Monday, February 26, 2007


Since I seem to be artistically blocked (it's cabin fever, for sure, a rural, end of winter malady) I thought I would continue with vignettes from my life in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Living in the mountains, we are subject to many visitors of the four legged variety, even in town. The above, aged, Polaroid is of a little visitor who caught my husband and me quite by surprise, along with our dog and cat, one bright summer morning as I came into the kitchen for coffee. I found our dog, Shauna, and our cat, Hattie, sitting in front of our stove, dead still, staring, with all interest in morning chow abandoned.

We assumed, of course, that it was one of the many mice that find their way into our home and started moving the stove in an effort to flush it out. Imagine our surprise when, as the stove came away from the wall, a little masked face made a hesitant appearance. Our baby raccoon had come in through my studio, using the cat entrance in the screen door, and had found it's way into the kitchen.We put our animals in another room, moved the stove out another few feet and watched as the little guy made his way back out to my studio and out the door.

We've had baby raccoons stuck in our cellar while Shauna took it upon herself to chase Mom down the drive, skunks that have chased me back into the house in the morning as I was headed to my car to go to work, red tail hawks feasting on mourning doves on the lawn and the occasional white tail deer that comes through foraging for sweet grass and tender young leaves.

However, the most unusual visitor came last week in the evening as my daughter, Deb and granddaughter, Sarah were helping me bake cookies. Just as Debbie was opening the oven and the sweet smell of baking wafted into the kitchen, the outside door blew open and my husband's daughter, Angela and Hattie the cat literally shot into the room in equal states of agitation. It seems that there was a very large possum in the yard, and since Angela had never seen one (nor Hattie, they are almost nonexistent in this area) they were both sufficiently "freaked out" to consider a quick retreat the best course of action.

It ended up under our car and my husband had to prod it out with a pole in order to take Ms. Hattie to the vets.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Gorge

The Williams River, here in Vermont, was always a favorite kayaking destination. A splendid stretch of crystal clear water that weaves it's way through high valleys on the way down to the Connecticut River. It boasts small to medium rapids that are both beautiful and fun and fills the senses with breathtaking scenery.

Approximately ten miles from it's ultimate destination, the Williams takes it's final plunge at Brockways Mills Gorge. It drops over one hundred feet in a magnificent spill of roiling water, thundering over rocks worn smooth through time, then dances from pool to pool as it continues it's journey downward.

The landscape at the gorge is magnificent in any season but in winter, as ice crystals weave their lacy patterns where water touches rock and snow clings to every facade, a blue green wonderland emerges, a surreal and stunning visage.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Red Hat Party

My husband Will's Aunt Skip turned 8o two years ago, December. We knew she would not be surprised by a party if we threw it at the appropriate time and we definitely wanted to knock her socks off. After much deliberation we decided to have it the preceding August at our camp.
A BBQ was planned and friends and family were all invited.

Aunt Skip is a member of the Red Hat Society, a club that brings retired women together for luncheons, visits to museums and the like, and the only requirement is that they wear a red hat and something purple whenever they get together. It seemed fitting to make the red hat a theme for our party and everyone invited had to wear one.

We congregated at camp a few hours before Aunt Skip was due to arrive, stacking presents, firing up the barby, soaking corn on the cob, putting beer and soda on ice and preparing for the presentation of the welcoming "unbirthday" banner.

Our plans were a marvelous success and dear Aunt Sip was totally flabbergasted! The look of complete astonishment on her face as her son Mike walked her into camp continues to make me smile. We bought her a red hat, I made paper flowers for decoration and we presented it to her in keeping with the dress code.

A few red hats up close...

...and everyone assembled for a photo op in front of camp. The party was a huge success and guests gathered around the campfire after dinner to linger long into the night. I see them now, in my minds eye, sitting together near the blazing fire, and I hear voices and laughter echoing across the Black River Valley.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hermit Island II

Back to Hermit and my husband working on getting my para foil aloft. I love kites and took one with us every trip.

A photo of one of the larger beaches on the island the day after we were hit by the tail end of a hurricane with winds up to 50 mph. It was an experience of a lifetime. We tied our tent and tarp down to every available tree and tent peg and still we had to fight to keep it from being taken away. Food boxes were stacked, duct taped, and weighted down with rocks, trenches were dug for the rushing water, and the tent heater was fired up so that we could dry cloths and warm up between rounds.

I admit that there were some frightening moments, but all in all it was the most exceptional adventure! That night, as we lay in our tent listening to the howling wind and watching as it pushed our tent down almost on top of us, my husband and I congratulated each other on a job well done. The next day, after cleaning up the debris around our site, we took a ride around the island to see how many others had stuck it out. We counted 4 tents.

My favorite of the smaller beaches on the island about 5 hours before the hurricane hit. Hermit Island rocks!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hermit Island

A pictorial about my favorite vacation spot, Hermit Island, off the coast of Maine. My husband and I traveled there for six years to spend the first week of September, after the holiday when there were fewer people, camping, fishing, kayaking and relaxing. We played Boccie Ball, read, gathered muscles for dinner, talked about many things and reveled in the sounds of crashing waves and screeching gulls. How I love the ocean.
Here I am returning to one of the small, hidden beaches from an ocean kayak. Getting out to where the waves rocked and rolled was an adventure and a thrill.

There were a couple of larger beaches and a network of small, almost private beaches that became our sanctuary. We walked along the waves and climed over craggy rocks exploring and searching for shells and sand dollars.

Watch for "Hermit Island II"!


The blizzard that has left so much damage in it's wake hit Vermont yesterday. The state reports snowfalls from 40" to about the 18" that landed where I live. We got off easy but it's bitter cold and the wind is blowing, making the wind chill factor somewhere below zero. As far as I'm concerned, once it hits zero, the number of degrees below is of little consequence, it's just too damned cold!

Anyway, we live in an old house that is anything but airtight and the colder it gets, the more the frost builds up on our windows. A lacy network of crystals that climbs slowly up the panes with every drop in temperature. When the sun came up over a landscape of white this morning, it lit my windows with a golden glow and turned my white lace to in intricate network of yellow and white diamonds. I tried, and failed, to catch the incandescent sparkle with my camera but the extent of the frost is still visable.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


An amazing, awe inspiring phenomenon, is life
Born from cosmic dust
Evolved from a single cell
Growing, ever changing
The will and desire to survive, fierce and powerful
Instinct drives and demands
In the face of all odds
That the miracle of life
In spite of human indifference or exploitation
Shall continue to adapt
Moving ever forward
'Till the bright light
Of the cosmos is extinguished for all time

Friday, February 09, 2007

Thank you

Many thanks to those of you who commented on my last blog, you are all very kind. My friend is home and we will take her battle a day at a time, my cat will be OK and I have deleted the blog in an effort to improve my attitude. No bad vibes! = )
However, your support and good thoughts mean a lot to me and I feel better because of you.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Vanishing habitat

Friday, February 02, 2007


The report from Paris is abundantly clear
Our planet is warming, repercussions are here

The ice caps are melting, our oceans will rise
Potent storms lay threat from swirling black skies

Precious species will vanish, gone from our earth
Filth and pollution stealing hope for rebirth

Sweeping changes are needed, it may be too late
While our president spins and continues to wait