Porcupine pear!

Porcupine pear!

Strawberries for Breakfast

#healthy snack idea: strawberries sprinkled with cocoa powder & drizzled with #maplesyrup #glutenfree

Healthy summer snack idea or easy breakfast idea straight from my kitchen: strawberries sprinkled with cocoa powder and drizzled with maple syrup. Gluten-free and delicious.

Hermit Crab Tracks Look Like Bicycle Tire Treads

…and other lessons I’ve learned from three years of living near the ocean.

We moved to the Maine coast in 2011 after living for almost a decade in a land-locked former mill town in New Hampshire. It’s been an odd and sometimes difficult adjustment, mostly because of family stuff that’s taken up a lot of my attention. But we’re here…three years this August…and more and more, I am having the strong sense that this place has become home.

Proof? I was thinking about this tonight as I carefully picked my way across a tide pool, following a small stripe of what looked to be a bicycle tread. It ended at a half-buried snail’s shell tucked under a larger rock. I gently picked up the shell and to the absolute delight of my children, the creature inside the shell began to crawl across my open palm. Like some kind of anthropomorphic seagull, after nearly 36 months of living near the beach, I have learned how to track hermit crabs.

A tourist family was nearby and the children came over to marvel at our sea creature find, followed by their equally curious parents. The mom asked me how I knew which shells were snails and which were hermit crabs. I am sure there is a more scientific explanation to tell the difference between snails and hermit crabs, but I explained about the tracks and pointed out how to spot them.

As her children began scouring the tide pool looking for tracks, the mom commented to me, “I am so glad we found a local to show us around!”

A local? Me?