We have discovered white and blue bellflowers at the edge of the woods at the back of our property. They are in full bloom right now and quite lovely. It’s little surprises like this that add spice to life. The many perennials we moved from our former house, plus those we bought at the library plant sale, are thriving and starting to flower. Yay!
As I write this on the first full day of summer, the temperature is in the high 70s, the sun has been shining on my clean laundry, and the lettuce looks ready for some harvesting of individual leaves. The pole beans planted about six weeks ago are about to start their climb up the trellis, and those planted four weeks ago are moving right along.
We are wakened every morning by a persistent wren with its lovely trill. I couldn’t identify it at first, so got out the CD of bird calls, and there it was. On my morning walks I’m hearing wood thrushes, veeries, black-throated green warblers, titmice, chickadees, et al. I find it odd that on the Flat Road we heard lots of hermit thrushes and no wood thrushes, whereas it is just the opposite here at the Garden of Eden.
Last Thursday Mike and I went to Sunday River Alpacas to help Mo Libby host a school group from Indiana. This is about the fifth year this same group has returned. The adults are the same, the students are new each year. They raise money all year long in order to carry out a tour of New England for a group of about 25 inner-city middle school students. Joining them this time were two international students, one from Brazil and one from China. (I think these two were older, but were asked along to enrich their exchange experience.)
As usual, Mo led them around the barns, instructed them about alpaca husbandry, and introduced Barker and Aurora, the two Great Pyrenees guard dogs, and Bunny Dude, the resident rabbit. Meanwhile, Mike had another group at the trout pond, and he supervised feeding the fish, as well as demonstrating how to catch one on a fly rod. (We had rainbow trout for dinner that night!) At the same time, I had yet a third group in the shop as I demonstrated the spinning of alpaca fiber. And, of course, both students and chaperones did a bit of shopping as well. Jane Hosterman was on the scene, too, rotating among the three venues as the guests also rotated.
Mo informed me that she had hosted a birthday party at the farm the previous week for a group from Doyles’ day-care. She had a grand time helping to entertain the four-year-olds, and it seems the children had a blast also. Sounds like a great way to celebrate a child’s birthday.
Before you know it, the Music without Borders program will begin again at Gould Academy. This will be the fourth year that Tamara Poddubnaya will bring her international piano students to Gould for a three-week workshop and festival, beginning July 2. Mark your calendars now, because it’s just over a week away. Where else can you attend free live-music recitals three or four times a week and see and hear the stars of tomorrow?
WHAT: Music without Borders, 4th International Piano Festival Student Recitals
WHERE: Trustees Auditorium in McLaughlin Science Building, Gould Academy, Bethel..
WHEN: 7:30 p.m., every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, July 2-21, 2010.
TICKETS: No reservations needed. General public admitted at no charge.
INFORMATION: Festival news, latest recital venue details at www.gouldacademy.org.
My weekend was a busy one, as I flew to Ohio on Friday to attend my 55th reunion at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, about 35 miles southeast of Cleveland. Hiram is a small liberal arts college with a good academic reputation and a unique feeling of family. Mike and I are both graduates, as are two of our daughters.
The weekend was filled with activities, luncheons, dinners, dances, lectures, tours, nature walks, and lots and lots of schmoozing. The campus was beautiful, and the attendance overall was the best ever for an Alumni Weekend. I shared a room in one of the new dormitories with an old friend and classmate, Amy Jordan, from Madison, Va. It was as if we’d never been apart. It was tough to say goodbye on Sunday to all my classmates and other friends.
One of the highlights for me was a walk around the biology field station, where I saw many familiar flora and fauna. Some things, such as tulip and sassafras trees, I’ve not seen in Maine, so that was gratifying. We were told that the station has a pair of trumpeter swans, part of a national program of restoring the trumpeter population.
Back here the 26th Annual Trek Across Maine to raise funds for the American Lung Association took place over the weekend, with West Bethelite Christine Trefethen participating in the 180-mile bike ride. There were 1,930 participants in the three-day event that raised more than $1.5 million. According to an article in the Sun Journal, even though the Trek is over, you can still sponsor a rider until early September. Visit the website www.biketreknewengland.org to find out how to sponsor a rider, and I hope you’ll make that rider Christine Trefethen.
We’ve caught up on the laundry and put away the suitcase. Now it’s back to regular routines. Hope to hear from you with your news and views. firstname.lastname@example.org; 824-2917.