Birds on the Lake

Despite being quite built up—at least for Maine—Maranacook Lake attracts various kinds of birds. On a bike ride not long ago, I took pictures of three different kinds of birds.

The first was a seagull. I guess nobody told this bird that the ocean is about fifty miles away.IMG_4383

The second was a blue heron. The lakes and ponds around Winthrop have many blue herons, but I don’t usually seem on someone’s float. This bird very obligingly posed and gave me plenty of time to get a picture.


The third was a loon, and as with blue herons, we have many loons in Winthrop. At night, Clif and I can hear them as we sit on our patio. Unfortunately, this bird was too far out for my little camera to get a good shot.


Summer continues to ebb, but the heat and humidity stubbornly persist. Supposedly, a cold front is coming to clear the air. It can’t come too soon for me.

In the meantime, I work on my YA fantasy, Maya and the Book of Everything. Clif has set me up with Google Translate so that I can hear my story read back to me. LibreOffice, the word processor I use, has a read text extension for Google Translate so that my English text is read back to me in English. I expect other programs have a similar feature for Google Translate.

Sometimes the pronunciations are a little funny, and there are glitches from time to time. But all in all, the Google Translate voice is very good, and I have found it enormously helpful just to listen, not to read, Maya and the Book of Everything. I’ve caught a mistake or two, and it really makes me aware of the cadence of my prose. I would highly recommend Google Translate as a useful tool for anyone who is working on a book. It’s slow going, but that’s just fine with me. Too much speeding during the editing process can lead to undetected errors.

Finally, in honor of National Dog Day, here’s a picture of my dog-buddy Liam. He’s unfortunately dealing with a major infirmity, which I will write about more in another post.  But he’s still our boy, and we still love him.


23 thoughts on “Birds on the Lake”

    1. I am amazed at how much help Google Translate is. Somehow, hearing the text, without reading the words, gives me a different perspective.

      1. I believe it. My books are meant for the eye and the ear, and when I read a passage out loud, if it’s difficult for me to read easily, I know I’ve used too much passive voice, gilded the lily or am just not clear.

      2. I always read my work aloud, too. But there is something different about just listening, as opposed to reading and listening. It helps me catch things that have slipped through.

  1. Hi Laurie! Loons! I am so glad to hear that you see plenty of them still. It has been years sonce I’ve heard their haunting. I remember camping in my youth, laying awake while everyone else slept, because the sound of their song was just too beautiful to miss. So sorry to hear that Liam is ill. It is so hard when our beloved pets are unwell. Take care. 🍂

  2. We occasionally see blue herons in this area, especially at the Chicago Botanic Garden lagoon. When Google translate is used to translate between languages the results are sometimes unintentionally hilarious.

    1. I’m sure that can sometimes happen, but I have found the English-read version to be very helpful.

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