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A Morning Walk on Casco Bay

category_bug_journal2.gif The light in the 20 or 30 minutes before and after sunrise has an eerie, primeval quality I like, especially along a coastline. Dawn on Casco Bay these days is at about 5:15AM, so I try to get down to the path on the Eastern Prom before 5AM to take in all the parts of a new day's awakening.

Sometimes I use the path along the street above the water as when I showed you some of the beautiful Victorians that face the sea. But more frequently I prefer to be on the water, to hear it lapping against the rocks and watch it wash against the small strip of sandy beach leaving behind a piece of seaweed here and driftwood there.


Photographs don’t begin to express the morning magic; you need all five senses and maybe part of your sixth one, too. So to accompany me on today’s walk, you must imagine a variety of birds, mostly invisible among tree branches as they greet the dawn, calling to one another in voices high and low, screeching and melodious, songs short and long, creating a symphony of welcome for the sun as it once again, as every day, approaches the horizon.


The air is crisp, about 60 or 65 degrees F with a slight breeze against your skin, cool but not cold. The tide is high on this day and it takes a little more effort than on low-tide mornings for the salty-sour smell and taste of sea to find you – but it’s there, if you pay attention, on each wisp of breeze. Oh, look. The big catamaran moored offshore is new since yesterday morning.


Other boats lay at anchor too and I think how lovely it must be for those on board to be wakened by the rocking from the wavelets and the creaking of the boat's joints in the gentle morning sea.


The red berry bushes (maybe some gardening readers know the proper name) are at their peak today, a splash of brash, bright color bursting upon the green/gray dawn before the day seems quite ready for such exuberance.


By the time we get to the sidelined railroad cars, I’m hitting my stride, muscles fully engaged and feeling as ripe as those berries. Right now I believe I could walk, with ease, a hundred miles before lunch.


Across the path from those rail cars is a small marina and boat repair yard where one-person sailboats, a good-sized yacht or two and many intermediate-sized boats await, in the early morning light, an expert's hand to set them right again.


Inside the boatyard's locked fence is this statue of someone whose attire suggests he lived long ago, but is important enough to still be honored with fresh flowers at his feet. One day I’ll come by during business hours to find out who he is.


I had been meaning to take the well-advertised, narrow-gauge railroad ride until I realized it rolls along my morning walkway, so no need – except maybe the tour leader could tell me who the statue is.


Some days I walk farther on toward the Old Port, but this morning we’ll turn around here and when we do – lo, there is the sunrise in the tree.


The meadow is brighter now that the sun is above the horizon and god almighty, it's almost perfect, don’t you think…


It is easier now than on our first pass by to see this behemoth, anchored a ways offshore. It wasn’t there yesterday. There is a workaday feel to it - or a dread quality reminiscent of Mad Max - depending on your fancy this early in the morning. It does not move. A deep, steady groan emanates from it.


It’s been almost an hour now and we come upon the path lights again, nearly back to where we began.


A lone seagull screams (at me?) as he swoops and soars over the bay in search, no doubt, of breakfast.


After a shower, my own breakfast on the deck where the geraniums are behaving as though I know how to grow plants. I don’t. It can only be due to luck and the gods’ graces that they are doing so well.


The fresh, clean breeze feels sparkly against my skin out here on the deck. The coffee is rich and thick. The flowers are as bright and clear in the morning sun as if their colors had been invented just for me today.

I think I might never have been so completely of the moment, so perfectly content in a time and place that my heart might burst from the pleasure of it. It is a good thing I have done, in my old age, to move to Portland, Maine. I have chosen well.

A short while later, I remember there is laundry from yesterday still in the dryer. When it’s piled on the bed for folding, Ollie the cat - who knows a thing or two about seizing the moment - discovers that rolling around in freshly washed sheets is ecstasy on the order of heaven - or at least as good as salmon for dinner.



Oh Ronni, this is a wonderful walk-along, I believe the first time you have some nature photos on your blog!? It is really beautiful - I love being near the water. Indeed, you have chosen well.

You are clearly enjoying life in your new home.

once again, ronni, you've presented us with many gifts. it's delightful to share your next-life wonder.

What a great post and does indeed indicate you chose very well. The picture of Ollie at the end, was perfect, probably showing just how you feel for you both with your new home and opportunities. REading it was a great way to start my day this morning also

Wow, these are absolutely beautiful Ronni. What a great morning walk. It all seems so right for you and peaceful and at home. I think we're all very happy to find you in this place sweet lady....

Beautiful Ronni. I'm jealous of the walk and the cats are jealous of the sheets. ;)

You really know how to hurt a guy!
Roger (July in Arizona)

This post is like a soothing balm to my overheated, overstressed Texas soul. I could hear, see, smell and experience your walk as if I were right beside you sharing this gorgeous morning. The seashore has such a magical quality in the early early morning, no?

I think I will bookmark this post so I can reread it whenever I am feeling out of sorts. Better than a yoga class.

You go girl!

Thank you for the mini vacation. The photos are so beautiful and soothing.

"I think I might never have been so completely of the moment, so perfectly content in a time and place that my heart might burst from the pleasure of it. It is a good thing I have done, in my old age, to move to Portland, Maine. I have chosen well."

What a wonderful feeling that is. I know, because I have felt it myself about where I live. The photos are just great, especially the colors of dawn. Ollie is too cute!

