December 8, 2014
Many people never visit Maine in the winter. “Too cold,” they say, “Too much snow.”
While it may be cold and snowy, winter is one of my favorite times to explore. I recently took a walk around Back Cove in Portland, checking out the seabirds and waterfowl that congregate around the cove between November and March. Mallards were everywhere, as per usual, but so were Common Eiders, Common Goldeneyes, and Buffleheads.
Snow covered the ground on both sides of the trail, gleaming white in the sunshine. As the water reflected the sun’s rays as well, everywhere I looked seemed to sparkle. Sure it was cold, but what beats a natural light show?
The red berries along the trail were particularly stunning against the white background of the snow. Though the branches were inundated with ice, the crimson berries stood out, beckoning songbirds and other wildlife who needed to feed.
The walk is just about three and a half miles long, and with necessary photography stops took about an hour an a half to complete. Though it was the day after Thanksgiving, I was pleasantly surprised with how many people I saw taking advantage of the trail. There were runners, walkers, and fellow birders, all spending time outside and enjoying the landscape. Though I love the urban center of Portland, there’s no doubt in my mind that Back Cove is the city’s best feature.