the maine hermit

Here’s included just enough of the hermit’s story to tantalize you. He lived, solitary, within sound of the occasional lawnmower and motorboats plying waters on the pond below his camp. The author of The Stranger in the Woods, Mr. Finkel, called Christopher Knight’s meeting with people “collisions”— as Anne Morrow Lindbergh used this word, I noticed while reading her journals. Collision.

We went biking uphill and downhill through woods, over sand deposits on trails — sands left by the glaciers. It’s the trail I think of as my free will trail. Sometimes on the trail I think about free will.

 

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elsewhere they suffer rains, whereas here we suffer not, but work

snowy-wood

when praying for snow, in hopes of a soft cover over three inches of ice from the oh-so-gentle-looking ice storms…when praying for snow in order that one might go skiing or snowshoeing…please don’t tell anyone i did this…as a lot of tax money has been spent plowing roads…and businesses have had to close temporarily…yet everyone seems merry if you chance to meet….

So please watch what you pray for.

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old settlers’ well

old-settlers-well

We live under a ridge in a narrow vale along an edge of which we snowshoe. This is a mountainous u-shaped valley with deadend road but once extending up the low mountainside to meet another road in these hills. The old settlers actually drove wagons of between the slopes. Don’t know how they did it. Anyway, it’s all wooded now and you can see the old ruts they made. Saplings grow in them. Sometimes, if I’ve “got turned around and woods” (as they say) and I come on one of these mostly hidden tracks, I have the feeling of gratitude, and can follow along until I come to an ATV trail or road.

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Maine members of ongoing creation

 

r-on-shoes-uphill-swan

R. pauses on shoes up toward buck’s farm

 

Today we hope to get in a little snowshoeing, if conditions aren’t too glumpy or icy.  A combo is on the ground now, glump on top, ice underneath. Both conditions are hard on a chronic foot injury from the 1998 ice storm. And R. may be bringing up some wood, though a January thaw is on. Here in Maine we are members of the ongoing creation story, and of the blogosphere.

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Maine seasons and cycles

R. breaks trail

R. breaks the icy trail

In Maine we say there are only two seasons (technically) — winter and July. I hear it’s that way in Canada (only more adherent). Winter this year held off extreme threatening cold until the last two days, -10°F, -23 Celsius, and keeping the woodstove going all night, leaving the cellar door open: The back-up heater in our basement quit but the waterpipes are still intact. We’ve got other seasons in some parts: ski season for instance. Also mud season and bug season (two separate parts of the calendar spring).

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shoeing

snowshoe post2

before dawn above the house

18° outside this a.m., 57° in the bedroom. Fahrenheit. Prediction is for 10° below 0n Sunday morning. Our last post was a prayer for snow. New England neighbors well south of us got more than enough at that time, but here, where there is plentiful use for it, snow on the ground was patchy, old and stiff. No good for skiing or shoeing. It’s been like that all winter. Yesterday we got a very pretty fall of 4 in. which helped some. Usually by this time we’ve posted some snowshoeing entries. We went through level woods past the snowy stream and our neighbors’ on shoes, exhilarated, impressed of the great beauty all around us. And the sun shining through trees from above the slope opposite. This picture was taken this morning at temperature check.

In previous winters it went something like this:

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