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Sorta Semi-Seasonal Life on Penobscot Bay~2008 Edition

Please join me in welcoming Pat Saunders for another installment of her life here at the campground…Pat divides her summer months between Searsport and Henrietta New York.

We’re nearing the end of our lengthiest Spring stay at Searsport Shores since our inaugural visit in May of

2005. This past May 18th, we said “See ya later!” to our daughter and son-in-law and left our newly-

married son and daughter-in-law to their honeymoon in Las Vegas, and shed the pressures of “real life”

to resume our love affair with Maine. Tomorrow we head back to the southwest (upstate New York) to

celebrate Fathers’ Day with those responsible for making my husband a candidate.

There have been several clear, sunny days, one of which we chose for a daytrip to Moosehead Lake. For

years Don has been promising himself (and threatening me with) a visit to Maine’s North Woods, where

flocks of moose line up along the roads, binoculars and cameras dangling from their antlers, breathlessly

hoping for an encounter with a wandering tourist. It was a beautiful ride, two hours of hilly country roads

and very green forests. At the southern tip of Moosehead, we stopped in Greenville for lunch at a restaurant

(The Black Frog) overlooking the water. Not wanting to shirk our tourist responsibilities, we checked out

a few little shops, buying (what else?) postcards and fudge. Then we set off again along the eastern shore

of the lake, briefly pausing at Lily Cove State Park before continuing on to Kokadju, a former logging station,

now a camping destination. Not far beyond Kokadju, the pavement stops, as did we. Alas! Not a single

moose interrupted his busy schedule to make an appearance! However, whenever we stepped from the car,

\"Population not many\"we were greeted enthusiastically by entire communities of blackflies!! Unfortunately, the mother blackflies

had neglected to explain the concept of “personal space” to their families. We felt like pots of black beans

at a public supper. I’ll bet the moose were laughing themselves sick in their hiding places among the trees!

( FYI: Moose sightings are more likely at dawn and dusk near boggy areas, so if you’re also going to Moose-

head Lake to see moose, plan to leave Searsport really early in the morning, or to get back well after dark.

And bring along your hipboots and blackfly hats. ) No doubt we’ll return to Moosehead Lake later in the

season when most of the blackflies have, you’ll pardon the expression, bit the dust. Perhaps we’ll take a

cruise on the SS Katahdin to explore the shore from the water, rather than vice versa.

Today is a glorious one at Searsport Shores. Sunshine is much more appreciated after a stretch of over-

cast skies and precipitation. I’d been searching for reassurance that Spring was here to stay in Maine. The

daffodils have shrivelled and the tulips have dropped their petals. Lilacs and azaleas are still blooming and

I’ve seen a few dramatic neon-orange poppies and large, yet delicate bleeding heart bushes in a few local

gardens. We have those in New York, also. But for me, the most convincing evidence that winter is gone

for good this year, grows wild along the roads and in open fields – “phalanxes” of lupine marching into


My dialect coach cautions that my pronunciation, “lew-pine”, will advertise my ” from away-ness”

(Guilty, your Honor.) so I’m making an effort to say “loo-pin”. Either way, I’m completely enamored with

the armies of purple plumes, invaded by the occasional pink, or less frequently, a white one. Who, do you

suppose, deserves a medal for introducing the lupine to Maine? I prefer to believe it’s Miss Rumphius who

scattered the seeds in her quest to beautify the earth. ( If you are curious about the entire story, ask in

the children’s section of the bookstore. )

So if there should be another day when the ground squishes beneath your feet, a chill creeps through

your sweater, or a blackfly ( or two, or two thousand ) swoops in for a bite, and you’re tempted to retreat

inside until summer, go scouting for lupine instead. Bet a piece of fudge you’ll feel better!

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