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Archive for June, 2019

Nubble Lighhouse

As the crow flies Maine has over two hundred miles of coastline. However, if one adds up all the coastline as it actually is then the result would be approximately 3, 478 miles of coastline and that is not including the many, many islands of Maine. Because of all these rugged and rocky shorelines and the multitude of islands featuring the same rocky outcrops, many lighthouse were constructed to help aid in the shipping travel. There are almost seventy lighthouses situated at various areas of Maine to help the wayfaring stranger along.

We saw a lot of lighthouse, but I don’t know many by name or even remember all their locations.  Two of them are the Nubble and Portland Lighthouses.  these two are, probably, the most photographed and painted lighthouses of Maine. they are readily easily  to find and get close to paint of photograph.

Portland Lighthouse

The Nubble Lighthouse, or the Cape Neddick Lighthouse, was began in 1879 and is seventy-two feet high. The Portland Lighthouse is forty-one feet tall and was erected in 1790. At the Portland site names were painted on a rock of those who perished on site.

 

 

 

At the shoreline at the Portland Lighthouse  one can see and hear the mighty waves crashing over and among the rocky outcrops. The noise is, soemhow, soothing to listen to.

A very common flower is visible most everywhere. the attractive flower is the Rugosa Rose. However, this specie is a non-native plant to Maine and is consider invasive.

Rugosa Rose

 

We visited other coastlines to see what things of interest were available. the answer..LOTS!  Among the rocks were areas of standing water. I noticed dense black mussels of some specie. Removing one to study was difficult for the darkened mass was anchored tight together. Barnacles were common throughout Maine bays and ports. They could be spotted on rocks, piers, boats and about everywhere.

The black mussels

One site was a good one… a Harbor Seal. We actually saw them at various areas, but the first one shown in this picture was a special find to photograph.

Harbor Seal

Seaweeds were common on the rocks. High tide would have seaweed drift and settle on rocks.

Seaweed

I noticed hundreds of small fish swimming in the clear water. They may have been Mackerel since that fish is common to the area.

Lots of fish

Various Mollusk shells are scattered along the beaches.

 

 

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Acting silly!

There is no denying the importance of the lobster in the State of Maine. Lobsters are everywhere! They even had a lobster ice cream. Lobster images appear on every restaurant. Tourist areas see many lobster images on clothing, mugs, glasses, stationary………… everywhere!

Yes, the infinity of the Atlantic Ocean.

At Perkins Cove we embarked on a lobster boat to learn about lobsters and lobster fishing.                                                          

In 2018 there were 120 million pounds of lobsters harvested. That is a lot of lobsters! the largest lobster on record was a forty-nine pound beauty. This one was three and a half feet in length. I would like to see that one personally.

In those years of the past, Indians would gather lobsters to eat whenever they could use the tides to their advantage to find them. Years later, the lobsters were considered food to give to servants or prisoners.  they would use them as fertilizer as well. Hmmm…something drastically changed for the lobster became a status symbol of the elitists and today lobster is relished by all.

We took part in a boat with a guide and lobster fishermen.  We set off to check his traps and harvest some lobsters. The bays are inundated with buoys making individual lobster traps. each fisherman has a unique paint job on his buoys to identify his traps.

This day was windy and I must say I was concerned with the swales and waves as we ventured out to check the traps. My concern was for what might happen to me as many know I do have issues with vertigo. Would the movements on the waves stir anything up? I hoped not.

This trip the fisherman headed out along the coastline and eventually went out a little into the Atlantic Ocean. I found my thoughts interesting as I looked out at the ocean’s horizon thinking of nothing but water until we reached the old world. Mind-boggling!

Gulls, Eider Ducks and Cormorants were scattered about the air and waves. Some gulls actually landed on the boat hoping for a morsel of leftovers from the fisherman.

The fisherman caught a few lobsters and crabs and checked them for legality. Lobster laws insist on they be of a certain length to be harvestable. Females with eggs are to be returned to the sea.                                                                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black-backed Gull on lobster traps.

 

 

Female Eider Duck

 

 

 

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Harbor Seals

From Bailey Island in Maine we boarded a boat for an educational cruise in Casco bay. This trip would move along among the many islands of the bay.  Some islands have summer homes on them reachable only via boats, most often a ferry boat. Such islands are privately owned and the individual home is the only home per island. Such wealth is abundant around the islands and coastal properties. Million dollar summer homes are lived  in such areas only in the summer. Many celebrities have such homes for the summer.

Eagle Nest

Some interesting history abounds among the bay islands of Casco Bay. Lots of history stems from the World war two era. There were actually artillery

Osprey and Nest

batteries  in place to protect from any German invasion plans. Ships were sunk in some areas purposely in an attempt to keep German boats and submarines from entering the bay area. Submarine netting was erected in the bay, as well. Bailey Island actually had a radar system in place although it was camouflaged to avoid detection.

Another fort named Fort Gorges still stands on an island. This fort was erected in the 1858-1864 era. The builders added tons of ground over the fort to thwart any chance of mortar shells damaging the roof. Today the roof is covered with vegetation.

Many species of wildlife were viewed along this route. We saw Bald Eagles and their nest. Ospreys and their nests were, also, observed. Cormarants, many gulls, Eider Ducks, Harbor Seals, Terns were visible throughout the cruise event.

We docked in Portland, Maine.

 

 

 

 

Male Eider Duck

 

 

 

Horseshoe Crab (Deceased)

 

Cormarant

 

No idea??

 

Black-backed Gull. These gulls look like bald eagles at a quick glance.

