Monday, August 2, 2010

August Is The High Season - Summer Terns

Semipalmated plover atop giant net floats - Lobster Cove, Phippsburg, Maine
Juvenile, Common terns vocalizing to its mother for food - Totman Cove, Phippsburg, Maine

Common terns ignoring young pestering for food or maybe it was mooning me! The full moon often looks orange in summer rising through heat and haze on the earth's surface.
"E" is for ecstasy. "W" is for wild. Those words crown all that we do in these moments of summer. August is "high season" here in The Burg. We have had  a glorious summer weather-wise, which means that we've been unrelentingly busy. Weeds and lawns keep growing even though we'd like to quit. Everything around us seems full to the point of out of control. My garden is busting at the seams. The lilies are enormous and toppling over. All the fledged birds are bickering at the feeders along with their parents. The Ruby-throated hummingbirds are fighting each other over feeder territories. The raccoon youngsters are rifling the feeders at night rousting our dog, then us, from sleep. Acorns are falling from the oaks set into free fall by porcupine young lolling at the ends of the fresh growth in the tree tops. Totman Cove is teaming with mackerel, Striped bass and fry just right for the terns. We hear the Blue Fin tuna are running hard just off from Sequin and everyone is talking about it. The Common terns are chattering constantly not giving us a moments peace punctuated only by the pee-ooo pee-oo of ospreys. It feels like everyone on the eastern seaboard with a boat is here sailing, fishing and motoring. There aren't enough evenings for cocktails with all of our friends, days to boat, swim, eat, garden or even just breathe it all in fast enough. Because, suddenly, it will be over.
     For all of this nearly maddening plenitude, any moment now, it will all stop. This is the great crescendo when breeding, seeding, weeding and sunny days have reached their critical mass. Fall will be here feeling quite sudden, though I can see the signs. The Monarch butterflies have made a couple of appearances, lilting around the flowers. They are the first of the migraters to Mexico. One or two of the fall blooming anemones have opened. The first asters have opened intertwined with fading roses. With the summer terns, summer is turning. It's bittersweet. But, honestly, I can't keep up this pace. Truth be told, my old skin can't take any more sun nor salt. My back feels broken and my brain needs quiet time. A few more days on our little boat with my husband or afternoons naked in the swimming pool will be all I need. Then, I'll be looking for a jacket to wrap me against the next full, cool moon.  

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  1. Wonderful post and photos Robin!

    I saw one of the Butchies stirring up Snowy Egrets and ducks on the our cove today. After soaring around for a while, it went toward the saw mill.

    Baltimore Orioles have left with their young, with one stopping by every other day to fill up on jelly and suet as it makes its long journey south.

    I've noticed a few Monarchs flitting around today while mowing. You are right, the season is beginning to change. Shorebird shrills fill the air, Snowies are flying in flocks of 6-8 and I saw my first wooly worm of the year yesterday.


  2. Thank you, John. I miss the Butchies. It feels kind of like having one of my own children move away. We talk on the phone, but it's just not the same.

  3. Love all the terns plovers etc. but,those giant
    net floats look like world war 2 mines they put in the waters. As for naked in the pool,I'd keep that private,someone might pay you an unexpected visit(like ups or fed ex)

  4. Talk about a PEEP SHOW! Beautiful photo of the sailboats.