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Last week we hiked 4 hours to look at fall colors in the mountains. Something is going on with my hip and it was less than fun for me.

The next day, I turned around, after taking out the compost, and saw this.

From my driveway. Much easier.

Yesterday, while preparing for my zoom french lesson, in my pajamas, in my house, this popped into view.

And in its native setting.

Why do I bother going outside at all?

Back in business

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse was dark for a month after a lightning storm zapped its LED bulb. I met the Coast Guard electrician who told me the bulb was sent to Australia for repair! Yet on my one of my final days as a keeper, four men in blue coveralls arrived in an unmarked truck. Much less dramatic than other locations where they arrived by helicopter.

Bulb repair

And just like that, we had a light again.

It was comforting to see it from my bedroom window once again.

I was very busy my last week, seeing the sites and packing up the house. Tim and I had visited all but one of the bridges on Acadia’s carriage roads. I made a final trip and saw the last of the lot, the Cliffside Bridge.

As its name implies, it is built into the side of a cliff. I couldn’t be sure it even crossed a stream.

Cobblestone bridge is the first carriage road bridge built and the only one made with cobblestones, not granite. It sits just outside the Park and is my personal favorite. I liked it so much, I crossed it on three occasions.

The second time was with Tim when we came upon this whimsical tree carving.

Complete with stick figures and a porcupine or beaver.

Then I cleaned house, packed up the dishes and linens for the NPS and gathered my pantry, projects and clothes and headed home.

I loved living on the sea’s edge with waves crashing beneath my windows but, ” There’s no place like home “. (Have I mentioned I played the good witch, Glenda, in fourth grade).

Shetland shawl and a floater

I finished The Pam Shawl I started in June. It’s a beauty, not blocked yet but hanging in my window as a curtain for now. I used Jamieson and Smith shetland lace yarn.

We saw the coast guard drive by this window the other night with blue lights flashing. For two days, there had been a float caught on a lobster buoy. Tim spotted it initially and we confirmed it was a float with binoculars and my telephoto lens. Plus, multiple lobster boats drove by without pause. The other night at sunset, someone decided to call the coast guard to report a body in the water. She just needed a hug.

If it’s Tues, where am I

It has been a whirlwind of travel. I drove to and fro home for 8 hours each way to work two days. Around hour six, I forget what I occupied myself with at hour two.

I caught up with friends and new fawns.

I’m not sure if one of these two got lost, but this is what I heard for an hour at 0200, my second night home.

Not for the feint of heart

Then it was back home for a day of work at the lighthouse before I flew from Bar Harbor to Washington, DC.

Although I never saw Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse from the air, I spotted Seguin Island off the mouth of the Kennebec River. I find it fun to see a place I know so well from the air.

I stayed in Chinatown where there is a diagonal crosswalk, how does that work? I tried it and made it to the opposite corner unscathed.

I saw this rooftop garden from my room. Landscaped hills on the roof! It turned out to be a building affiliated with landscape design.

I relied on public bikes for transportation and visited the Portrait gallery, where my favorite painting was not a portrait.

Ryder’s House by Edward Hopper
Courtyard cafe at the Portrait Gallery

I rode around the Mall and visited the African American Museum and the Museum of the Native American. The exhibits often brought me to tears but the food at the cafes soothed me.

African American Museum
Ceiling of Native American Museum

Of course, best of all and the purpose of this visit was to see my daughter in her hometown.

The chaps swagger

I strapped on our chainsaw chaps, which were still set for my waist, donned the helmet and got to work. I immediately felt like a tough guy. Tim gave me lots of tips and we made quick work of a large fallen branch on the lawn, and got three!! pieces of firewood.

I hope the tree survives. I believe it is a copper beech and it is a beauty. It holds its leaves until January and then they fall after they have turned a beautiful, golden copper color.

We used to hang the bird feeders on it but recently moved them closer to the house. It’s better than Netflix. Yesterday, a chipmunk stuffed its cheeks and only stopped when it couldn’t poke its head back into the feeder because it was too big. We’ve had cardinals, too many blue jays, goldfinch, who are almost fluorescent now, chickadees, nuthatches and tufted titmouse.

The blue birds picked the perfect box to build their nest. We won’t be here to follow their activity though and the hummingbirds and bees will be on their own. Who knows what mischief they will get into.

Hint of Spring

We were tempted into believing it was really Spring. The bees are out and about, the birds are returning, two bluebirds chose a house on the lawn.

I drove to Middlebury, Vermont to meet a friend from New Hampshire. Trees have buds but no blooms yet.

Many are shaped by the southerly winds.

And then, just like that, we got another 10 inches of snow and lots of fallen branches. Tonight, Tim coached me as I rebuilt the fire pit. Tomorrow, I’ll be wielding the chain saw. Vroom, vroom.

Dichotomies

I wrote a paper today for my french class about Stromae, a Belgian singer-songwriter, audiovisual creator and fashion designer. Here it is for you francophones.

I discussed the dichotomies of his songs: harrowing themes with music that makes one dance.

That is what today is like. Flowers in bloom inside and perhaps the last snow squalls of the season in the mountains.

Cascade lakes

WE drove to the pool in Lake Placid today and Tim exercised in it. He finally believes he is going to be OK. Last month, one doctor scared the bejeesus out of him and painted a future filled with chronic pain.

He slid down that hole. Now this month she reports he will be fine (as did his first spinal surgeon two months ago). He’s on cloud 9 and able to deal with pain because he no longer fears it will dominate him. He thinks he needed that message. I disagree.

But now we are positive! This Christmas/Easter cactus went from good to astounding within a few days.

So hopeful. It opened itself up to the world. I considered putting it outside near my beehive!

Out and about

We may have had the last snow of the season and I didn’t even have to shovel, while Tim continues to recover.

Our last or penultimate dusting

I’m finally getting more comfortable putting myself out there. I took a wonderful trip to DC to visit my daughter, my first domestic flight. I wore a real N95 the whole time and declined food so I could keep my mask on.

The Capitol from Homewood suites

I stayed in a hotel she built! That was fun.

Rode the metro.

And ate mostly outdoors in restaurants, and perhaps imbibed bit too much.

I bought this new wide angle and macro lens for my iPhone. I am hoping to get some good shots of the Milky Way during our next caretaking stint in Acadia National Park (with the wide angle, not the macro).

African violet leaf

We heard Itzhak Perlman play at the Flynn Theater stayed in a hotel in Burlington overlooking Lake Champlain and home.

And then we returned home.

Always the best place to be, or as the good witch told Dorothy “There’s no place like home”.

Bird brains

Very useful for winged creatures, not so much for government leaders

Here are my local critters putting them to good use.

One bird often sits at the feeder and shovels out seeds for its buddies.

This image occurred when my own bird brain pressed the wrong button on my camera. It looks like an interesting textile but was really…

So plenty of mammals have bird brains too. Here’s a local deer taking a selfie in my Wildlife camera. I have to get a third camera. I hid the first in the woods, never to be found by me again, and this second version needed the animals this close to get a picture.

Wildcamera