 

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Sunrise at Belfast

NOTE: The sunrise photo had me feeling slight disappointment. I arose at 4:30 and quickly headed the two hundred yards to the shoreline to watch the sunrise. However, the tide was high and I just couldn’t go the next hundred or more yards needed to actually witness the sun for the rising occurred behind the land shown on the left. I did, however, capture some color. The last time I was at this site I stood, actually, in the area to the right of the photo and could easily see the sun.

Penobscot Bridge

The Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory is a bridge to cross the Penobscot River. The structure is one of uniqueness indeed. Two granite-made pillars reaching way into the air were constructed using a huge suspension system to stabilize it all. The observatory is 420 feet high consisting of 42 stories. The top has a 360 degree view covering a 100 miles. One can see the distant Cadillac Mountain of Acadia national park. This is the tallest occupied structure in Maine. Laurie and I were greatly impressed with the view.

The granite used to construct the towers came from the local Mount Waldo area of Maine. The Washington Monument utilized this same source of material for its building.

In earlier times, many Algonquin-speaking Indians lived in the area including the Penobscot Indians. hence the name. They traded furs to the colonials. Today, they still live in the area forming the Wabanaki Confederation.

The legendary Fort Knox is still easily observed from the tower. Visitors may walk through the fort. the fort was built from 1844 through 1846. The  purpose of the fort was to protect communities of Maine. During, bith, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, the British came up from Penobscot Bay and attacked successfully thus seizing control of the area. However, upon the Civil war and Spanish-American wars no attacks were launched in this area although the fort was prepared during both conflicts.

Fort Know was built from the same granite supplies as mentioned earlier.

Fort Knox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking towards Penobscot Bay

 

Penobscot River

 

Everywhere you look the beautiful sight of primarily blue, pinkish and white Lupines are blooming.  Interestingly, the flowers is not native to Maine.

Lupine

 

Lupine-Closeup

 

 

 

 

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The Acadia National park is a beautiful area to observe. The park consists of about 49,075 acres of rugged rocky coastlines, woodlands, wetlands, lakes and ponds. Words can not describe the beauty. For someone to arrive at this park, which is actually an island called Mount Desert Island, one needs to cross one bridge or use a boat. I suppose helicopter would work too if permitted.

  The island was named in the far off years as Sieur de Monts National Park and changed to Lafayette National Park in 1919. The name of Acadia  National Park came to reality in 1929. The original inhabitants were various Algonquin Indian tribes. They would canoe to the island to trap furs for trades.

Some of the highlights on the island are: the 1530 foot Cadillac Mountain; Thunder Hole; Jordan Pond and Eagle Lake. (Cadillac Mountain was mentioned in the previous entry.) Unfortunately, the conditions were not correct to see the power of the crashing waters at Thunder Hole.  The water becomes intense enough that people have been washed out to sea. Bar Harbor is northeast of the park and can be viewed from Cadillac Mountain.

A massive fire in 1947 burned over 10, 000 acres of the island including many Bar Harbor area homes. The area had recovered nicely.

Unfortunately, Acadia national park was very crowed on this trip. the last time we visited the crowd was not nearly as an impact.

Jordan Pond

 

Beaver lodge

 

 

View from Cadillac Mountain

 

 

Wetlands

 

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View from Cadillac Mountain.

Laurie and I just returned from a trip to Maine. We visited a number of sites from mountains to bays and harbors. We were on three cruises along Maine’s rugged coastline and ventured a little out into the Atlantic Ocean. We spent time on lobster boats watching the lobster fishermen gather and check his lobster traps.

 This entry details some of the Acadia National Park. More specifically this entry will deal with Cadillac Mountain.

Bar Harbor

Cadillac Mountain is a 1,530 foot high mountain located within the Acadia National Park. This mountain was formally known as Green Mountain, but later received the name from a French explorer named, well just take my word, his name had “Cadillac” in it. During the early tears of colonization of around 1534-1763 this area was part of New France.

The surface of the mountain consist primarily of a pinkish granite. The granite is everywhere. Vegetation is sparse, but spruce tees dominate the tree species.

The view from the mountain is breathtaking indeed. Many of Maines’ local islands are viewed form the top. Once one looks in another direction the infinitieth of the Atlantic Ocean is obvious. That view is eerie in one way since the next land mass to be found is thousands of miles away. I couldn’t help wondering how these men of exploration managed to move along those many miles in the boats of their times. remarkably brave men they were!

Far off the community of Bar Harbor is made known along the coast. Later, I ate a nice lobster in the community.

Low tide at Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor views are beautiful with the many boats and lobster boats either anchored or moving along. Tourism is the primary income of the community. Tourism is seasonal since many leave the area as winter approaches with closed shops.

The area is grandeur  as the million dollar summer homes are viewed. These homes are called cottages, but they are usually huge as what I would call mansions. The winters along Maine’s coast become very harsh. Oceanfront properties sell starting into the upper six figure range. Many of these  people are politicians, celebrities and other people of much wealth.

The winds on the peak were very strong. I had prepared with taking coats with me in case of such weather events. Amusingly, several Ravens were enjoying the winds. the black birds would appear to be stationary in flight. At times they came as close as thirty yards to me.

 

 

 

My lobster

 

 

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A Finished Saw

 

 

Detail of the saw.

A friend from Kentucky recently requested for me to paint on a saw blade. His wish was for a couple of turkeys with Dogwood blossoms and Trilliums. With the rainy weather I quickly began to work on the saw.

I met John H. through a mutual friend, Randy Tost. Randy, unfortunately, passed away and John has not been to Pennsylvania since the funeral. I am thankful for the short time we had together.

 

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