I somehow slept in and totally missed the early bird specials today, but still by midmorning I found my way to the store of my choice.
It had been two years since I’d stepped over the threshold into the MDT shop and I’d forgotten what great selections it had to offer. While the last time I approached from the Fryeburg Information Center near the Maine/NH border, today I decided to use the back door and entered by the Eastern Slopes Airport.
Beginning along the main aisle, I was delighted with the display before me. And lack of customers. Oh, I passed several groups, some in a hurry as they ran, others chatting amiably with friends or relatives, but all quite friendly and courteous. Even dogs were well behaved and therefore welcome.
Immediately I had decisions to make. Which shade did I want?
And would I prefer a different style or shape?
Had I thought about brown and bristly?
Or did I like salmon and rounded?
Though I preferred the salmon color of the white oak, I did like how the red oak leaves dangled in hopes of being plucked by a customer. And if not a customer, then perhaps the wind.
In aisle five I found some cattails ready to explode into the future.
Their tiny, parachuted seeds reminded me of sparklers on the Fourth of July, but because today is the day after Thanksgiving, I suspected these fireworks were intended for New Year’s Eve.
It seemed that everywhere I looked, the store was decked out with hues of silver and . . .
And while admiring the golden decorations, I discovered I wasn’t the only one looking. A brown lacewing had heard there were deep discounts to be had.
As one should when one is spending an exorbitant amount of time (and perhaps money, though in this case no cash or credit was part of the deal), rehydrating is a good thing and the birch had been tapped for just that purpose. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed the unique taste of a birch beer, but thanks to a sapsucker it was on the menu at the snack bar.
And what better place to sit and sip, than on a bench in aisle 6.
Refreshed, I was again ready to shop till I dropped. Everywhere I looked, the Christmas decorations impressed me.
The season’s colors enhanced the merchandise.
And all ornaments were handsome in their own way.
As is always part of my shopping adventure, I didn’t know what I was looking for when I entered the store. But as soon as I saw this display, I knew I had to have it.
Its label was lengthy–tamarack, larch, hackmatack. Call it what you want, it’s our only deciduous conifer for it looses its needles in the winter. But first, the needles turn from green to gold and announce their presence.
Also in abundance as this shop–pitch pines. It’s so easy to confuse a pitch pine with a red pine, but a few identifying tips help. The unique thing about this tree is that not only do the stiff, dark yellow-green needles grow on the branches, but they also grow on the trunk. If you spy a tree that you think may be a red pine, scan upward and if you see green needles along the trunk, then you’ve discovered a pitch pine.
The name, pitch, refers to the high amount of resin within this tree.
It’s the needles of pitch pine that also add to its identification for they grow in bundles of three, like a pitchfork’s tines.
As for their cones, you can barely see the stalk because they tend to be clustered together, but their key feature is the rigid prickle atop each scale tip.
I was nearly at my turn-around point of three miles when I realized I was standing beside a row of doorbuster deals.
I couldn’t resist feeling the scale-like leaves of the northern white cedar. I had to have this item.
I did find one thing I decided to leave on the shelf–for the spines of the black locust would have pricked my fingers, I’m sure.
Apparently, others did purchase this, for only one fruit pod remained.
At last, I was on my way back up the main aisle with hopes to make a bee-line out, but had a feeling something around the bend would stop me in my tracks.
Sure enough–the pokeberry display was both geometric . . .
and artistic in a dramatic sort of way.
As I continued on, I saw and heard birds flitting about and thought about the fact that I need to visit this shop more often, particularly in the spring and summer for the various habitats made me think that birding would be spectacular. And then I spied a nest attached to some raspberry bushes. I knew not the species that made it, but hoped some small brown critter might use it as a winter home and so it remained on the shelf.
At last, I’d raided enough aisles. My cart was full to the brim and my brain overwhelmed. I guess I’m not really a “shop-til-you drop” kind of gal. It was time to wind along the trail and end my Black Friday shopping extravaganza.