Saturday, July 21, 2012

No Man is an island

On our island there are many different groups of people. Each of us belongs to more than one group at any given time, and no one group is more important than another.

We are like a small biosphere, each group needs the other, and most likely wouldn't survive without the other.

A lobsterman said to me the other day that "without lobsterman we wouldn't have a town." Well, I disagree with that statement. We would most definitely would still have a town, it just wouldn't be the same town. It also wouldn't be a town many of us would enjoy as much as the one we have.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Clean Laundry

The first spring we lived in our house we put up a clothes line. I knew that our line would get a lot of use so I sprung for Cedar, knowing it would look nice as it aged and wouldn't leech chemicals into our nearby garden.

We choose to hang our clothes out on a line for a number of reasons. The obvious one of course is to save on electricity. Other reasons are that they come into the house smelling fresh, they get a natural bleaching from the sun, and there is something very pleasing about seeing clothes and sheets billowing in the breeze.

Every time I hang out the laundry I think about one of our summer residents who upon seeing our clothes line at our open house a couple of summers back was just in awe. He kept saying to his wife that they needed to put one up at there house here on the island. He also said that in the town that they live in, located in southern Connecticut it is against the town's ordinances to have a clothes line. I was aghast. In the town where he lives, some of the wealthiest people in the world reside, and they have rules telling them they can't have something as simple as a clothes line. I don't get it, pay all that money and can't hang your clean clothes out.

Dozens of people walk by our house each summer day. They see our clean clothes out there, underwear and all. We don't mind, after all, we all wear underwear. It's nothing to be ashamed of.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mosquitoes, Who needs em'?

I've heard tell that the mosquitoes on Islesford can hover in a thirty-knot wind. I don't know if that is true or not, but what I do know is they are fierce. Where many places have mosquitoes for just a part of their summer, we have them for the entire season, and longer. I have seen them in late October.

I for one don't appreciate the buzzing around my head created by a couple of dozen skeeters. Their bite doesn't seem to bother me much, that can't be said for other islanders and so I count myself lucky.

My friend Paul remembers as a child watching a small plane going overhead spraying DDT over the island as a way to eradicate the bugs. Unfortunately it also eradicated all of the birds on the island. Today we have lots of birds species on the island, and some bats.

Mosquitoes, who needs em'? Well some of those birds probably eat them, the bats certainly feed on mosquitoes. Well, as much of a nuisance as they may be, we humans may need the lowly mosquito more than we think. I heard an interview a while back where the interviewee said that mosquitoes derive the majority of their nutrients from the nectar of plants, and while collecting that nectar they naturally spread the pollen from plant to plant just as the bee does. In fact the honey bees that we know to be common are not native to our continent and so it is theorized that mosquitoes historically were some of the major contributors to the pollination of native plants.

I have found some websites that support this. So the little ol' mosquito is an very important part of our ecosystem. I often think about this after I have swatted one of those buggers. Then I sometimes think, well the other three dozen or more that are buzzing around my head should be able to get the job done.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Every two months or so we make a trip to southern Maine. The reasons vary, holidays, family gatherings, we need supplies for Kaitlyn's pottery business that can only be obtained in Portland. This weekend we had a wedding to attend in Freeport. There is always a flurry to get ready to go, pack everything, (try not to forget anything), catch the boat, load the car, and then drive three hours. The drive south is actually the most relaxing time for me, we have left the island behind, anything we forgot we can make do without. I try and shut off the work side of my brain, and enjoy being off island. No matter the reason for going south, it is the return home (the Re-Entry) that is the difficult part. It is so easy for me to get used to all of the conveniences of the "off island" world.

The re-entry this weekend was particularly hard. I had such a busy last couple of weeks trying to hit deadlines. I pulled some late nights and just barely did it. That is the nature of this time of year in "vacationland." Upon re-entry on Tuesday I didn't even know where to start, it took me all day to get my head back into being on island. Not until Wednesday did I become productive again.

So goes life as an islander, we must go off island occassionaly for provisions as well as for sanity sake, but coming back has it's own level of difficulty.

Monday, February 23, 2009

School is in session

One of the hot topics of conversation on the island yesterday was the big storm that was bearing down on the state.  People wanted to know if the meeting with the Island Institute's retail store manager to be held at our house was going to be postponed.  Kaitlyn and Bill (who was going to travel from Brunswick) decided it best to postpone the meeting since he and Lisa from Archipalaego (the Institute's store) wouldn't make it.  The whole purpose of the meeting is for island artists to meet with Lisa to discuss how our artists might get shelf space and representation among other things at the Institute's retail store in Rockland.  They plan to reschedule the meeting for next week.

We woke up this morning with just a couple of inches on the ground.  I looked online, and around the state towns were reporting to have upwards of 10" or more.  As I sit here and write the snow has started to fall much faster.  I looked up all the cancellations, it looks like there are not many places that do have school today.  Looking out the large picture window in the living room I can see our town's two room school house.  I could see the kids running around in the school yard.  They are one of the few exceptions today.  Our school rarely cancels school.  Since the students all walk and ride their bikes to school there is no concern for buses traveling the roads like towns on the mainland have.  The only reason for school to be cancelled is if the power is out.  If the power is out, then the school doesn't have heat.  This year school has been cancelled only once, and that is rare.  Our students are always out for summer vacation in early June.

We do have three students who travel each day on the mail boat from Great Cranberry Island to Little Cranberry Island to attend school.  I wonder if they made it over today.  I don't know if the boat ran this morning or not.  The wind is blowing hard today and whipping the snow around.  I am glad that I am here and don't have to travel far to get to work or to the post office.  It is a good day to hunker down inside drinking tea.