Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Peaks Stonehenge

It is certainly the end of August. The nights are quieter, the pace is beginning to be easier and the strange moments get just a little stranger as Islanders begin to emerge from the depths and exercise their creativity.

On your way around the Backshore where Peaks faces the open ocean and the next stop is Portugual, there exists a spot of land that is filled with small rocks, shale and driftwood. Each Summer for about the last ten years, kids, adults, visitors, seasonal residents and year rounders have taken some time to just pile up some rocks into different shapes and sizes depending on what rocks they pick up to fit in whatever configuration their mind sees. Well, about three days ago there were no rock piles looking like the cairns along the mountain trails; none, zip, nada. I saw it as the usual end of our Summer ritual returning the puny efforts of us wee humans to the power of the sea. Well, three days later a new Stonehenge emerged fresh, new and uniquely interesting. The only strange thing about it is that most of the Summer visitors have departed, the kids are back in their schools, the vacationers have departed and the year rounders are busy becoming reaquainted with their missing friends last seen in early June. As I was roaming through the Stonehenge field of visions I kept waiting for the apes to appear pounding their newly found bones into tools or weapons and the mystical black obelisk to appear in the pounding surf. Hmmm, who's got the visions of little rocks turned into piles of big rocks?

Enjoy a quiet moment on the backshore of Peaks Island which is becoming quieter by the moment.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tidal Outflow

In running around the Island this morning carrying out the Saturday morning "things to do" list, we ran right into the middle of the great annual tidal outflow of humanity from Peaks Island. A long line of cars waiting to get back to the mainland, clusters of individuals sharing their last ice cream cones and many people just saying their goodbye's for the winter. And, most fortunate for us, the sighting of friends I haven't seen in a couple of months. The summer bunkers are beginning to unload their year round residents making their first appearances in order to begin the process of reclaiming "their" Island. The Island feels lighter already and the sounds of the Island are changing by the hour. Gone are the numerous cars, motorcycles, and herds of children at play. Once again present are the sounds of the Island; gulls, gong buoys and breezes in the trees and the flapping of sails as boats change their tack. Life is getting better by the moment.

Here's a few pictures from this morning's round. I just had to capture the newest saying of Hannigan's Market. By early August the average Hannigan employee is pretty tired and rundown trying to provide whatever's requested or too often demanded from our visitors. The saying of "if we don't have it, you don't need it" most certainly works for me. In July and August whenever I wander in looking for something for supper, I always carry an attitude of "take what you can get and choose it"-it sure makes life a lot easier. The other pictures are from one of my favorite parts of the Island along Oaklawn Street. The cottages are beautiful old time Peaks Island style and the tall Oaks set against Diamond Island passage makes for a beautiful sight. Enjoy and may our friends/neighbors to the south enjoy a sharp right hand turn into the North Atlantic of this latest brewing storm south of Cuba.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Peaks Evening

Last night I had to make a trek downfront to the Plante's to put some air in a nearly flat tire of our luxurious 1987 Plymouth Sundance island transportation and hauling vehicle. It looks like a refugee from Havana but somehow it continues to get groceries and visitors from the boat. Fortunately, I took the camera with me since the light was absolutely beautiful as the sun was going down.

The backshore was really peaceful. The water was calm, the breezes light and the retreating day made for the perfect time to just slowly exhale. I really enjoyed watching the fisherman moving over the spine of Whaleback. Most of the shoreline of Peaks consists of various sizes of rocks ranging from pebbles to boulders. Now, rocks plus water equals slippery!! But, with the incoming tide there was no way some time of fishing was going to be denied. So, I just watched. Every once in a while he really had to scramble as a wave would wash over Whaleback, not too powerfully, just enough to drench him from the knees on down. Yet, he managed to keep his balance and his feet under him while doing his dance and he kept on casting out. He didn't catch anything while I was watching but it sure reminded me of my younger days along the Rhode Island beaches watching a dozen or so men surf casting for flounder and an occasional sandshark. A good memory and a good chance to just slow down. It felt good to be on Peaks with a setting sun behind me and the ocean in front of me.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Last Hurrah!!

Well, the dog days of August ended late last week. Mornings dawned cool with a crystal clear blue sky and a nice breeze right out of the northeast. The first temps in a long time in the mid to high 50's in the morning. On Saturday evening there was even a frost warning for some of the valleys in the western mountains---good grief, let's not get too serious now.

Regardless, the pace has definitely quickened the last few days. The social event of the high season, the Codfish Ball, was held at the TEIA on Saturday evening with the sounds of laughter and music traveling across Casco Bay. I was highly contented to watch a movie and lead the quiet life- some party animal I am.

Brad and Wyatt's Bike shop is in full swing right now. Every boat that empties onto the Island means a crush of humanity renting bikes for a tour of the Island. Of course, the riding of bikes has rapidly become a lost art. It's amazing watching people ride in circles right in front of the bike shop wobbling their way around looking for some security in what their doing. The fact they're in the middle of the road seems to mean nothing to them. But off they go five abreast to tour the Island. Just another checkmark on the things to do list before school starts. Some people have already left if they're from the south since schools are underway this week or even last week for some in the deep south.

Next week begins the tidal outflow of humanity from the Island. I may even see someone I know next week on the boat; big hugs all around for the many reunions that go on from now on. A great time of the year!!!!! Enjoy the last days of August and do indeed take a deep breath and enjoy the remaining warm weather while we have it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Dog Days of August

Sorry, but I just couldn't resist myself.

Now that the 4th of July has passed into oblivion, the Summer's tidal wave of house guests have begun to recede, the annual Road Race and Peaks to Portland swim occurred last week, the pancake breakfasts are nearly rich memories and the TEIA Annual Fair took place last weekend, the recognition dawns that the Summer is beginning to wind down. The first two weeks of August on Peaks has a slightly slower pace to it than July. More books are being read by individuals sprawled out on porches; of course the level of books being read is decreasing by the week. Gone are the works of literature. To the forefront come the trashy political thrillers and works of romance. More walks are being taken but the pace has slowed to take in the natural beauties of the Island. More fishing is taking place even at 7 am.

Of course, this slower pace is transitory and illusionary. Toward the end of the second week of August, there dawns a crystal clear day with deep blue skies, few clouds and a light breeze right out of the northwest. The temperatures are about ten degrees cooler in the morning and you can smell the first hint of Fall. Talk on the morning boat turns to woodpiles for the locals and school shopping for the families. It's a starting pistol that goes off every mid August. From that day until people leave for their winter homes, a frantic last ditch effort psychological impulse runs right through the Island as powerful as a lightening bolt as mental checklists are rechecked and efforts redoubled to accomplish everything that was put down on that list the third week of June. Of course, the list is never completed but until it's acknowledged that that is just fine and acceptable, the intensity level of the Island is on overdrive for about ten days until the outflow of humanity begins the last week of August. Right around Labor Day, the locals start to raise their heads out of their Summer bunkers and begin to once again see individuals they've been missing since late June; it's a wonderful sense of reunion that occurs each Labor Day.

Enjoy the pics of my friend Brutus or Bru for short. He's a wonderful biiiig dog that belongs to a dear friend of Jill and I. He just loves to hang out on our deck; well, hang over the deck is more appropriate. Telling tales, he has to stay on the deck since our part Maine coon cat simply cowers him at every turn inside the house. He's just a wonderful visitor to have around from time to time.