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Hog Island Audubon Camp. This June. Be There. We Will!

Monday, January 2, 2012

It's been awhile since we took the kids to Maine. We've all gotten new glasses and several dozen haircuts since. I can't believe what adorable little grubs the kids are in this 2007 photo. I believe we were on Hog Island, Maine, in 2007 and 2008. Just a weeklong stay, but Phoebe and Liam speak of that time with rapturous sighs, and I am feeling a bit nostalgic myself.

But nostalgia is a useless emotion. Because we are coming back with our nearly all growed up kids to Hog Island Audubon Camp  June 24-29, 2012! Bill and I will be leading "The Joy of Birding," a "class" with "high educational value." Mostly we will be putzing around looking for fabulous boreal birds with a bunch of other people who also enjoy putzing around looking for fabulous boreal birds. Talkin' birds and bird behavior and marine biology and turning over rocks and looking at bones and doing all the things we do when we're out in nature. Mostly looking at birds.

 Like this black-throated green warbler taking a bath at the little pool by the dining hall, in between feeding his babies.

Or this hen common eider, spooked from her nest on a shrubby islet.

Here's a northern gannet, resting somewhat incongruously on Hog Island's rocky shoulder.

If you listen in the night, you'll hear the spine-chilling tremolo call of the common loons loafing all around Hog Island's waters. Bonus: they're in spangled velvet breeding finery, and good voice.

But it isn't all birds, all the time. There are so many beautiful sights on the Maine coast.

Wreck of the Cassie, just off Hog Island. 

One of the dozens of lobster boats that start their unmuffled engines at around 3:30 AM just offshore. Needless to say, bedtime gets earlier by the second night. Still, the blub-blub-blub of lobster boats in the dark is a very cool sound, especially when overlain with loon calls. It says MAINE COAST in no uncertain terms.

The Fish House, where Bill and I will give talks in the afternoons and evenings, joined by Sara Morris, Steve Kress, Scott Weidensaul, "Seabird Sue" Schubel, Peter Vickery, Rick Salmansohn, and Tom Johnson. For a complete rundown on instructors, see their profiles here.

There's something about hearing the sweet quavering whistle of a white-throated sparrow in summer that completely sends me. It takes me back to Newfoundland, I guess. That's a magic song anytime and anywhere but oh! with the sun beating down on the's divine.

Next post: More restful imagery, more arm-twisting to get you to come join the Zick/Thompsons on Hog Island at the end of June.

It's a mighty restful and restorative place. Even if you're working.


You had me at Hog.

What a fabulous life you lead -- better than any King in my book. I love being a part of your adventures even through this virtual world.

You had me at Maine. Spent a summer there eons ago as a camp nurse. Changed my life forever.

that did it! now my husband and i are signed up for joy of birding. i felt a little bit silly going back for the 4th time; but with you and bill there again i couldn't resist.

Thanks for making our day, Lois! See you next summer!!

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