July 23, ’07 Acadia

Hi all,

This is the part of Maine called Acadia, and so I bring you a touch of Longfellow.

From Evangeline. A Tale of Acadie. By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.

That was the image I had of the Maine forests: dark, forbidding, melancholy.

But guess what? I have fallen in love with the Maine coast! The forest primeval is lush and richly green. The woods are so thick as to be nearly impenatrable. The clearings are filled with wild roses and blueberries. The weather is mild, with a warm sun, gentle breezes and soft showers. When the tide comes in, it brings bracingly cold air from the north Atlantic with it, and often a sharply cold fog. The sun is brilliant, wild roses perfume the air, the mosses are springy underfoot, the blueberries are sweet on the tongue: after a winter in the desert, I am on sensual overload.

The wild blueberries are ripe and ready for the picking. We have plenty of them right here on a hillside in our campground. I love eating them, but they are a bit of a pain to pick. Wild blueberries are also called low bush blueberries, and, boy, do they mean low. They are about ankle height. So I have to bend over with my fat rear end in the air. About every fourth one I pick rolls out of my fingers and tries to hide in the grass. And after a few minutes of blueberry picking, the mosquitos attack me. Ah, but those little berries are worth the effort: tiny, juicy, fresh and sweet.