The Brutality of Nature

Last week I noticed what appeared to be a large bird in my woods. I walked closer and saw that it was a hawk. Hawks eat chipmunks and are not welcome on my property, especially when they are dangerously close to Buster’s burrow at the edge of the woods. In animated NYC fashion I told it to get lost. Perched on a branch up high it watched my little performance, and when I was finished it flew away. There! I showed him!

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A Brush With Death, and Paint

My yard is full of surprises. I was deadheading roses and noticed this Wooly Bear caterpillar. On a cabbage, what looked like detritus simply hopped away. It’s this garden variety of unannounced visitors that I welcome. What was absolutely terrifying was when a mystery object came crashing down from above!

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When Wishes Come True

One day Wishy wasn’t his usual “chipper” self.

“Are you sad, Wishy?” the teacher asked.

“Yes. I wish that summer would last all winter long!”

Summer in Maine is a beautiful season. The teacher wished it would last longer, too. She knew not all wishes can come true even though they are nice to have.

Excerpted from Wishy the Bookworm Chipmunk.

Although Maine will not become an endless summer, one of my dear wishes has magically come true!

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Scenes From My Week

Saturday evening Wayne and I went out a hot date to the Home Depot parking lot. We didn’t go “parking” but were looking at the sheds on display in the upper 80 degree temps. The night before was an even hotter date–there was a rollover accident in our town that took out a utility pole. When he got home from work our house had been without air conditioning for about four hours. I wasn’t able to make that organic turkey meatloaf I had planned, either, so we went out to, ready? the food court at the mall. We didn’t want to deal with crowded Friday night restaurants.

Here are some more cheerful and picturesque things from my week:

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Monitoring Dogs & Piping Plovers

Last year when Wayne proposed to me on the beach we were surrounded by piping plovers. I captured a video of it that you can see and hear here. Piping plovers are an endangered species so there are special dogs restrictions in place to help keep the plovers safe. I’m a volunteer beach monitor through a town government sponsored program. They are such charming little birds and I wanted to give back to them for their being a part of our engagement.  My job is educate dog owners not in compliance and observe the plovers.

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Thank you, Lawrence Wishner & Elizabeth Taylor

What does it mean to be authentic? Does it mean that you have to share every passing thought, desire, opinion and passion with whomever will listen? Do you have to follow every fancy, eat whatever you’re craving because well, you gotta be you? Not for me, no. “To thine own self be true” is something I try and live every day which is not to be confused with self-centeredness, narcissism or lack of self-restraint. Sometimes it involves making life-altering choices; other times it’s seemingly inconsequential, however when such “little” decisions are strung together over time they look a lot like a lifestyle. 

So why then do I sometimes feel like I need permission to be myself? And from whom does this permission need to come? What if it never comes to pass?

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Happy Independence Day from Rocky!

Rocky continues to have a penchant for rocks. Thankfully he lives not just in a free country, but in a yard that is free from the tyranny of “must be golf course perfection” and the owners of which celebrate chipmunks and all of their “decorating” glory!*

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My new friend, Rocky!

Rocky lives behind my house and began visiting shortly after Chippie passed away, likely because she could no longer chase him away from her deck. I chose his name after I saw an incredible feat he accomplished last week: The day after we had heavy downpours he did some admirable excavating from his burrow–there was a pile of dirt with large rocks mixed in, some of which were almost half his size! Can you hear the theme to Rocky playing right now? He and all the chipmunks have free rein. They are like the Queen’s corgis–they do as they please without any admonishment. The mounds of love and joy they bring us can’t compete with a little mess.

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October Storm Cleanup in June

We have a beautiful backyard once again! Last October 31st storm’s winds blew the top off of a large white pine tree in our backyard. Not long after that, a second gusty storm toppled another tree that landed on top of the tree that already had snapped. It was very difficult to find a company to remove the trees due to the fact that everyone was booked solid because of the widespread damage in the area. Then the snow came and mud season followed, so we needed to wait for the ground to get hard once again. We scheduled our cleanup about a month ago and finally it happened today!

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