It’s a beautiful sunny morning in Stonington, Maine, as we prepare to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend. It’s cooler here than in Columbus, but the sunshine is much appreciated after days of rain in Columbus.
The sun officially rose at 5 a.m. today, but at 4:30 it was bright enough to wake me up. The lobster captains like that, because they like to get an early start. When I arose at 4:30, I could hear the throaty thrum of marine engines starting up in the harbor as they headed out to sea for their daily tour of their traps.
Of course, none of our elected officials asked me to weigh in on the subject, but if they had I would have argued the gardening is an “essential service.” When you’ve been cooped up all day, nothing lifts your spirits like seeing some pretty spring flowers.
Captiva Island is long and narrow, running (more or less) north to south. At our location on the island it’s about a half mile wide, and the Sunset Captiva community where we are staying owns the property from the east coast to the west coast. That means it’s only a few steps in one direction to enjoy the sunset one evening, then a few steps in the opposite direction to catch the sunrise the next morning — which is what I did today.
There are a lot fewer people up to catch the sunrise, so it’s a peaceful, quiet time. As I stood dockside watching the sunrise I noticed some movement in the water and was happy to see three manatee coming to the surface to enjoy the sunrise, too. The manatee, some gulls, and some pelicans were good company as I watched the beginning of another day.
Natural light makes a big difference. It’s why many of the great watercolors were done en plein air.
It’s amazing how bright sunshine, an ocean backdrop, a blue sky, a few shells, and several trillion grains of sand can make a few abandoned beach chairs and an umbrella into a colorful scene that might appeal to a member of the impressionist school.
This lovely snowy egret, white feathers ablaze in the bright sunshine, walks the beach with a stately, deliberate grace and a commanding gaze — its attention all the while directed at the surf, and detecting fish that might be caught unawares.
It’s a beautiful bird. The fact that it’s a ruthless hunter, too, just makes it all the more interesting.