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Where I’ve Been – Five on Friday

Where I’ve Been – Five on Friday

Where I’ve Been

I’ve been in beautiful places and seen interesting things while away from Amy’s Five On Friday for a few weeks. You may join us if you’re a blogger by following the link. It’s a good way to meet other bloggers, see places and things you’ll likely never see in person, and be part of a blogging community. If you’re not a blogger you’ll still get to see new things. Here’s where I’ve been.

This Old Tree

This old tree with a puzzling rectangular hole lies on the shore of East Musquash lake. I think the hole was cut so that something could live in the dead tree, but what? What would live there that needs such a large hole? Duck boxes have small round holes. Any ideas?
five on friday, log, bird house, nest box, duck box

Lake Champlain

A ferry across Lake Champlain between Ticonderoga, NY and Shoreham, VT.  A farm tractor and tedder rake were also on the ferry. That’s something you don’t see every day. The ferry is fun to take and it saves about 20 minutes. When I’ve been on the road for nine hours every spared minute matters.
Ticonderoga Ferry, where i've been, five on fridayDowntown Old Orchard Beach, Maine. I hadn’t been there since I was 16. It’s changed a lot, and not for the better. You can barely see the pier from the road now. It was fun getting there. I was with a new friend, in her tiny BMW convertible with the top down, holding my camera out like a tourist.

Old Orchard Beach, Maine

old orchard beach, where i've been

Pyramid Lake

Pyramid Lake, Paradox, New York. I spent six days here at a writing retreat. This was my third year at the retreat and my first 1,000 mile trip as the driver. Having a new truck with Onstar has given me a new sense of freedom. I know the truck isn’t going to break down (under 4,000 miles) but if I happened to get a flat tire I have roadside assistance to rescue me as long as I’m on pavement. Onstar gave me turn by turn directions. I didn’t love five lanes of rush hour traffic Friday night but I did it.
where i've been, paradox, NY, Pyramid Lake

Upta Camp

Best of all, Camp Sweet Family Camp. Built in 1951 by my then nine year old mother, Great Grampa John and other family members.
upta camp, camp, upper sysladobsis, Maine, Lakeville, where I've been
week of wildlife, five on friday


Boston – Five Things I Enjoyed

Boston – Five Things I Enjoyed

Boston – Five On Friday

I haven’t been home for the Friday fun in a few weeks. Last week I was on my way to Boston to spend the weekend with Kristin and Matt. It was a much-too-short trip. We spent hours on Kristin’s screened in porch, knitting and talking. I hated to leave and can’t wait to go back. I’d be happy to stay right there in the porch, drink coffee and visit, have lunch and supper delivered, and stay longer.

Here’s a little of what we did Saturday.

Kayaking on Charles River

Charles River, Kayaking, Boston
kayak, rental, Charles River, Boston
Boston Public Market

I love Boston Public Market. The booths are owned by real farmers working real farms. You can buy eggs (Duck eggs are $1 each), cheese, cured meats, mushrooms, vegetables and fruits, artisan crafts and prepared foods. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something…like chocolate from Taza. I passed up a hot cocoa drink and now I regret that decision, and I’ve been thinking about it all week. Maybe I should order from Taza’s website. Kristin’s drink was delicious.

It was after lunch time when we got to the market and we were hungry. I had Fancy Mac ‘n Cheese, good but not as good as I expected. Kristin had a cheesy baked potato that was okay but dripping with oil. It’s funny how fussy a person can get after cooking with the best fresh ingredients for so long, right?
Taza chocolate, Boston Public Market, Five on Friday
Chestnut Farm Eggs, five on friday, Boston Public MarketWe came home from our day in Boston (Kristin lives outside Boston) to change clothes, then we walked to an Irish pub to have supper. The weather was perfect, not too hot, not too windy, and cool in the evening so it was great sleeping weather after a busy day.

Next Week

Lemon Balm Sugar Cookies – good enough to share the recipe!
Lemon Balm Shortbread CookiesYou can join in by following these links!

week of wildlife, five on friday

Growing Garden – May 27

Growing Garden – May 27

Growing Garden

A growing garden is a wonderful thing. I’d like to say lovely thing but it’s not lovely yet. This time of year the vegetable gardens are in their awkward pre-teen stages. It’s early…and spring was early and now it’s too dry and the weather is hot one minute and cold the next and…well…it’ll outgrow it all and be lovely soon. (poor garden)

On the bright side – I have topsoil! We drove past a huge pile of topsoil last weekend and I swooned. Ten dollars a yard, the sign said. Steve came home Monday evening and said “Your topsoil is coming this week.” That’s love. It isn’t just topsoil, it’s projects he knew he’d be pitching in to help with when he placed the order. It’s seven yards of topsoil scraped from a self-storage building site. I’ll be growing garden plants as well as ornaments in this topsoil.

