Saturday, July 4, 2015

Notes from My Nest: Changes

1. 6-29-15 the western mountains of Maine The Mountains of Maine 6-29-15

It is a cool, gray day here on Mere Point. Gus and I are spending a quiet weekend at home. It has been awhile since I have written and a lot has changed in the past few months. I am done with physical therapy on my shoulder. It is almost as good as new. While I still have a lingering soreness in my thigh from where I had a huge bruise and hematoma after falling through the hole in the floor, most of the other symptoms have resolved themselves over time. I must say that this injury has deeply affected my life and changed me in many ways. I did not like being dependant on others for help. I did not like feeling helpless, and having this happen really made me feel old. While I am starting to feel like myself again, I find I am more cautious and more focused on getting and staying strong and healthy. I still have one remaining health concern. Before I fell through the floor and dislocated my shoulder, and before I had surgery last Christmas, I had trouble with my knee and was on crutches for about 10 days. That problem was never dealt with, but now it is finally being addressed as my knee can be just fine, then suddenly it will lock up on me and I cannot walk. I am going for an MRI this week. Hopefully we will get some answers.

2. 7-1-15 summer green Meanwhile, my time here at Mere Point has come to an end. Our lease on this cottage is up and we have chosen to move elsewhere. While Gus would love to move back to Tucson, (and he has been relentlessly applying for jobs there) so far there is no job offer, so we find ourselves on the lookout for a new place to rent. We have to be out of here by August 7th and as yet, we have no place to go. Hopefully something will change this week and our path will become clear.

3. flowers everywhere It’s funny how when you think you are leaving a place that everything becomes sharper and clearer. I find myself focusing on the greenness of the vegetation, the coolness of the air, and the scent of the salty sea. Right now the raspberries are all in bloom and their fragrance perfumes the air here in my yard and at the boat launch. Underlying all of these smells is the fragrance of pine and the scent of new mown grass. These are the smells of New England to me, made sweeter by the thought of moving away from them again.

4. 6-27-15 Siblings Me and my siblings 6-27-15

It is no secret that I have married a gypsy boy. He likes to move around, and I have been grateful for all the places that we have been able to see and experience, but now I am ready to settle down and quit moving. I want my own house again, and Gus wants to move to Tucson for good. He has decided it is his favorite place on earth and it is where he would like to retire. All of this makes me pensive and sweetly sad as I think of leaving my family once again. Yet, there is no telling when that might happen. Either way, we have to move and there will be yet another new yard and a new yard list. In my 18 months here, I have seen 117 species of birds. This has been THE BEST YARD ever.

In yet another change, I am sad to report that the Birding is Fun blog is going into retirement for now. I have enjoyed my time as a writer for this blog and am proud of my association with it. When Robert Mortenson was at the helm it was of unparalleled quality. I was sad to see him step down and now I am even more sad to see it end. But, as the saying goes, “To everything there is a Season, and a Time for every purpose under heaven…”

Here are some scenes from where I have been birding lately:

5. 6-20-15 Messalonskee Lake Boat ramp 6-20-15 Messalonskee Boat Ramp

Gus and I stopped by here on our way to visit Dad the day before father’s Day. I was able to see 4 Black Terns flying out over the lake as well as my first ever in Maine Pied-billed Grebe! Just a short distance farther up the road I got my Purple martins for the year!

6. 6-26-15 mere point bay 6-26-15 The boats are back in the water at Mere Point Bay


7. 6-27-15 Mom's yard 6-27-15 Mom’s backyard sanctuary in Colchester, CT

On the weekend of June 27th we travelled to Connecticut for the annual Adams Family Road Race and Mom’s 79th birthday! I did not run, of course, but took photos and counted birds! I was hoping to find a Yellow-throated vireo and I think I may have heard one, but I did not see it so I did not count it because I was not sure. I counted a total of 20 species for Lake Hayward on this day. As you can see from the photo below, Mom’s hair is finally starting to grow back in after her latest battle with breast cancer. We are all so glad that she is still here to celebrate her birthday!

8. 6-27-15 Family 7-27-15 Mom and her kids and one grandkid and their spouses

(My oldest brother had already left by the time it occurred to us to get a family photo!)

On June 29th I drove to Franklin County to count birds. This is yet another of the under-birded counties here in Maine. It was late in the day when I arrived after dropping my daughter off at her current residence in Livermore. I drove up the road to discover a place called Pine Island in the middle of the Androscoggin River.

