25 February 2014

Wintry Beach

It was a frigid day on the beach.

Of course on such days, there are few fellow beach goers.

We had the place to ourselves.

My friend brought her two dogs and we watched them frolic in the freezing water as we braved the winds for a long, low-tide walk.

No worries. This guy doesn't have the mange, nor was he caught in an unfortunate fire. For whatever reason, his summer haircut never grew back quite right. We had many laughs at his expense, but he good naturedly laughed along.

It was terribly cold, but even on this day, the beach had a bleak sort of beauty.

When the clouds moved in and our legs were numb from the wind, we crunched back through the icy sand and headed home.

Copyright © 2014 - Paulla Estes

22 February 2014

Sunny Saturday Showshoeing

Oh what a day it was!

I left my house to go walking this morning, but thought better of it when I slid halfway down our very flat driveway. Instead, I went back inside to use the treadmill.

Then my friend, Becky, asked me to go snowshoeing.

Becky lives three miles away, by car. But she lives only a half mile away if one takes one of the many trails through the woods around our town. So we planned to meet on the trail and go from there.

As I walked down my driveway, this time wearing boots, I gingerly stepped across the ice, slowly and carefully. And BAM my feet came out from under me and I came down hard.


After entertaining the neighbors with a shouted expletive (I'll spare you here), I got up, brushed myself off, and hobbled on over to the trail. Thankfully, it didn't take long for the hurt to go away, though I'm sure I'll be limping around tomorrow.


This is what we saw...

What a beautiful place to live.

Copyright © 2014 - Paulla Estes

21 February 2014

Two Seasons

The first photo was taken back in October. The second, yesterday.

Cool, aren't they?

Copyright © 2014 - Paulla Estes

20 February 2014

Snowy Sunrise

After yet another snow last night (only 3 inches - for the win!) I looked outside this morning to a perfectly clear sky.

Lacing up my boots, I decided to walk to the field down the road. Each morning I see the sunrise from my kitchen window - or rather, some semblance of it through the trees. But this clear morning required a close-up look.

The road was crunchy and clean with freshly plowed snow.

And the field was as pretty as I'd hoped, although clearly others had had the same idea as me. Yet there was fresh snow in the tracks, so I assume I was the first one in the field that morning.

The moon was still up. It looks like the one in Harold and the Purple Crayon. Maybe it went along with me, like it did Harold.

Morning mist.

Deer tracks

Such silent, still beauty.

Here it comes...

It hit the tree tops before it got to me.

There it is!

Last look at more deer tracks below the rising sun. Wow, what a world we live in!

Copyright © 2014 - Paulla Estes

19 February 2014

Snowy February

Today I thought to myself, this has GOT to be the snowiest February on record.

But then I realized that I'm sure I've said that before. Plus, I can't even remember last February, not to mention all the Februarys before that.

I find that I sort of prefer to block them out.

My husband is in charge of plowing the driveway and I do the shoveling, which usually doesn't amount to much. We came to this agreement a few years ago when our old snowblower died. He wanted to buy a new one and I wanted to just hire a plow guy.

Guess who won?

Yeah, so I told him flippantly that, "FINE, then YOU can do all the plowing."

Understand that the driveway must be plowed after most storms. A couple of inches isn't a big deal, but usually even that needs to be plowed up or else it will freeze and then it's a bear to plow when the next snow comes.

The shoveling, however, can be ignored to a large extent. You see, I shovel around the door to the garage (our winter-time entry way) and I shovel a space outside our back door. I also shovel a path for the oil guy, as well as a path along the back of the house that we use while raking the roof. And of course I shovel a path to the bird feeders.

If we only get a few inches, most of what I just described can simply be trampled on or even kicked out of the way. That's my take on it, anyway.

But then this morning I discovered that ignoring the frequent snowfalls is not a smart idea. Here's why.

We've had three storms in the past week and I ignored them all until today.

The first storm, last Friday, dumped a hefty 11 inches on us. I ignored it. Surely Spring was on the way and it would all melt soon anyway. Right?

Then on Saturday night, we were told to expect another 15 inches on top of that. Oh the horror! How dare the weatherman send us another big storm JUST ONE DAY after the last one?

But thankfully, that one only produced 2 inches.

Then last night, they were at it again - here comes the big one! Batten down the hatches!

And we did get 8 inches out of it.

So this morning, I decided I'd better go out there and clear those paths. And when I opened the back door, I saw 20 inches of snow...


But I also saw a very pretty sunrise...

It's hard to tell in this photo.

Anyway, my back hurt just from looking at it. But my husband had gotten up well before daylight to plow the driveway and I was home today. This was MY job. Besides, the roof needed raking. Rain is forecasted later this week (yeah, RAIN - what's up with that?) so I had to break some of the ice that was damming on the edge of the roof.

I shoveled.

The top 8 inches was easy. But beneath that was a layer of ice. 2 more inches of packed snow lay under that, and then another layer of ice. Under it all was the initial, very packed, 11 inches.

I had planned to go walking later in the day with a friend on our favorite 3-mile loop. But in the 90 minutes it took me to shovel a 25 foot path, I got all the exercise I'll ever need until the end of time.

When I was finished, I went inside to sit down for a minute, and promptly fell fast asleep for an hour. When I woke up, I was cold and stiff, but determined.

I ventured back outside and raked that roof. It's not easy. The part that most needs raking is the second story dormer in the back. That means adding all the extra extensions to the pole on the rake, and then balancing it up in the air until it hits the roof and hopefully not one of the second story windows.

Half an hour later I was done.

And then it started snowing again. Well, not until later in the afternoon, but it DID start snowing. And now, hours later, it's still at it.

But hey, Spring should be here any minute, right? Then it will all melt. Until then, I'm closing my eyes and covering my ears. Nananananananana....

Copyright © 2014 - Paulla Estes

14 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day - A Love Story

If you live in the mid coast area of Maine, likely you are familiar with The Coastal Journal.

In recent weeks, I saw that the Coastal Journal has decided to bring back Date Night, a column in which local couples tell their love story - how they met, how far they've come, etc. To kick it off, they had a contest. The winner would receive a special Valentine's Day date night. I decided it was time to tell our story.

Yet I discovered that it was a challenge to put everything into the limit of only 600 words. I wrote it. And then I cut and chopped and edited, and took a lot out. But in the end, what I had was all that was needed.

Last week I was notified about the winners.

Yesterday, this is what was published. Weren't we surprised!

The Coastal Journal Valentine's Day Issue

Happy LOVE day to you and yours. And yes, it's still snowing here in Maine. With no end in sight. But hey, love is in the air. :)

Copyright © 2014 - Paulla Estes