July 5, 2012 By: Elsey Curtis
Pesky and pesty, we arrive in June and are as annoying to real Mainers as mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and black flies. We tourists are “summer complaints” and worse than those bottleneck flies that finally disappear when colder weather sets in. However much I appreciate the raw ruggedness or picture postcard perfectness of Maine, I’m from away. It makes no difference I once called this state home, have offspring born in Portland, or relate to people dating back to before Maine was part of Massachusetts. I’m annoying. Oh well, other aspects to summer aren’t so great either. Here’s my list.
- Cyclists who don’t wear helmets. PAHleeeeze! Yes, please, please wear your headgear. I travel by bike everywhere I possibly can June through September wearing a helmet. Mine is a Bell, nothing fancy, basic box store, but it provides protection. Safety first! I would emblazon this motto on my T-shirt if I didn’t enjoy sporting mine from Baltimore with their Brick Bodies logos.
- Red Tide. So far, we’re free of the dreaded phenomenon this season. Paralytic poisoning presumed to be caused by microscopic parasites or chemicals entering the water after heavy rain and invading coastal marine life is no laughing matter. Pictured here is a local clam warden among friends. We met him enroute to check the flats and dig samples for testing. “Drop your hoe and step away from your hod!” Although clamming police work is usually not that contentious, we obey the local licensing procedures, dig within designated sites, and keep only those specimens exceeding a two-inch minimum. Mmmmm, good! And rich in nutritive benefit, too.
- Freakish weather. Recent photos Chips and I have seen of the storm that struck Maryland and its trail of destruction are appalling. Reports we hear from family and friends are almost unbelievable. Downed lines, toppled trees, and consequent destruction followed by having to cope with high temperatures without benefit of electrical power and air-conditioning combine to complicate recovery. Normalcy by next week? We hope conditions improve sooner. Chip and I keep Baltimore in our prayers as well as our hearts.