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.

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

January musings and a grand day out

It's been an unusual winter in Maine with warm temperatures and a severe lack of snow. While anti-snow lovers are rejoicing I am suffering from reverse Seasonal Depression and was even known to curse the southern half of the Northeast for misunderstanding how lucky they were to get dumped with just shy of 30" of snowy goodness. That's a playground scenario for this girl. As it is right now I'm overlooking my bland back yard, part dead pine needless and ironically - part green grass with patches of snow here and there. It feels like spring with temps in the 40's, there are buds on some trees and the poor chickadees and titmouse are singing their spring songs, which wouldn't be so bad but it's the last day of January. JANUARY. I'm secretly hoping for a repeat of last February where Mother Nature provided us with our normal snowfall amounts in a span of about two weeks. I'm really just hoping for one more good dumping so I can use my cross country skiis and snowshoes somewhere other than my back yard, I hope I didn't waste the one good storm we had this year already.

Anyway - rant over. Yesterday - since it was so pretty out - I decided to get out and do some birding and sightseeing (along with the other 5 million Portland area residents - it was nice to see folks out enjoying the day but get out of my way!). I packed up my stuff and headed out. I went to all my normal local haunts just trying to soak in the sights and beef up my ebird checklists for this year. The sky was a brilliant blue for most of the morning, turning slightly overcast as the day moved on and this chilly offshore breeze appeared, making the 45 degrees seem much cooler.

Trail reports are as expected - paved areas are nearly perfect but still contain slippery, icy areas - earthen or grassy walkways are muddied and also contain icy areas. I scoped out the Westbrook River walk, Mackworth Island, Eastern Prom, Thomas Knight park, Bug Light park, Spring Point Light, the Portland Headlight, the Eastern Trail, the Atlantic Way Trail and East Sanctuary trail. I did not hike them but I did look at them to see if I had appropriate footwear and alas - I did not. Perhaps intentional? Could be - but you don't always have to be OUT in nature to ENJOY nature, right? Of course not. :) I'll save that for some warmer weather.

The Portland Headlight, as seen from Andrews Ave driving to Mackworth Island

B&M Baked Beans plant, as seen from the Eastern Promenade

I caught this Mockingbird happily eating last fall's crabapples

An oil tanker empties it's belly while parked on the Fore River

Another Mockingbird, one of three I found at Bug Light park

Pompoms or Christmas Ornaments? You be the judge! Plane Trees at Bug Light Park

Bug Light - keeping boaters safe as they enter Portland Harbor

A lobsterman cruises across Casco Bay with Cousin's Island stack in the left background

The infamous Spring Point Lighthouse

Black Ducks searching for snacks in the calm waters of Spring Point harbor

A Song Sparrow takes a moment to size me up at Dyer Point

A male Long Tailed duck searching for snacks at Pine Point

Surf Scoters off Vines Landing, Biddeford Pool



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