I've often heard children say, "There's nothing to do today". I beg to differ. I'd like to inspire you to do something. Anything. Read. Bake. Hike. Fish. Plant. Sail. Climb. Play. Reach. Move. Laugh. Dream; and take time to sit with me on The Old Granite Step.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Put your hummingbird feeders out!

If you live in an area that is past any chance of a freeze, go ahead and put your humming bird feeder out!  They usually begin to show up in the central and southern New England area in late April/early May.  Hummingbirds are delightful to watch.  As you can see from the following photos, you may be able to attract several at a time.  We've had a dozen here at once and it's incredible to see how they interact.  If you can, hang several around your property.  They are amazing!
 The rain doesn't seem to bother them at all.
You don't have to use pre-mixed food.  In my opinion, I find that the hummingbirds seem to like the mixture I make better.  Simply boil water and mix 4 cups of water with 1 cup of white sugar.  Let the mixture cool before filling the feeder.  You can store it in your refrigerator for approximately one week.
Keep your feeder clean.  If you see mold start to grow at any time of the season, it's time to thoroughly wash the feeder.
This little one is stretching!
 It's fun to watch the hummingbirds perch!
Beautiful colors.
 The only hummingbird east of the Great Plains is the Ruby Throated Hummingbird.
 They are quick!  You need a steady hand with the camera along with some patience.
The hummingbirds aren't shy!  They'll get used to you watching from the window or even a chair outside. 

Update:  I saw my first hummingbird at the feeder this morning....May 5th!

Click here for more information on hummingbirds!

Monday, April 27, 2015

A quick walk through the Borough of Stonington

The Borough of Stonington is the oldest of it's kind in Connecticut.  Filled with lovely antique homes and cute little shops, it's a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. 
Although not sunny, the sky was beautiful.
This kitty looks like he rules the neighborhood!  Look at his right ear.
There are fabulous eateries in the borough.
The white building with dark trim is for sale.  Take a drive by if you're interested.
A stunning front door.
Eye catching and creative!
The former Skipper's Dock restaurant; now closed.  I loved sitting in front of the stone fireplace with a delicious bowl of lobster bisque along side a wonderful coquille-st.-jacques. 

Daffodils; beautiful!
The entrance to the beach for Stonington residents only.
A bit brisk on the water today.
Another example of a fine front door.
Plan your visit May through October and visit the Old Lighthouse Museum!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fishing with a child.

It was a beautiful weekend day about 20 years ago.  The local water company was hosting a fishing derby and our son asked if we would take him fishing.  How could we say no to such an innocent sport?  My husband kept a tackle box handy, although I'm not sure it was really outfitted with what we needed for this exciting trip to the reservoir.  He had his fishing license but I didn't have one so I quickly became the official photographer for this special outdoor event.  We brought a light picnic lunch with us and stayed for the better part of the sunny day.  

Honestly, it was one of the best days I remember from when the kids were little.  I had no idea then that this adorable little boy would grow up to embrace the sport!  With long hair and a beard now, standing over 6 feet tall, he fishes as much as possible.  He looks like a fisherman and I love that about him.  Many years ago he asked for "waders" for Christmas; a definite preference over a Nintendo game!  Saltwater seems to be his preference now, perhaps it's more exciting to stand at the edge of the ocean in the middle of the night while waiting for a "bite".  He had the opportunity to "wrap" his own fishing pole in his high school shop class and divulged to me the other day that it's still one of his favorite poles.  His collection of fishing lures is impressive and he buys and sells lures on a regular basis.  I have to admit, some of the hand-made lures he has are truly tiny works of art!

So take a little one fishing this weekend!  You'll create memories that last a lifetime and you could be creating a next generation fisherman!
It was a warm and sunny day on the reservoir.
Watch your local paper for fishing contests in your area.
The intense look while waiting for the first bite.
Filled with lures that weren't necessary for this type of fishing, my husband's tackle box served it's purpose.
Be careful of the barbs!
You need to find a good spot.
This little fisherman still practices catch and release.
For years I had bait in my refrigerator; right next to the milk.
It's important to have the proper tools; especially a license where needed.  Check your local laws.
The first (and I think last) catch of the day!

Introduce a child to the sport of fishing today!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

An update on the sale of Barbara Cooney's house, along with a few early Spring photos.

Barbara Cooney's house in Damariscotta, Maine is still technically on the market.  I snapped these photos last weekend on a gray day along the coast.  Although the sign says "Sale Pending", it's been like this for many months.  The house is looking rather decrepit at this point and I find that to be incredibly sad!  You can read my original post about this delightful property here.
 There are a few crocuses trying to push up through the old leaves in the front garden by the drive.
 This is a wonderfully inviting entry way to such a glorious old home!
 The snow drops are coming up as well.  A sure sign that spring is here.
We can only hope that the new owner of this lovely old house appreciates the special qualities of the notable children's author who used to live here.
More colorful crocuses.  Are there lupines on the property as well?  Only Miss Rumphius knows!

 A copy of Miss Rumphius tied with a packet of 
lupine seeds makes a wonderful Spring gift!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring on the Midcoast of Maine

Maine is a special place in any season.  But after an especially harsh winter, it's exciting to see spring emerge! 
 We found this guy sitting at the harbor.  What's he waiting for?!
 I love the color green.
 There are a few lobster boats that have been put in the water.
 Out with the old.....
 The clouds moved in and the raindrops came.  Serene.
 The crocuses poke through the old leaves.
 A shadow; that means the sun is out!
 This photo is not cropped.  He was that close!  The chickadee is the Maine state bird.
A Maine way of life.
 Freshly raked.
 Tulips reaching for the sun.
 It's important that you call this number to report certain sightings.
 Resting dinghy.
 Green grass to match the green shutters!
 A colorful spring window.
 A few more weeks......
 .....and we'll be kayaking again!
 The outgoing tide.
 The river is waiting.
 Flowing over the rocks.
 Waterside greenery.

 Hopefully this strawberry will survive any potential spring frost.
Even the American icon Red's Eats is ready for spring!  This was taken on the morning of opening day; April 20th.
 Roadside stands prepare.
 Apparently the dock will be receiving repairs.
 I love the blue traps.
 Easy to spot colors.
 A spring storm is on the horizon.
 Hundreds of new traps.
 What more could you need?
 The best pansy price we saw.
 What a vibrant shade of blue!
Peace and quiet.