When Life Gives You Covid, Go on a Picnic

Here we are in the beginning of August, with the Delta variant, reportedly as contagious as chicken pox, ripping through the country. According to ABC News, one year ago, the U.S. was averaging about 63,000 new cases of Covid a day. This year, we’re averaging 62,000 cases a day. No matter how  you look at it, that’s not progress.

At least Clif and I had two good months in June and July. A heady period when it actually seemed as though we were returning to normal times. Friends came over, we gathered at the local Brewery, we dispensed with masks when grocery shopping.

But all this was conditional. Clif and I are firm believers in science and data, and we continued to keep track of the Covid numbers. We decided that if the numbers rose, then our behavior would change. Unfortunately, the numbers rose. Our masks, tucked away, came back out, and we have been wearing them whenever we go shopping or to any other indoor place.

On a happier note…as I mentioned in a previous post, our eldest daughter Dee has come to stay with us until her office calls her back in. For now, she can work remotely, and we are thrilled to have her here.

But what to do on days off? Going inside with bunches of people no longer seems like a swell idea. However, never fear! We hit upon a solution that is both safe and fun—picnics. While central Maine does not have the dramatic beauty of the coast, there are still pleasing spots to enjoy that feature fields, rivers, and hills.

One such spot in nearby Hallowell overlooks the Kennebec River. There’s a small waterfront park that has jaunty chairs dotting a long boardwalk.  Perfect for a picnic lunch, and perfect for watching the river and the wildlife that thrives there.

So on Saturday, a beautiful sunny day that was not too hot, we headed to Hallowell. Other people, it seems, had the same idea.

Who’s that guy in the front? Could it be Clif?

Here’s a view of the river going north,

with mallards resting by the water’s edge.

We also saw ospreys, which were flying too high for the wee camera to get a good photo.

And even more exciting, for the first time ever, I saw an Atlantic sturgeon, a big one about four or five feet long, jump not far from us. Too quick for a photo, but the image of that leaping prehistoric fish is embedded in my memory.

What a great way to start our season of picnics.


Nifty posts from some of the lovely blogs I follow:

For daylily lovers, the Strafford County Master Gardeners Association blog features a post about John Hric, an Ohio gardener whose passion for daylilies has led not only to growing them, but also to breeding them.

From Canberra’s Green Spaces: Birds, beautiful birds. What could be better? How about tree kangaroos? Wowsah! This Mainer had never heard of tree kangaroos before.

Ju-Lyn, of Touring My Backyard, celebrates the changing seasons.

From Thistles and Kiwis, a week of small pleasures that included food and a trip to the museum to see an exhibition featuring surrealist art.

Horses, horses, horses! Derek J. Knight gets some great pictures of horses that are allowed to roam free.

79 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Covid, Go on a Picnic”

  1. Laurie, it’s so discouraging seeing these numbers rise again. It’s also completely unnecessary. There are so many countries that are begging for a vaccine, that is easily available in this country. You’ve written about it with such a cool head. I’m feeling less charitable. I’m so happy to hear that your daughter is in the house. It’s good to share space with those you love. I’m glad you’ve found lovely outdoor activities to share as well. We had a long dinner with friends yesterday in their back garden (five hours of eating and talking!). It was glorious. Thanks for sharing all those links as well. You are a generous blogger.

    1. You got that right. And let me assure you that there are many times when I do not feel charitable. Five hours of talking and eating sounds wonderful. Good for the spirit as well as the body.

      1. Unlike a year ago when we all waited for the vaccine, I mostly felt fear and angst. Now I feel irritation and dismay. It’s all so unnecessary. On a happier note, yes, that evening was glorious. Sometimes you don’t realize what you’re missing till you get it back.

      2. Beautiful to be by the river. We will be going again. Not too far from our house, and if we combine errands, I can do it relatively guilt free. 😉

  2. Strange time isn’t it? I like picnics, and I’m even old enough to remember when picnics were the staple because there was no ‘fast food.’ I remember all the roadside picnic areas here, and when you were traveling you packed your lunch and stopped for a while. It’s a good thing!

  3. I’d completely forgotten Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, but you’ve just brought it all back. No sturgeon down here, but now I’m thinking about fish for supper!

