Category Archives: For Fun!

Ever Pet A Flying Squirrel?

Living on the lake affords Cindy, I and our visitors constant opportunities to view wildlife.

Monday of this week is the record (so far).

First…Upon my return trip from picking up the mail (our mailbox is about 1/2 a mile down the road) I spotted a fox trotting up the road, just ahead of me. Once he heard my approach he stopped, looked and waited, as I got close enough to take this picture.

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What a beautiful creature! Click on the image for a closer look…

Shortly after returning home Cindy and I looked out our back window and saw several deer grazing in the yard. By the time we raised the shade so that I could snap this photo, only a single doe remained.

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Not the best picture, but it does serve as “proof of deer.”

Later that afternoon we saw our friend the eagle soar across the cove. So far, I’ve been unable to get a reasonable photo of it in flight. But, I did take this snapshot several days ago as it stood on the ice at least 50 yards out.

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Realize, this is a HUGE bird, especially obvious when viewing their wing span at take off!

Now, to the flying squirrels…

Over the last couple of months Cindy and I would be out on our deck in the early evening BBQ’ing dinner. And, we’d notice “something” fly by in the dark and land on the ground, out of sight. We didn’t think too much of it. Perhaps it was just a lone bird out a little later than the rest.

After experiencing this (something flying by in the dark) numerous times we were finally able to see a small creature scurrying along on the ground foraging for food. What is it? It couldn’t be. Yep, it’s a flying squirrel!

First time we had ever seen one.

Well, it gets better. To round out our Monday, we were again BBQ’ing and noticed that our friend the flying squirrel was perched on our bird feeder devouring seed.

I was able to get within 2 feet of it and take this picture.

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Cindy actually pet the little guy. He stayed there for a few minutes until he became spooked and then launched himself into flight, and glided to the ground.

Now THAT is an amazing creature, topping off a great Monday at the lake!

Last evening we were once again BBQ’ing and noticed TWO flying squirrels perched on our bird feeder. I approached and one immediately launched into flight. The other stayed long enough for me to pet its tail.

There!

Cindy and I are now tied, in that we have BOTH pet a flying squirrel 🙂

We are looking forward to spring and the other wildlife that is likely to emerge for our viewing pleasure!

On Nature, Health & Free Money

We are now into our 4th month of living on the lake.

Given the mild winter we are having, Cindy and I have had the opportunity to take many long walks in our natural habitat, with few, if any, carbon units around to bother us 😎

Recently, on our walks, we began noticing free money lying around.

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You see, like several states, Maine has a redemption law providing a nickel for every soda can and fifteen cents for every vodka bottle.

So, we have begun making a game out of this. She’ll walk on one side of the dirt road and I the other as we scan for, and pick up, nickels.

Not only are we thoroughly enjoying our walks along the lake, we are cleaning up nature AND making money. How can you beat that?

To be clear, we also carry an extra trash bag to pick up the worthless litter we find…

Interestingly, as the snow continues to melt more and more nickels are materializing. This, in addition to fresh nickels that show up along the roads on a daily basis from dirtbags who don’t seem to respect nature.

I’ll admit, I was one of those dirtbags in my younger years…

Today, we hit the jackpot. Our guess is that someone dumped the litter from a bachelor or bachelorette party in the woods many months ago. So, we begrudgingly picked up the litter and sorted out the MANY beer cans and bottles. Score!

Anyway, we are looking forward to the summer months when there will be a lot more dirtbags (I mean carbon units) around throwing nickels out their car window.

To quantify, in a very short period of time, we have accumulated enough nickels to put over 5 gallons of gas in Rover.

All, while enjoying the exercise from our long walks in nature.

Life is good!

Never Say Never

As outlined in a prior post (Want Hypergrowh? Grab a hockey stick!) Cindy and I left Maine, back in 1989, for a lucrative career opportunity. What I didn’t mention was that we (or at least I) said: We are NEVER coming back.

