[item title=”Expand to read”][H]ow do we pick our cover? That’s one of the questions I’m asked most frequently when people learn what I do for work. I wish I had a simple answer, but the truth is, it varies month to month. Sometimes, our cover choice is the result of meticulous planning and strategizing, followed by careful creative execution. Sometimes, the perfect image drops serendipitously into our laps (love those months!). And sometimes, it’s a bit of a soul-searching journey that brings up all kinds of hard-to-answer questions about who we are as a magazine today — and what you, our readers, want to see when you go out to your mailbox.
This month, it was the latter scenario. The April Down East is traditionally a home and garden issue, and its arrival in your mailbox is a harbinger of spring. We aspire to fill our pages with domestic inspiration rooted in Maine life and to awaken your senses to the music of the land as winter relinquishes its frigid grip. In this issue, you’ll read about the songs of peepers on page 38. You’ll no doubt be inspired to downsize (or at least engage in some spring cleaning) when you see the gorgeous — and tiny — houses on page 40. The very concept of what home and gardening mean to one Mainer from Bucksport is explored on page 60. You’ll also find an uplifting story about the rebounding loon population on Maine’s lakes on page 50.
Which brings us back to the cover. We explored more than a dozen viable cover options this month — and we just couldn’t decide. About a week before we sent this to press, my daughter spent the morning in my office. I had a bunch of cover mockups on the wall, and I asked her which one she liked the most. She pointed to one with a loon and said, “This one.” Hey, kids love animals, I thought. Simple as that. Then, without prompting, she added, “It reminds me of being at Toddy Pond.”
Don’t worry, my 4-year-old doesn’t get a say in our cover selection every month. But I am hopeful that many of you look at our cover photo by Paul Tessier and feel what she felt: your feet in the water, the breeze and sun on your face, and that sense of peaceful, summer relaxation right around the corner. — Kathleen Fleury[/item]