November 29, 2008


Seagull in Normandy
Originally uploaded by 5348 Franco.

Seymour is a fine, clean, white seagull. I know it and you would know it if you saw him. But Seymour doesn’t know it. He thinks he’s a duck.

After all, his duck mother, Lucy, hatched and raised him yet never told him he was a gull. Her nurturing nature made her gather his little egg into her own batch after she found it this past spring all alone in the marsh grass.

Lucy loved him just that way she loved her four other little ducklings. She raised them well. So did Quackers, his father. (The author acknowledges having been an unapologetic anthropomorphist since birth.)

When Quackers taught the little ones to bob for yummy food at pond bottom, Seymour bobbed just like his brothers and sisters. When Lucy taught the brood how to glide and turn in the gentle tide flow, Seymour glided and turned with grace. In every way Seymour was raised a duck. He missed only one lesson: the need to fly south when Quackers announced the day.

Today, however, on this late November date, Seymour is so alone. As he did yesterday and the day before, Seymour is floating on the tide in Hampton’s Meadow Pond. His white feathers and orange beak shine as he glides atop darkening blue water. He gently turns left and then, a moment later, deftly swings right. He is searching for his family oblivious to why they three weeks ago left Meadow Pond.

The late day sun sits low above the western horizon. Acres of golden shoreline marsh grass make Seymour and the author feel warmer than they really are. The gentle breeze that glides along with him now ripples both the grasses and the water.

Seymour is once again looking for his family. Meadow Pond is the only home he’s known. “When are they coming back?” I imagine he asks himself. “Why did they leave me?”

He glides along deeper into the pond, pausing to look in every shoreline nook. A group of four brown ducks paddle by giving him no notice. Seymour watches them and tries to join them. He wants to ask them if they know where his family is, but they move away at his each attempt. Seymour slowly, indeed dejectedly paddles away

I watched Seymour’s drama unfold daily since last spring. Poor Seymour doesn’t understand that his family flew south for the approaching winter. Soon Meadow Pond will freeze over and sleep beneath a windswept blanket of snow. Open water will appear here and there from the strong current. But most of the pond will be unrelentingly hard and cold.

Spring will come though and Seymour’s’ family will return to the pond. One day, after all of his searching and searching, Seymour will hear the Lucy’s and Quackers’ cheerful quacks of homecoming. He will be so happy.

Seymour is indeed, and for all intents and purposes a duck.

Do you think Seymour will fly south next fall when repetitive cold nights and chilly days foretell of yet another approaching winter?

April 13, 2008


it really is
Originally uploaded by perfectbound.

Because it's there. Because it's always worth it.

April 06, 2008

The Incredible Greenness of Being

shades of green
Originally uploaded by cjohnson7.

Spring is here at last.

The green tips of the crocuses arise skyward; the birds of summer have returned. They are ravenous from their journey. My bags of birdseed empty faster than bottles of good wine at a dinner party.

I've often wondered how many shades of green one could find in a day. Hundreds I would think.

In Ireland they claim over a thousand. But we Irish once in awhile, though very rarely, claim more than a few things with just a pinch of literary license. (Son, yer great-great-great grandfather was the King of Cork I'm positive).

The next warm and sunny day that finds me, I hope to take a long Spring ride on the motorcycle and head way into the countryside. There I hope to don hiking boots and take a little walkabout to count a day's worth of greenness.

Should be a lovely way to spend a day.

February 24, 2008


It's been awhile since I've written on these pages. So much happens in our lives that we sometimes need to stop if for no other reason than to watch a river flow. (Thanks, Bob Dylan, for that wonderful song.)

I hiked and snowshoed today in the White Mountain National Forest. The Pemigewasset Wilderness in northern New Hampshire offered such a glorious day. I found myself enthralled by the beauty of the frigid waters, the snowy shores, the seemingly impenatrable riparian ice.

Come summer I plan to motorcycle back to this river. Perhaps a picnic on the rocky shoreline can be enjoyed: toes dipped in the racing water, fingers wrapped around fine bread and cheese, and maybe even a little taste of Amorone wine to round out the perfect meal.

October 07, 2007

Falling Colors

Landscape in October
Originally uploaded by Giorgos ~.

