The Maine
An artful dialogue about the wonders of the state.

The Journey

text by Jonathan Ives
photograph by Jessica Ives

The Journey

Driving is the norm when you live in rural Maine and want to do anything. We measure distances with time references rather than miles. “How far is it to Lewiston?” “Oh, ‘bout an hour and a half.” I rode my bike five miles to the store last summer and when I got there two different people asked me, “When did they get you?” They thought I had lost my license with a DUI and was forced to ride my bike. In my town this is the only reason why someone would ride a bike or walk along the road.

I discovered road cycling though my wife Jessica, who has completed the 180 mile Trek Across Maine twice and an unsupported century ride once. Calling her a cycling enthusiast is an understatement. This spring we went to the Maine Bike Swap in Portland and I got myself a used Schwinn road bike. I went online and bought the bright yellow spandex jersey, skin tight shorts, helmet, and gloves. I looked the part but felt like an impostor; I struggled to keep up with Jess as she floated up and down the hills. I wore dark sunglasses whenever leaving the house to ride, not for eye protection, but because I feared my local friends would see me dressed up like a two wheel super hero. Early this summer Jess and I biked around the Acadia Park Loop, my longest ride to that point. Afterwards, it took quiet a few days for my legs to stop shouting their grievances whenever I walked.

Yesterday we biked around Damariscotta Lake. Thirty miles in two hours. The weather was perfect. Cloudy with warm wind on our faces. As we slowly climbed a hill I was filled with a new joy and appreciation for the world around me. The smell of fresh pine and fir filled my nose and I smiled. I understood. This is why people ride.

Focus on the journey, not the destination.
Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
- Greg Anderson

We All Have Our Reasons: #597

Island hopping friends
and enjoying the last days of summer:

tre island hopping.

(Photo credit: Anna Wind)

Won’t Be Long Now

photograph by John Ames

Won't be long now.

Portrait Of Scott

photograph by John Ames


Living in Maine is not easy. This lovely man cuts lawns for many folks here in town. He works incredibly hard in all kinds of weather, is always cheerful and scrupulously fair in all his dealings. He is an example to all who know him.

Tuesday Tune: Swarm

photographs and text by Brian Willson

Cedar Waxwing (Beech Hill Preserve, 24 August 2014)

This the kind of lovely August Sunday that found me working all morning at the kitchen table, running errands in early afternoon here and there, riding my bicycle up to Camden for a specific bottle of beer and a certain chocolate and walnut brownie at Megunticook Market, and hiking Beech Hill Preserve with my dog before the sun went down. I.e., a damn nice kind of day.

It was nice for the Beech Hill waxwings, too, on account of a big fly hatch. I’d watched waxwings for the past week or so perching in the trailside birches and occasionally fluttering off to grab a flying insect or two before returning to the same tree. But I hadn’t yet seen the kind of big swarms like I did last year about this time—the kind they’ll take to hovering in, just hoovering up flies. Until today.


I didn’t see it until we reached the summit. The swarm was thick and churning and seemed to be stuck to one area just at the tip of the tallest tree in the spruce grove, where—sure enough—several waxwings were hanging out. This time, though, they didn’t have to flutter off and hover: the flies were thick enough that they were lighting on the branches the birds perched on. All they had to do was dip down and have a bite. Thoughtful.

Returning into the late-afternoon sun, we encountered loose clouds of flies along the trail, flitting and flashing in the bright backlight. We came down along where I’d watched a Yellow Warbler, a Red-eyed Vireo, an Alder Flycatcher, and some other waxwings hunting for tiny winged things. As we’d stood there quietly, a humming bird buzzed over and hung there in the air for a moment, sizing us up. In the distance, a Blue Jay screamed.

Tonight is lusciously cool.


Beech Hill List
Beginning at 5:45 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Cedar Waxwing**
2. American Goldfinch
3. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
4. Song Sparrow
5. Gray Catbird (v)
6. Eastern Towhee
7. Blue Jay (v)
8. Common Yellowthroat
9. Yellow Warbler
10. Red-eyed Vireo**
11. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
12. Alder Flycatcher
13. Mourning Dove* (v)
14. American Crow* (v)
15. Northern Cardinal (v)


16. Tufted Titmouse (v)
17. Herring Gull
18. House Sparrow
19. American Robin
20. Canada Goose

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere


painting by Lily Hamill



Lola, 10″ x 10″ acrylic on wood panel

Besides running one of Midcoast Maine’s epicenters of fitness, Lily Hamill paints dog portraits by commission. She’s “ruff” and tough.

Free For The Taking

an ongoing search by Shannon Thompson


Tomorrow Night Don’t Miss The…


For more info, email or call (207) 607-3121.

Can’t make it tomorrow night? Visit Summer Work, a pop up art exhibit by Jessica Ives and Margaret Rizzio at The Good Supply, open Wednesday through Sunday, 10am – 6pm, through August 31st. If you enjoy the Tuesday 207 or Dear Maine features on The Maine you will enjoy this show!