It's been several weeks since I have posted. This, I know. Can you blame me? It's now June and it finally FEELS like spring is here. Some native Mainers would argue that the arrival of spring is heralded by the peepers and by the first flowers. Okay, sure. I can give you that. But it has not FELT like spring since arrival of the first peepers and daffodils. And, up until now, I have STILL been cooped up in the office most days sending e-mails and overall PREPARING for things (ug.). Not to mention all the walking to work in cold foggy MISTS and arriving to work unavoidably damp. I'm about to go on a tangent that you might find boring. So feel free to move down the page to the photos.
Funny thing about Maine-even since late march, the colors in the patches of forest have looked more like AUTUMN than spring. Instead of varying shades of green, there were shades of brown, yellow, and reddish. It was weird to look out through the coastal mists and see what looked like forested hillside in late fall rather than early spring. I attribute this to the slow emergence of leafy growth (allow me to get into the specifics a little bit. Then we will get to pictures). If you have ever observed the trees in spring you would notice that FIRST they start budding. Before the leaves really burst from those buds, the trees use all their stored up energy (combined with the new spring energy) and produce flowers and seeds so that they can get on with making more of themselves. THEN the leaves start coming out. I think that in warmer climates, like Missouri, this all happens in a rather quick sequence so that sometimes it's not easy to see this progression of growth. Once it starts getting warmer things just EXPLODE and are GREEN and GROWING and BLOSSOMING and it's WONDERFUL.
Here, growth happens VERY slowly and you can actually see the stages. It's kind of interesting, but it has also made for a pretty non-green March, April, and beginning of May.
ANYWAY. That's all in the past. In the past several weeks things HAVE finally started taking off and temperatures have been WARMER! Everything is green and growing and we are experiencing signs of REAL spring. Not fake, cold, "gotcha!" Maine spring.
There are MANY photos following that document evidence of this spring, and some other random things of the past few weeks.
SPRING CLEANING! I know this doesn't really show a before and after of how this table/my room looked, but I DID clean and finished everything off with a vase of lilacs. I'm pretty sure Lilac bushes are my FAVORITE sign of spring (in the plant department, that is).
Here is the farm road trail, all green and growing and lush at sunset! I AM starting to fall in love with the beauty of this place now that things look alive! P.S., I don't know what kind of flowers many of the following pictures depict.
Starting with this one. OBVIOUSLY it's a conifer. And OBVIOUSLY this is a picture of the tiny male cones. I'm not sure what species this is but the cool this was when you touched these clusters of cones (even barely) clouds of yellow pollen appeared. It was pretty neat.
Nope. No idea what this is. It's pretty, no?
UPDATE: Bachelor's Button
A yellow aster of some kind.
I know this one! Columbine! I really liked the candy cane colors of this one!
I don't know what this is, but these little pink flowers are SO CUTE!
All the plants for the children's garden just WAITING to be put into the ground, or a raised bed.
I think I've shared a picture of this kind of flower before. I just like it a lot. Anyone know what it is?
How cool is THIS flower? They are really pretty when all the flowers open up.
WILD ONES! This is a wild mint of some kind. I looked it up the other day but I can't remember what it was. Maybe ground ivy?
"The princess, Buttercup!"
Like little bells...
UPDATE: Solomon's Seal
These flowers have lost their petals, I think (their calyx maybe? Or is it the corolla?). Anyway, the way they look now, they look like a Dr. Seuss creation. Like Truffula trees!
Merryspring's Rock Garden
Merryspring's front garden
Lilacs at Home!
This is just a short little lane leading to the gardens and I LOVE it. There is a stone bench in it that I love sitting on and listening to the bees and smelling all the GREEN things!
Path to the gardens. To the left is the emerging Hosta garden.
I love simple colored flowers, but I am ALWAYS impressed with multi-colored ones.
A hosta when the sun came out just after a rain.
The season wouldn't be complete without a Memorial Day parade! Only this one seems to have ushered the first REAL warm weather rather than summer. It does NOT feel like summer yet.
