waver at the end. Now, I can adapt; I'm not stupid. Like a coach who excels, I think I'm pretty good at making halftime changes. When I see the odds stacked against me, I'm not adverse to making mid-course corrections, but I'm one that likes to finish the job. I'm not one who likes to leave my tools of the job strewn about at the end and contemplating the 'what might have beens'. That's me.
Weakness? Yes, I have a few, but like most of us I like to keep them 'close to the vest' (there's that idiom again).
Do you have any?
I'm not talking about chocolate here either.
My name is Birdman, and I have a weakness... for blondes.
There, it's out!
I might need a 12-Step Program.
When I backtrack my romantic pursuits back through high school and college years, it gets scary. There seems to be one constant, blondes. One after the other. What's it all about?
I won't bore you with my list of intrigues.
Well, there's Stephani, Heidi, Aniston, Swift, Johansson, Spears (it's sad) ...
It's a long list.
And yes, Elenka is a blonde.

*today's trip was kind of convoluted. Still with me?
Care to reveal a weakness?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Rubble

When we first moved in to our house in 1977, there was an auction house down the road. Having grown up in the city, this was a new experience for us. What the heck was an auction house? The place was big and rambling too. This pile doesn't do it justice. Saturday nights there was all kinds of traffic headed to the large parking lot. From 7 PM until 10 PM our road was one busy place. It was quite an experience. I think I went but once, and that was enough for me. When relatives came from Jersey, Elenka often walked them down so they might truly get the total experience of life in rural Maine. The parking lot was most crammed in December when the auctioneer began his toy auction. Monday afternoon it all repeated, but this day was reserved for animals only. It was livestock day. Had pigs, roosters, cows or goats you wanted to buy or sell? The auction house was the place. About five years ago, it closed, but due to non-use fell into disrepair. It began to resemble a, how do I say this delicately, mighty junkyard. I got an early morning call the first of last week. Elenka, on her way to work, informed me. The king was dead! The auction house was no more. In its place a pile of rubble stands now. Now how will this story end? Dump trucks doing the hauling? A bonfire lifting to the sky.
Who cares.
It's gone!
Some places should be left in your past.
Exhibit A.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Dropping Numbers

Here we are yesterday afternoon at the corner of Warren Avenue and Riverside Street. This is the lowest I've seen it around here in a long time, a couple of years anyway. If it's 2.94 up here, there will be lots of places lower. Jersey is always lower than us, and motorists can't pump their own gas in that state either. I wonder what's the price of 'dirty regular' going for these days? When I was in high school and doing a lot of walking the Sunoco station at the corner was dispensing gas for .29 cents a gallon and they cleaned your windshield and checked your oil. Those days are in my rearview mirror. Yours too, I take it. Bet more cars will be hitting the pavement and heading "over the river and through the wood" for turkey this year. AAA tells me; I ain't wrong.
What are you paying this weekend?
I'm sure many of you can beat 2.94.
Ding. Ding.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Horse Sense

"You are just not using your horse sense."

I heard these words many a time coming from my Dad's lips during my formative years. They baffled me. They put me in a state of confusion. Maybe that was just where he wanted me, back on my heels. (Is that another idiom?) My retort was often quick and went something along the lines of, "... but I don't even own a horse." Idioms drove me crazy! When I was doing a job, like stacking wood with my brother but not well, he'd remind us that we were 'burning daylight'. What? Huh?! I just remembered that one. I had to look it up. Ah yes, 'wasting time'! We were good at that when we put our minds to it. Learned something this morning, Burning Daylight is a title of a Jack London novel. I bet it's full of idioms. Heck, Burning Daylight is the main character's name!
Horse sense?
I've got some.
But I think I acquired most of it from watching episodes of "The Adventures of Spin and Marty". 
You did watch the Mickey Mouse Club didn't you?
Neigh!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Afternoon Light

