Sunday, September 18, 2011

Changing Seasons

Couldn't resist talking about Maine in September. As we approach the actual beginning of Autumn on the 23rd of September I must say Mother Nature was eager to birth her child. We already are having 40 degree nights and dry mid 60 days, the leaves are beginning to turn, and the apples have aged to a healthy red blush over the earlier green of summer. They are still tart and less juicy than I like them for eating, but they make a nice sauce or pie. Pumpkins are orange and ready for gathering (I heard there is a scarcity of them this year, but not in Maine as I can see fields of them outside of the city). I love pumpkin pie but I only eat the filling. Yes, I buy a pie and scoop out the filling, give a bit of the crust to Nick my faithful Wheaten Terrier, but throw out the rest. Once I put the crust out in my back yard for the birds, but to the consternation of my neighbors it drew a dozen or more sea gulls, so I won't do that again.

Anyway, Fall in Maine is a beautiful time of year and if it lasts into November we are fortunate. We have been so very blessed this year with reasonbly comfortable days and nights, enough rain to keep the grass green and the gardens growing, and the hurricanes, fires and floods which have devastated so much of the country, has passed us by - so far. If the woods stay wet during the next two months and the "el nino" behaves himself, this will be a good year for us weather-wise. Otherwise, of course, Maine like everywhere else has suffered from the economic troubles of our whole country.

Much of Maine's economy depends on the tourists who love our wide white ocean beaches, and our sandy lake side areas. I grew up going to the ocean; to me beaches means ocean front areas. Most lakefronts have coarse sand and rocky edges left by the great glacier ages ago. In my mind you can go to the beach, or you can go to the lake. They are not the same. Tourists love both, and our parks and seaside communities love the tourists - after they've gone and left their dollars behind. Portland, Maine's largest city, has a newly developed pier to accommodate larger ships. Passengers disembark into the "Old Port" or go on busses to Kennebunkport for a bit of shopping and a ride around Walker's Point which is where the Bush summer home is, or to Freeport the home of L.L.Bean. So, summer has come and is nearly over but Maine, if you have the urge to travel, will welcome you into it's Autumn season with joy. Colorful trees, not quite so crowded beach and lake areas (where the water will be cold, but the experience still invigorating), the shops will be ready to bargain and the highways will be less crowded.

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