Greetings from the Harraseeket Inn!  Those of you who responded to last month's trivia question and haven't yet received a response, please re-send your answer.  Our email site crashed shortly after sending out last month's newsletter and it's taken nearly a month of back and forths, including phone calls to India (?) to unravel the reasons why this happened.  Basically, getting bombarded by hundreds of responses to the trivia was the main reason for the spam alert and subsequent bounce back of "mailer demons".  We've set up a new account, hence the new email address for the newsletter.  It's been a long, strange journey into cyberspace and my apologies to those who've been waiting so long for your vouchers.  Thank you for your patience and persistence.  Hopefully, this month will go far more smoothly.

Sunshine! Blue sky! Flowers!
Meanwhile, we're enjoying the most miraculous weekend weather, three whole days in a row of sunshine and warm temperatures after a very cold and rainy spring.  It's positively bedazzling here in Maine with the flowers and trees in full bloom, the songbirds in full voice and all creatures great and small celebrating the belated arrival of Spring (and it's almost summer)!  

 Speaking of small creatures, I spotted a tiny fawn almost hidden in the sun dappled woods on my way to Freeport yesterday, and it brought to mind a book I read as a child, Bambi, by Felix Salten.  This most excellent children's book cemented my dark perceptions that when "MAN is in the forest! " bad things happened to innocent wildlife, and was instrumental in creating absolute havoc in our household when my father was successful in bagging a "Bambi" or "Faline" during hunting season.  

 Bambi was breathed into movie stardom by a Mainer who was a Disney employee living in California back in the 1930's, and who insisted that the title character in Salten's book had to be a white tailed deer, not a roe deer from Austria or a mule deer from out west.  Disney challenged this Mainer to bring a white tailed deer back to California for the studio artists to draw.  Returning to Maine, he spent six weeks in the Maine woods near Katahdin and was instrumental in procuring (somehow) two four month old deer and a host of other wildlife to be transported to California.  He also sketched and photographed many of the authentic woodland settings in the Maine woods for the Disney artists to study, because many of them  didn't know how to draw a deer and had no idea of what a deer's natural habitat looked like. 

His work was essential to the authenticity of the movie Disney was making.  For nine months the Disney artists sat around the two Maine deer, sketching them as they lost their spots and grew up.  Not surprisingly, these deer became very tame, and probably thought humans were the most peculiar creatures on the planet. Over two million drawings were made for the film, and of those, less than half a million were used. The deer were eventually placed in a wildlife park in California to live out their lives, since it was impossible to return such tame animals to the Maine woods, where "MAN was in the Forest" with a gun, not a sketch pad.  
         Disney artists sketching Bambi

 When the time came for the movie's release, Walt Disney wanted the debut to be in Maine as a tribute to the animals and the landscapes portrayed by the movie, but the Maine Department of Fish and Game protested, fearing the film would hurt sales of hunting licenses.  Instead, the film premiered in London and New York City before being shown in Portland Maine and across the country.  In the 1940's, "the Mainer who found Bambi" left the employ of Disney and returned to Maine, where he enjoyed a quieter and more rewarding life whittling, painting and photographing the landscapes, flora and fauna of the state he loved.  He climbed Katahdin when he was 75 and would have done so again at 80 but the black flies were too thick.  He lived until the age of 90, died at his Damariscotta home and left behind an artistic legacy that continues to inspire adults and enchant young children.

***Note: those of you driving in Maine this time of year, be very cautious on our rural roads, especially in the early morning, at dusk and at night.  Moose and deer are everywhere.  I spotted four moose on my trip down state, along with that tiny fawn. Moose are almost impossible to spot at night because their eyes are so much higher than the vehicles headlights and don't reflect the beam.

Recipe of the Month:
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Four cups sliced rhubarb
3 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups sugar
5 TB tapioca
pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients together, line pie pan with pie dough, fill, cover with top crust  Pinch edges together and bake for one hour until bubbly and done!  Simple and delicious.

Upcoming Events and Special Offers:

***Book your reservation direct with us either on our website or over the phone (1-800-342-6423) and receive afternoon tea and full buffet breakfast free of charge, a $60. value for two!  We have free on-site parking.
* Girlfriends Getaway Weekend  June 21-23, with "Booty at the Boatyard"!  Check out the schedule of events and book one one of our packages for this fun-filled and very popular Freeport weekend!
*LLBean's  Summer in the Park  kicks off with their first Free Concert on July 4th.  War and Treaty takes the stage at 7:30 pm followed by fireworks at 9 pm.  Events begin in the morning and continue throughout the day.  Check out their schedule of summer offerings that include daily yoga, movies and activities for adults and kids alike, all free!
* Take it outdoors with LLBean's  LLBean Outdoor Discovery Schools   Learn to fly fish or kayak and get out in nature, which really is the most relaxing therapy for our fast paced chaotic world.

* Visit Freeport   Sales and fun happenings in town! Everything "Freeport" in one handy website. This is one web site you'll want to check out frequently in this "season of sales".

*Wolfe's Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment This is such a great place to visit. Check out these farm and garden workshops and dig into the gardening season.  It's not too late to get started.  Would your child like to go to farm camp? Check it out!

And now for June's Trivia question, an easy one this month: You've probably already guessed it was going to have something to do with "the Mainer who found Bambi" and you're right.  What was this artist's name? All correct answers win a voucher worth $5. toward food or lodging on your next visit.  One voucher per household, please. You may redeem up to 12 vouchers, a $60. value (unless it's during Double Voucher Days), at one time, preferably in the year they were won. Please be patient with my replies to your answers, there are several hundred each month. (Hopefully the site won't crash this time around.) To respond to the trivia just hit "reply" to this newsletter.

Good luck and we hope to see you soon!
Warm regards,
Penny Gray
The Gray family