“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.” – William Shakespeare from a Midsummer’s night Dream
The garden has grown into a lush carpet of greenery. Pole beans weave and wind towards the sky on the sticks supporting them. Sunflowers and corn grow upwards and stretch digging their roots deep as they prepare for their fall harvest. Sugar snap peas, lettuce, and the last of the spinach are favorites among the guests. From a corner of the garden, green roma tomatoes tantalize while the skinny fingerlings of pickling cukes emerge from the blossoms. Squash blossoms abound and are reputable to be delectable fried amongst garlic and olive oil. The wonders of the season and its glorious harvest are among us. The pressure canner rocks on the wood cookstove full of green beans and wax beans. Soon baby carrots laced with dill, and pickled beets will also line the root cellar shelves. Phlox, lilies, bee balm, lavender. and coneflower add sprinkles of color on the edges of the garden, enticing wanderers to come in and peruse for their evenings meal while their noses are gently tickled with the delicate fragrance of this midsummer flowers.
It is hard to believe we are almost half way through our first season at the camps. We have been so busy and had so much fun. We have enjoyed these summer nights so much, that we are regretful as we realize they are slipping by. The weather has been perfect the last week. Nice breeze, you can walk around in jeans and a t-shirt, at times its chilly enough in the mornings to start a small fire in the kitchen wood stove. I know some may think I am crazy, but personally I welcome mornings that are crisp and chilly, and still cannot wait for fall, which is my favorite time of year up here.
The girls have enjoyed playing with some of the young children we have here from Sweden this week, and they have all made fast friends, and memories that I am sure will last long after names and places have been forgotten. Marshmallows have been toasted, imaginations have been illuminated as trees become castles, canoes become shelters, and rocks and leaves become jewels and crowns. Actresses and actors abound and in dramatic flare they entertain one another with the limitless exuberance that only children can bring. Fairy houses are constructed amongst mossy meadows and ferny glens. They awaken in the adults the imagination of old, inspiring some to share and teach of wonders from their childhood and allowing others to sit back and smile in careful retrospection.
As I went down to the pond today I was amazed by the abundance of fresh water clams. Earlier this year I know the prevalence of crawfish amazed me as I never remember them as a child. Hornpout also of significant size were a surprise this season. I guess these are migrants from the mighty Moosehead watershed, or maybe they have always been here, and my memory is simply rusty.
I listen to the echo of the loon, watch the moonlight dance upon the shore, and enjoy the beauty of this place each evening. As I said the other day, “through the pines the moonlight shines.” The sun casts it soft pink glow as it sets across blue hills and creates a multihued palette that inspires and draws ones attention throughout the dusky twilight. Last night we were lucky enough to hear a barred owl dueling with the loons, first one call then another would echo across the pond into the still calm night air. As I walk around the campyard at twilight I can not help but think like Puck, “I am that merry wanderer of the night.” Enjoying the quiet night air, the sounds of the birds, and watching the bats swoop and dive mercilessly after a never ending supply of insects. Lightning bugs cast their faint glow across the lawn, and occasionally the flicker from a kerosene light will peek out of the window of a cabin. I am always amazed when I look up at the stars, the sky here is so clear, so unpolluted from other lights, that across the pond the whole universe appears.
Dana has been intriqued to see terns, he is quite sure they followed him from the coast, where they find his big old scallop boat the perfect nesting /roosting spot throughout the summer on the bay. We have listened to their caphony of calls, and somehow it makes our longing for the coast seem less distant as we have the sounds here with us.
We have had a bear rumbling around the camp yard and area this season. He is a shy guest, poking his head out when he believe sthere may be available food (birdfeeders – which have long since come down) or a forgetful guest who leaves something out near their cabin. We do not encourage his visits and forewarn those who visit us to be cautious and limit any opportunities. He is not a frequent guest so I think he may be rather opportunistic and now that the berries have ripened gone on to satisfy himself in the thick thickets and open forest glades where the raspberry and blackberry brambles grow.
A few days ago I went out to town (as we call Kokadjo – population 3) to collect a package. Imagine my surprise to see one of the old maples from the very top of the driveway blocking my exit. Dana was quickly hailed and we made fast work clearing the trail, but it was another reminder that there is always an adventure awaiting around the corner at Spencer Pond.