As a custom, my camera usually doesn't accompany me when I travel to a restroom, but on this day it did. I was alone, waiting to pick up Elenka, and found myself in Coffee By Design on Congress Street. Now usually, java and I don't have a clandestine meeting mid-afternoon these days, but there was time to kill and daily and some weekly papers to get caught up on. It's a grievous sin I enjoy taking in when I'm able. After about 30 minutes or so, a glance at my timepiece indicated I must be on my way. I needed to use the facilities though, so I threw my backpack over my shoulder, got the key from the barista and headed in. I must be perfectly honest at this point. This was not the first time I have photographed a bathroom and posted images of them. I have caught pictures of the Press Herald on a rusted restroom floor, flashed urinals and have even documented the smallest mens' room in the city. However, this morning is the first time I'm coming clean. That was a bad pun, but I digress. So here we see some 3 PM sun waning its way through a oblong, frosted window. Believe it or not, the dappled rays were wonderfully lighting the small room. Photographs are where you find them. Sometimes, it's a dirty job.
My images most often are not triggered by setups or meticulous timing.
I see it.
There it is.
It's my world.
Bang!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bike Rack

Just read the article and checked out the times of Tina Ament in the Ironman Triathalon World Championships this past October in Hawaii. The course includes a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike pedal and a marathon of 26.2 miles. For many, the completion time is well in excess of 17 hours. Her time was 16:18:05. Amazing! The swim would be the most difficult for me, and, of course, I would need a set of those plastic water wings to compete. My time would probably be measured in days not hours, if I was lucky. Of course I did my training swimming in the Boys' Club pool, riding the neighborhood on my JC Higgins and running a bit at the mouth. I have a feeling this is not the degree of long years of training she puts into her effort. Oh well, at least I can sit back and greatly admire athletes like her.
She must be an amazing person.
Oh, did I mention, she's blind.
Astounding!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Little Free

It's Election Day 2014!
I elected to stop here the other day.
Not scared off by the lions that adorn the front steps, I've wandered through the hallways and floors of the New York Public Library at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street. Growing up, I loved that I could jump on my bike pedal up Stevens and down Pleasant to the Burbank Branch Library and could 'hide' in the one room for hours amid the smell of books. The choices I left with were always of the hardcover variety. I never held a paperback in my hands until I walked the halls of Lincoln Junior High. As I remember, there seemed to be an explosion of the marketing of paperbacks somewhere in the 50's which continues. Today, they are everywhere from the big online conglomerate like Amazon, in small, local bookshops that still survive, to my local grocery store where they line them up the Top 20 paperbacks from someone's list. Other than carrying a book stuffed in my back pocket on the way to high school, the Little Free Library pictured here is the smallest library I've ever stumbled across in the area. I checked it out the other day. I twisted the latch and 'walked in'. I moved my way through the selections but found none that piqued my interest, so I moved on. By the way, it was the first library that I was ever in that had no circulation desk, no display of my library card needed and you didn't even have to leave another book behind. A simple note on the top said something to the effect of 'take a book, enjoy, bring another one back to replace'.
That's my kind of place.
No pressure there.
Libraries, gotta love them.
Book 'em!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Brick House

It's true.
I think.
Well, I broke another of my 'life rules' this morning. Yes, and I'm man enough and come out and admit in front of the whole entire world. Ok, that's a bit much. I apologize. I like to think though from time to time that I have a bit of the flair for the dramatic, but this is nothing like that. As a matter of fact, I might not have broken a rule at all. It might just be the memory-thing crashing in on me. I could check, but I haven't the time. And I don't really care. So what's the big deal? Where have I strayed from the straight and narrow? Where did I venture off the rails? Will three Hail Marys and one Our Father do the trick? So here it is, plain and simple. One of my rules that I try to follow on this photo blog is one photo and day and no repeats. Heavens! Between, the small, big place that I call home and my country backyard, I've got enough to keep me busy. So, I think I remember using this brick house, a building that once housed electrical components, once before, but not in the fall, as I recall. Does that get me off the hook? No. Then again maybe this is the first time that it has made Birdman's spotlight. Oh heck, I've gone on and on and on. Like the Seinfeld show that was about nothing, this has been my version. That's my 'pitch'.
As George Costanza said, "It's a show about nothing!"
My 'show' concludes at this time.
And, as you can tell, it's been about NOthing!
I apologize.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Boat Wrap

