The Wrack is our collective logbook on the web. Here you will find hundreds of articles on myriad topics, all tied to these two thousand acres of protected coastal land and the yesteryear cluster than lends them identity.
Why "The Wrack"? In its cycles of ebb and flow, the sea transports a melange of weed, shell, bone, feather, wood, rope, and trash from place to place, then deposits it at the furthest reach of spent surf. This former flotsam is full of interesting stuff for anybody who cares to kneel and take a look. Now and then, the line of wrack reveals a treasure.
Shhh... don't tell anyone about my grand idea...
The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition of 2/7/16 and Making It At Home Thursday edition, 2/11/2016.
On February 12, 1809, two boys were born, one in England, one in Kentucky. Though separated by an ocean they were, by the end of their lives, united in genius, vision, and courage.
Cursed or Blessed?
Are we to blame (or to credit) for today's suddenly significant snowfall? Really, when we posted our lonely plow truck to Instagram and jotted some notes about flexibility in our monthly email update, we were under the impression that today's snowfall might not even get ankle deep. If you're psyched for skiing we'll take credit, but if you're bummed about winter's reality we cannot be held responsible.
Things to Do This Week
Lots of fluffy white stuff out there. Get on it while it's fresh!
Wednesday is Kate's next informal walk on the trails. We have a few pairs of snowshoes to lend, which could be helpful if the snow forecast for Tuesday adds to the pack.
York County Audubon does its quarterly bird census this week. It's planned for Tuesday, but weather might change that. Get in touch if you'd like to help tally birds for a morning.
Mentioned John Speight
Grandma Judkins kept her binoculars to the left of the kitchen sink on a small shelf that grandpa had mounted below the cupboard. Those timeworn field glasses were an easy reach if some bird caught her eye through the windows above the sink. Should a green heron appear along the creek, or should "George," the red-winged blackbird, claim the feeder in the back yard, she could get to the glasses quickly, unwind their cracked leather strap, and take a look.
On the same kitchen shelf was grandma's Peterson field guide. Her well thumbed handbook was wrapped in a padded cloth jacket — indigo with little white bird shapes — that had pockets for storing bird-related news clips, her own notes, and a short pencil.
Mr. Peterson had, within the book's front matter, included a life list "so that the owner will not need to mark up the index." In that check-list of birds I discovered grandma's small marks, her permanent record of species seen.
On my summertime visits to their quaint Lower Village house, grandma and grandpa introduced me to bird watching. I'd stare out the kitchen window, eager to glimpse an egret against a mud bank at low tide or a merganser ("sheldrake" grandpa called them) floating toward the house whenever sea water washed over the salt marsh. I practiced with those binoculars and studied Peterson's paintings while keeping grandma company in the kitchen, and I got started on my very own life list.
I had been bugging John about getting engaged for months. He and I were dating long distance, me in Boston and him here in Kennebunkport, for two years. I was almost 35, certain he was “the one,” and ready to make the commitment and start the next chapter of my life. We looked at rings pretty seriously and often, but then he’d make a comment to the effect of wanting to get a new truck or some other large expense. You can imagine my response to comments like that. Little did I know he was throwing me off the scent.
Fast forward to January 28, 2011. I was up visiting John for the weekend and he had cooked a beautiful dinner for us. I’ll never forget how delicious it was and how perfectly his selected wine paired with our meal. John and I share a love for cooking and eating great food, and it was off the charts.
The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition of 1/24/16 and Making It At Home Thursday edition, 1/28/2016.
Always eager to start some new long-term monitoring project, I’m now keeping track of the number of conversations I have about the weather. I’m planning to henceforth keep tabs on with whom, when, and for how long we chatted. I’m already certain one thing will be constant: the changing weather will be discussed in only the most general, equivocal, unchanging terms. You and I will talk about the weather, my friends, but we will say nothing new.
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