Monday, January 30, 2012


BOY! YA GOTTA KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN! Rake away some leaves and what do you know!?!
And I was told there is another Fairy Garden a few hours north of here, near Wilmington, Delaware: MORE ABOUT Enchanted WooodsTM:
Discover the magic of a fairy-tale garden with a visit to Enchanted WoodsTM, a unique children's garden at Winterthur. In a three-acre plot of the Winterthur Garden, the fairy folk created a magical landscape for children of all ages! Canopied by majestic oak trees, Enchanted WoodsTM has been taken over by the woodland fairies who live here and is transformed into a place of enchantment, mystery, and discovery. From the Tulip Tree House to the Faerie Cottage, children will find a new world to explore.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


DO YOU HAVE FAIRY HOUSES on your property? I bet you do! Fairy Houses are famous in Maine where they even have special celebrations for them. I was cleaning up out in the yard today - it is 60 degrees!!!! and the last week in January, and I noticed a fairy house over where a mighty maple once stood. It took very little work to enhance the "property." A few pebbles here and there, a little vine hand rail... and a few flowers (bottom 1/3rd, middle) from the rosemary in my herbal windowbox... yes, it is in bloom again! This box sits next to the house under the kitchen window. I have an old piece of plexiglas bent over it to keep the frost off (or snow should we ever have any this year.)

As kids we knew about, and often made, Fairy Houses when I lived on Peaks Island. We would pretend to suddenly find them and show them to tourists. Sometimes we would charge a nickle! LOL! Hey, in those days, you could buy a popsicle for 5 cents! Even today, there are Fairy House tours on some of the islands and even a 3 day festival at Boothbay at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, usually held in early August.

Mackworth Island lies just outside of Portland but feels like it’s miles away from the city. The small island is circled by a lovely coastal walking trail. About halfway around the circuit is a charming woodland fairy house village with views out to Casco Bay. Some of the houses are built against trees and stumps, while others are freestanding upon the thick, soft cushion of pine needles that cover the forest floor.

The Mackworth Island permanent Fairy Houses Village was established by local families in cooperation with the State of Maine Bureau of Parks and Land and the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf.
This superb village has been established for several years and gets more magical all the time! It is in constant use all year round (weather permitting.) We used to make mini-igloos in the winter!
The village is a 10 minute walk from the parking lot around the island to the north side. The island is accessible by road, but parking is limited. Mackworth Island is located in Falmouth, just off route 1 heading north from Portland.
The official Fairy Houses Village sign reads:

“The village provides fairies with cottages during their visits to the island.
We invite you to visit the village and admire the creativity of the builders. If
you are so inclined, you may use your own imagination to expand the village or
provide needed maintenance to the existing cottages. Thank you for treating the
island with care and respect.This helps to keep the fairies coming back!”

Further north is Monhegan Island.

The magic of Monhegan seems to inspire us to acknowledge the fairy realm by
building little houses. In the island’s Cathedral Woods, tall spruces stand
like the pillars of a grand cathedral, drawing our eyes upward. For a
generation, this moss-floored forest has been the site of Maine’s most
well-known and beloved fairy house village. (Note: Due to too many people
building fairy houses there in recent years and damaging plants and mosses
in the process, visitors are now asked not to build any new houses. Just
enjoy seeing any that you may spot on this enchanted island.)

Next warm day when I have a few minutes (like when does that ever happen?) I really must look around the back 40 and build a real nice fairy house. I am sure they will move in right away! Maybe I can get a little neighbor to help me... Hmmmm.

Monday, January 23, 2012


A fellow blogger has a flower on her blog as her ID pic... to me the tiny thumbnail looked like one of my camellias. Bi-color camellias do not have a set pattern, so I knew that would vary. This is Aunt Alice which is in bloom now. Camellias, especially old stock, large bushes, add greatly to a property's value. I have known folks who bought houses and tore them down but kept the camellias on the land... reconfigured their plans for their new house to fit with the existing camellias. Camellias are among the easiest plants to care for. Many of mine are over 10 feet tall now. If you have followed my blog for any time, you will have seen loads of camellias.
There were no camellias - or any other flowers for that matter - on this property when I bought it. Mostly it was covered with huge pine trees that I lost about 10 years ago with an infestation of pine bark beetle. Many of my friends gave me camellias as house warming gifts. What treasures! I brought a few little ones from my previous house, and a couple azaleas. Then, for years, friends gave me bulbs or plants for Xmas or birthdays or just because. Today, many of those friends are no longer here, but their memory lives on as their love blooms in their season. As I walk by, I greet each one by its name and the name of the person who gave it to me and I am reminded of their love. How great is that? I bought Aunt Alice, first because of its beauty, but second because I had an Aunt Alice. I love her dearly. So, how could I resist?
I hope you have enjoyed Aunt Alice with me.
If you have a camellia, never, ever cut it down. Legend is, cutting down a camellia brings bad luck.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