7 AM
Hey!
This is not right!
It's November 2, and it spitting snow as I type this entry. There ought be a law! No snow until Thanksgiving. Well, I better thank my lucky stars. North of Bangor and Downeast they are getting anywheres from 6-12 inches of the white stuff. Hey, I'm still ridding leaves and moving wood. Maybe I better invest in one of these wraps for my entire yard. Perhaps I should construct a dome over our property, one that opens and closes depending on the sun and temperature.
Moving South is probably the way to go.
And I don't mean South Portland either!

*UPDATE---
This isn't funny anymore.
It's 10:30 AM, and it is not spitting.
It's SNOWing!
Yuk!
2:30 PM Power out!
Wind. Yuk.
4:55 PM Power back.
Patriots on.
Suggestions?

*I know, Jack, Naples is very nice.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Theme Day: Landmark

Today, November 1, 2014 is Theme Day across the CityDailyPhoto blog (cdp) worldwide community. This month's theme is Landmark. In our city there are quite a few subjects that would fall into this category. For me though, The Portland Headlight is number 1 on that list. The light station sits at the head of the channel entering Portland Harbor. Under the direction of President George Washington, construction of the lighthouse was started in 1787. It was completed four years later. Situated in Fort Williams Park, it was one of the destinations that our family traveled to on a Saturday night after a quick trip to Stratford Farms for ice cream. Dad would pull over on the way and regale us with stories about pirates and buried treasure in one of the nearby coves.
Were the stories true?
How the heck do I know.
They were entertaining stories.
And I believed them all.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Self-Portrait

... with apologies to Jamie Wyeth. Here I am up near the garden. Now, if I only had a bottle of Pumpkinhead from Shipyard Brewing Company bottled here in the city. I'm watching "The House on Haunted Hill"(1958) on TCM right now. Pretty campy. Much more humorous than horror-filled. I'm pretty excited too. "The Tingler"(1959) is on tomorrow afternoon at 12:15 PM.
Happy Haunting!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Three Pumpkins

On the back walkway, these three pumpkins await the tour of the goblins tomorrow night. I really can't remember how I acquired my devil costume, but I must say it served me well. Others in our gang were really into changing their get-up each Halloween, but I was 'steady eddie', always 'giving the devil his due'. My only complaint about this creepy holiday was the cold. Jacket or not, Mom always made the call. I'd complain; I'd whine. All of it was in vain though. I would have run around in a t-shirt and shorts, but it was not to be. Rain, I could handle, but the whole idea of a jacket underneath to fight off the cold of late October drove me crazy.
"Mom, I'm the devil!" 
So un-satanesque.

*What was YOUR costume?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Scary Coming

The 'scary time' is almost upon us.
No, not All Hallows Eve.
No, not Day/Night of the Dead.
No, it's not all the viewing of all the themed movies, for example: "Frankenstein", "Dracula", "Psyhco", "The Night of the Living Dead", "Halloween", "The Haunting of Hill House" and one of my all time favorites "The Tingler". No, my friends not any of those. This is the scariest of all, at least in this state. What is it?
Well, ELECTION DAY!
So scary that no one will be allowed to leave the voting booth in the last 10 minutes on November 4.
Two issues have really riled up the natives in the state: the race for Governor and Question #1 Bear Baiting. First: Will the embarrassing statements, vetoes and acts of our dear Governor Lepage keep piling up? Don't bet against it. A couple of 'lightweights' opposing him. At least it'll be a 'fun' next 4 years. Second: Bait or not bait bears with jelly donuts or run them up trees with dogs before shooting them. By the way, it's not cruelty being debated here by some. It's the pure economics of the bear guides and what they bring into the economy of this state and their loss of income. I've lived in Maine all my life. I don't hunt, but I see no problem with it. It's the way of the world up here. But, in my mind, out-of- staters (statistics show80% of bear kills come from outside our state) luring bears with sweety cakes and donuts and catching them in leg irons and executing them is a bit much.
What it is I don't know.
But it ain't hunting!
I'm voting "yes" to stop the practice.
*btw I had two jelly donuts yesterday, and they WERE delicious!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Autumn Boxes

