Who doesn’t love June? Most of us fell in love with June during our youth. With the end of the school year and nearly 16 hours of daylight in Maine, we could pack nearly twice as much outdoors activity into a day than we could during the December solstice – and be much warmer doing it. As an added bonus, flora and fauna abounds – as do visits from friends “from away”. June is fun, carefree, radiant, and bursting with vibrant shades of green.
In June, we reacquaint ourselves with our yards. We spend more time working our gardens, dining outside, or sitting on the porch with a good book and the cheerful greetings of passing neighbors. June is a month when our wild friends spend more time in our yards too – including many breeding birds who capture our attention as they busily forage to feed their hungry offspring. Of course, some yards are more popular than others. How does yours measure up? Would you like to be an even better “host family”?
At Maine Audubon, our Bringing Nature Home program has grown more popular every year. The program, which is based on Doug Tallamy’s enormously popular book of the same title, espouses the importance of sharing our land with wildlife by creating a habitat that enables wildlife to flourish: https://www.maineaudubon.org/projects/plants/ The program is catching on rapidly. Our Education Director, Eric Topper, presented the program to nearly fifty audiences across the state in the past year. Last year our native plants sales tripled, after doubling the year before. This year, we’ve expanded our cultivation space to grow even more plants – to support sales at new sites (such as our Fields Pond Audubon Center) and to fulfill the burgeoning demand at our Gilsland Farm Audubon Sanctuary in Falmouth. The successful Fields Pond sale is already behind us, but please join us on Saturday, June 15 at Gilsland Farm to learn more about native plants and to improve the habitat of your yard. Every plant you buy gives twice – it feeds our wildlife friends, and provides funding for our programs.
Of course, June is also a perfect month for venturing beyond your own yard. For me it is a multimodal affair. On any given day, I could be paddling, running, biking, or walking. On a recent morning, calm seas and a high tide made paddling my sea kayak the preferred mode. On the glass-smooth water, I paddled across Casco Bay out to Halfway Rock to see if I might spy any resting seals. Zip. But… I was quite surprised to see a huge American White Pelican who handily dwarfed its accompanying cormorants. This is one of our largest flying birds, with a wingspan of nearly ten feet. He was way out of his home range, so this was a delightful find. As I said in my first paragraph, June is the month to enjoy visits with friends from away. June is a great month to explore all of the nooks and crannies of Maine; you never know what you are going to discover. Go explore and let me know what delights you find.