Like much of the rest of the country, Maine generally, and Stonington specifically, is experiencing a heat wave, with temperatures in the 80s in the coastal areas and 90s inland. But unlike the rest of the country, Maine isn’t really equipped to deal with high heat. None of the houses in our area are equipped with central air conditioning, for example, because there is absolutely no need for it during a typical summer, when you expect highs in the 70s during the day and lows in the 50s at night.
That means Mainers deal with the heat using the techniques many of us remember from our pre-air conditioning childhood. A heat wave is a time for wide open windows and ceiling fans, and wishful hopes for a hint of a cool breeze to sweep through the room. It’s a time to stay outside a bit later as the sun goes down, until the mosquitoes drive you indoors. It’s also a time to savor the early morning moments of cooler air before the sun rises and the heat is cranked up again. And the views just before 5 a.m. aren’t bad, either.
Heat waves are a challenge up here, but eventually they end. In the meantime, the ice cream shop downtown is making a killing.
It’s officially autumn. The leaves are just starting to turn on Deer Isle, we’re getting a heavy dose of morning dew, and there’s a definite chill in the air. But because we haven’t yet had the “fall back” time change, our sunrises are coming later and later, making it easier to sleep in a bit.
It’s always a treat when the sun first peeks over the rim of the world and lights up the harbor, but it’s even more enjoyable when the show starts at 6:45 rather than 5 a.m.
A truly glorious sunrise over Stonington Harbor this morning, as a cool breeze blows and a rooster crows in the distance. This is a pretty little corner of the world, and one with moderate summer temperatures, too.
We’re moved up and into the mountains due east of Los Angeles, near Lake Arrowhead, where my California Sister-In-Law has a beautiful vacation home called Spyglass. The surroundings are about as different from San Diego as you could imagine. We’ve gone from palmy to piney, and from the commanding heights of the CSIL’s deck you can look east, through a gap in the tree cover, and let your gaze wander over miles of forested expanse to part of the high desert and other mountain ranges at the far horizon.
I got up early, fixed myself a good cup of coffee, and enjoyed the sunrise this morning. It was so still that you wanted to hold your breath, with the absolute quiet breached only by an occasional cry of a native bird. I wasn’t sure you could find any location in Southern California where you could totally get away from highway noise, but here it is.
When you go on a beach vacation, oohing and aahing about the sunrises and sunsets is an ironclad requirement. There’s something about the combination of sun, clouds, water and a distant horizon that just grabs you — especially if you’re a landlocked Midwesterner.
Here at our resort in Belize, the sunrise part is easy. Our cottage faces east, and when Old Sol peeks over the horizon you notice it immediately. Step outside the front door, walk out onto the beach, and voila!
The sunset requires a bit more work. Just to the west of our resort is a kind of inlet, with small islands and plants dotting the surface. You have to walk off the resort property, cross a dusty road, and stand and wait. In some ways, it’s more visually interesting than the ocean. Quieter, too — without the crashing surfing you can hear the birdsong and the lapping of the rippled water. It’s a striking setting.
We’ve really enjoyed our trip to Belize, which ends today.
Hey! It’s Labor Day weekend! What else to do but get the family together, go to an amusement park, and stand in line with thousands of other sweaty, oft-tattooed people on the verge of sunstroke?
That’s right — we’re up on Ohio’s North Coast at Cedar Point, the best roller coaster park in the world. And after giving the park a workout last night we stayed at The Breakers, the sprawling old hotel on the sandy shores of Lake Erie that dates back to the Boardwalk Empire era. It’s an interesting place, and Cedar Point remains a destination visit for anyone who loves to don a safety belt, shoulder harness, and lap bar and get rolled, tilted, and thrown upside down, all while careening at speeds approaching the sound barrier.
It may be September according to the calendar, but it’s still summer in our hearts.
Another glorious dawn on Ohio’s north coast, where the sun shines equally on the bachelorette partygoers, the boaters, the creepy old guys on the prowl, the miscreants, the card players, and the groaning unfortunates who now regret trying the drink special at Hooligan’s bar.
Lately I’ve taken to walking around Schiller Park just after sunrise on our lazy weekend days. It’s the perfect time to walk around a mature park, with the air still crisp and dewy and cool, the grass bladed with bright green and deep shadow, the world peaceful and calm and brilliantly quiet, and the sunlight slanting in at just the right angle to make everything look sharp and clean and full of possibility. Such walks make you appreciate that there is much beauty and wonder in the world, and also relish having just a small fraction of it close by and ready to be enjoyed whenever we choose.
The Gleeful Retiree and his lovely wife graciously invited me to join a group for a visit to their beautiful Put-In-Bay place on the shores of Lake Erie this weekend. We stayed up to the wee hours last night, talking and catching up, and I slept with the windows open, enjoying the breeze and the ever-present murmurs of the Lake in the background. I think you never sleep so well as you do around water.
Today dawned bright and clear, to the accompaniment of gull cries, surf sounds, and the whistle of a brisk wind.