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Notes From the Field: Barred Owls
Spring eternal
Spring reflections
Southern Skies
Harbingers of Spring!

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Notes From the Field: Barred Owls


For the last few weeks we have noticed a Barred Owl perched in a small grove of trees at the back edge of our property.
  Seeing it there, on more than one occasion, peaked my curiosity. What did I really know about these birds of prey? I have seen them regularly over the years. Usually in a winter of heavy snow cover, around dusk, flying noiselessly through the bare woods, a shadow out of the corner of my eye. We have seen them over the years in the exact same grove of trees, sleepy eyed, taking me in as I wandered closer, it's head spinning around to keep track of my movements.

Spring eternal

Spring is here in Southern Maine! This is often the time when our lovely state has a split forecast, while the daffodils are in bloom by the seacoast, the ice has yet to go out in the Rangely Lakes region! I was walking one sunny day along our tidal river and noticed a small group of immature and mature Loons  starting to band together, the pull of the season upon them. Loons spend their adolescence and winters on the ocean, riding the stormy seas until the lakes have lost their ice in late April or early May.

Spring reflections

 It feels as though I have traveled through time now that I am back on Maine soil! I left winter and came back to spring! (At least in southern seaside Maine...) The snow drifts are gone, the red wing blackbirds, robins and yes the funny looking woodcock have all returned in droves! My backyard is alive with the creaks, bleeps, and songs of these warm weather visitors. My gardens are humming with bees visiting my early snow bells and crocus. I am sure the witch hazel is in bloom in the wood swamps.

Southern Skies

I have been working  hard on all winter on self-renewal, home projects and procuring work for the upcoming season. As is usual for me, the change of seasons brings a sense of longing....To finish off this winter and begin this spring, my husband and I have decided to take to the sky and fly south to Naples Florida to visit my brother. Jobs at home are beginning to take shape, waiting for the ground to thaw, the house projects are just about complete. Our snow banks are dirty, melting and turning the ground to mud.

Harbingers of Spring!

  Now that we are in the first few days of March, my mind's eye turns eagerly to finding any and all details that indicate that spring in Maine in on my doorstep. One of the trademarks of a good gardener is an eye for detail. Detail enables us to see what is what! Have the buds started to swell on the fruit trees at the right time, or is it too early? What caused the bark on the berry bushes to be scraped away? Are the small black cases nested in the grooves of the bark insects? What caused these holes in my leaves?

The trees of winter

We had a bittersweet morning here on Cider Hill today....Three or our oldest trees had to go the way of the chain saw! Due to old age, poor planting conditions and the toll exerted on them by gradual climate change, our acer rubrum, Colorado Blue spruce and Sugar maple were all taken down this morning.

They were all in bad shape, planted at least a hundred years ago, the acer rubrum, was hanging on by a thread. It has graced the side of our road for a century, offering a buffer to the street traffic and shade for my garden.

Winter Home Projects

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I roam the second hand shops and thrift stores when looking for new decorative pieces for my home. I had two home projects that I had in mind to complete and with all the snow days that we have experienced, sewing and painting fit the bill.
 
 My first project was to make some new toss pillows for my couches in the great room. People have asked for back support and all we had were  two small pillows that were worn and lumpy at best. Project number two was to paint the two  "married" side tables in our entry way, as well as a shelf for our nearly completed downstairs Lavatory.

The winter garden

Even though the snow lays deep, my gardens are always in the forefront of my mind. I pass my kitchen garden every day on my way to the outdoor water spigot that supplies my layer flock with their daily drink. A lone head or two of kale waves forlornly above the snow line, waiting for the warmer days of April. The Raspberry fence that is the western edge of my garden has only three wire rows left before it too is swallowed by the drifts! I eye the old apple tree in the background, surveying it's branches, determining which need to go in order to create the perfect shape for maximum apple production.

Organization is always a struggle...

Organization is always a struggle for me and it comes home to roost this time of year!

The Holiday decorations are put back in their named plastic bins, I have begun the arduous task of shredding the reams of no longer needed paper work, cleaning the closets of unwanted and unused clothing, trying to determine whether or not I still should hold onto the chipped vase from the birth of my first born, and worst of all the unfinished projects lie in wait for me!

I read up on organizing, on creating the 'perfect closet', what not to shred and what to, how to classify, group, create the perfect collection for my rooms, the lists line the desk top!

As we enter the New Year


As we enter the New Year, it's always a time of reflection and for me, reconnecting with my best intentions!

I mull over my various 'mission statements', yes, I have more than one! There is my business mission statement and my personal mission statement, both of which are similar in thought. Being of an artistic inclination, both my 'missions' are concerned with beauty, simplicity and our individual experiences that create our view of life, or our 'reality'.

My main mission is to share beauty, in all it's forms, with my clients, friends and family.
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