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I am continuing to tinker with this little place I’ve made for myself in the blog world. I’m still learning the ropes and deciding just what I want the Selkie to be, so please bear (or seal?!) with me! It struck me though, as I set up a “tag cloud”, that listing the tag topics and categories is a good place to start. Here, in no particular order, are the topics you can expect to find me rambling on about: Maine, Scotland, the sea, seals and other marine mammals, marine conservation and science, the outdoors, history (early American, maritime, Scottish), historical sites, Acadia National Park, midcoast Maine, and random thoughts. So what does Mary, Queen of Scots have to do with seal pup strandings?….Probably not much (but I’d guess that Mary, Queen of Scots would be concerned about a stranded seal pup. I mean, really, who wouldn’t?!) And is someone who comes here to look at pictures of a wintery Maine landscape going to be equally interested in reading why I think Edinburgh is one of the most appealing cities in the world? Perhaps not. But I promise you that there will be one common thread twisting through this patchwork of tags….passion.  These are the places and topics that make the world a rich and wonderful place for me.

In my first (and maybe a bit heavy handed) post, I tried to explain where the name “New England Selkie” comes from. So now, I hope you’ll let me introduce myself a little more before we talk about The January Thaw…

I’m originally from the Tri-State area…which basically means New York City, Philadelphia, and the suburban sprawl that is New Jersey. Like so many other families on the East Coast, we vacationed in Maine. I fell in love with Acadia National Park, and decided that I’d live in Maine some day. That became a reality over 10 years ago. I live now in the midcoast; the region stretching from Rockland to Belfast. (Some people may extend that region further….maybe as far south as Boothbay Harbor.) I’ll talk often about Mount Desert Island and Acadia, as I spend a fair amount of time there. However, I live and work here on the midcoast…work as an animal health care professional, volunteer with a marine mammal stranding team, and play in/on the bays, lakes, hills, woods, and rocky shorelines of the area. It would be nearly impossible to live on this coast and not feel a deep connection to the sea and its shore. I am passionate about preservation of the coasts, conservation of the marine environment, and protection and management of life in the seas. If I can use this blog to educate, provide help, or even just share my love of these topics, I’ll be happy.

My connection to Scotland is much more recent. My first trip there was in the late summer of 2012. It quickly became more than just a vacation…it was a place I felt in my gut. Have you ever visited a place and felt the strange combination of discovery and familiarity at the same time? It’s a weird feeling…as if your eyes are seeing something for the first time, but your soul is saying “oh, well, yes, of course…” I’ve been back twice already, and am planning visits for this year. So I will say for the record right now…I’m not a Scot, I am not a travel expert, and I have limited experiences there, but I do have a deep appreciation for the places, the people, the culture, and the history of Scotland. Expect to see a lot of posts about it!

Now that all the introduction is out of the way, let’s start this thing! So….the January Thaw. Last week in Maine, we spun out of the Polar Vortex…and landed face down in the mud. Almost every January, we have a week or two of balmy weather. (upper 30s, 40s, maybe even appraoch 50 F) Nice, except that it means dirty, soft, partially melted snow, and dirt on floors, dirt on vehicles, dirt on boots, dirt on dogs…well, you get the idea. Best thing to do under the circumstances is to Keep Calm and Get Dirty. So I’ll leave you with some photos I took on a little hike I took with my previously white dog…

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