Freeport, Maine—home of L.L. Bean—is either a retail paradise or a shopping hellhole, depending on your point of view. In the summer there are so many tourists that parking places are hard to find, and most Mainers quite sensibly stay away until the season is over.
However, just ten minutes away from Freeport’s busy downtown is Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, 245 acres of woods and trails tucked between Casco Bay and the Harraseeket River. Wolfe’s Neck is one of Clif’s favorite places, and, as most of you know, this is his birthday week. Therefore, off to Wolfe’s Neck we went with a picnic lunch and a thermos of tea to go with cookies for dessert.
After lunch, Clif and Dee went on a four-mile hike. Because of my creaky knees, I stayed behind and had a delightful time pottering along the edge of a salt marsh.
To get to the marsh, I went down a trail and over a bridge,
past fungi of various kinds and colors.
I came to a steep rocky trail leading to a series of wooden steps and carefully went down to the water. As I reached the shore, a heron flew by, disappearing before I could get a picture.
I was the only one on the little beach by the marsh, which suited me just fine.
On a large rock in the water, birds—cormorants?— rested and watched.
By the shore’s edge, hermit crabs patrolled the waters.
Everywhere, there were fragments of shells, remnants of life that once was. This one reminded me of a shard of ancient pottery. Nature’s art.
All around me was the smell of mud flats and salt water, and I was completely absorbed by the marsh. A place to look. A place to listen. A place to be.
After a while, I carefully made my way back up the stairs and the rocky trail, and walked to a grassy area where I set up a lawn chair.
Clif and Dee came back from their walk, and we had tea and cookies.
Here are a couple pictures from their hike:
Is it any wonder that Wolfe’s Neck is one of Clif’s favorite places? No matter the time of year, there is always something to see and notice.