When Quiet is all there is to Hear

When Quiet is all there is to Hear
A touch of evening serenity

A touch of evening serenity...Marshall Point (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani

Nine days passed between the January snowstorms of the 12th and 21st, and during this span, a winter hush momentarily prevailed in the air along Midcoast Maine.

The snowy reprieve provided ample sunshine, calm winds and a liberal dash of chill in the absence of gale force winds and swathes of heavy snow.

Personally, I have found there are few experiences more invigorating than basking in the placid air of winter and soaking up a brisk pureness that permeates the atmosphere at this time of year.

So in the days that followed the storm on the 12th, I made it a point to be outdoors as much as my free time would permit despite low temperatures that dipped as low as single digits.

Whether it was rising before dawn for first light, or having the opportunity to bid another day adieu at sundown, I relished the one common thread that seemed to bind many of these moments together – the magical stillness of winter.

Tradition on ice

Tradition on ice for the winter...Camden Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

It is easy to give January’s coastal waters and harbors a quick glance and visually see the lack of activity on the seascape, but the power of winter’s stillness cannot be fully enjoyed until one stops altogether – preferably by water’s edge or along a wooded area blanketed in white, to listen intently.

Only then can the deafening quiet of winter stillness be heard and its peaceful overtures, sprinkled about the frigid open air, absorbed in renewing fashion.

Such serenity also accommodates the sequential moods of the day, from the poignant stir of an icy dawn to the softness of sunset when the sky and snow-covered landscape are bathed in a sea of pastels.

Even when the stray sounds of nature dare to intrude on the realm of stillness, the noise is less of an interruption and more of a splendid accent for a silent but unmistakable language of the soul.

The harmonious sounds of a gentle sea lapping along the beach, playful tides lifting layers of new ice and causing it to fuss, tired trees creaking after being nudged by a brush of breeze or a stray gull’s lonesome coy that fades on the wings of flight, are in fact complimentary stanzas to this delightful winter interlude.

Ebb tide at sundown

Ebb tide at sundown...Spruce Head Island (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

As with all good things, such tranquility came to an end when it was ushered off center stage by the January 21, 2011 snowstorm. In the wake of the storm, winter’s coldest days to date are in the offing as bone-chilling air moves down from Canada during the week of the 24th.

The Arctic blast promises to grip the Midcoast region in an icy cold that will be anything but serene as gusty winds send wind chills down to a minus 25 degrees or more below zero.

It will be then that I will try to muster the warmth of a bygone winter stillness that still shines bright in my mind, though I have a feeling such a memory will do more to warm my soul than anything else!

Random Midcoast Maine images from January 13, 2011 through January 20, 2011…  

Majestic

Mount Battie's majesty looms large...Camden (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

Morning breaks

Morning breaks...Camden Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Blanket of white

Blanket of white...Camden Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Where the mountains meet the sea

Where the mountains meet the sea...Camden Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Placid

Placid...Camden Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Frigid falls

Frigid falls...Camden Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Tide in retreat

Tide in retreat...Camden Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Bitter wind

Bitter wind rules the air...Curtis Island (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Winter ice

Signs of winter settling in for a while...Camden Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Sea smoke

Sea smoke with a colorful touch...Camden Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Sea smoke dancing

The dance of sea smoke...Camden Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Scanning the frigid waters

Scanning the frigid waters...Camden Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Snoozing

Snoozing...Camden Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Shadow of vigilance

Shadow of vigilance...Marshall Point Light (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

A buoy's best friend

A buoy's best friend...U.S. Coast Guard cutter ABBIE BURGESS, Rockland Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Hanging out at the office

Hanging out at the office...City Fish Pier, Rockland Harbor (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

Fresh and ready to ship

Fresh and ready to ship...City Fish Pier, Rockland Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Flood tide comes aboard

Flood tide comes aboard...The "Roamer" takes on water at her mooring, Rockland Harbor (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

Sitting on the bottom

Sitting on the bottom...The "Roamer" takes on water at her mooring, Rockland Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

The Keag

Heartbeat of a community...The Keag Store in South Thomaston (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

Like a fish out of water

Like a fish out of water...Weskeag River, South Thomaston (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

The ties that bind

The ties that bind...Spruce Head Island (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

From the sea to the dinner table

From the sea to the dinner table...Spruce Head Island (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

What are you looking at

What are you looking at?...Cape Jellison, Stockton Springs (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

A light at the end

A light at the end...Fort Point State Park (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Guardian of the Penobscot

Guardian of the Penobscot River...Fort Point Light (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Remnants of an ebb tide

Remnants of an ebb tide frozen in its tracks...Marsh River, Prospect (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

A mountain of color

A mountain of color...Marshall Point (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

Snow in the offing

Snow in the offing...Marshall Point (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

The magic of winter stillness

The magic of winter stillness...Marshall Point Light (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Two competing lights

Two competing lights...Marshall Point (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)