topsoil, growing gardenA little rain did wonders for the peas and broccoli. It rained for only ten minutes but it was a jump start. That was Wednesday, and today it’s raining a little again. If we don’t get enough in the next few days I’ll have to water. I’m being conservative with the well these days. It feels like it’s going to be hot and dry summer and growing garden foods isn’t going to be as easy as the last few years.

peas, growing garden, five on friday
broccoli, five on friday, growing garden
tomatoes in irt, tomatoes in high tunnel, growing gardenIt’s a lot more interesting in the high tunnel. Steve and I transplanted 18 tomato plants of various varieties last weekend, and with one exception, they’re doing well. One flopped over and died without a fight. Within three days it was gone. It’s now feeding the microherd in the soil and has been replaced with a strong, healthy plant. We went to Gleason’s Cove on Sunday afternoon and picked up two totes of rock weed. I’ve mulched the peppers and two rows of cucumbers with the weed. I’d like to get four totes in the fall. I’ll explain why later. The cucumbers should be popping up in a few days. They’re Ministro, a 49 day hybrid variety from Fedco. I love this cucumber. Love it. It has a great flavor when grown in good soil and does well grown vertically.

The peppers are Hungarian Spice Paprika sweet, two from grocery store peppers because I want to see what they produce, and King of the North, my favorite bell.

cucumbers in high tunnel, mulch, seaweed, rock weed, growing garden
Cucumbers will pop up in the middle next week.

peppers, rockweed, seaweed in the garden, growing garden, high tunnelsAdding for my Five on Friday, how about fruit. I read over the winter that when an apple tree produces unusually heave one year it probably won’t produce much at all the next. The apple trees have been phenomenal the past two years so surely this year there won’t be many apples. If the blossoms are an accurate indication of what’s to come they’re going to outdo themselves. Cherries, too. We don’t know the variety of cherries. They weren’t intentionally planted judging by the way they’re growing. Three trees, too close together, are too tall for us to reach the cherries. They self-seed so there are two smaller trees that will produce this year, and that we can reach. They’re sour so they’re only good to me as jelly or jam but it’s gooood jelly and jam.

cherry blossoms, five on friday, growing garden, sour cherries

I’ve done a lot of writing this week. I’ll spare you the pictures of crumpled yellow sheets ripped unceremoniously from a legal pad. Lots of ripping and crumpling but 5,000 okay words so it hasn’t been a lost week.

What’s going on with you this week? Join us!

week of wildlife, five on friday

Out n About in Mid May

Out n About in Mid May

Out n About – Five on Friday

This hasn’t been the greatest week ever but it hasn’t been terrible either. I had oral surgery on Tuesday, something I’ve put off too long, am glad is over, and wish I hadn’t done. I’m glad I did but gees this is a pain literally and figuratively. I’ve been indoors most of the week but did manage to get out n about a little.

I did a lot of cooking this week. Fiddleheads are up, radishes are being picked almost daily so I’ve been making roasted radishes, and we caught brook trout that I used for an article I’m writing for 1800Gear. All this cooking while I’m on a soft food diet because of the missing tooth.

Last weekend we went fishing for supper. It was a beautiful day to be on the water. This is Steve’s fly line. I watched him quite a bit to learn more about how to cast properly.

fly line, fly fishing, out n about

I love old cars and Maine seems to have a lot of old, abandoned cars, usually in the woods. You can see where the trees grew up and around this car. I bet it really was something in its day, it’s a big car. We saw this while out ‘n about looking for turkeys.

old car, out n about

I think I’ve found a spot to duck hunt. I’m excited about this possibility. I love duck and don’t raise as many as we would eat if we had more. I need a few decoys, a call, and I think I’m all set. Without a retrieving dog I’ll need to get them myself so I’ll take the kayak.

beaver pond, out n about, Maine

The trillium are blooming now. I could find pink and red but no white this year. That’s unusual. The red is deeper and darker than usual.

red trillium, out n about

And oh happy day, I discovered plum blossoms yesterday. We haven’t yet had plums on the trees. This is the largest of three trees and the only one with open blossoms so far. I’m hoping they pollinate each other enough to have at least a few plums. My nose took me to the orchard. The rich, sweet smell drifted on the breeze and caught my attention. This tree has suckers that need to be pruned so I’ll do that today and try to root them to share with my sisters.

plum blossoms, out n about

Next week I’ll be sharing the garden. The worst of the cold seems to be over. I’ll be planting, digging up to relocate, and starting more seeds. To join us in Five on Friday click the link below and share what you did while you were out n about.

week of wildlife, five on friday

Spring Scenery – It’s getting greener a little at a time

Spring Scenery – It’s getting greener a little at a time

Spring Scenery

I’m joining in on Five On Friday with a week of spring scenery. I’m chosen five highlights or activities of my week. If you’d like to join in you can find the information at the Five on Friday link.

