Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Day 11.098: Choose your favorite (demon)

When asked what his favorite animal was at the Cryptozoology Museum as we were leaving - he chose the Dover Demon. Not a bad choice on account of both its cuteness and relatively local origin in Dover Massachusetts.


It certainly was a lot more appealing than the similarly named Jersey Devil - which did not get a high score from us for cuteness.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Day 11.097: Fore River bird sightings

As promised, here are the birds I managed to get photographs of on our short walk at the weekend at the Fore River Trail:


A turkey vulture, a northern mockingbird, a song sparrow, an American robin, an eastern phoebe, several buffleheads and a couple of loons. I also saw an egret of some kind in the distance and a couple of red-winged blackbirds mobbing the turkey vultures as they flew overhead.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Day 11.096: At least the ice has all gone now

This was what the day was like before it got really wet:


At lunchtime we watched the first elite racers finish the Boston Marathon on a truly miserable day for runners and spectators alike. I feel bad about complaining about an unseasonably hot and sunny April day two years ago now. I had assumed having achieved a qualifying time again but then having narrowly missed the cut-off time under that to race, that today would be a perfect running day, but apparently I'm not that important.

Anyway, the rain is still falling, the wind is still blowing, but we are indoors and home and my (much shorter) spring race is coming up next weekend when we are guaranteed perfect cool dry running weather - right?

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Day 11.095: Exile #2's Sunday Column #220

Exile #2 writes...

Mid-April in southern Maine
Winter returned today with sleet and freezing rain. The robins were looking a little disgruntled. It must be hard when you’re supposed to be the harbinger of Spring but Spring refuses to show up. No Matter. While Exile #4 hung out with her youth club friends this afternoon, the rest of us returned to the scene of yesterday’s fairly bizarre walk to visit something equally bizarre, Portland’s International Museum of Cryptozoology. It’s a small space, crammed with tchotchkes and artifacts relating to the hunt for mysterious animals. Some are the stuff of legend, like Bigfoot and Nessie (or Cassie, our local version in Casco Bay). Others are creatures that were discovered after many years of evading detection, like the Megamouth Shark.

The museum walks a fine line between belief and skepticism. It debunks many myths and delights in others. It mixes pop culture, mythology, and superstition with scientific research. As with many small museums it could do with a little more interpretation, but it was a fun way to spend an hour.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Day 11.094: Fore River Trail

With the weather forecast somewhat unreliable-looking, we decided against a larger investment of driving time and instead went to explore a small trail by the Fore River Estuary at Thompson's Point in Portland. The Fore River Trail is distinct from the nearby Fore River Sanctuary.

The trail is short and fairly urban, but has some significant sections of boardwalk and some nice views of the estuary - including a surprising glimpse of a waterfall under a bridge.


Although we are always very pleased to get out of the house at this time of year, it is clearly not the most glamorous of seasons in southern Maine. We saw some birds that I will identify in a future post - and few signs of spring (and some signs of last autumn!):


At one point we took an apparently little-used side trail past this boarded-up house - we all had the feeling that despite the map we weren't sure we were in the right place. When two vultures perched on the roof it didn't make it seem any less creepy!


Soon after that, we were passed on the trail by a man cycling in a full plastic face mask - this was not a wilderness hike! We had a nice walk and then returned home for a game, dinner and some family TV time.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Day 11.093: "April fun"

The kids are off school for April break and that means that we are trying to have some family fun on the days without other commitments (such as going to work for me!). We have made a partial plan for tomorrow, but I also decided to ask Google Photos for inspiration based on what "April fun" we had had in the past.

This was one of the adorable answers:


That's the child later to be known as Exile #3 on holiday in Kent a little over a month before she became a big sister - having fun in April!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Day 11.092: Don't run with scissors...

...dancing with candles is fine however:


...especially if they are the battery operated kind!