Botanicals on ice

by Cari Balbo


With the mild weather we've been having in Maine, there hasn't been much in the way of good ice skating conditions this winter. 

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Last week I thought I might be able to get out on the farm pond one cold and sunny afternoon but was disappointed to find its surface covered with a generous scattering of twigs, leaves and other tree castoffs, each herbaceous ornament perfectly embedded in the ice just enough to prevent being swept away, but not covered by a solid surface of ice. Lovely to look at, impossible to skate on. 

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Plans thwarted, I did the next best thing and took some photos of the botanicals on ice. Winter in Maine may not be easy much of the time but it sure is gloriously beautiful.

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Spring, finally!

by Cari Balbo


Although it snowed last week, it is finally spring here in Palermo, Maine. And it is glorious! Robins everywhere you look. Blue skies, warm sun. Snow melting before the eyes. Exactly what we needed.  

Previous owners planted tulips and daffodils. While we didn't live here last spring, we were here constantly working on renovations so I know these will all come up bright, cheery yellow. Can't wait! 

Previous owners planted tulips and daffodils. While we didn't live here last spring, we were here constantly working on renovations so I know these will all come up bright, cheery yellow. Can't wait! 

Sun rising behind our spruce tree. Still a couple months before I can harvest spruce tips.  

Sun rising behind our spruce tree. Still a couple months before I can harvest spruce tips.  

Dooryard birch.  

Dooryard birch.  

The cats are loving the sun. Fozzie's practically glowing.  

The cats are loving the sun. Fozzie's practically glowing.  

Angular shadows on the back of the barn.  

Angular shadows on the back of the barn.  

The Ridge Pond crane is reeling from its excitement at spring's arrival.  

The Ridge Pond crane is reeling from its excitement at spring's arrival.  

Harvesting fragrant pine needles for pine-infused honey.  

Harvesting fragrant pine needles for pine-infused honey.  

Grateful for big, blue skies.  

Grateful for big, blue skies.  


So long, February, well met, March weekend

by Cari Balbo


February was a tough month, and a really long one for such a short one. I love winter and I have to say I used complaining about winter as a metaphor for other not-great things happening these past few weeks. And I know I haven't been alone in feeling that way. So goodbye, February. Can't say we'll miss you but there was a lot of good, a lot of beauty and joy in you and those are the things we'll remember when the bad taste of bitter cold and storm after freaking storm passes. This is Maine.  We can handle it, we just need to let off some steam.

As this month came to a close, it was a busy productive weekend of work (especially for Mike), entertaining, socializing, getting out in our woods we love so much, farm business planning, salve making, good eating. Here are some pics of the weekend.

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Gals snowshoe with my mom, sister, and our friend. Mike has made loads of nicely marked (and stamped down) snowshoe trails through the woods. It's so vital to get out in that cold air to get re-energized when the winter starts to wear you down.

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Great light on this allee of trees yesterday.  

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An example of Mike's snowshoe paths. Love.  

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From future Pigland out to the pasture.  

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Treehouse needs shoveling.  

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Ridge Pond Farm.  

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Across the field to the barn.  

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Snow.  

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Moose maple.  

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The first of March. Shapes under the snow.  

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Down the steepest headwall.  

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The snow looks like frosting.  

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Nature's tophat.  

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Some people's idea of a perfect ratio of frosting (snow) to cake (tree).  

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The Happy Woodpecker Inn.  

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Couldn't resist one more. They're so cute.  

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For comparison. And this is just what has stayed behind on this downed tree after some windy storms and settling. It has been a snowy month.  

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Gray.  

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The crane can finally poke his head out from the snow now that some of it has melted and settled. This was before last night's storm, which probably covered him up more. 

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More of Mike's many paths.

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Blue privy window.

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End of the weekend soup - turmeric corn chowder. My sister Jane saw a picture and said it looked like sunshine in a bowl. 

- Cari