It’s that awkward, in-between time when the calendar says “spring” but the weather ain’t so sure. The transition is easier some years than others (see “Driven to Distraction“) but no matter how politely winter bows out, she’s bound to throw in some kind of cheap parting shot that makes you glad the long-johns are still handy. The temperature at 6:00 a.m. this morning was 4F here at Fish in a Barrel Pond.
So, how has old Quill been whiling away the time as he waits for spring?
Well, there’s been a bit of this:
And a bit of this:
But winter’s grip slipped and spring snuck in for a few days. A great cosmic alignment occurred at the same time and the opportunity presented itself for a little road trip and a few days away from the old home place. It is a rare thing to find me more than 50 miles away from home for more than a night but there I was, five hours after heading out, on the coast of Maine.
The stars aligned further, depositing me at the door of LL Bean on the first morning of their big fishing sale, with sweet deals galore. Many thanks to Jason, in the fly fishing department for turning me on to the bargain of the day — a new fly tying vise and all the tools at 20% off. Of course, that only led to feathers, yarn and hooks but what the heck? I don’t get out much.
Freeport is a shopping mecca but shopping was not what I’d come for.
Bath and Popham Beach were not so far away and by noon I was on the shore, watching the tide come in.
Two seals were taking advantage of the shift and it was cool to see them.
An old fort, built during the Civil War to protect the ship building interests in Bath, sits imposingly on the point. Each arched “room” was a cannon emplacement and if they had ever finished the darn place, they could have blasted pretty much anything that tried to pass. The walls still stand, home to gulls and some very attractive pigeons.
The giant floating dry dock at Bath Iron Works:
It was a tad early in the lobster season, but having friends helps. A batch of 2-pounders appeared and were pronounced delicious.
So where does a guy stay when he’s not taking care of camps on a lake? Why, at a camp on a lake, of course. Go figure.
The ice went out (very) early on Long Lake and it was pretty chilly down by the water. It was probably pretty chilly in the water, too, but that didn’t stop a couple of brave souls — actually, crazy kids — from breaking out the kayaks.
I, of course, being older and wiser, accepted my limits and took up a strategic position in a chair by the fire pit and watched.
Spring has come to the lower elevations, giving hope to those of us up in the hills. A lot of snow disappeared while I was gone but we have a long way to go. The red-wing blackbirds, robins and grackles are back; a pair of wood ducks is patrolling the beaver pond; the timber doodles are in the clearings around sunset, strutting and going “Peent! Peent!” and I heard geese at the far end of the pond yesterday so it’s coming. It won’t be long before the peepers and wood frogs are raising a ruckus in puddles ringed with snow and, most of all, it won’t be long before the ice is off and the members of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society return, ready to whip Fish in a Barrel Pond to a froth in pursuit of trout.
Dang! I’d better get to work!