Saturday, August 4, 2007

Mermaids' Purses and Woodpecker Nests

Off in a week to a cabin off the coast of Maine. In preparation, going to read my son An Island Scrapbook: Dawn to Dusk on a Barrier Island (Simon and Schuster 1998) by Virginia Wright-Frierson. It's not set in Maine, but on a North Carolina barrier island, but I grabbed a copy from the library when I saw the lovely watercolor natural history sketches inside: the egg case of a skate ("mermaid's purse"), weird-looking case of a whelk, shipworm tunnels in wood, fritillary butterflies. Our backpack is already packed with bird, shore life, wildflower, and butterfly guides, now I just have to find the binoculars.

In an much earlier visit to Maine, over ten years ago, we were lucky to find a whole nest of woodpeckers. This time I have hopes for harbor seals and all kinds of sea birds, maybe even ospreys and some bald eagles.

Here's a great annotated biography of kids' books set in Maine, from picture books to to young adult, adventure to romance to sci fi. It's impressive, entries go all the way back to the 1880s! Kudos to the librarians at the Waterboro, ME, library for pulling this together.

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