The year moves on: Summer gives way to Fall. Chill night air triggers nature's orgy of color.

Riding through fields aglow in Autumnal elegance brings to the soul an incredible focus. The air smells different, wonderful. Gone are the floral aromas of Spring -- here are the dusky smells of the past saying goodbye--the future saying hello.

Enjoy the days of nature's last hurrah. Tomorrow the earth sleeps neath a snowy blanket. And new life prepares an ever so soon grand entrance.

Ride safe and well.

September 25, 2007


Originally uploaded by waxinggibbous.

Nature must indeed abhor a vacuum. Offer nature even the tiniest opportunity for life to flourish and flourish it will. The balance in this is obvious upon observation.

Peak at a slight crack in a roadside boulder and observe. Tiny dust particles recently settled transform from atmospheric flotsam to a nourishing soil for a litter of lichen. How perfect this life force.

Life is simple. As we too are life therefore we are simple. We nevertheless try so hard to complicate our lives: we confuse ourselves on a daily basis. I am as capable of this mistake as are any of us.

Yet balance and purpose unfold to show a path to perfection.

Example time – let’s take one of my favorite topics, motorcycling. If we ride for joy and toward a goal we wish to achieve we are riding in balance with nature. We are pursuing a simple life.

If, however, we ride out of pain we are not riding in balance. If we run away from something we wish to avoid, we are making a mistake. We are failing further in the healthy pursuit of a happy and simple life. In a simple, balanced life, we must first deal with the cause of our pain, take action to fix it, and then ride.

Like most motorcycle enthusiasts, I’ve ridden both such rides. I’ve learned more of life these past few years. I’ve learned that the joy of riding toward my goals far surpasses the shallowness of riding away from problems.

The problems, left unresolved, will be there to greet us when we return. And that is the antithesis of a simple life.

September 20, 2007

Destiny on the Road

Llugwy Downstream
Originally uploaded by Stu Worrall.

Go easy now -- we'll meet along the way. Later on the road will rise up and bring us home.

August 26, 2007


I would expect that a sunset sail across Buzzards Bay for dinner at The Chart Room (on Cape Cod) would be the perfect conclusion to a fine day. It can be, and yet it can fall short of the perfection of a sunset in the mountains while on a motorcycle tour.

Please think me not a dismisser of fine sailing and the sea. Those who know me know that I treasure these things.

Yet now, in the brilliance of tonight's full moon shining down I am reminded of so many sunsets and moonsets not on the sea but on the land. I remember camping in the desert with a moon so big it seemed to fill the sky. I recall sleeping on Cape Breton beaches neath moons so bright it was hard to remain asleep. I see evenings in Alaska when the moon fought hard with the summer sun to find a place in the late night sky.

There are hundreds of full moons I recall seeing while cruising on motorcycles. Few, however, hold the magic I now see in tonight's moon.

There is magic happening, and I know not where or why. I will trust the universe to set things right. I feel ready for a new life, a life filled with adventure and simplicity. There's too little of that in my world lately.

I am ready for my moon.

August 22, 2007

A Green Wave

On a Green Wave
Originally uploaded by maruchan313.

A few weeks ago I went Body Surfing. No it wasn't that spectacular stuff we see on television when nubiles grab huge tubes off the coast of Hawaii -- it was more like swishing into the path of a small swell off the coast of Maine. Indeed, it was cold but very refreshing.

Temperature and size are not the issue here. The simple act of swimming out to the point break and then dashing toward shore to catch 15 seconds of rapture is what I'm talking about. That's the magic of "Catching a Green Wave."

Truth be known the ocean up here is cold. Truth continuing, as it should always, body surfing in our cold New England seas is worth every effort. When you're done you know you've enjoyed an excellent day. You've melded with the ocean, and that's pretty good, no?

August 20, 2007

Hay Rides

Montana sky
Originally uploaded by Jodene.

The fields are full of mown hay -- bales, rolls, stacks, and mounds abound.

The air is pungent with a grassy perfume.

Two months of great riding remain before the gales of November and the snows of December set upon us. Get out and ride friends.

Breathe in the organic air of late summer/early fall. Its simplicity is more than pleasant. It is seductive.