Tuesday, January 7, 2014

treasures of plum island

Hello and happy new year! The holiday season this year (like almost every year...) was such a blur for me. I meant to share these photos with you a few weeks ago, when Mike and I took a spontaneous trip back up to Plum Island before the weather got too cold.

Plum Island is about an hour drive from Boston. Not too far away, but far enough that it's a perfect place to spend an afternoon adventuring. We had a breakfast date at Mad Martha's and got to the beach an hour or two before sunset (so, you know, 2pm) as the tide was at its lowest and the sand was just beginning to turn the blue and purple hues of a winter's dusk. We walked the beach, collecting driftwood and shells for my art, admiring the sand ripples left by an unusually low tide and high winds. It was nice just to walk together outside of the city.

We trekked up from the shore to explore the dunes just as the sun was dipping down onto the horizon.

And then, wedged deep in the pink sand under a driftwood log, hidden in the long shadows, I found this:

Lost by someone and found by me, a rain-proof field notebook packed with five years of handwritten wildlife observations, pressed feathers and life musings. It was incredible! I am not an avid bird or wildlife watcher, but I am happily curious about the world in general, and this tiny book was a beautiful look into someone's thoughtfulness and passion for the outdoors. And really, how can you not be totally smitten over a discovery like this?

I wanted nothing more than to add it to my stash of found paper and incorporate it into the artwork I created with photos and shells from Plum Island. I could have leafed through the pages for hours admiring the lists and sketches, a sort of artwork in their own way. But... there was a name in the front and I knew its original owner would want it back. I shipped it to Maine today with just a little remorse.

On our way out, we caught the full moon rising over the Atlantic.


  1. Oh I have wondered about this book since you posted about it on Instagram! Glad you found the owner! Did you find out how it ended up on that island?

  2. imagine the joy that someone will feel when their little book arrives home in the mail! Lucky for them that you found it. Love your beautiful photos too, especially the moon ones.
    Grace :)

  3. One of my favorite places to venture to!

  4. Incredible moon pics!! Love this whole blog!! Michaela

  5. Love your work - glad you had a fascinating adventure with the found book.

  6. Mae,
    I recently discovered your art and your blog, and I am smitten. I love how you write about your process. It makes me feel inspired. I am also so impressed that you sent the book back to its home. My son is a sailor on a tall ship and he travels the world. As a gift, I made a tiny, waterproof recipe book for him to cook from. I think it took me about 70 hours to write out all of those recipes, 56 in total. We included our home address. I hope that if his book is lost, that it would be found and sent back to us. Thanks for sharing so much and for the inspiration!