We hadn’t been on a backwoods road ride since the snow started adding up so off we went, camera and coffee in hand. This is life out here. Otters on an icy stream. Beautiful winter wildflowers. Scenery. This is where I live. Middle of Nowhere, Maine, surrounded by woods, water and beauty. Let’s start here and then I’ll add more tomorrow. This afternoon I’ll finish a short entry on the varieties of bush beans I’m growing this year.

These roads aren’t sanded or salted. Low spots are icy or flooded from last week’s rain. I used to tense up, grab the oh-shit handle, quietly will Steve to not go there…but that’s over. I paid attention to one flooded spot but more out of interest in the area than nervousness over going off the road.

Looking out toward loon bay

This is someone’s commute every morning and again at night. It’s dark when they drive in, dark when they drive out. For the truck drivers, they make this trip several times a day when they take logs to a mill. Imagine this being your daily drive. Add streams and marshes, wildlife, and trucks coming toward you. CB radios are the main method of communication.

Heavy equipment fascinates me. Steve harvested a load of cedar off our land the first full year we were here. I drove the skidder once. It’s not my thing. I don’t know how I managed to stick a cedar log on the front of the skidder, unicorn style. I’ve stayed off and away since then. These days, people vandalize equipment so I stay in the truck and shoot through the window.

Thanks to the folks who work in the woods regardless of the weather, the roads are plowed and passable. We get to see things like otter on the ice. A second otter slipped into the stream, popped out, dove in, popped out and slipped in again. They were too far away to see well without binoculars, and too much of a strain for the zoom, but you get the idea of the area.

otter, otter on ice