Turing onto Quimby Pond Road with the warm summer air coming through my open car window I can’t help but smile. Seeing the road sign makes me instantly feel like it is truly summer; I am almost at camp where campfires, berry picking, and summer relaxing resides. Soon I will sit on the porch and have a summer drink— there will be yard games and canoeing and fishing.
In the evening I slip away and sit on the front steps looking at the stars in the clear summer sky, the loons call on the water sending shivers down my arms…or maybe it’s the cooler air. It is mid-August, and the weather has turned cool at night, perfect for sleeping, but not too cold to close the windows and I keep listening to the loons as I curl up in bed.
On my morning walk to the pond the sun pierces the mist rising out of the trees and turns the pond pink as it chases the last of the mist off the water. Three mallard ducks swim in front of me on the shore and a belted kingfisher flies from the tree next to me. It swoops low to the water as it hunts and his blue wings flash in my direction. I pick raspberries as I walk back, ready for another day of summer at Red Quill.
Happy Summer Solstice! June brought the official start of summer and it was a great month for fishing and basking in the sun. It has been warm and sunny in Rangeley, with occasional rain to keep the water cool for the fish. It’s that time of year when the garden salads are plentiful, the days are sunny and warm and the fish are biting.
When the road-side fishing holes are full of fisherman and everyone is vying for the same fish, I reel in my line, pack a bag for the day and get on my bike to find the places that you can’t drive to. With my flyrod in one hand, handlebars in the other and the sun on my back, I take to the woods and follow the rivers along the old woods-roads for the day. Often, the best fishing holes are off the beaten path and take a little effort to get to, but they’re always worth it.
landing a big one!
Whether fishing the rivers, paddling around Quimby Pond, or lying in the hammock, now is the time to be in Rangeley!
early morning fishing
white wood violet
In Rangeley this month the spring ephemeral flowers have been blooming! This group of wildflowers grow on the forest floor of Northern Hardwood Forests and have just a short window of time to sprout, bloom, and be pollinated before the forest canopy shades their habitat. They sprint from the time of the last frost to the time when the leaves block their sunlight. The yard of Red Quill Camp was filled with little white wood violets and sprinkled with painted trilliums this May!
The warblers have also returned from Central and South America, singing with the loons in the early morning and evening, and feeding at the birdfeeder in the backyard. I sit on the porch of camp with an evening cup of tea and listen to the sounds of the Red Eyed Vireo performing his monologue as he tries out each branch of a tree to find his niche, asking “Where are you? Here I am!” over and over again. The Black Throated Green Warbler dominates the evening chorus with his song: “trees-trees-trees!” And my favorite—the Wood Thrush— sings his flute-like spiraling song late into the evening after the others have quieted down. It’s a great time to be in the northeast—it’s a time of spring magic when delicate and colorful woods flowers are blooming and choruses of melodic bird songs surround Red Quill Camp.
Check out the new rock wall and flowerbed in front of camp built by Keith Wehmeyer!
rock wall & flowerbed
radio flyer flowerbed
It’s the first week of April, which means the weasels’ and rabbits’ fur has started to change back to brown from its winter white. It’s still light at 7PM and fishing season has started. Soon Mink and Woodchuck will have their young. But it is still very much winter in Rangeley. Perhaps next week will bring a few patches of bare ground, where the weasels and rabbit will be able to blend in, but for now anything that isn’t white sticks out like a glowing cabin window at night. It’s going to take another week or more of warm sunny spring days to melt the snow.
But spring does come after winter and the days have started warming up. Sap is flowing from the maple trees and steam rolls out of sugar shack roofs and windows as it’s boiled into maple syrup. The smell of sweet sap steam, wet snow, and dirt waiting to be exposed fills the air. It’s April in Rangeley.