Balmy Maine weather for the birds

Some folks in my office are downright giddy today.

“Wow! It’s so nice out!” they exclaim.

“Oh, I love this weather!” they gush.

“I want to go outside and play!” they say (over and over and over).

My question to them (except to you, cold-hating boss: You’re the best): “If this is the weather you want in January, why on earth are you living in Maine?”

It’s winter. Maine does winter pretty well, usually.

But every time we get one of these weather hiccups, many of us start reaching for our bikinis. OK. Since you already know what I look like, that might be a pretty gruesome image. Let’s rephrase: Them. Not us. Them. They reach for their bikinis.

Me? I like Maine winters. Even when it snows a foot every Thursday. Especially when it snows a foot every Thursday. Even when it’s 20-below. Even when … well, you get the point. It’s ice-fishing season. It’s ski season. It’s freeze-your-toes-off season. Or, at least, it’s supposed to be.

Me? I’m a Mainer. When it gets cold, I celebrate. And when it gets so cold that I’m miserable, I do good, old-fashioned, Maine-y things, like put on my footie-pajamas and sit on the wood stove until my tail feathers catch fire. Or something like that. But pray for spring weather in January? I don’t play that game. Nope. Not me.

Melting ice on Brewer Lake, and not an angler (or shack) in sight.

Earlier today (partly, perhaps, to escape the constant hum of those aforementioned co-workers), I headed outside to see what the big ruckus was about. And since I was doing so during work hours, I even took my camera, so I could take some photos (and pretend to work).

Yes, it was balmy. Yes, it was March-ish.

And yes, I was sad.

Brewer Lake was wet and abandoned. Ditto Green Lake. I would have headed farther afield, but visions of mud season were dancing in my head, and I decided not to get stuck on a formerly frozen gravel road.

Green Lake near Jenkins Beach looks a little treacherous.

January thaw? They can have it. Me? I’m anxious for tomorrow.

Winter is coming back. It’s going to jump on us with both feet. Cold. Freeeeeezing cold. Yay!

I wonder if my co-workers will be back from the beach in time to avoid a real Maine winter day. Finally.

Of course, this thaw isn’t really a joking matter. Our memories are short. A few cold days, and we’ll have forgotten all about our … their … bikinis. Remember this, though: Those lakes have taken a beating recently. They may not be safe for awhile. Be careful on all ice, and especially near inlets and outlets.


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John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.