FRUSTRATIONS... oh shame on me for being frustrated with this computer. This will not be much of a post, mostly it will be to see if I have loaded my photo programs right... I gave all my discs to the computer dude down the street - he makes his living doing this stuff, drives a new Mercedes to prove it - but things are still never quite right. None of my photo discs got installed, for example, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. So, to see if things were working, I went out and took a picture of the pot of pansies (aren't they beautiful? Especially to those of you buried up to your knees in snow or ice today?) I got from Bobbie yesterday... and a shot thru the door of the greenhouse with its heating system on - the brooder lamp on a bucket of bricks. Hey! It works! The ordinary incandescent bulb heats up the metal and the bricks - the bricks retain the heat... and it keeps the greenhouse in the 40s or 50s depending on how bad it is outside. Here on the shore, lots of folks keep their pumps from freezing in the winter just with one incandescent bulb. So I figure if it will keep a pump from freezing in a pump-house outside that is as big or bigger than my little greenhouse, well, it ought to keep my geraniums toasty and my impatiens from freezing... and my other plants and cuttings, too.
Did you notice the size of the daffodils next to the pansies? They are up about 8 inches. This may be a year when they bloom in mid-February.
But, back to the shame on me part. Living in this country, we tend to moan and groan over the most trivial things. OK, let me rephrase that - I tend to moan and groan over stuff that is merely inconvenient at the moment, and forget how darn lucky I am. Here I am complaining about having to load a couple photo discs so I can download pictures from either of my Nikons, and for the moment not thinking about the millions of people who still live without electricity, let alone computers and cameras. Yes, it is hard to believe that such people exist, but they do. Believe me, they do. We are so spoiled here. Even the poor in this country somehow manage to have cell phones, and other devices even tho they do not have decent food on their tables. So, I am ashamed of myself for grumbling about having to install a bunch of discs myself. But then, I paid someone else to get this computer back to where it was - minus the virus - and, well, it isn't. Hard to believe that the old computer was 8 years old before it had to get wiped clean and this one was but 8 months old. So much for McAfee.
I know I am going to have to change my ISP, and I so dread that... mostly I dread trying to wade thru the crap on the phone with Verizon. You would think the phone company would have an easier system to access. Oh how I long for the old days when there was an office down on the corner where I could go and pay my bill in person, add a phone, a new phone line, change a listing, put a phone in another house 40 miles from here, and get a nice visit with the real person doing all this for me. Often Progress ain't! Yet, there are those who have to travel over 100 miles to get to a phone or to a service if they have a cell phone. So, here I am grumbling again in a house with so many phones I can't count them. There is usually one in reach wherever you are. Spend some time in a wheelchair or being unable to get up and walk and you will understand.
So I guess I need to do a gratitude list... not just that my brain worked well enuf to install the photo programs... not just that I own a computer that is working (more or less) - and a camera or two... but that I do have electricity, heat, a roof over my head, food in my tummy, managed to get myself dressed, fed the cats, and got outside to take these pictures. Then I must add that I have a wonderful friend that gave me these pansies... and I can go on and on.
Like I said, shame on me for complaining.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I started this post several days ago... did not get to finish it as the 'puter was in the 'puter-pital for a few days. Now, so thoroughly cleaned that I have to reload everything (and have lost tons of stuff - sigh) it is back. If you have not heard from me - that is why. I will do better after I retrieve your info and a lot of other things.

From last week: I just had a phone call from someone who was complaining about the fog this morning, the frost, the noise the VDOT men were making out on the road, the cat demanding his breakfast, the dog underfoot needing to go out for a pee… We live within 2 miles of each other so I am sharing the same fog, same frost, and even though I do not have a dog, I do have 2 outside cats I have to go out and feed, so I cannot escape the elements this morning. I headed for the door, can in hand, but, instead, rather than taking out a can of food, I turned around and came back for my camera. The sunrise was beautiful thru the fog. OK, not one of those brilliant bright awesomely colored sunrises but it was not all just a lessening of the gray sky, either. If you are a sunrise watcher, you know how quickly the colors change, and indeed the red brilliance had started to soften when I took the time to come back inside and get the camera. In the space of only a few shots, the red was gone and an orange glow took its place. For a couple seconds I was reminded of a forest fire in the distance. Instead, it was sunrise over the ocean. I stood beside the van on the carport – I was still in my slippers – and took these shots while a little cat wound around my ankles telling me he loved me dearly and especially admired my ability to open cans. Please open one. LOL! The other cat lounged sleepily in the heated box and waited, no beggar he! Soon the camellias will be busy with honeybees… Yes, honey bees love my yard, especially in the winter when it warms up enough for them to fly. There are usually a hundred or more camellias in bloom loaded with pollen, a mile from their bee boxes at my neighbor’s to the east. See the frost on the edge of the leaves? It will not hurt the camellias. The winter camellias can survive even a nice snowfall. They do not like a prolonged period of cold like we have had for the past 2 years. I stood there in the chilly morning air, petting the little cat that had jumped up on a shelf, all the better to be petted, looked at the camellias in January, and thought how lucky I was to live in such a place. Sure, I have a bigger house up in the mountains, beautiful scenery, a river with white water 1000 feet from my house… but no camellias. And there it is seriously cold this morning, and a light snow is falling. I am not into driving on icy mountain roads. Lazy, I guess… no longer adventurous enough. Or, maybe I have that wonderful elusive thing so many folks search their whole lives for, move from pillar to post looking for – contentment… happy to be living in the land of camellias, where kitty cats drink out of the bird bath, and possums hang out on the carport.

The end!