We’ve had beautiful weather, okay weather, and cold, wet, damp, uncomfortable weather this week. I started my week at a writing retreat in Grand Lake Stream. Sunrises were stunning. It was cold enough on morning to wake to frozen pipes. The sun rose, air warmed, and before our first workshop the water started to trickle. I got in a few minutes of fly fishing one morning when the fish started to rise before the first workshop began. There’s a little more green in the scenery after this week’s rain.

Steve and I have been to Grand Lake Stream to check out the water flow and watch the anglers fly fishing. And we’ve done a lot of turkey hunting this week. The elderberry buds are forming. The spring scenery is coming along. A few more warm, sunny days will do it wonders.

spring scenery, big lake, Grand Lake Stream

spring scenery, five on friday

spring scenery
spring scenery, boulder, Grand Lake Stream
elderberry buds, spring sceneryTurkey hunting hasn’t been good yet. We have three full weeks to go. I’m day dreaming of four big toms, we can each take two, to help fill the freezer but we’ve barely seen turkeys. Every bird we’ve seen has been at a distance. I walked a half mile down a pipeline to get to a tom that disappeared before I got close enough. That’s a story of its own. We’ve seen a bear, a lot of deer, the few turkeys, more snowshoe hares than we’ve had in a few years, and lots of vistas. Standing at the top of one ridge while looking down at lakes, ponds and streams and back up again to mountains and more ridges is scenery I can’t adequately describe. It’s worth getting up at 3 am to see.

How was your week?

spring scenery, five on friday

Week of Wildlife – Five on Friday

Week of Wildlife – Five on Friday

Week of Wildlife – Five on Friday

I’m joining in on Five On Friday with a week of wildlife. I’m chosen five highlights or activities of my week. If you’d like to join in you can find the information at the Five on Friday link.

My favorite month for wildlife observation is May but with an early spring this year, April is honing in. We’ve been scouting for turkeys before the season opens, not seeing many turkeys, but seeing a lot of deer and waterfowl.

One: The first set of pics are male (top) and female common merganser ducks.

common merganser, drake, merganser, week of wildlife
common merganser, duck, week of wildlifeTwo: This ant hill was nearly destroyed by something looking for grubs. My first guess is a skunk but I wouldn’t swear to it. What do you think?
ant hill, week of wildlife, Three: This is my friend Waddles the porcupine. We went for a run Wednesday morning. Or more like I spotted him when we were looking for turkeys, jumped out of the truck and ran up the road to catch up to him. I didn’t want to scare him with the truck so approaching on foot was my best chance of getting good photos. Don’t you just want to scoop him up and hug him? No? He is cute though, isn’t he.

porcupine, tree, Maine, week of wildlifeFour: I mistook these blue spotted salamander eggs for frog eggs on Monday afternoon. Maureen knew they are salamander eggs. We used one of her many field guides to figure out if they were yellow or blue spotted. My week of wildlife doesn’t usually include salamander eggs in mid-April.

Blue spotted salamander eggs, week of wildlifeFive: This (I think) buck stood long enough for me to take several photos. I think I can see bumps at the pedicle where antlers are starting to grow. Two other deer were on the side of the road. We saw eight while we were out Wednesday morning.
week of wildlife, buck on a dirt road

What wildlife is moving around you?

week of wildlife, five on friday

Five on Friday – April 15

Five on Friday – April 15

Five on Friday – April 15

I’m joining in on Five On Friday – April 15 this week. I’m chosen five highlights or activities of my week. If you’d like to join in you can find the information at the Five on Friday link.

I’ve been working outside and in the high tunnel, wrote a freelance piece for 1800Gear, and working on this new blog. We’ll be working outside this weekend. I think black fly season will start early so we want to get as much done as possible before they’re unbearable. We plan on taking a little time out to do some fishing. There are a couple of small streams I’d like to explore this spring. It would be nice to have fresh brook trout for supper.

Monday was off to a beautiful start. If you click on the photo you’ll get to see more photos of the sunrise.
sunrise over thebarn, good morning sunrise
I made whole wheat sourdough bread, as usual. I tried a batch of sourdough rye but it was a disaster. I didn’t have the hydration right so it stuck to the Banneton. I haven’t figured out how to get the dough off the fiber yet.

whole wheat, sourdough

The deer are coming to the food plot earlier now. They’ve been here in late afternoon. I didn’t see them but there are photos on the game camera. It’s time for antlers to start growing so I’ll be looking closely at the pictures.

whitetail doe, white-tailed, deer, food plot

I’ve been watching the amount of damage a porcupine is causing to trees on Democrat Ridge. Some of the trees are gnawed but others have been girdled and will die. There are at least two dozens trees damaged.

porcupine, damage, tree, girdle trees

Last night on our way back from looking for a place to fly fish we saw this yearling white-tailed deer. Do you notice anything unusual? Look closely. It’s a piebald, also called roan. It has white fur where white fur doesn’t belong.

roan, white-tailed, deer, piebald, piebald deer