The Colors of Maine

I love Maine.

Understand that I have been to forty-eight states, many of great beauty and grandeur, including Alaska and Hawaii. I have been across Canada, to the Caribbean and to Ireland (which I also love).

Maine is special.

 I especially adore the coast of Maine and have had many happy adventures to Ogunquit, Camden and Portland.  As I have just spent three days in Ogunquit  I am reminded of all the things that make it so wonderful.  The people are unique, the food is delicious and the colors are spectacular. Whoah, now. That might be too much for one blog. Perhaps I should focus this missive on Ogunquit.

Maine is colorful.

Sunrises in Maine are spectacular. To see for yourself, check out my recent Instagram posts. When they are not the sharp silver and angry gray of rain or an impending storm, they are a blazing extravaganza of orange, gold, purple and pink. The day literally flares into being on the coast of Maine. On a good day.

Yesterday was just such a sunrise. When the sun came fully up, the sky turned blue like a robin’s egg; the perfect backdrop for a young man to soar his triangular kite along the place where the sand meets the sea and sky.

The color of the ocean depends on her mood. Like the changing colors of a mood ring, one can tell the ocean is at peace because it is a deep blue. A rising temper turns the water emerald to gray-green and a really angry ocean is nearly silver with frothing white caps that spew her fury.

Even the sand has shades. Ogunquit beach, for example, is dark gray-brown nearest the water, where it’s wet and dotted with white bubbles. Nearer the dunes the whiter sand is dotted with green and brown sea wrack, ancient flotsam, driftwood, the occasional white and orange of an abandoned bouy, purple muscle shells, white clamshells streaked with read and polished black and red pebbles. Dune sand is a collage of white sand, short clumps of green tufted grass and brown spikes of taller dune grasses.

Tiny brown and white piping plovers tritzle across the beach and into the breaking waves, then scurry along the shore line before darting quickly back to the dunes. Overhead the blue sky is dotted with gulls in every color or combination of colors on the black/white spectrum. Some are bleached like freshly laundered sheets, their bright yellow bills sticking out in front of them. Some are more to the gray spectrum or speckled brown and some have white bodies and black wings. They glide, careen, and dive over the water and along the beach on a constant search for food, their distinctive screech mixes with the roar of the ocean to create a beach soundtrack. Black crows, caw and sea ducks quack, adding to the symphony, as they bob along the waves and run the inlets to the Isabel Lowando Estuary.

Leaving the sandy beach, we hike the mile from the Sparhawk Resort to Perkins Cove along the Marginal Way. Colors change from the sandy browns, whites and grays of the beach, to dark brown, black, copper, patina green and blood red of a jagged, rocky coastline that is splashed with white as waves crash against the rocks. In small coves the sound of a giant bowl of rice krispies can be heard as water rushes in and rolls small stones and pebbles of obsidian, green, red, pink, gray and yellow.

The land side of the path is mostly landscaped homes and  green pine trees, blue spruce and tangled wild roses of raspberry pink, Meticulous gardens with popping colors in their seasons make each trip along the way unique in it’s own right.

Color bursts forth in riotous frenzy from the people themselves, enjoying a walk along the way.  Lime green running shorts and pink sports tanks, bright red windbreakers,  leopard dotted  leggings and lacy white sundresses, provide a different sort of color to natures perfect patterns.

Perkins Cove, with its small gaily painted houses and shops, signs sporting bright red lobsters on sandwiches, perky birdhouses on the side of he Harbor Master’s gray shanty and fishing boats swaying to the motion of the quiet harbor is a scene begging for the artists brush.

Ogunquit, which was named by the Abenaki  Indians and means ‘beautiful place by the sea’, is only one town in Maine.  One place perfectly crafted by the Great Artist and built upon by fisherman, sawyers and shipbuilders. Its natural beauty has made it a popular tourist destination and a place that many people, including this writer, come for inspiration, healing and rest.

About The Author

For Heidi Hanley, reading and writing is like breathing. On her 5oth birthday, she got serious about turning her passion for writing into a goal to publish. The result is The Prophecy, Book One of the Kingdom of Uisneach series. The Runes of Evalon, the second book in the series, is due out in April. Heidi lives in New Hampshire beside the Connecticut River with her husband and a Scottish Terrier. She has enjoyed a career as a Registered Nurse, Interfaith minister and is currently serving as a Hospice chaplain. When not working, you will find her reading, sneaking away to Maine, or and in the garden with the birds and faeries.

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