Get (thinking about) gardening

Now that the sun is heading back this way (supposedly, though we haven’t seen it through a week of snow showers), thoughts turn toward gardening. What better time to think green than in the depths of winter white. Somewhere beneath the veil of gray and white lie slumbering bulbs and seeds. Soon enough, some trees, such as poplar and birch, will even consider budding.

Over at the Rockport Town Office, preliminary plans are under way for beautifying the place by establishing flower beds near the entrance of the walkway in garden plots measuring approximately 2 feet by 10 feet. There is room for discussion about the kinds of flowers to plant, with visions of zinnias and sunflowers dancing in our heads, so don’t hold back with public input.

The Storm of the Blue Moon last weekend was big, but not so overwhelmingly gigantic that we were wowed by snow depths. Public works crews were out for much of the weekend, and so were skiers — downhill and cross-country — and snowshoers and snowmobilers and sledders, as the fresh, light powder began to pile up. By Sunday, the powder had started to get its own blue cast, what with the rain content as warmer air moved in. Still, it was lovely enough to play all day in the white stuff, even though there were plenty of complaints Monday about burning thighs and sore calves.

Most folks took the Sunday mop-up in stride, with men in black woolen overcoats and Burberry ties keeping up with men in Dickies and Carhartts, getting the job done.

Writers rule

The Midcoast has a mighty contingent of accomplished authors, published in all manner of venues. The latest news reveals that two Rockport writers, Terri Mackenzie and Harvey Ardman, both have novels uploaded and posted to the Web site of publishing house HarperCollins,

There we can read Ardman’s “The Lion At Bay” and Mackenzie’s “Merrimack and Acomenticus.” This is a great resource for writers and readers:, according to HarperCollins, is a brand new community site for writers, readers and publishers where writers can post a few chapters and build a profile.

Ardman’s book is set in Africa in 1935 as “Mussolini’s army attacks the barefoot Ethiopians. Can Emperor Haile Selassie thwart Il Duce? Can FDR’s agent, David Nathan, save the African leader?”

Mackenzie’s book is “an uncommon history of 1600s New England, written in period voice, involving Puritans, Natives, Jesuits, Jews, and sundry drunkards, saints, tricksters and fools.”

Both Rockport scribes have been working on their novels over the past years, and with the evolutionary mechanics in the publishing world, what better place to get them read than on the global Web.

Word also comes that yet another local author, Paul Doiron (as well as Down East magazine’s editor in chief), has a new mystery set to be published by St. Martin’s Press this coming April. The Library Journal has noted this book about a rookie Maine game warden is a “well-written debut” that is also a “a taut thriller and a thoughtful examination of the complicated relationship between father and son.”

Don’t believe for an instant that books are relics of the past.


At Point Lookout

Also in April, some interesting conferences are on the schedule at Point Lookout in Northport. A “Sexuality and Aging Colloquium” will be offered there on April 6, geared toward health and social service professionals focusing on issues of sexuality and aging. More information will be available at in the spring. Then the next week, Encorps, a free training program for Maine residents 50 years and older who are interested in improving the health and well-being of their communities through local volunteer projects, will hold its summit there on Ducktrap Mountain.