Boothbay Aglow, Basking in Spring
Summer gets all the attention up here in Maine. And while there’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned Maine summer, I’m here to make a case for a special time of the year that rarely gets the attention it deserves. I’m talking about the secret season: that quiet moment before the summer traffic arrives when the coast blooms back to life. That’s why this spring we suggest that you count down to Spruce Point Inn’s opening day on May 18th. It’s a time for “Boothbay Aglow” (with full homage to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ successful extension of its season via “Gardens Aglow” in December).
What glows in the spring at Boothbay Harbor? The sun on the white clapboards, for starters. That iconic New England look of seemingly conservative design, with or without the spruce-green shutters, makes a wonderful passive solar array. Coming in like a lion and positively lamb-like after the last March blow breaks and the first blossoms appear. And the spring-rising fish, right off our dock, named “poissons d’Avril” in France for their foolish frolicking (spring is for frolicking!).
And where are the lambs of spring? You can find them tucked in Down East barns, the bunnies in their dens, secure in the knowledge that the spring full moon will rise before they have to put their Easter bonnets on. That April “Sugar Maker Moon” glowing with silver moonbeams on the bay – is another indication the season will arrive in all good time. Sugar making in the maple groves requires warm days and chilly nights to cause the sap to flow – without bringing out too soon the buds that turn the sugar.
Soft green will begin to tint the lawns here at Spruce Point and then the crocuses will glow with gold and royal purple the shade of the quahog shells the First Nations honed to wampum. Fit for carrying a tale like spring through the woodlands, along paths aglow with pale wildflowers like trillium and white violets. Brides and their bouquets, aglow.
“Boothbay Aglow” reflects the burnishing of welcome signs, fresh paint and polished window glass, hulls newly gleaming in historic boatyards as we locals throw off the tarps to be sure all things are ‘shipshape and Bristol-fashion’ in time to greet the Windjammers and all who follow their wake.
Yes, it’s still chilly here. But, like floral arrangements and hors d’oeuvres, sometimes you need a bit of refrigeration to make the best impressions. The “oceanside memories made in Maine” that come when the sun is high. We’ll be waiting, all aglow.
Spruce Point Inn