10. 6-29-15 bridge to Pine Island Livermore 6-29-15 Bridge to Pine Island

I crossed the bridge and followed a path down to the woods by the river. I saw several warblers down in that cool green place, as well as a mink that came slinking out of the undergrowth. We were both surprised to see each other and I slowly raised my camera hoping for a photo, but the small brown animal quietly turned and slipped back into the green foliage before I could focus on it! I counted 10 species on Pine Island before heading for Wilson Pond in Wilton, Maine where I counted 8 species. It was getting late by now and I only had a short time to count birds before it got dark. While I did not see a lot of birds at the lake, I did see a pair of loons and some tree swallows.

11. 6-29-15 Wilson Lake Wilton Maine6-29-15 Sunset on Wilson Pond in Wilton, Maine


9. 6-30-15 raccoon in yard

6-30-15 Back at home, a raccoon has been hanging around the yard!


12. 7-2-15 Brunswick Landing 7-2-15 The South End of Brunswick Landing airfield.

I counted 23 species in 1 1/2 hours while driving 4.4 miles through Brunswick Landing on this day. There have been a lot of changes to the Landing since I moved here 18 months ago with new businesses going in and lots of construction going on. One of my favorite areas to bird is down in back where the old army bunkers are, but it has been gated off and one can no longer drive down there. I believe you can still hike in, but it is a bit of a walk with lots of black flies and mosquitoes and with my knee being the way it is, I have not attempted it.


13. 7-3-15 breakfast cafe in Topsham 7-3-15 Blueberries on Bowdoin Island Mill in Topsham, Maine.

Gus and I went here for breakfast yesterday. It was so nice that we sat outside and of course, I counted birds while we ate! There were song sparrows and yellow warblers singing in the trees and bushes while chimney swifts twittered overhead. Afterwards I walked over to the river’s edge where I saw dozens of herring gulls, three Great Blue Herons, and a Bald Eagle! I counted 10 species in the 45 minutes we were here.

14. 7-3-15 Bowdoin Mill Island 7-3-15 Bricks and roses under a bright blue sky on Bowdoin Mill Island

Then, we stopped by Wharton Point on our way home.

15. 7-3-15 Wharton Point high tide 7-3-15 High Tide at Wharton Point

The Song Sparrows and Bobolinks were singing up a symphony here!

16. 7-3-15 Mating horseshoe crabs Wharton Point 7-3-14 Horseshoe crabs were too busy mating to notice the birds!

So, Happy Fourth of July everyone!

We can only wait and see what the Future holds!

But for now…I think I’ll take a nap!

17. 7-4-15 kitty bliss7-4-15 Kitty Bliss


  1. That's a lot going on! The birds always seem to balance everything. I hope Tucson works out. In the meantime, I'd look for some exciting possibilities to set up a 3 month to 6 month stay for just in case. I was also sad to see bif gone but happy as well. It means he cared enough about it to come back to it. When he is ready, it will be there for him. Until then I hope you keep birding with your newly healed body! Take advantage of your wonderful weather:)

    1. Chris, I guess I cannot complain about living a dull life! Oh well, hopefully something will make itself clear...and soon! thanks for the words of encouragement!

  2. You are one of the most adaptable people I've ever "met". I admire your spirit.

  3. Happy fourth, Kathie! Glad you are feeling better. It will be interesting to see where you land next! I'm so glad we got to meet at least once.

  4. Happy 4th of July Kathie, I too am glad you are feeling better. That was a lovely family photo of you all, and I enjoyed all the other photos and your bird tales. Thank you for your sweet comments about my father-in-law :) I hope wherever you go next it will be a very enjoyable place with lots of exciting birds to count. Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks, Denise. Life is an adventure, isn't it?

  5. I do hope you get to settle down soon Kathie and that everything gets sorted out health wise. Getting through life especially in our more mature years is almost impossible without some health issues. Maybe the warm climes of Tucson will help you back to full good health.
    Best wishes Roy

    1. Roy, who knows where we will go. We could end up staying here. I am so torn at times; wanting to be near family, wanting to live out west. Perhaps we will finally figure it out!

  6. Hi Kathie

    Wow more changes. I am glad you are feeling better and I hope this trend continues it is hard to be hobbled up. Hopefully you will get to settle down soon I really look forward to more summers here with my wife's family and our winters in Calgary. I am a homebody and like to live surrounded by clutter I mean books and art and stuff. I admire how you treat each move as a new adventure all the best on your next one.


    1. Guy, thanks for all the kind words. Things are always happening! I am glad you like your books and art and all of Nature!


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.