I realized these past few weeks that, while I will miss New York and the friends and the food here, what I really do feel homesick for the most is Maine, and only really when the weather is nice. Like most other visitors, I'm really not into the idea of spending a winter there.
I took a quick trip up to say some goodbyes. I packed, as one might, for "April in Maine" weather. April is usually what we call "mud season"- it's slightly warmer than winter, which makes a nice icy mud to stomp around in.
Not so much when I was there. I never imaged that I'd get beach days in April, and I had to scramble around looking for things to wear that weren't heavy woolly sweaters or head-to-toe rain gear.
I love the fact that every time I visit home, I get to do fun things like drive a pickup truck around to the gardening place and a guy comes with a tractor and will fill the truck bed with dirt. Then I get to go and shovel the dirt into the garden, mix it with peat moss and throw in some fat worms. Wheee! That's the most fun ever for a city girl. Or, uh, maybe that's just me.
The parental unit and the +1 was more than happy to let me go to town on this. Seedlings got started, trees got mulched, the dog got a much-needed bath and I started in on an epic farmer's tan.
We took a nice walk in the woods. This is in an area with a lot of old granite quarries, so there is always something interesting to explore. It was pretty heavily forested as well, but now the woods are thick and most of the wildlife has returned. The dog scares most everything away, but there are lots of deer, fox, raccoon, skunk, porcupine and fishers if you are quiet walker and have open eyes.
The fiddlehead ferns were almost ripe for the picking. I love these things. I'm always astounded by the prices in New York- every spring, I spy them at the markets for ridiculous amounts of money. They are free if you're near a swampy area and know where to look.
They are tasty, especially if you saute them up with a bit of salt pork or bacon fat. They taste similar to asparagus.
It was still too early there for there to be a lot of songbirds, but we did see signs that a woodpecker had been nearby.
Just a word of warning- the ticks are horrendous this year. The winter wasn't cold enough to kill them off. We found several just while we were in the back yard. The dog, who goes willingly crashing through low brush, is the worst hit. Nightly checks are essential. Hopefully, with the return of the songbirds, the tick population will suffer. It makes it hard to enjoy the woods when your skin is constantly crawling.