I took this picture, because I liked the sight of an apple sitting atop a granite post. The fall season for me  is marked not by the colorful foliage around New England. It's bright and extends all over, and not by lines of buses, loaded with 'leaf peepers' heading to parts north and south. There are plenty too that pile off the cruise ships docked on Commercial Street and head out in all directions to view the colorful sights. No, for me autumn is and always has been the red, green or yellow fruit, in all its crisp, tart, tangy glory. In language, I enjoy the idiom. I do believe I was the 'apple of someone's eye', probably Mom's. She liked most everything, even wet dogs. And yes, I know this baffles you tremendously, but my 6th grade teacher, Sister Mary Joanne, who I had some serious issues with, once called me the 'rotten apple' in the class, after she claimed I was the lead  instigator of the infamous April Fool's Day caper in her classroom. I might plead the 5th on that one. 
Yes, the delicious fruit was what drew me to the photo.
However, now that I step back.
Mailboxes. My Dad delivered mail in Portland for over 35 years.
Newspaper slots below. I delivered the Portland Press Herald and the now defunct Portland Evening Express from age 11-17.
Was I thinking those things when I aimed my camera?
Perhaps in my subconscious. 
What's your favorite apple treat?
Mine is pie, pure and simple. 
Next question.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cutter

Jack-o-lanterns on parade...
There's excitement in her face. There's intensity in her face. The tools are a bit more advanced these days, but the paring knife from the silverware drawer always got the job done. Halloween afternoon was always set a side to do the deed. Mom and Dad got the pumpkins, and we made our choices. Four kids and I can never remember an argument over who was to carve which orange globe. Selective memory? Once I made my choice I remember just not wanting to screw up the face. I wanted scary, of course, with a jagged mouth and big delta eyes. After we all finished and the linoleum floor was a slippery mass of guts and seeds, more than once I almost went slip sliding across the floor. Mom laughed at the mess and kept a watchful eye for the four of us with little knives. Dad just cursed the mess we had created. Next, candles were secured and placed in our jack-o-lanterns. We then paraded to the front steps and placed them in strategic places that would haunt the 'little ones' with mommies in tow. These days lighted pumpkins on wooden stairs just wouldn't be prudent. Call 911!
The morning after it was such a sad sight.
The blackened, caved-in, sooted roof and that awful smell.
My red devil costume in a pile by my bed.
... waiting for All Saints' Day.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fright Night

We took in the LL Bean Camp Sunshine's Pumpkin Festival yesterday. My friend Moe, a master cutter, was again doing his thing. He told us that he's been cutting pumpkins every weekend in October this year. If you promise not to tell, I'll reveal a big secret. This is not a pumpkin. It's a squash. This one weighs about 1,000 pounds. Often his subjects are quite troll-like and give Elenka the creeps. This year's effort looks to me a lot like a lovable creature that has fallen out of Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. They said that the Fest this year had around 10,000 visitors walking the grounds, some in costume all seem to be enjoying the sunny afternoon and dark, mysterious night. Lots of money was raised for Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. One great cause!
Thousands and thousands of jack-o-lanterns flickering along the pathways of Beans.
And Halloween is still 5 days off.
Boo!