Icicles And John Travolta

Corner Ice

A hundred years ago when I lived in Massachusetts, some winters were so mild that icicles on buildings were a relative rarity. Little dinky ones would form one day and the next it would be in the mid-30s and they would melt away.

When we moved to Maine all that changed and icicles became a dime a dozen. Huge ones, MANY huge ones would hang from the eaves of all the houses and barns and nobody gave them a second thought. This winter in particular has been great for icicles. It has been so damn cold that they just keep growing.

This pretty cluster is hanging from a little coffee shop near Lincolnville Beach. They only serve filtered coffee in there. Each cup is made special. They have a blend called Dark Harbor probably named for the little town that is right offshore from here on the Island of Islesboro. It is terrific. The coffee that is.

The town probably is too. Why else would John Travolta have a summer home there?

Introducing Dennis

IMAGE_B201BE3A-C76B-4FC1-8ABF-36A6F7F95FB3 by John S. Ames
I apologize for posting this cat picture. They are all over the web. I complete realize that most people do not think that photographs of other peoples cats are really uplifting or for that matter even very interesting. 
However, as we start getting to know each other, you should be aware that my wife Sarah and I live with an adopted cat named Dennis. Sarah got him from the local animal shelter 3 years ago tomorrow and surprised me with him. Now, I consider myself a dog person. Never thought much about cats one way or the other. However, I must say our time with this quiet gentle animal has been an awakening. I like him a lot and I guess from time to time you will probably be seeing more of him. For now you should know that this winter has made him a house cat extraordinaire.
He no more wants to go outside than I do.


DSC01397.jpg by John S. Ames
Under all the snow and ice that surrounds us. Lies the beauty of a summer rose.

An “Arty” Hearty Breakfast


Black Beans Onion Egg

With apologies to Jean Arp and Jasper Johns

This Old House


I drive by this lonely looking place every time I go north up Route 1 towards Belfast. It has been deserted and looking more or this way for as long as I can remember.

Over the years it is slowly falling apart. The siding is getting more and more weathered and one can see veins of rot snaking their way into the wood as if the house has some kind of blood poisoning.

Each winter I expect it to fall down. Maybe this year with the really bad snow falls and ice storms we’ve been having will finally bring it to its knees.

I hope not. The place reminds me of me.

This Country Mouse Is Not Staying Very Long

New York Crowd

Going from my home town of Camden, Maine to New York is easy. Amtrak, Jet Blue, Concord Trailways and Route 95 all provide convenient ways to do it in a day. However, for me, while getting there isn’t much of a problem, once there, the difference between where I just came from and where I now find myself hits pretty hard.

 Simply stated, the thousands upon thousands of anonymous faces jostling for the space to move along sidewalks or walk around in stores makes me quite claustrophobic.

Then there’s the noise, a constant background brain buzz punctuated regularly by the wail of a siren or the blast of a car horn from some pissed-off driver.

 It’s fun to see things in the city. New York has marvelous cultural attractions and world-class shopping. The place is really fun in small doses.

But at the end of the day I want to take a walk along some quiet dirt road through the woods and Central Park just does not really cut it.

Winter In Maine


Around here, after the tourists go home, the state takes on an entirely different character. We “hunker” down for a while. Often bracing ourselves against some pretty hostile conditions. For instance as I write this post the windchill outside is 30 degrees below zero. One does NOT want to fall down and be unable to get up or go off the road and get suck. The weather conditions currently are life threatening.

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