I got no kick against fall. It's the season of my birth; I like the pretty colors of the trees; you can pick apples and carve pumpkins; there's five or six Jewish holidays, and only one that forbids eating. Fall can be downright tolerable.
So forgive me, on this cold wet day, if I don my rose-colored glasses and ogle some photos I took during summer, which I think of as fall's ditzy younger sister. More over, Moira, Tammy's in town.
One of this summer's best events was a trip to Maine, where a large and excellent chunk of my family lives. We have a cottage that seems to be slowly sliding down the side of a hill, but if everybody sleeps on their right sides, we can delay its progression.
Anyhoo, the deer flies also enjoy our cottage, and like to prey upon walkers in the crepuscule. But we showed them!
At first glance this probably just looks like Anita's charming garden sun hat. But take a closer look.
Gross, right? Normally I don't celebrate hunting and trapping of large game, but this is such a clever (elegant, almost?) way to take a fly-free walk that I just had to share it. Sticky fly strips sit on your hat, and when flies land, they don't take off again. Plus, the juxtaposition of the cheerful ribbon and the horror show of the glue tape speaks to the Deistic absurdities of natural rights and power. Or, maybe it's just gross.
In case your eyeballs need a cleanser... walk with me, if you will, to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens!
If you've never been, you must go. It's full of wonderful things that even people who think they don't like flowers (ahem, Dad...) can still enjoy.
...like this little charmer...
Tired of horizontal surfaces? Try this hip vertical bed, which is part of the accessibility garden.
This comely frog is also part of the accessibility garden. What a juicy specimen!
Moving still coastward, the trip included some great oceanic visions. I'm not likely to bask in the sun on a sandy white beach like a starfish; fortunately, my crusty ancestors forsook warm waves for the freezing crags that reminded them of home. Starkly beautiful, you might call it. A decidedly mai tai-free zone.
This is a view off the shoreline of Monhegan Island, a wonderful spot inhabited mostly by artists and something like 60 year-rounders. The way to get there from the main(e)land is by ferry-- a trip I hadn't made in almost 30 years--and I thought it would be fun for Zoog* and me to putt across Muscongus Bay and spend the day on the island.
*(Zoog, noun; partner, bae, boo, main squeeze, etc... transliterated from the Hebrew)
It was a little choppy on the seas (3-to-5-foot swells, for those keeping score), and our captain informed us before we set sail that it was so rough anyone who wanted was free to get off the boat and receive a full refund. But we all stayed put, thinking that with enough ginger candy chews and blessings from our rugged ancestorys, breakfast would remain inside our bodies. And that was largely true. But not for the woman behind us. Good thing they'd handed out "discomfort bags" to all the passengers. Poor thing was sitting in the middle of three people, and yarked and yarked...audibly...heart-breakingly....horrifyingly...for 45 minutes, as those in front of her clung to the railings and talked with great focus about teapots and stamp collecting. But once we reached land and kissed the sweet ground we were ready for a little tromp. And tromp we did!
It's possible to hike all the way around the island, but if you want to stop and stare at the water and eat leftover lasagna, you can only do about 3/4 of it. Which was more than ok with Zoog, since he could probably detect my plans for the next day, when we hauled up to a *fabulous* view at the top of Mount Megunticook, in Camden.
This is probably a good reminder that the memories stored in one's brain are often better than the ones stored on one's camera. If color's gonna be washed out, let it be washed out with sunlight.
And let me say only that the climb was tough even for longer limbs...
And some of the shorter-limbed hikers hitched a ride the whole way. CRat (pictured above) stowed away in the pocket of my cargo shorts, only to emerge when I dropped an M&M onto my lap.
Even Pierre, who, it should be noted, has no limbs, somehow made it to the top. He posed for this sweet brotherly picture without losing his balance and plunging into the scrub pine. A successful trip, if ever there was!
So now, as the days get shorter...and the temperature drops...and the lattes get all tarted up with ingredients meant to jolt us into caffeinated fits of consumerism (PUMPKIN spice? You wouldn't know a pumpkin if it grew up your pant leg! Humbug!), I have these sunny memories to keep me chipper. Though I'm reminded of that saying so oft cross-stitched onto the scented pillows in every roadside knicknack store. Oh, Summer: I pine for you, and also balsam.
I guess I'd better start looking on the bright side. The extra hour of sleep will be nice (that one night). I might sweat less in the course of a day. Mashed potatoes are back in season. That's probably the right attitude. And heck, in another couple months, the days will start getting longer again.
Until then: Hello, Darkness, my old...friend?