In Too Deep.

Do you ever get that feeling when you think about something you want so badly, that it actually physically aches?

I’m sure that can cover a number of people, places and things, but I got it just thinking about spring. Spring at Hancock Shaker Village, in fact. With all the promises of warm sun and baby lambs. It really can’t be beat and I want it. Now.

I don’t love November. If we’re being honest, it’s my least favorite month. It’s surrounded by goodness – sandwiched in between the glorious foliage of October, and the glistening goodness of December. All of the promise. And November hangs there in the balance – with its cawing crows and dead things. Fallen, faded leaves. My camera can barely contain the colors of every other month This one is blah. Its also the darkness. I can’t stand darkness. This November has been wonderfully mild so far, with only a few of those New England heavy cloud gloomy days but I haven’t been well for even a second of it. I only get sick like this every few years, so I should be thankful. It’s just a cold, with no fever or sore throat or stomachache. Just a cold. I tend to get melodramatic with colds. I even said to my mom when she asked me if my kids knew she was visiting this week, “I didn’t tell them, because quite frankly, I wasn’t sure I would be alive on Monday.” I was only half kidding.

I’ll take nearly anything over this.. the thing, but not the song. I love the song.

Worry not, though, it IS just a cold. I was feeling and doing way too much for far too long. If this isn’t a sign to take in more bad movies and good baths, I don’t know what is. And then there’s that feeling. I’m REALLY bad at wanting what I can’t have. I didn’t even bother with those kinds of unattainable crushes in my youth. I didn’t even care. Sometimes would one slip under the radar, quite like this cold I have right now, and it would be mildly or moderately agonizing, but my happiness is my default. So that feeling I get when I look at a photo of a majestic bull moose and I know their antlers will shed soon and I’ll settle into my least favorite season, it’s all ok. I filled my moose love bucket (that sounds weird) quite beautifully in October.

Believe it or not, I’m warm from the memories of what’s been done and what’s to come.

And after all that rambling that even I don’t fully understand, but it involves feelings and moose and a bad cold, let’s talk about Bethel, Maine. What did I leave you with last? A picture of moose. A success! We set out that Friday and pretty much drove through rain and whining for a long time. It was ok, though. We arrived and got dinner at a bar Cassidy and I had visited the first weekend we met, and then we explored our bed & breakfast suite. As is often the case, everyone loved the bed:

Actually. Des fell asleep in the car somewhere in Vermont or New Hampshire, and didn’t wake up when we checked in, grabbed dinner, ate dinner on the floor, jumped on the bed, showered and ran around like lunatics. He missed it all!

Then we set the alarm for a ridiculous hour. I was way too excited to sleep, and just had our moose driving routes laid out on the bed along with my iPhone as I closed my eyes and imagined what moose we’d see the next morning. We woke up before sunrise, gave the kids snacks and set off on the “Magical Moostery Tour” which is a real thing and a 125 mile, self-guided tour through the woods and lakes of Maine. They can’t guarantee you’ll see even one moose, but you may see 40!

With those odds, we set off on the same roads Cassidy and I saw our first moose together on in 2004. One of the first things the two of us saw this time was a hunter loading a dead bull moose into his truck. I gasped. I thought maybe my eyes were deceiving me. In broad daylight, I have wonderful vision. Before or after that, and in artificial lighting, I sometimes don’t. I hoped my eyes had played tricks on me, but of course they hadn’t. We didn’t tell Scarlet why I really gasped. I made up a story and she was semi-satisfied, I think. We drove on and saw the sun rise, which calmed down my racing heart.

And then, it happened. We all saw them at once. Well Des didn’t and he cried until Cassidy hurried him out of the car and to the side of the road. We stared for so long until they retreated and then Scarlet and I got giddy. Drunk on moose.

Then we found a lake to run around. I had a lot of energy to work off.

There were woodsy hikes and photographing with my favorite co-photographer.

We stopped to get snacks and use the bathroom at this giant hunting and fishing store. It had a life-sized, stuffed, once-was-alive albino moose. I stopped in my tracks and gasped. I had never even told Scarlet about albino moose. Needless to say, it became a new and major life dream of hers – along with seeing Phish with Cassidy and northern lights with both of us. She’s so our kid. Then we stopped in the town of Rangeley and found this glorious breakfast spot. The Gingerbread House. Pure magic. We went off-roading on bumpy roads. Then we stopped along some scenic heights for fresh air and photos.

