Down East Blog Blog Archive August, 2010
On Thursday afternoon I was working at my desk, looking out at the absolutely stunning late-summer sky and thinking how great it was going to be to get out there at the end of the day, when one of the other editors sent me an email. It said: Want to go sailing this evening? That was at 3:29, and of course I said heck yes. An hour later (we took off work a little bit early), we met up at the public landing in Camden Harbor amidst the wonderful hubub. Sitting in the dingy, rowing out to the mooring, the sky was still that amazing luminous light blue, but out around the island a light veil of fog had started to settle, wrapping in and out between the bits of land.
I trailed my fingers in the water. I watched the commotion of the shore slowly fall behind, and soon we reached the boat and set sail. And as we head out into the harbor, the islands that were so vivid when we'd left shore were starting to fade away. By the time we'd been out an hour they were gone, the fog had taken them, and slowly it crept around us, seemingly avoiding us, leaving us in perfect sunshine, and began to hide the mainland as well.
There are days in a magazine editor's life when you don't see the sunlight, and this was almost one of them for me. Work kept me in the office for close to eight hours. The phone kept ringing, email poured continually into my inbox, instant messages were constant distractions. It was only toward the end of the afternoon that my wife emailed to say that a friend of ours had spotted a rufous hummingbird at her feeder.
Maine has only a single native species of hummingbird—the ruby-throated—so this sighting was of real significance. Rufous hummingbirds normally spend their summers in the Pacific Northwest, meaning this little guy was seriously off course.
Thirty-nine years ago, Yvonne Drown of Hope was a contestant in the Maine Wild Blueberry Queen pageant, and nine years ago her daughter, Janelle, was selected Crown Princess, or first runner up. This year mother and daughter are once again involved with the competition, Yvonne as the organizer and Janelle as a judge.
I met with Yvonne this week because, as part of my research for The Wild Blueberry Book (to be published by Down East Books in 2011). I am interested in the ways we celebrate this beautiful and delicious fruit. The pageant is the cornerstone of the Union Fair’s fifty-one-year-old Maine Wild Blueberry Festival, scheduled for August 21 to 28.