Category Archives: Ogunquit

Harvest Moon Over Maine

Looking out from the start of the Marginal Way, we take in the view of the moon as it reflects over the eastern seaboard. Framed by clouds and cradled by the sea, the moon hovers and disseminates its magic along the shore, sprinkling fairy dust and sparkling gypsy water in its wake. This is the Harvest Moon, I’m told – aptly named from the time when it aided farmers in gathering their harvests late into the night.

I use its light to harvest memories – of trips to Maine, of childhood adventures, of misunderstandings, of beauty and happiness. I also use it to make a new one: spying this spectacular moon with my parents and my husband, on a balmy October evening after a family dinner in Ogunquit. (Add it to the list of happy ones.)

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A Brief Ogunquit Revisit

If you’ve been following this blog for any decent length of time you are already accustomed to our twice-annual sojourns to this Beautiful Place By The Sea. This year we closed out the season with a long Columbus Day weekend, but rather than take you through a multi-post recap of what went on every stage of the trip, this sole post will have to suffice.

Carrying on with my self-imposed backing-away from non-stop blogging (hello dash-happy sentence), I decided to reclaim my vacation time as well, which meant less documenting every minute and instead living in each moment. I left the real camera at home and did just fine with the iPhone to convey brief glimpses of our time there

 

These pics tell a vague story, hinting at the fun and enjoyment we experienced, while allowing you to conjure your own fall trip connotations. This is one of my favorite times of the year to be in Maine. Spring carries its excitement and the promise of a summer to come, but there’s something more moving and beautiful about the fall, when we are ready to put everything to bed for the winter slumber. The prettiness of the pumpkins and the colorful cacophony of the chrysanthemums are not long for this world, so we value them a little more. We pause instead of rushing by. We know what winter may bring. 

 

 

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OGT Misc.

Though our fall trip to Ogunquit finished up a few weeks ago, the memories still haunt me, in the best possible way, so I’m going to indulge in a lazy look back at some of the scenes seen then.

 

Until we meet again… after the winter.

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The Rotten Apples

There’s something rotten in the state of Denmark, and though Rose Nylund would claim that it’s their cheese, it’s actually something that goes well with cheese: the apple. Torn from their boughs, these fruits have fallen to the forest floor and begun their transformation back to the place from which they came. Decay and decomposition. Seems nasty and gross to some, but it’s the very source of life again. There is beauty here too, if you can bend your mind a different way.

I stumbled upon these fallen soldiers while walking through a secluded corner of Ogunquit. They reminded me of fall days when I would walk home from school and pause beneath a few pine trees, nestling into the rust-colored needles warm from the sun and plucking a few pine-cones to decorate later. I’d sit there in that sublime patch of autumn and retrieve an apple I’d saved from lunch, biting into the crunchy sweetness and peering out from the edge of the forest.

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Good Gourd

The harvest is at hand, and the spicy tones of grains and gourds fall upon the earth like little globes of ridged amber baubles. Indian corn, probably politically incorrectly-monikered at this point, makes a striking accent with its rows of multi-colored kernels, hinting at a Thanksgiving to come, and the coziest time of the year. Our reluctance to head onto the path for winter is eased by such scenes, and fall will always carry her own enchantments.

Vines of invasive bittersweet, beautiful but dangerous, open their shiny yellow orbs to reveal bright red hearts. They sing their tempting siren song to the birds, who, entranced by such color in a sea of dying leaves, swoop in and carry the seeds to further the invasive destruction of this fast-growing vine. There is a price to pay for such prettiness.

Fall hints coldly, and grandly, at the fiery end to the growing season. It will not go quietly into the winter night, and why should it when there is still so much color and texture to display? Such as in these gourds, whose surface is a mottled dream of ridges and bumps, as strange and delightful to the hand as it is to the eye.

Nature is a skilled architect, adept at crafting vehicles who purpose sometimes seems to be beauty alone. That has always been purpose enough.

