The Year is Complete!

Please feel free to look back through the 365 days of 2010 sunrises, but "a year of getting up to meet the day" is officially completed. There will be no more new posts.


Thank you so much for visiting.
A one year blog project in which I share a process of transitions: emptying of the nest, reacquainting with my rusty intellect, plowing onward with my first full length book, entering the second half of my first century, and generally reflecting on life.

(see Dec. 29th, 2009 entry for further explanation)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

off the grid - bane or boon? part 1

sunrise:  4:49

June 20, 2010

No pink sky, no sun. Just rain and fog this morning. Getting up extra early was a moot point, except for the view of a departing cruise ship as is passed through the western way.
I also watched a group of animals swimming or hunting or playing around the surface of the water. Too far away to identify, but I think they were sea otters (J says seals). They did not curl over the surface of the water, they plowed through head first in short bursts. There were at least three, swirling the water in circles all around each other in a kind of dance. I am determined now to get binoculars this summer.

Headed back home today for T’s piano recital. Two nights is hardly enough time to begin to settle into the rhythms of the island. I felt like an addict going through detox yesterday. Electronic communications and information gathering fill my day, sunup to sundown, all through the year. I am more plugged in than I cared to acknowledge.

J kindly accompanied me on a walk around the shoreline searching for a signal on which I could piggyback temporarily so I could post my blog entry. This was not very island-like behavior. I wandered around in circles half the day trying to figure out what to do with myself.

When I’m back out here for a longer stretch, I’ll have to either pay for some kind of temporary access (which I can find from certain pieces of the shoreline, though not from my house), or I’ll have to resign myself to being off the grid for a while. Posts will come in an accumulated form when I return to the land of wired in.

Happy solstice to all - wherever you may be. 


  1. Definitely NOT sea otters, which are strictly Pacific (that is not to say peaceful, though they may be that as well). Seals or dolphins? I'll stop panicking when your post isn't available while I drink my coffee!

  2. I used to think that otters found in the sea was a west coast phenomenon. Then, a few years ago, my father and I saw 2 LARGE otters out off of Sutton Island. They were close enough to clearly make out without binoculars. One was on a rock and another was in the water. The one on the rock clearly registered me and then waddled/slid into the water to literally frolic with his buddy - - they seemed to be putting on a show. This, as you know, is about 1 mile off the mainland and clearly "in the ocean". I have seen hundreds of harbor seals in the water and on rocks around that area. In fact, I saw one yesterday! I know what there heads look like in the water and I know how they move on the rocks. These were unequivocally NOT seals. So we were very confused.

    I sought out a local naturalist/sculptor and specifically asked about this. He described the "sea mink", extinct since the late 19th century, a large mustlelid that used to live off the coast of Maine. And he confirmed that "Sea Otters" are Pacific coast animals. BUT, he also assured me that RIVER otters will venture into salt water and that it is entirely probable that this is what I saw. When I read that river otters can reach 60", I decided that I had seen a pair of "regular" otters. (These were more on the 30-40 inch scale)

    I have no idea what R saw this AM - - statistically most likely seals. And they weren't "sea otters". But the animals I saw a few years back were NOT too far away to identify, so I will "never say never" to the notion of seeing an occasional otter around the islands off the coast of Maine!

    So I suppose I am now a porcupine AND otter authority...

    If interested, check out Forest Hart's sculptures.
    He was a taxidermist for years and then found his way into being an extremely successful sculptor. His process is really cool and his stuff is brilliant He is said to capture animals in motion like no other has. It is mind-boggling stuff. And crazy expensive.

  3. You've already told me about Forest Hart and I love his stuff. There was a time...when I was single and monetarily rich...when I would have considered his ravens. Like you said, though, crazily expensive.

    With respect to the otters, I don't doubt the possibility that they were river otters, though several frolicking together seems a bit unnatural. Get a photo.