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While I work on a couple of new posts, I present this intermission.

Yes, I know that almost every blogger on the planet has done a lilac post in the last few weeks, but I don’t care—they’re in bloom here now, and I am in love all over again, and want to share it.  The poor quality of the photographs will also show why the Dilettante rarely uses his own pictures. Many of the lilacs shown here have been blooming in their spots since the 19th century—and even the younger lilacs pictured at my yard are descendants of older plants at my grandmother’s or the farm across the street, built in the 1790s.  (My house is a relative youngster, built in 1814)
Lilacs and an apple tree in bloom along an old stone wall at the Dilettante’s.  My weed whacker is broken.
It is always my favorite week of the year, and fresh raspberries are probably the only thing I love as much as I love lilacs (all the better that the raspberries ripen almost exactly on my birthday each year).
However, the lupines that give impressionistic bloom to many fields around here will be in full flower in a few days….they help soften the blow of the lilacs going by….Anyone who tries to tell you that autumn is the most beautiful time of year in Maine has simply never been here in lilac season.

Unlike most of the East Coast, Maine had almost the mildest winter in history, and Spring, usually late, reluctant, and brief, was early and lasted long, including the lilacs, which usually bloom at the end of May, and form a beautiful backdrop for our sweet little Memorial Day parade.

On the Main Street in our village.  Year after year, the most abundant row of lilacs in town.
forming a fragrant buffer between this house and its meadow at the other end of Main Street

But it will be different this year, as already it seems like summer, and my field is coming into blossom with thousands of buttercups….I’m sure it means something awful about the PH balance and maintenance (or lack ) thereof, but sure is pretty….

On another note, in Sunday’s post about the orchard restoration at the Jonathan Fisher House, I  mentioned the scourge of Giant Maine Hooved Rats, from which no garden or young tree are safe.  I’ve even had commenters and emails mentioning what terror I’ve caused by bringing attention to these frightening predators, and asking to know more.  They indeed are relentless, these giant creatures—-they can devastate young trees and gardens, and cause immeasurable loss to life and limb just by standing in the road.  Below is a picture of a mother and young hooved rat, at rest while contemplating their next act of garden carnage.

And in other news:  Here in Maine, old rowboats never die, they just become dooryard flower planters.  For those who are looking for other ideas with what to do with that leaky old dinghy, check out this post over at If The Lampshade Fits