When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

If you're looking for something specific that we've done or a place that we've been, use the Search Box feature to search our blog.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Another winter sunrise - Buxton, Maine

“We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness”

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Skiing the Cow" at Smiling Hill Farm - Westbrook, Maine

Sorry for the back to back Cross Country posts, but as soon as I hit this place I fell in love and wanted to share as soon as possible! 

I can't tell you how many times I've driven past Smiling Hill Farm, located on County Road right on the oustskirts of Portland. I work basically right up the street, I've been there for lunch, ice cream, to pat the animals and feed the ducks in the pond out front many times in the summer but in the winter, I just hurry on by on my way someplace warm.

I searched on cross country skiing places during the week and low and behold, up popped Smiling Hill Farm. Their website boasted miles of groomed trails and I was immediately intrigued - after all, they are located exactly 15 minutes away from the house so how could I go wrong, right? 

Saturday morning was slightly overcast with another storm on the horizon, expected to hit the area in the late afternoon. I pulled into the parking lot around 10 am and it was relatively empty - not that I complained much (if you know me - crowds are not my thing). I paid my fees, signed myself in on the tracking sheet, strapped myself in and off I went. 

The map I was provided pointed me in the direction of the 'safer' trails - green and yellow dots to indicate the easier trails to navigate. I had no intention of breaking my neck my first time there. :) I followed the Sugar Maple Trail around the far back, came back towards the parking then took a left out towards the massive fields used by the cows all summer long. Those trails brought me out behind Channel 8 news and the Snow Dumping fields before looping me back through the fields and the parking area - which, by this time was completely packed! I was so suprised to see so many cars, but I hadn't hardly run into anyone! With that kind of trail system, there is plenty of room to be alone. 

I had a blast and figured I skied over 4 miles in the 2 1/2 hours I was there. Was it worth the entry fee? Oh heck yes it was! The trails were perfection, I had pretty much had them to myself, I even got in a little birdwatching! I highly recommend this little gem!

Here is their XC Ski portion of the Smiling Hill Farm website and they can also be found on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SmilingHillFarm) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/SmilingHill). 


I know it's hard to read :) Snag a fresh copy from the ski shack!

Mouse tracks in the snow

From the Milk Can trail overlooking the expansive fields

Fox, I assumed

The Snow Graveyard

Some of the few people I saw the entire time I was there

A Portland Trails intersection - interesting! 

I swear this must be the very last Bittersweet of the season....

....and it's obvious that the turkey's are all over it. 


Swail grass up near the barns

Ironically, this is exactly what my body was thinking after I plunked myself in the drivers seat. :)

Thank you! I sure will!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Backyard XC Skiing - more fun than you would think

Here in the Northeast, we haven't had much of a break. I'm not going to get all freak-a-zoid like The Weather Channel forecasters and start ranting about how "Everyone in the Northeast is just SICK, SICK, SICK of the SNOW!" because that's not true. I still have a giddy feeling every time I hear of another storm coming and I was emotionally trainwrecked with the blizzard that was supposed to occur last weekend fizzled and sputtered like a dying flame and we only got 4 inches. 

When it hasn't been snowing, we've been sick with a head cold and cough, reinfecting each other over and over again like the perfect sharing mother and son that we are. 

Being vacation week and all, we were home the whole time and since it was so cold and the roads aren't really all that great, I decided to take advantage of my own back yard and broke in a couple of cross country trails looping through the woods out back. 

I always forget how much fun it is to be in the peaceful silence of my own back yard with the chickadees sweetly singing to me.

*Images taken with my new toy - the GoPro! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Coopers Hawk on the hunt

We've gotten some snow lately - alot of it. I'm in heaven, but that's another blog. This one is more sinister and serious. During one recent storm, my son looked out the back window and told me to bring the camera. There, perched on a large limb above my treeline feeder, was a Coopers hawk.

I snapped these images then my son spooked him away.

A little later on as I was working/on the phone and gazing out the back window at a sweet little junco as he pecked through the snow for niblets when out of nowhere - lightening fast - that same hawk snagged him and disappeared so quickly I shook my head wondering if I had even seen what I thought I saw. The only thing left behind were two feathers and the wingprints in the snow.

And we think our lives are hard.

The classic rounded white tail helps to identify this as a Coopers vs a Sharp Shinned hawk

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My wintering Yellow Rumped Warbler

It's not unusual for a Yellow Rumped Warbler to remain in Maine for the winter, if in a coastal area where it tends to stay a little warmer than the inland areas. Well, I'm not really inland but he's hanging out pretty steady - and I'm not complaining.

He's really taken a liking to my suet and heated birdbath. I've placed the heater under a metal water dish and surrounded it all with gravel so he likes that sauna effect. Like other birds sometimes I catch him just standing on the gravel like "wow - this is fabulous".

Here he is - the handsome creature himself. He sure is a hearty little bugger.


There's that tell tale yellow rump

Brrr little buddy - stay warm!


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