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Secret Places: Around Here They All Have Ocean and Trees

by Jamie Pacheco

Yesterday neither Nate nor I worked from home.  On days like this Essex enjoys some quality crate time.  She hates it and I hate it, but she still likes to nibble our shoes or eat the shower head (don’t ask) so she hasn’t graduated to freedom yet.  To break up the crate time, Essex and I managed to sneak three micro walks into my schedule.

2015-Secret-Places-JP-1If any of you are long-term residents, short-term residents, or visitors of Harpswell you probably know that Harpswell is full of sneaky little places to explore.  Yesterday’s walks took place in three such places. Our first walk welcomed the day.  It began by meandering through the woods and over a trickling brook while the early morning sun streamed down through the tree boughs.  Now normally I would have strolled through this walk because the trees open up to a beautiful clearing that is bathed in light and I like to stop to bask in this light.  If you practice yoga, imagine tree pose with your arms spread wide, your head tilted back, and a smile on your face.  For those of you who don’t practice yoga, imagine this but with both feet firmly planted on the ground.

2015-Secret-Places-JP-3On this specific morning Essex and I were awkwardly walk/jogging because I was in a hurry to get to work.  We were perfectly on time, my time-to-head-home-alarm sounded exactly at the mid-point of the walk. The homeward stretch skirts the ocean, where Essex likes to swim. I managed to contain her this morning and we continued. Excellent, we were still on schedule, or we were until I realized that the tide was out and the sand was covered with little ripples. I love these ripples. Once I started observing the ripples, I had to turn my attention to the water as it swirled in the morning light.  Then I realized I had to take a photo, or ten, and I had to get at least 3 of Essex.  Have you ever tried to get a child to pose for a picture? Yeah, it isn’t easy. Well, neither is a puppy.  As I am merrily taking photos, I am mentally saying adieu to my timely work arrival.

The second walk was snagged in between substitute teaching and a meeting I had at 4 p.m.  I was more than ready for a second walk, as substitute teaching typically leaves me feeling like I have been herding cats all day. I rushed home and snagged Essex for a quick 15-minute walk.  As I mentioned earlier, Essex is a swimmer, and this 15-minute jaunt was just enough time for Essex to sneak away into the ocean.  After this, she exuberantly attempted to get me just as wet as she was (and was partially successful).  So much for going to a meeting with dry pants.

Essex waited patiently in the car during this meeting.  You know that smell wet dogs have?  Well, my Civic might be a permanent reminder of it from now on.

2015-Secret-Places-JP-2The last walk of the day was done under the trees, and well away from the ocean.  The only memorable thing about this walk was the gently setting sun as we headed towards home.  A nice way to end a day.

I won’t tell you where these places are because everyone should have quiet places in the woods, all their own. I hope this entices you to explore Harpswell and find your own quiet places. The thrill of exploration is in the discovery.

March 2015

This article is one of many as part of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s Outdoor Adventure Blog. Click here to browse others. We invite everyone who explores the outdoors in Harpswell to submit stories and photos of their adventures for inclusion. We reserve the right to edit submissions. Send your stories to Julia McLeod at outreach@hhltmaine.org. Thanks!