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  • It’s late February and I have now heard birds calling in the morning and heard the first doves cooing at sunrise, which, by the way, now arrives at 6:16.

    We had ice in the harbor yesterday and the days still provide “character-building” temps and winds, but the back of this generally mild winter seems broken. I will long remember this as the year in which I did not once start the snow-blower nor did I roof-rake. Of course, having said that, I have just tempted fate and we will no doubt get a freak storm any minute.

    But to honor Maine Winter, even as we now all hope to press straight into spring with minimal mud-season, here’s an image that makes clear the power of the season at its best.

    Sea smoke is a wonderful phenomenon…when the bay is literally steaming with a differential of 50 some degrees, with the water in the high 40’s and the air down into the minuses. Once or twice, years ago, I’ve run RAVEN in conditions like this and it is most extraordinary. Not at all like fog that settles down upon you, sea smoke rises right out of the water and, just like the steam it is, the tendrils waft upward into the strangely glowing silver sky.

    It is entrancing.

    But there lies danger and death within this beauty. When it’s this cold you try to take no chances…none whatsoever, other than going out in it. One slip, one miscalculation and, well, you are immediately in a world of trouble.

    Staying, perforce, on one’s toes and being hyper-aware is very stimulating to me. As is, of course, the exquisite light cloaking the abiding danger.

    And now, ever onward, into spring……
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