  4. When will be able to stop being so vigilant? Not for a while, so it is good to read of your positive approach to ‘days off’: having a picnic out in the fresh air in a pretty place sounds like an excellent plan.

  5. Must be wonderful to see a sturgeon. We went out for Sunday lunch in a pub with hardly anyone in it. Still strange over here. Didn’t recognise Clif without a snow gauge or a paintbrush in his hand! 🙂

  6. It is great to see that access to this beautiful spot has been encouraged by the community by providing chairs. Nothing like getting out in nature and relaxing by the water.

  7. A sturgeon, how cool! I hope their numbers are increasing once again in our northern rivers. Looks like you had a beautiful day for your picnic. So nice to have comfortable weather again!

  8. Lovely spot for a picnic! I hadn’t realised the number of cases was so high in the US – I know in the UK they have shot up again. Take care – but at least you are vaccinated.

  9. What a great idea to have a picnic! If anything positive has come out of this pandemic it is that people are slowing down and going back to the old ways. (a little bit!) As Judy said, there was time when there wasn’t any fast food to pick up, picnics were the way to go! The weather looks lovely in your neighbourhood and I love the deep blue colour of the water, we rarely have deep rivers around our way.
    Many thanks for including me in your links below, it is much appreciated, and I always enjoy reading the other blog links you suggest.

  10. How precious to have Dee with you for a good long stay.
    You found such a beautiful spot for a picnic – you can’t beat an expanse of water can you.
    Most of us here in the South of England are voluntarily still wearing masks and keeping to only 3 people in small shops.
    My son came for the weekend from London and was shocked when he saw this – I was shocked that obviously they have thrown caution to the wind in London – no wonder the Delta variant continues to spread apace!

    1. Wonderful to have Dee. Especially during this time when the Delta variant is spreading. Yes, with people being so careless, it’s no wonder Delta continues to spread.

  11. I do love a picnic – but not the wasps that usually accompany one.
    I’ve never seen an Atlantic Sturgeon and doubt I ever will so it was interesting to follow your link.

  12. I am not sure why people think that Covid has gone away or is, at least, no longer dangerous! Picnics are a brilliant way to get out in the fresh air and have a nice time with minimal risk. And a good incentive to visit local beauty spots. Having Dee with you is a fabulous bonus!

  13. A picnic outdoors — surrounded by Nature’s beauty — sounds like a perfect plan, Laurie! That COVID news is disturbing. I never really “put away” my mask. Doctors’ offices never really opened back up, and I’ve used June and July to catch up on those important visits. Now that the virus numbers are climbing, it’s back to masking for me, too.

  14. I know that place well! Beautiful spot and the Rail Trail is a nice walk. We have a favorite pub we go to whenever we are in the area.

  15. Yup, it’s picnic time for me in Massachusetts, for sure! Who thought the covid would make a comeback this quickly? I like to go on “mystery rides” and find new places. There’s always more around than you think…

    1. A mystery ride sounds fun! And, yes, unfortunately we didn’t expect covid to make such a quick comeback. Sigh. The good thing is that the vaccinations really do prevent serious illness or death. But still…

  16. A perfect title for your post! The going-on-a-picnic mentality is what we all tried to cultivate during the first phase of the plague, and I think we’ve gotten good enough at it to be able to do it again without panicking.

  17. A picnic and river-watching would be lovely, even without a leaping sturgeon. You do well to stay cautious. We are still masking up too.

  18. It was so wonderful to think we were on our way back before this fourth wave of COVID. Picnics are a perfect solution to the times and what a fabulous spot by the water to enjoy one with family and the wildlife!

  19. I am glad Dee can stay with you for a while. Covid numbers are rising again here, and I think in autumn we will see some changes and a new lockdown of sorts.

    Picnics sound like a great idea, though we have given up eating outside here during yellow jacket season.

  20. The fright of this craziness we find ourselves is that one day we are heading to Okay, and the next we are back to Caution.

    I am so thrilled that you found a scenic and nature-filled picnic spot. And that you still have Dee with you – the precious time to relax together.

  21. Not much beats a picnic on a nice day. I’m sorry to say that it is now unlikely we will take our September trip to New England. Very disappointing. I’ll let you know if that changes.

    1. So sorry! And I am very disappointed that I won’t be meeting you and Judy. But with the Delta variant, this might not be the best time to travel. Take care!

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