In early spring winter loosens its grip, the nights become crisp, and the air is booming with the orchestrated symphony of the peepers. First, a lone solicit, then thousands, chirping all night long. In the dew dripping mornings, I can hear the grass grow; the buds open up and the love song of the red Cardinal to his shy gray wife.
This is my home now, between the North Atlantic coast and the Appalachian range, Down East Maine, a land of many faces. It’s the rugged shore, the rolling mountains, and remnants of the ice age moraines form of huge boulders randomly thrown on the flat blueberry barrens. Hundreds of sapphire lakes dot the landscape encircled by an ocean that can change within minutes from sparkling blue to cold steel gray.
It is a land of frequent fog. It pulls itself along the ocean edge and blankets the mountains and trees making them emerge as huge ice age mammoth marching out of the muddy marshes. When the fog spreads and almost swallows all that is in its way the lighthouses’ foghorns roll their eerie song over the water. When hearing them I think of sailors catching the easterly blowing winds in their sails, and looking up to the lighthouses’ guiding lights to lead them safely into the rocky harbors.
Soft springs, cool summers, blazing autumns that fade by mid-November and become white winters. This land displays a rainbow of colors, and my favorites are the soft hues of the spring greens and the dark red of the blueberry fields in fall.
There is a stunning view from one of my favorite spots just down the road, of a white farmhouse in the midst of a flaming red field overlooking the blue ocean. It’s a picture so complete no artist could have dream. The narrow front goes on forever, back to the ell, then connecting to the barn. It looks as if it was there since the land was created; its roof’s lines slightly crooked, its foundation made of massive granite rocks aspire to return to the earth.