So emphatic was I on this point that we gave away, threw away or otherwise disposed of ALL our winter gear (clothes, shovels and the like) in advance of our trip to Atlanta.

I actually liked the Atlanta area quite well. We lived in the outskirts, not far from Lake Lanier which offers some great camping. Although, the sheriff’s department seriously frowns upon campers who set off fireworks, resulting in our having the opportunity to visit a Gwinnett County court room (right Glen?).

And, I worked just outside of Route 285 which encircles the big city.

Cindy, on the other hand, was homesick not long after we arrived. I did manage to convince her to stay for a few years so that my resume showed stability (vs. bouncing around).

Then, came the snow…In November of 1991, we were watching a Christmas show. The snow was gently falling (on TV). Oh, how peaceful the scene, with family gathered together. I finally said: Enough! We need to get back up North where there is snow and we can be closer to family.

I again engaged the recruiter that placed me in Atlanta, to get his assistance on locating job opportunities in the greater Boston area. Unfortunately, he shared that a large employer (Digital Equipment) had recently executed a bunch of sizable layoffs. As such, there was stiff competition for any job openings. But, he’d see what he could do.

He quickly identified an opportunity that he felt was perfect for me. However, the hiring company was not willing to pay travel expenses for remote candidates, since the local market was flooded with so many prospects to choose from. I basically said: Well then, they can go pound sand…

After a few months of constantly checking in with my recruiter he reinforced that the company he had previously mentioned was STILL looking for a senior project manager – a perfect fit for me.

By this time we were so ready to be back up north that I decided it was time to get that job – at a specifically desired salary. So, I paid for my travel expenses and within days made the trip to Burlington, MA. The interview process went so well that they offered me the specifically desired salary before I left the building. I let them know I’d have to sleep on it 🙂

Little did I know, we were about to be hit by a major snowstorm. I realized this upon leaving the would-be employer’s building for my return trip to the airport. And, shortly thereafter, I learned that my flight home had been cancelled. Oh, the joys of snow. I ended up spending an extra night at a Logan Airport hotel.

Fast forward to present date…We are not only back in New England, but we are back in Maine.

When we first moved into our new home and began meeting neighbors (many of whom stay away for the winter, opting for warmer climates) sharing how we had moved from New Hampshire, they’d comment on how much snow we get here. We’d invariable respond with: We love the snow. They looked at us as if to say: Flatlanders – Obviously inexperienced in “harsh winters.” To that, I’d casually let them know that Cindy grew up in Portland and I in Millinocket (that’s in northern Maine, for any flatlanders), which immediately earned their respect 🙂

I’ve never felt so cool, being from Millinocket!

In the past week alone we’ve experienced a couple of minor dustings (a mere 4-6″ of the white stuff). After I finish my daily client con-calls, Cindy and I team-up for snow removal. And, to be clear, we don’t consider this a chore. It is exercise! The only difference vs. our prior home is that since we now live on a dirt road the plow guy manages to kick-up rocks and other debris that causes my snowblower to gag – violently. I thought I’d lost her a few days ago, but it eventually became unclogged, coughing up a sizable rock. We’ve since decided that it makes more sense to shovel the edge of our driveway, saving the machine for the digestible snow.

During the snow cleanup process, we try not to cover up all the deer tracks scattered across our property. We still haven’t had any repeat sightings as the deer seem only to visit during the wee hours of the night when we are snoozing. To improve the odds, however, we have baited them 🙂 If you look closely at the picture below, you can see where a deer was digging in the ground near the shore, for the food we planted there.

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And, while not clear in the picture above, there is a sole loon out there, diving for fish, just beyond the layer of ice covering our cove.

In closing, it is great (even important) to make emphatic statements and decisions. However, we must remain flexible as things (and attitudes) can change over time.

I cannot fathom what it would be like to have NOT come back to this beautiful environ and proximity to family.

Ah, Maine: The Way Life Should Be!