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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sea smoke II

At dawn yesterday the sea smoke was performing more vigorously than the day before, goosed by temperatures at 5 below. It covered much of the bay, and the new sunlight, streaming out just to the southeast of the dark bulk of Fisherman Island, made it glow. The view was like a cruel mirror of a summer sunrise, the bright blue ocean and the sea smoke like cirrus clouds. Far beyond, in the warmer waters of open ocean, a big bank of fog arose, strengthening the illusion of summer. Small chunks of ice floated near shore, as the rising tide took off the caps of the rocks. Again there was the defiant loon, and the indestructible crows, joined now by a pair of puffed-up ducks swimming close together as if in alliance against Mr. Fahrenheit. Soon the sun's rays struck the outdoor thermometer up to a giddy 20, only to fall back to 8 in shadow. By noon the sea smoke was gone. The thermometer broke 10 again, the bank of fog resolved into regular clouds, and a sense of normalcy returned. I took my walk in the afternoon, and my face was not so deeply frozen as to melt off upon re-entering the house.

This morning scanty sea smoke, far out in the bay. Temperature a balmy 4, with prospects of 20. More birds around, including 7 members of one of the smaller species of Canada goose swimming just in front. Never seen them before. Sibley confirms. The danger of fantasy and illusion must be passing. These wisps of imagination mostly banished. Time to get up and work, time to go back to the smoke of the city.

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