I like to look down and imagine how many moose are nestled in those towns, villages and forests.

Is there more? Yes. Will you hear/see about it? Of course. In time. This is the meaty stuff. We saw six moose in all, but the photos above are the clearest ones and even they leave something to be desired in my photographer’s mind. Was my dream fulfilled? Partly. Do I want more? Yes. It’s a little funny looking for moose when you’re not 25 anymore. In some ways I realize, “Oh, I don’t have magical powers. I used to think I did. And I could summon them.” On the other hand, I DO still believe in magical powers and open hearts and believing and receiving. I really do. It just takes some chemistry and timing. And that whole open heart thing. Sometimes your dreams feel tired and whiny and gassy. And that’s ok. That doesn’t make them any less real. Chemistry, timing, open hearts, whining, good snacks and some good music? Opening doors.

Do you believe?

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  1. Ok you had me at November Rain as no joke that song was what I listened over and over on November years back when my then boyfriend had dumped me. Oh the memories and you so brought me back on that totally. And still your weekend trip looked amazing and most definitely not what the song would conjur up by any means.

  2. I’m first?!?!?!? OH my. I better finish this comment quickly! A moose tour? Those skylines are absolutely amazing and looks like something that I would love to enjoy with my family. One of these days, we’ll make it up to Maine.

    1. Oh no! You wound up not being first and Janine snatched that up. Sob.
      Maine is really enjoyable and looking for moose is something I never thought I’d be doing as a family, and yet, it happens often.

  3. As soon as I saw your Facebook post, my inner Axl came out and I was rocking out to that rock ballad…in my mind! These pictures are gorgeous and I am so happy that you got moose drunk! What an exciting trip and Scarlet, with that camera,PRECIOUS!

  4. OK it seems like I’ve been waiting on this post forever. I saw the photos on FB and I knew it was amazing. I’m so happy you got to see your moose. This post was just photo overload and I loved it. I can surely see Scarlet being a photographer when she grows up. btw I hate November too. I hate that it gets darker sooner because I’m a Caribbean baby, I love sunlight.

    1. Thank you – I’ve been waiting too! So happy to finally have it out. It’s definitely photo overload which is why I had to stop because I had plenty of others that didn’t make the post, but I’ll use them soon!

  5. Yep, I believe. I’m so, so, so happy that you found moose. You’re a crazy woman 🙂 – those pictures are gorgeous! But I know you see them with a more critical eye. I don’t mind November – it’s January that I hate. The holidays are over, and it’s rainy day after rainy day around here. I hope you feel better soon!

  6. I really enjoyed reading this blog of Moose and Maine, November rain, and fantastic photos! I’m happy that you were able to spot a nice little collection of moose to share with us, Tamara. I keep looking at these colorfully scenic photos. You definitely had some magic powers and your family’s open hearts, and dreaming and believing and receiving going for all of you on this Magical Moostery Tour to be continued!

  7. You must have had a wonderful time. What a thrill seeing 6 moose! Your photos are gorgeous. I’m not a big fan of November either, but I loved Guns and Roses when I was a kid. November rain is a beautiful song.

    1. I have it in my head even now! Thanks about the photos – it was my first time with my new camera so I wasn’t totally used to what it was doing, but it was a blast.

  8. Scarlet looks like a natural!
    The way you feel about November is the way I feel about March. Winter has dragged on long enough, it’s gray and long and no days off (unless you work for the City of Boston and it’s Evacuation Day, but that doesn’t seem to exist anywhere else).
    I’m so glad you got your moose fix.

    1. March is REALLY tough, no doubt. I don’t mind it, though, because it’s so hopeful. So close to the end. Although for the last two years, Scarlet has gotten stomach sick in March. UGH!

  9. No way an albino moose? That would be scary to see in person! Like a giant yeti! What beautiful pictures. Fall here just means it is cooler. No falling leaves or changing foliage. Just no more roasting…. Ah November!

  10. Scarlet looks like a teenager holding the camera! Oh my… slow down time! I’m so much in agreement with you about the cold and November that I flew to Florida for a few days. Sitting on a balcony looking at the gulf in my pjs, and it is already nearing 80 degrees. As gorgeous as fall is, a girl could get used to this!

