Ronin has slept downright “well” these past few nights. I’m amazed and quite relieved; I’d be a lot more enthusiastic about it if she managed to sleep beyond 6am this morning. It’s still DARK at 6am. It’s just not right. Previously, she was taking upwards of two and a half hours to get down at night, nearly every moment of which was a whine or all out shriekfest and naps were no better. You would think we were killing her instead of laying peacefully on the bed with her, rubbing her tummy or whatever. It may have been the discomfort of growing teeth or maybe she’s about to break out a new milestone for us. Crawling maybe. Or ordering clothes online with my credit card.
Back to Maine:
Does anyone remember the Ashland band Dead River? Doug Hill, some other guys… Anyway, we were amused so see a Dead River company (and convenience store) in Maine. Except instead of being an alcohol-steeped college band from the early 90s, it is an oil and gas company. Dead River. An oil and gas company. Is this not weird? *
We sped by at 45 mph, because all the roads in Maine are small two-lane affairs and windy, and caught sight of this… thing on the side of the road. We turned around and drove back to check it out. The lintel had engraved, “Jefferson Cattle Pound Built by Silas Noyes in 1828 for $28.” We then spent hours pondering how exactly $28 1828 dollars had been spent to make the thing. Labor? Materials? Buying off officials? Why did they bother to mention the price tag; was $28 an astoundingly great deal for a cattle pound? Was Silas Noyes ripped off and now nobody would ever forget it? We had no answers.
Coffee on the east coast is sub-par. I’m sorry all you Dunkin Donuts fans, but that shit is nasty. Whatever it is they use for cream (and you don’t even know what it is because they don’t actually allow you to self-administer your own coffee accoutrements) leaves an evil pasty-gritty feel in your mouth after drinking. The donuts are just ho-hum donuts (in their defense I have only Voodoo doughnuts to compare) but I have to warn everyone: what they call an “Old fashioned” on the east coast is NOT what they call an “Old fashioned” here on the west. Basically I was left gritty-mouthed and hugely dissatisfied after my Dunkin Donuts experience.
What everyone else in the world calls a “Lake” is called a “Pond” in Maine. I always equated ponds with green scummy water, ducks, and quaint willow-clad islands in the middle. Maine’s ponds are crystal clear, swimably warm (mostly), and surrounded by lush mosquito-clad foliage.
We got lucky in that the weeks before our arrival were rainy and dreary. During our stay, the weather was brilliant and clear and the mushrooms were popping up all over the place. Generally when we go mushrooming in Oregon, we set out with a target species and find perhaps three or four predominant species, maybe a few randoms, and that’s pretty much it. In Maine, we found an incredible variety of different species, the most notable of which was the Amanita bisporigera, or “Angel of death”/“Destroying angel.” While we have seen zillions of Amanita phalloides (“Death cap”) on the west coast, we maybe have seen only one Angel of death (the species generally found on the west coast is Amanita ocreata, which looks about the same but a bit more robust). The ones on our walk at Jamie’s Pond were numerous and pristine. They are really a very beautiful mushroom, perfectly clean and snow-white.
[Some identifying characteristics are that they are entirely white (gills, spores, stalk, cap), they grow from a bulb or volva (ball at base of stalk), they have a ring (annulus; the skirt-like thing dangling off the stalk).]
[Big pretty Amanita muscarias were around too. We never saw the red variety on the east coast.]
[I don’t know what this is but it’s cool.]
[We didn’t have our book with us this day; we thought this might be a grisette of some kind.]
[A great big bolete of some sort; there is a bitter-tasting eastern bolete we though it might be.]
[Another unidentified gilled, scaley-topped mushroom. Clean and pretty.]
[“Dyer’s polypore,” Phaeolus schweinitzii. I think.]
[We saw a lot of different corals, mostly these two. I wish I knew more about corals because when we find them, we generally find a LOT of them. Unfortunately, they are tricky to identify and many are not good to eat.]
* Okay – I googled “dead river” hoping I’d come up with something about the very famous and well known band from Ashland and all I found were river rafting trips on the Dead River in Maine. So it’s not as weird as I initially thought but it’s a creepy thing to call a gas and oil company.