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Ogunquit in Full Color – 3

Even the most striking autumn color is doomed to fade. Sometimes that happens overnight, with a harsh biting frost, but more often it happens in slower and less definitive fashion, as in the way the sky softens, and wispy clouds filter the light. It’s a very subtle change, and one might miss it when presented with a rose thrillingly defying the edge of the ocean, but if you look closely you will detect it.

There is a more nuanced beauty at work when the change happens, delicate gradations and misty renderings as a gauze descended like the fog, and on our final full day in the seaside town, the rain fell steadily, revealing a murky melancholy that was not wholly unwelcome. After a summer of sun, it’s only fair. Fitting too, as an afternoon nap is a luxury to be indulged while on vacation, and you don’t feel like you’re missing as much when it’s raining.

Before that, however, we got in a walk along the Marginal Way. The colors were a comfort – gentle and harmonious – in the way that nature manages to put forth the most pleasing palette seemingly without the slightest effort.

We finish with a lunch in Perkins Cove. Though the days are turning gray, they are doing so in thrilling fashion. Fall can be charming, and we are already under its spell.

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Ogunquit in Full Color – 2

Brilliance was all around us, in the sensational colorful carpets of mums and gourds, the deep blue of sea and sky, and the fiery explosions of dahlias and sea roses. A banner of vibrancy was flying in super-saturated form, as if every last effort to show-off was being expended in a pageant of floral fireworks. Everything wanted in on this display.

All the flowers seemed to celebrate the glorious summer that came before. Sure, a few showed fatigue, but those that remained were reinvigorated with the cooler nights and dew-studded mornings.

The asters were at the height of their glory. They wait all season for these final weeks of putting on a show, and it’s always worth it. I should definitely think about putting a few of these plants in. I don’t know, though, part of me is always looking ahead. Beauty like this might jerk me back into longing for an endless summer.

Yellow chrysanthemums just might be the season’s signature motif, brightly cheering every other nook or corner. Their ubiquity renders them all but invisible to my eyes, but they have their purpose to serve, and I’ll not begrudge them their power.

Still, I want for something deeper, something passionate and purple and bleeding with color. I found that here too.

The tapestry of fall in Maine is a wondrous sight to behold. It prepares the heart for what is yet to come.

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Ogunquit in Full Color – 1

Marking our 16th fall in Ogunquit, this year found us embracing some old favorites on their way out, and putting our official vacation season to sleep for the year. I’ve got a couple trips coming up, but our Columbus Day weekend in Maine is when we say good-bye to the majority of sunny days. It’s a bittersweet trip, but when you go in knowing that, it makes things a little more precious. We hold them a little dearer and closer to the heart.

The sea – constant and powerful, beautiful and devastating – would shout out in roaring waves. Foaming at the mouth, it would shoot its spray into the air and onto the rocky outcroppings. That would come later. For now, it gently lapped at the shore, an innocent young canine playing with gentle yet insistent purpose.

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A Dew-Kissed Entry

The sea roses held onto the morning dew – or was it the previous eve’s rain? – with their soft pink petals. Hardened by the spray of the sea and the rush of the shore wind, the cooler night temperatures didn’t bother them in the least. Rosa rugosa is a hardy species, designed to battle with the wilderness that surrounds the ocean. These blossoms may appear delicate, but they are powerful, if pretty, little things.

They announce themselves from afar with their bright color, and they whisper on the wind with their sweetly-intoxicating perfume. It is the perfect welcome-back to Maine, and to the way life should be…

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OGT Beauty

Here is a glimpse of the glory that is Ogunquit, as our real lives intersect with my online adventures. We are scheduled to depart this lovely town tomorrow, as our annual fall visit comes to a close, and we do so with our usual tinge of sadness. Still, there is something of comfort in such beauty, and we always leave a little richer than when we arrived.

At the edge of land, the light is magical. Where the sea greets us, whether in peaceful slumber or tumultuous rage, there is the crux of life.

