Saturday Gratitude List 05/04/2013 Part Two

Mom and I had a lovely day in Boothbay, and I walked more than I remember ever walking.  In the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, convenient benches wait around every other corner, so I had plenty of places to sit and rest.  Overall, the gardens were not quite in bloom, although we saw some lovely early tulips and daffodils.  We spent some time in the Five Senses Garden — set up beautifully for people lacking one sense or another.  Herbs to smell and taste; a wide variety of plant textures to touch; beautiful hyacinths in jewel colors also smelled great; we sat near the pond, and listened to the water trickling, and the most amazing sculpture sits on the other side of the pond.  It is kinetic and wind-driven, and while it is simply rotating, it looks like it bends and twists.  I found one YouTube video — it isn’t the best video, but might give you an idea:


See this link to see images of many of the sculptures in the Gardens, each reflecting the nature around it.  Note, especially, the wildlife sculptures made of rebar — real master techniques.

After the Gardens, and lunch, and a plant sale, we decided to drive north along the river to

Damariscotta Restored Fish Ladder Image courtesy: and Google Images

Damariscotta Restored Fish Ladder
Image courtesy: and Google Images

to see the restored fish ladder.  The last time I was there was 1995, and the whole area was dilapidated and deteriorating.  In the intervening years, volunteers have raised funds and completely recreated the ladder.  I would have given anything for a camera, but soon.  The alewives, a small migrating fish which Mainers like to smoke (in a smoker, and get your minds back to the ladder!)  Today was a premium day for the alewives to swim up the ladder toward the lake.  The water was fast, and I felt so badly for the fish who swam so hard, and then got swept back.  Some of them must make the lake, though, for they go there to spawn.  And there were

Alewives approach the fish ladder in the millions. Image courtesy:

Alewives approach the fish ladder in the millions.
Image courtesy:

!  Parts of the ladder looked like writhing, almost-solid ground.  The alewives’ run is a smaller version of the salmon runs in the Northwest, but without the bears.  Instead, hundreds of gulls sat along the sides of the run and squawked and fought whenever one caught a fish — like there were a dozen or so in the whole run, rather than bank-to-bank socked-in with fish.

This was the only time so far that I have seen the ladder at full season.  I felt as though I was taking part in a National Geographic documentary — around every corner, more fish, probably with no idea why, fighting the current to get to the lake where they were born.

A beautiful, bright sunny, blue-sky spring day on the coast of Maine — I felt more alive than I have since last spring.   And it was a lovely day to share with Mom, too.  Thanks, Mom.


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