Love, the bus. This is a project that Cindy's sons (Cindy is on the Merryspring board). It has something to do with driving the bus around the country.
We are going to look at the parade backwards because THIS was at the end.
Your classic fire engine.
A drama group
Look closely. There is a CUTE little boy in the back seat wearing black goggles! SO cute.
Your classic, classic cars.
You know, coming from a town where we had all the Jr. Highs AND High Schools play in the parades and the shriners in their tiny cars and a million other things, this was comparatively low key. There is only ONE high school in Camden and they were one of TWO bands that played. The whole thing took 10 minutes to pass by. But it was still fun.
Now for some pictures from Merryspring's Members Only Plant Sale and the service the Rockland Branch youth did in helping with it.
Two of the young men pull a cart full of plants to a members car.
Laura waits for a member to pay so she can help her with her plants.
Aaaannnd, a close up of some of the plant sale plants with ray potting in the background.
This is the smoke stack from the Knox Mill (I think it was a wool factory?) which is no longer in use and is now a bunch of restaurants and businesses. This thing is kind of the highlight of the Camden "skyline".
The laundromat I go to!
The vacant lot that was GOING to be a sound studio until THAT idea was shut down by a vote in a town meeting or city council meeting or something.
This is the closed down gas station just up the road from Merryspring. It makes me smile that it was called McDucks. (:
THIS picture was actually taken about a month ago when things were just starting to get cold and foggy every morning. The ants were taking advantage of the moist soils to build their nests. There are TONS of them on the side of the road I walk to work.
Okay, for some reason every time I pass this car I chuckle. And so I had to take a picture. There are these two stuffed ducklings (rather large) that are in the back seat. And to me it always looks as if they are staring out that window, watching me as I walk past. This picture does not properly convey that, sadly.
And now...PORTLAND! It was a grey and cloudy and chilly day. But it wasn't the biggest waste of a Saturday. The buildings there really quite lovely.
This is the boyhood home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Surrounded now by the Bustle of Portland it's still a lovely place.
BEFORE I went to Portland, I went to the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport. I needed a good raincoat and a hat. So...
Once there I was met by a giant hiking boot. WOAH. It was a picture hot spot.
And all of these museum like displays of L.L. Bean products from the past. Our family will especially appreciate this one (being the baseball lovers we are).
And even a section for kids. I really wanted to explore it, but that sign seems so EXPLICIT in it's denial of adults. "KIDS ONLY!"
And now some random food pictures.
I made black beans for the first time at the beginning of May (not a hard thing, just something I had never attempted). They are STILL providing me with wonderful meals!
I've had a pound of black beans since February. The reason I finally cooked them up was because I needed to make something for the branch social. So I made Tex Mex dip! (Man, just looking at this photo is making me want that dip again...)
Recently for one of our YW activities we decorated cupcakes. They didn't turn out as nice as they could have because the icing was runny. But they were still delicious! It brought back memories of decorating goodies with Mom and watching her decorate cakes! I love nostalgic memories.
We're almost done, kids.
Here is the marsh that is on the southern part of the Merryspring property. Technically it's still our land but we really can't do anything with it.
I found another spring! This one is not nearly as well maintained as the one I show to people.
Ready for a before and after? I really wish I had taken a picture of the Children's garden in the winter and then again a week ago when all the grass had grown tall. But this is one shortly after I mowed it.
Sorry it's blurry. I think this was taken with my cell phone. I mowed the space but, even though you can't really tell, there are a lot of weeds in the boarder. THEN, the after...so far...
Wednesday, a volunteer and I put these raised beds together and weeded the boarder. Yesterday, I have to reinforce the beds with metal brackets so they were sure to stay together and then painted the one side of them. Then I put cardboard underneath and bordered them with wood chips. I've been outside EVERY DAY this week! Today, I am going to fill the beds with compost, fill the half barrel with compost, and get to work on the butterfly shaped pollinator garden bed.
There you go. The rest of the month of May.
guess who hits her halfway point in 5 days??