Saturday, January 30, 2010

Shrimp Season Begins

It's been cold again after a pouring rain that washed away our snow and cleared the ice from the driveway. There was flooding in some of the rivers, but the ice breakers have cleared the way. Of course the smelt shack owners that had to move their fishing spots, were disgruntled. But better disgruntled than sunk to the bottom.
Yesterday was a blustery day so the shrimp boats didn't go. It's still pretty breezy this morning, but they went anyway. Some boats drag for shrimp. but Jeff and Arnie use shrimp traps. They are slightly larger and heavier than lobster traps and more difficult in that rather than open the doors and pull out the lobsters, the shrimp traps must be lifted over the head and shaken to release the scrumptious little crustaceans. That is a 75 lb trap and (hopefully) 50 -75 lbs of shrimp. It makes my back hurt just thinking about it....
Wait, Jeff just got home - it's 1 pm. He says it was 'Bitter' when asked. And they missed the truck, cause they were late. So Arnie could haul 6 more pair. That means instead of 67 cents, they'll get 57 cents. So he lost $240 because of those last traps. The catch was 1440 lbs.... Wow.
They "made ice all day' which means they had to cover all the trays with tarps to keep the shrimp from freezing. They are trying to haul half the gear every other day, because the buyers truck is leaving at 11 am, so they must be in and unloaded by then.
What hard, heavy, cold and dangerous work! Jeff didn't even bring any shrimp home. He said he couldn't look at them any more today, but would bring some home tomorrow.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Winter in Maine

January's Snows

Winter whispers, breath of snow
Light the fire, embers glow.
Crystals hung in frosty boughs
Touch our hearts and test our vows.

Let the children come and play
School is for another day.
Breathe in deep the Winter's air
bright white snow is everwhere.

Leave your cares and woes behind
Spring is far, but we don't mind.
For on this perfect Winter day,
With sleds and boots, we'll make our way.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Unexpected Weather

It was quiet this morning as I opened my eyes. My inner clock matched the time on the bedside table, but the light from the window was dim and the world seemed hushed, suspended. The window looked white and even without my glasses, I realized that it was snowing. Hard.
I smiled as I remembered the Weather forecast from last night. 'A possible couple of inches' was now well over half a foot and falling steadily.
An unexpected snow day. But this is only a small inconvenience for me. I probably won't go to town to the store, but the fire in the wood stove is warm and the woodpile is stacked high. The cupboards are full of nutritious food and we have lots of water. Mother Nature speaks her mind and again reminds us that we can't control or predict how she will play her hand. For us it's an unexpected occurrence, not life or death.
But for millions of others around the world, what she does or doesn't do, IS a matter of life and death.
We live our lives lulled into thinking that things will never change, yet our lives are full of change. Everything changes - for good or ill.
Perhaps we cannot prepare for something like the Earthquake or the drought in Africa or the rain in California. But we should realize our fragility and our weaknesses and also appreciate the slim, tight line we walk in this life. How balance and placement are essential to life and how easily we can loose it all.
May the thoughts and prayers, money and efforts ease the pain and struggle of people around the world. Let's remember that any of us could have an unexpected snow, or an earthquake or a downpour.
So send love and do what you can, prepare for your own possiblilities and help you neighbors. Thank Mother Nature for her gifts as well as her lessons.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Meet Porkey. He may have been dequilled - he seems to not be overly burdened with quills, though he will put up his hackles if I step towards him. He is about 10 feet away from me.

January Thaw

The snow recedes and the ice turns to mush as we have our 'January thaw'. It's a typical weather phenomenon that occurs usually in the middle of January after a period of fridgid cold. The thermometer will creep above freezing and even venture into the 40's.
The birds will flock to the feeders and the squirrels will even awaken for a little poke around the yard. We seem to have a family of flying squirrels in the attic this year and they have managed to chew a hole through the entryway and gained access to the bags of birdseed we keep stored there. I'll have to get a metal can and start setting the have-a-heart traps again.
I trapped 9 squirrels last Fall and dropped them off down the road. The last 5 I drove a little further away, because I'm not so sure that they were't traveling back to the old homestead. I saw a couple of squashed squirrels in the road between me and the drop off place, so I'm sure they were my squirrels trying to find their way home.
Now we have a resident porcupine. He has a made a home out behind the tarp on the north side of the wood pile. I call him Porky and he loves compost scraps and is very found of pears. I read somewhere they make good pets. I think the dog knows he is around, but I'm trying to discourage him from being too comfy in the yard.
Jeff has found him on the porch steps twice and a couple of weeks ago he scratched at our bedroom door in the middle of the night just after I'd let the dog in. I opened the door, thinking one of the cats had gotten out. Luckily he is slow and I realized my mistake and shut the door before he was able to stroll into our bedroom. In the dark. At 3 am. While I was wearing my nightshirt and had bare feet.
I slammed the door and banged on it and he sort of ambled off. Still shaking I woke up Jeff and told him that the porcupine had scratched on the door and I'd almost let it in. He said something like :Well, they do make good pets" and went back to sleep. I could not sleep. I could not stop laughing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Second Chance

Here we go again! My first blog was apparently not set up right with Google and they won't let you play if you mispell your email address apparently. Oh welll!!!!
Since this took me more than several hours to figure out what was wrong, I must close with saying that I have learned to never start a blog during a retrograde Mercury!