Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Winter Walk in Maine vs. England

Between sabbaticals to Japan and England, my husband and I returned home for the holidays to see our family. We have a tradition of welcoming the New Year at Popham Beach. This three mile state park is a half an hour drive from our house in midcoast Maine.

The easiest place for a winter walk in Maine is a beach since the tide washes away the ice and snow.

Our family motto is: There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. L.L. Bean started in Maine for a good reason. My blue Bean coat is perfect for subfreezing, windy days and has lasted since college. The company is a big local employer, especially of African immigrants.

It was hard to say who was happier to be back at Popham: our daughter or our dog.

Dogs are only allowed at Popham State Park offseason. We had to leash Scout to keep her out of the frigid sea. For most of our walk, we had the beach to ourselves.

As a photographer, I'm drawn to the winter light and empty landscapes.

The days are short this far up north, but the colors are intense.

Sunset is my favorite time at the shore, despite the chill.

Even the dune grass seemed to shiver in the wind.

Only in winter do you see such dramatic sunsets.

We stayed until the sun had burnt down to embers.

A week after the Popham walk, Henry and I flew to England, where the temperature rarely drops below freezing. University Parks is a fifteen minute walk from our sabbatical home in Oxford.

The crocuses and snowdrops were at peak bloom on February 20th, two months earlier than Maine.

As much as I'm enjoying an early spring, I miss skiing out our back door and the winter light. Most days in England are overcast and often wet. Still, it's good writing weather so I'm making good progress on my novels. I brought waterproof layers and boots. A winter walk is always welcome.

Blogwatch: this post is part of Les @A Tidewater Gardener's annual Winter Walk Off.


Jenn Jilks said...

I love your photos! The sunset, amazing.

cynthia said...

Oh my gosh that sunset--wow. Outstanding photos. How nice you got to come back between trips.

Sarah Laurence said...

Jenn & Cynthia, thanks! It was nice to have a month back at home.

Les said...

Though I am no fan of winter, I love the beach at that time of the year. There are no crowds, and yes here too, you can let the dogs go. No worries about mine going in the water, they hate to get wet. I love what you said about bad weather and bad clothes; it seems to me something very New England to say. I also love Oxford. On my one and only trip to England we spent several nights there, and I had a bit of free time to explore. Fond memories of a long walk through town, along the river, stopping at pubs, and then watching my first cricket game - all spontaneous and very English.

troutbirder said...

How neat to have a beautiful State Park seashore all to yourself. We have a similar option not far from our Minnesota home...albeit without and ocean views...:) I had a high school group in London one spring some years ago. The Kew Gardens though even better than night was Shakespeare at the Barbicon!

Hoover Boo said...

Great walk off! Maine looks beautiful through your photos, and what is a walk without a dog? The UK seems so much less wild in comparison to a stormy, deserted Maine beach.

VP said...

What a contrast! I used to work in Oxford and the University Parks was a favourite spot for impromptu work picnics in the summer. Your Maine photos reminded me of winter trips down to Dorset - not as cold, but there's a similar beauty in deserted winter beach scenes and sunsets there :)

thecuecard said...

Beautiful photos. The Maine pictures almost look like paintings. So pretty, the light. I enjoy the winter snow here, but now I am ready for spring. It appears to be coming, the snow & ice are melting ...

Sarah Laurence said...

Les, thanks for hosting the winter walk off and for making a donation to the Nature Conservancy in my name! Your memories capture England well. Cricket season is beginning and we're enjoying the pubs.

Troutbirder, your students were lucky to have such an enthusiastic chaperone. It must have been a memorable trip.

Hoover, I enjoyed your virtual dog walk too.

VP, you must have fond memories from your time in Oxford.

Cue, I hope your snow has melted by now. There is still some snow left in Maine, according to neighbors back home.