    1. She’s quite petite in real life and it’s always funny when someone meets her after only knowing her through my blog or Facebook. They’re always like, “I thought she’d be larger than life!” ha! No, she’s just a six-year-old who can pull off 4T clothing. But she looks SO mature in these photos. I totally agree.
      I could go to Florida right now. Enjoy!!

  11. I like that your daughter looks through the viewfinder to take photos! I’m always a little suspicious of people that use the screen to frame a photo, lol

    As for November, my birthday is in November (next week) 🙁 I’ve made some memories and had some adventures in that fateful month, but really, March is my favorite month.

    If I was in charge I would leave the time where it was. It must really get dark early where you live. I went to med school in Philly and for many months i would go to school and return in darkness. Most people don’t realize how much further east New England is than Florida.

    1. I do that too! I only look through the viewfinder! My daughter should stick with me because maybe she’ll keep doing that!
      November birthdays! It was my grandmother’s favorite month because it was her birthday month. And so many people HATE March, I’m seeing from the comments. I don’t!

  12. First, these photos are all so stunning!! Gorgeous. I love the sunrise shots. Well, I love all of them. You’ve taken us on a sweet memory, Tamara. I feel the same about November and in fact just last night got the dark blues so bad I had to go to bed for a while. Not sure if I’m getting sick or just feeling the November blues. The song is perfect and also takes me back to heartbreak. Now, when I hear it it’s bitter sweet. I still love it! I hope you’re feeling better soon and enjoy your visit with you Mom!!

    1. I hope it’s just the blues! Well I don’t want it to be either, but getting sick can be a real bummer. From my FB timehop thing, I found out I was sick last year during this same week. So apparently I need to be really careful next November because it lowers my resistance!

  13. I loved the different threads you intertwined in this post, Tamara. I am sorry for your November blues, but one look at those gorgeous sunrise pics and perhaps you might feel a little nostalgic lightness in your step. These pics are absolutely breathtaking. xo

  14. Now that is a story to keep for your family records. Except for the whole hunter part. That should be edited out. So glad that you all found moose together – and 6 at that. How magical! Scarlet looks like she’s really got a great handle on that camera, too. T inherited an old point and shoot camera of mine and mostly just takes blurry pictures of random things around the house. And she insists on using the flash…makes me shudder every time that thing goes off.

    1. I still have to put Scarlet’s pictures in my computer. I’m horrible! I bet she has a lot of keepers and I’ll totally share them and I can’t wait!

  15. This truly was a magical weekend you spent on a magical road trip. I am so happy for you and Scarlet (and the men, too) that you saw moose. But that sunrise – whoa – that is amazing. I’d call it ‘on fire’, seriously. And all the beautiful landscape shots with the fall colors, just amazing. I am truly in awe. And let’s not forget about your co-photographer – that camera looks so huge in her tiny hands. Did any of her photos turn out? I bet there must have been some.
    I love the song, too, when I read the first few words of that paragraph and I hadn’t scrolled down so didn’t see that you had the video line up, but I was already thinking ‘November Rain’ – maybe we should request Lindsay to play this song 🙂

    1. It was very much “on fire”. That’s what I said! It was so hard to drive because I kept telling Cassidy to stop and let me take photos!
      So you ask a good question. Scarlet used up a whole memory card. She just didn’t stop. I will be uploading her photos this week and I think I’ll make a whole post out of her Maine photos. Maybe Thursday. Look for it!
      I will tell Lindsay to play my song! She always plays my requests!

  16. Hey Virus twin. This ill thing is a hard core metal cold!!! I had a nice pity party this morning, when I woke up feeling like absolute crap… everything finally catching up. and then, oh! no plans today – Netflix!!! And then the small voice beside the bed and already feeling the heat in waves off a tiny body, and Just Knowing. Rest day derailed. And oh crap, there’s probably gonna be vomit today. And it really is a cold November rain that has been falling all day. But I do believe in magic and miracles… because there are moostery tours under glorious fall splendour, and sunsets, and Nature trails, and OMG she has moose pj’s and somehow: it’s gonna be okay. I believe. Thanks for the reminder. 😉

    1. Oh dear. Ok a day later, how is it? I have to say that my cold was bad for 2.5 weeks but now I’m drastically better. I’m not 100%. I do cough a few times a day. But like.. three times a day. Not 300. That’s a huge difference!
      So I wish the same for you. And we haven’t had a good sunny day in awhile but that feels like it might help. And she has many moose pajamas! Many! Do you?

