Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Seen Around Town

I thought that those of you who aren't following me on Instagram (I have a pathetically small very exclusive following) might enjoy some of these photos. Apologies to those who've seen them already.

There's a beautiful work of art in this Back Bay window, plus some sort of vase:

The guy in the pink shirt arranged to propose in a gondola on the Charles, with parents spying from a couple of footbridges they passed under. Their mothers had flown in from out of town and were visibly jumpy when I joined them to gawk over the railing and snap this photo.

Mom, shouting: Did you say "Yes"???

Daughter: Duh!

The angel fountain in the Public Garden is at least as pretty at night as it is during the day:

We have a growing population of Back Bay bunnies. I bet it's because we have no feral cats these days, a good thing. But the rabbits eat a lot, driving many gardeners to fence in their front yards with chicken wire. I've gotten used to seeing them but my husband is still transfixed by every rabbit we spot.

The rainbow stairs in the Uniqlo store on Newbury Street:

I'm happy to report that Uniqlo has finally restocked their toasty HeatTech thermal turtlenecks, including the striped ones I like, which they haven't had since 2015. They're still $14.90 and I plan to  get two or three and toss my old ones, which have little holes from two winters of constant use.

In other Uniqlo news, their Ines de la Fressange fall collection launches tomorrow. This French designer's line tends to be classic, a bit retro, a bit boyish, well made and decently priced. She's produced her first men's line, too. The launch is August 31 at 9 pm. The best things sell out quickly (within the hour) so fashionistas mark their calendars.

Speaking of fashionistas, how many trends can you spot on this girl?

My answer? All of them — assuming she's wearing a cold-shoulder tee under that ruffled-sleeved cardigan. And I'd bet on it.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Last Postcards from Maine

Here are the last postcards from Maine.  

A bookplate from Thuya Lodge:

I want the lodge's icebox — don't you? 

Two cool and shady views of Thuya Garden:

Two classic Acadia views from the path along the Park Loop Road on a moody day:

Paperbacks on a table at the Jessup Memorial Library Book and Bake Sale in Bar Harbor. Many thousands of books are for sale in the main hall of the library, the basement, and under tents outside. Then there's a long table piles with cookies, brownie, cupcakes, and cakes, in case all those cheap, fabulous books aren't enough to satisfy your soul. My husband bought three ridiculously huge hardcover biographies, which nearly filled the trunk of our car, for $6. I picked up a trade paperback of Mary McCarthy's The Group for $2.

A carefully coordinated garden on a busy commercial street in Bar Harbor:

An unusual all-white house in a quiet spot in Southwest Harbor. I love the different-sized windows with functional shutters in quirky sizes. There's a knobby, whitewashed stone chimney on the opposite side of the house. If it had a little pool and a hot tub we'd have to bankrupt ourselves and buy it.

My swimsuits drying in the sun on the porch of our bungalow:

A foggy morning view of boats in the harbor from the same porch:

You didn't think you'd get through a stack of Maine postcards without a single popover photo, did you? This one was soon slathered in blueberry jam, butter, and lemon curd.

I think these purple flowers are called "liatris," but I call them "not-lupines":

Tiny marigolds in all shades of orange, the color of fall. It's coming: pumpkins will appear in the markets, the leaves will be turning, and we can go apple-picking in woolly sweaters.

And, in October, we hope to return to Mount Desert Island.

Postcards from Maine: Wild Things

We went for a walk on the causeway in Southwest Harbor, which made of granite rocks and ledges, with a little bridge over the opening, which you can see below. The current is lively there but the water is shallow and clear enough that we could watch crabs skittering around and clinging to rocks. As we watched them from the bridge I decided to try a photo, knowing it would probably be a terrible, murky picture . . .

But just as my finger was on the button, a seal came along and quickly swam under the bridge and into the harbor:

I couldn't believe my luck. "Come back, come back!" we called, hopefully. But he or she must have had other engagements.

Frogs are easy subjects once you find them. There used to be six or seven at Thuya Garden but now tit seems there are just two, but they are a photogenic pair:

Acadia National Park is full of wildflowers these days. There was enough rain this summer for the trees, flowers, and berries, although sun was burning the grasses dry.

There are also butterflies at Thuya Garden. I was so busy photographing this Monarch . . .

That I didn't realize there was another butterfly on the same flower.

Does anyone know what it is? A Copper, perhaps?

The bracket mushrooms on this old stump gave me a lot less trouble and stayed nice and still for me:


Monday, August 28, 2017

Postcards from Maine: Blues

I know I posted this photo earlier, but it makes me so happy to remember all that time in that water:

Flowers along Main Street in Southwest Harbor:

No pink sunsets on Southwest Harbor this year, but the blue evening light was fine with me, too:

A view from near the Causeway on a blue-gray kind of morning:

Sparkly Northwest Harbor, as viewed from the bench on the walk up to Thuya Lodge:

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Postcards from Maine: The Drive Up

On our drives to Southwest Harbor, we often make a quick stop at the Stonewall Kitchen company store in York, where many of the products are available for sampling. My husband loves the little pretzel sticks they use for sampling, I like trying new jams and dessert sauces, and we always buy the innkeepers a jar of their favorite chocolate "pebbles"," which look like gray and black pebbles. 

This truck was pulling into the parking lot as we were leaving:

Frosty's is Freeport has a giant glazed, twisted donut that looks exactly like a hieroglyph, according to my husband. So that was our excuse to split one.

In Freeport, we always visit the Allen Edmonds outlet because they usually have something perfect for my husband. I have almost no luck as an outlet shopper for myself, but at AE, we find great bargains: snappy dress shoes and belts, a goatskin vest, Italian merino sweaters, good socks, wild paisley ties. This time we found a rugged laptop bag (half price), since the strap on his Coach bag had broken the day before. The metal end of the strap flew up and hit him in the head as it snapped apart, and the bag hit the sidewalk. This is the second time the strap broke and sent his laptop crashing. Coach made us pay for the repair last time. We will follow up with the company and hope to get a full refund this time; the bag is unreliable. Coach bags are made in China now, and it shows. Most AE merchandise is made in the USA, and the quality is obvious, too.

I went to the Cuddledown outlet and bought a big, fat overfilled down pillow that feels identical to my current pillow, so it's going back (30-day return policy). I'm the Goldilocks of pillows, except that I'm still trying to find one that is just right, i.e., like the one I had about six years ago. I'd put my head on it, close my eyes, and wake up seven hours later.

Our next stop is Wiscasset, where we do a little antiquing and have lunch at Sprague's lobster shack. This little girl is waiting for an ice cream cone:

Dolls in one of the shops:

In Camden, we go to the deli for a frosted mint brownie, and we also go to Jo Ellen Designs, the prettiest shop in town, and maybe all of Maine, and possibly all of New England.

I alway try to shoot their elegant, color-coordinated displays but I can't do them justice. You just have to go there and see it for yourself:

Our next stop was Thomaston, where we visited friends who have four cats, including a friendly white shorthair who shed so much fur on me and my canvas handbag that the de-furring took me all the way to Searsport, where we held our breath, hoping the decrepit house on Route 1 was still standing. 

It was: 

The owner doesn't seem to be making much progress with his careful dismantling, and I am FINE with that. I love this house. Someday we will drive through town and it will have vanished. There will be a parking lot or some tacky new store on the spot instead, and the old magic will be gone.

It was nearly dark when we arrived at the inn, and we were happy to be there. The air was fresh and cool, and there were hydrangeas in our room. We hauled in our stuff, unpacked, put on our swimsuits, and hit the hot tub. Vacation!