The full Sturgeon Moon of August hovering over Islesboro on Saturday night looked like something worth believing in; it was closest to the earth in its orbit and was pulling the tides higher and lower than usual. I thought, not for the first time, that given the 80 percent salt water in our veins, we must surely feel that gravitational tug. Scientists say no, according to Scientific American; a mosquito biting us has more gravitational effect. Still, the moon exerts wonder. I wasn’t the only one who stopped to watch it rise at Lincolnville Beach.

For an unclear reason — lunar lunacy, perhaps —  I started thinking about fish crows. A young one is practicing croaky voice lessons in a Norway maple outside the Free Press window, sounding like an off-key gull on continuous playback. My co-worker Wendell says the youngster is beginning to sound more crowy and less fishy as it grows up.

The crow got me thinking about Maynard Clemons. We were in the 2000 Penobscot Bay Stewards class together, along with Barb and Steve Melchiskey. What a time we had, poking around tide pools and vernal pools as volunteer biological technicians, listening to Maynard’s funny stories about selling advertising for lingerie in New York while getting water in our waders and dropping data sheets in wetlands.

During the decade since, I missed Maynard in the modern lunacy of busyness and just discovered he died  in early August. What incredible luck for me that every time a crow calls or the moon rises orange, he will be handy by, getting ready to make me laugh.

Christine Parrish suggests