We will be back when things awake again… in the spring.

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Ogunquit Tchotchkes

Blacksmith’s Antiques is a stalwart warehouse of antiques and bric-a-brac. Much of it is junk, but one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and in the right evocative lighting these objects take on different meaning. Some become more mysterious, some become more menacing, and some become more magnificent.

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OGT: 2016

Ogunquit is one of my happy places.

Whenever we go there, life seems to be a little bit better.

Something lifts off our shoulders as we cross the bridge and enter Maine. Like an old, dear friend, it greets us with warmth and reassurance, no matter what else is happening in our lives or in the world.

Here are a few shots of our recent Memorial Day weekend trip. After sixteen years, Ogunquit still thrills. A little rain, a perfect beach day, some shopping, some impeccable food, and lots of relaxation. The best of all possible worlds.

 

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Fall Bye OGT

Our time in Ogunquit was over much too quickly, as is always the case, but the end of the fall trip is always the sadder of our two departures. In spring, there is the promise of a return at the close of the season, along with the whole of summer in-between. In fall, there is nothing but the long trudge to and through winter to which we can look ahead. That’s trying enough with the lengthy half-year time period until we meet the Maine shore again, made doubly so by the wretched weather that will occupy much of that stretch. Still, there is beauty in a goodbye, no matter how sad it might be.

There is also beauty in a New England fall, as seen in the accompanying photographs here. While I’ve never been a fan of chrysanthemums for my own yard or garden, I do enjoy seeing the rainbow of colors being produced by hybridizers these days. The dahlias are another highlight that I have yet to grow in my garden – they will go like fireworks until the harder frosts strike them down. It would be too heartbreaking to see a show like that felled by the onslaught of freezing temperatures, but in other gardens I can admire and appreciate them without having to witness their demise.

Throughout it all, there will be gourds and winter squash, heaped upon one another in piles of textured, colorful flesh that hides the kind of goodness that lies in wait to be roasted. Along with soups, roasted winter vegetables will be filling our toasty kitchen this fall, the kind of cozy comfort food that warms the home and the soul. It makes departing Maine only slightly more bearable. We will return… with the spring.

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Ogunquit Haiku

Along the Marginal Way, the breeze is biting but the sun is warm. We walk along this well-traversed stretch of shoreline, pausing to admire the rocky coastline, waiting to absorb the beauty of the day. A couple of seagulls fly overhead, while other water birds float in the distance. On the sea, shards of sunlight bounce off the tips of waves – the effect is of some sparkling blanket, undulating in the darkest of blues.

There is a sense of grounding whenever I find myself on the crux of land and ocean, and upon planting my feet and feeling the power of the place, I look up into the sky and beam at the soaring of the gulls.

In the midst of our annual fall trip here, our Marginal Way walk, en route to lunch in Perkins Cove, is a calm highlight in a long weekend of calming moments. If you stand there for a while, listening to the waves lull with their lullaby-like dirge, you will feel the spell the sea casts on all who pause to hear it. It’s a spell that the land echoes, with its rocky soil that affords only the hardiest of roses a foothold to unfurl their rugged beauty. Even at this late stage of the season, a few Rosa rugosa blooms manage to perfume the salty air.

By the time we round the juniper-shaded corner to Perkins Cove, my stomach is ready for a warm bowl of chowder, and maybe a fish fry. The cove is quiet today, the water relatively still, mirroring the sky and begging for a haiku.

Indigo ocean

beneath playful sky hosting

non-threatening clouds.

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Ogunquit Riches

Some people think spring is where you’ll get a riot of color, but when it comes to richness of shades, I’ve always known that autumn brings saturation like you’ve never seen in the early cool days of the growing season. It’s as if the removal of such direct sunlight allows colors to develop more fully, with far less fading. Flowers just glow more brilliantly at this time of the year. Here, a few of the floral sights in Ogunquit in the golden hour of the gardening calendar. I find them just as striking as the first blooms of spring.

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