      1. Still coughing, and now pretty much voiceless. So I want to a skating party, then had people over for hot cocoa, and then decided Heck – might as well have a movie/pizza party too!!! Because even miracles need a helping hand every now and then, right?
        I’ve just accepted this is life now. The cough is me, and I am it; and together we shall continue this adventure called Life. LOL

        1. Oh darn. How long has it been? Mine was a full THREE WEEKS. What the heck? Well it wasn’t torture for three weeks but it was not being 100% for all of it, and being at like.. 20% in the very middle.
          You and that cough will have to break up soon.

  17. So happy you saw the moose!!! And, these photos are absolutely breathtaking – I especially LOVE the one of Cassidy holding Des as seen in the distance through the colorful leaves. And, Cassidy tossing Des in the air. And the water fall one. Hope your cold gets completely better soon. All my kiddos have had colds to varying degrees – sniffles all the way to pneumonia. Hoping I can manage to stay healthy!

    1. I’m glad you love those two! I don’t love them, because of technical stuff, but I need to learn to love them because they were unstaged! In fact, I only got photos of them because I had a zoom lens that day.
      I really hope everyone in your house is on the up and up!

  18. I hope you get some rest soon, so you can get over your cold. Even if it’s not that bad, a cold is never any fun. How funny that Des sleep through so much fun. It’s wonderful that you all got to see Moose together. Scarlet is too cute with the camera.

    1. Thanks, Sonya! I finally feel better! It was a marathon though. I have to remind myself that they do end. They do burn out. My body will fight it eventually.
      Des sleeps through fun a lot!

  19. Your photos are stunning, and are like the photos I dream of taking, only I don’t have the right equipment at all. My favorites are the sunrise photos and the one of the two moose looking back. Gorgeous! Hope you are feeling better every day.

    1. Thank you! And you’d be surprised at what you can do without the equipment. Honestly! It’s mostly about the settings and composition.
      I totally feel better – thank you.

  20. Tamara! What a post. It gave me chills. And the pictures are some of the most stunning I’ve ever seen on you blog. Your comments about November struck me. I’ve always loved November, because of the anticipation, and the slowness of post-October craziness. I also was married in November, so I think I still feel the excitement. And I Florida, it’s one of the prettiest months (I lived there for 20 years), and her in GA, it’s stunning – when it’s not raining!

    1. wow, thank you!!
      Sorry about November! It was my grandmother’s favorite month. Her birth month. I’ve really gotten better about it over the years, but I’m really a spring and summer girl.

  21. What an incredible and magical weekend. This post gives me all the feels. Yes, November is probably tied with February for my least favorite month but November Rain is so good! And your photos – wow. I mean, those sunrise photos leave me breathless and then there’s Scarlet and your camera and Cassidy tossing Des in the air. I hope that you’re feeling better!

  22. Ahhhh such beautiful photos!!! And Scarlet will be a great photographer like you. She’s so cute while holding the big camera. You had a awesome adventure!

  23. This is beautiful, as always, and this post really moved me. I think being on the coast now I really miss fall – the smells, the feels, the visions. This post took me there. I was drunk on moose, too, and I didn’t even see them in person. Thank you for the journey, friend!

  24. I am so behind in reading – how did I miss this? How exciting – I’m thrilled for you! I think your photos contradict your statement about dark November – the colors are amazing. We barely have any leaves left, but I think they drop later up north.

    Can’t wait to see Scarlet’s point of view!

  25. Well apart from all of the gorgeous that are those landscape photos and your very professional looking mini me I just want to say thank you for sharing the in too deep video–one of my favorite songs ever but first time seeing the video!!

  26. I could gaze at your photos all day… I can’t remember if I’ve been here before- read this one before- It’s been an awful sick season for me, so please forgive the blurry memory and the fuzzy words I type!

    I swear those moose posed for those pics just for you. And that Scarlet? Oh how I adore that she is truly your mini YOU. I can’t wait to hear her point of view!!! She looks SO grown up now. Sigh…

    You have captured fall and all it’s glory and depth and dreary nostalgia perfectly here.

  27. Those moose (meese? mice? moose?) looked like a family you were taking pictures of, didn’t they? They did to me. There’s a lot of gorgeous in those photos but I would also like to see the food.

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