Such soothing, restful words and lovely photos.

And how is Crabby enjoying her time on the deck?

Ronni I have given up on growing Geraniums. I kill them. Yours is beautiful. It must like the location on the deck

Ronni, you've made me want to move to Portland. Beautiful photos!

Thanks for sharing your walk, and the pictures are great. It was only 96 degrees this morning at 5:30 a.m. at the riparian in Gilbert Arizona, so I enjoy reading of cooler places.

What a wonderful post. Thanks for the morning walk. You have chosen well. I am happy for you. Annie

Thanks for taking us on your walk, Ronni! I loved your photos and admire you for getting up so early ;)
Ollie looks like he's starting to like the place and has quite adjusted to his new environment.

Ronni, You may find you have a green thumb as you live near the salt water, I think the fog has a lot to do with it. Everything flourishes. I so enjoy watching you discover Portland's waterfront...the early bird is certainly seeing the sights!!!

I echo Cowtown Pattie's sentiments for I too live in Texas where we have been experiencing over 100 degree temps and your photos were a welcome cooling balm to my hot soul.
Ronni, you have come home to your place and are thriving; your geraniums are thriving for they know that this is where you are meant to be. I am a huge believer in the right sense of place, Welcome home.


Lovely walk. And Ollie in the sheets so reminds me of my Hooligan cats in the clean laundry. Gotta fold and put it away quickly, or I end up with cat hair all over everything. A bit disconcerting to find in my bra.

Wonderful pictures and narrative. I actually felt I was sharing the walk. (And do let us know who is the guy in the statue--I'm curious, too.)

All the waiting, the packing, the settling in seems to have paid off. You sound blissfully happy in your new surrounding. Here's to many more wonderful advantures in Portland,Maine.

What a treat you gave me this morning! I felt like I was on that walk with you -- That's the only way I could do it, especially at 5:00 o'clock in the morning.

How lucky you are to be able to walk to such beautiful spots.

Keep enjoying and thanks for sharing your walk.

No offence Ronni, but geraniums are very hard to kill so a non-gardner like yourself should be able to keep them alive with no problems.

Oh, and it looks absolutely gorgeous along your walk.

You sound so happy and contented now that you have settled in your new home. I wish you many more days as happy as this one.

Oh, Jen, geraniums aren't hard to kill at all. I've done it many times...

Ronni : I walk every morning (20-30 minutes) in Hampton Park which is a lovely, spacious park full of ancient oaks and walking paths and a pond. It is my favorite place to walk in Charleston (S.C) which is a city full of great walks.

The good time is just beginning, You have indeed chosen well.

The good time is just beginning, You have indeed chosen well.

Thank you for this, Ronni; and, yes, please let us know who that guy is when you find out.

That was lovely! Thanks for sharing!

"...almost perfect..."
what could be needed that might make that morning walk better? Except ME, perhaps! Now, that would be really perfect.

Thanks for sharing your morning walk. :)

I've been reading TGB for a while now and really enjoy it. This posting was especially nice.

Doesn't anyone know the name of the berries???

It is indeed extremely nice to sleep on a gently rocking and creaking boat. I've had the best sleeps of my life doing exactly that.


Take Care

Hi: I felt like I was walking beside you. What a lovely post.
I just read your bio and wonder if you are at all aware of the time when ABC radio hosted a few years of "Live & Lively Radio". It would have been 1956 to 1959 and I worked there at the time. We had many live shows...Merv Griffen, "The Breakfast Club, with Don Mcneill", Jim Reeves, Paul Anka, etc. I wrote promotional material for the advertising dept. and it was an exciting time but I can find almost no reference to that time. It kind of fizzled out with the advent of TV. All the best. Ginnie

What a beautiful way to share a bit of your new life with us. I was with you every step of the way!

Lovely! You sound incredibly happy and I am happy for you too!

Peace and blessings!

Hi Ronni,
Thanks for sharing that walk.

I love Ollie!

It is raining here in NJ. Thank you for letting me talk a morning walk with you. I am envious of your adventures in the new place but isn't it great when the choices we make turn out well?

That was lovely Ronni. One time, several years ago, I was driving up the coast to visit friends who lived outside of Augusta, ME. I was very early. Since I was running a lot in those days, I stopped in Portland and ran out along the bay on just that path, then up to the street that overlooks and back on the side walk. I'll always remember that at as one of my great runs.

Be well.

Ronni - you are in heaven. What a lovely walk and what a beautiful place to live... you have certainly arrived and I am so happy for you!!!

Thank you for sharing this walk so eloquently. The photos are beautiful, especially the one of the catamaran. You are an inspiration to everyone reading this blog ...

Oh how I wish I were there! Thank you for descriptions that made me feel as if I were. It's beautiful, and your life there seems idyllic.

You have most definitely chosen well and thank you for sharing this walk with us. The correct choice comes forth in your words and wonderful photos.
Like Kenju, I have also felt and experienced these magical moments at sunrise and sunset on my island. Life is indeed good....when WE make it so.
Even Ollie is sharing your bliss.

Great to walk with you, great too to feel your contentment.

Hi Ronnie,
I just came back from my 30 minute walk.I walked by a couple of Lilly ponds but it wasn't as gorgeous as yours.Thanks so much for sharing.At your age I was still traveling.I didn't consider the sixties old.When you hit 75 you slow down.Love Vera

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