Flander's Lane, Washington Maine

Flander's Lane is named after my grandfather, Roland Flanders. It is a short dirt road with a few camps set on Washington Pond. There are tales that Flander's Lane is haunted. At least that's what my grandfather says.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Last Fire

Clay critters fired in pitWe've cleaned up the cabin, and moved all our stuff to our winter abode. Tonight is last fire at Flander's Lane. Grab a blanket and cuddle up with us around the camp fire.

For fun we made a few clay critters from the natural clay that forms the bank along the shore of the lake. Once the fire has coals, we just toss the clay critters into the soft ash, rake the coals carefully over them, and add more wood. It's fun to sift through the ashes the next day and see what we have made.

Autumn has come in rather cold on the lake. The temperature gauge tells me it's 38 degrees when I get up in the morning, and when the sun comes up, it gets real windy out. I often find chairs or other items blown all the way down into the lake. Everything has to be put away and secured. It's getting cold out there.

All along the shore of Washington Pond the boats and docks have been pulled up, out of the water. Summer is over. With only a few scattered "Indian Summer" type days, the hot weather is over. It seems now that we had about 2 weeks of honest to goodness summer weather in between all the rain. When it was hot and sunny, it seemed that it would last forever, but now that it's over so soon, we are all a bit shocked. It's like we all thought there was lots more to come.

We've enjoyed our stay in Maine so much, we don't want to leave now that we're here. We all got some big warm winter Bean Boots, and can't wait to try them out. I want to get sleds and go out on the hill behind the cabin. I love to go out sledding in the snow. I'm hoping it snows a lot just for fun. Setting up our warm winter rental in Camden along the Atlantic is exciting. We're a short distance from Flander's Lane, so we can play in the snow and share Christmas with Grampy Flanders. Spending the winter along the coast will give my wee one the experience of seasons, her first white Christmas, and in the spring, we can all return to the lake.

Until then, stay warm and be cool.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Secret Language of Logs

The Three ScrollsOK, so maybe I've spent too long in the woods, but here's the scoop:

When collecting fire wood, I have noticed that a lot of the wood around here seems to have cryptic messages carved into the surface, just under the bark. Here are three logs I have set up on my fire pit that I call, The Scrolls. One can easily see the mysterious hieroglyphic markings that etch the surface of each log.

It has been in my interest to try and decipher the meaning of the secret code these logs have written on them. I have studied them all summer, and I believe the language is a key to the weather. It is my assumption that we are going to have a very snowy winter this year. Many locals have told me that the past few winters have been very mild. The logs whisper something completely different for this season, and only time will prove me, and the logs right.

Since one cannot see the writing until the wood dries out and the bark falls off, I know that the markings are not made by any human prankster. Instead I can only hypothesize that the writing is done by insects, carpenter ants, or possibly the expanding and shrinking from past winter frosts and summer heat. Either way, I have come up with a method of reading the logs, and it is my belief that we will have an early snow, sometime around the second week of November. The markings tell me the snows taper off near the end of November and early December, and then in mid to late December we will indeed have a very white Christmas this year.

The Secret Language of LogsIf I were you (and you happen to be in Maine) I'd be sure to have plenty of heating oil in the tank, gas in the snow blower, and get the plow on the truck the first week of November before the snow flies. There will be plenty of rain in between the snow, making lots of slush, ice and cold conditions. The logs do not lie.

The weather is unusually cold right now for early September, but the logs promise one more week of hot weather next week, so I do not plan to put the swim suits and kayak away just yet. I am betting around Wednesday or Thursday (Sept 6th-ish) the hot weather should come back for about 6 days or more. That will be it. Fall will take over from there, and the leaves are going to be extra vibrant this season. If you plan to come to Maine to see the Autumn foliage in full bloom, the end of September will be as psychedelic as Jimi Hendrix's puke.

You think I'm joking, but I tell you, all this will come to be. The logs do not lie.