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Thread: Travel pictures.

  1. Top | #131
    Member Tharmas's Avatar
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    Me too, crazyfingers. Post away!

  2. Top | #132
    Senior Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    Down East Maine

    I mentioned above that travel for some is almost always to where someone else calls home.

    For me the coast of Maine is both travel and my second home. Our family lives in Massachusetts but we spend nearly all of my vacation time going to the family homestead in Maine, about a 5 and half hour drive.



    Specifically on the map above we go to the region around Acadia National Park which is part of what's called "Down East" Maine. The region is roughly the eastern half of coastal Maine starting at the Penobscot River (Belfast) including Penobscot Bay and goes east to the Canadian border. We typically stay within the area pictured on the map between Belfast and just east of Winter Harbor.

    Within that we tend to mainly spend our time around Frenchman Bay which on the map above includes Bar Harbor on the west and Winter Harbor on the east. Our house is on the northern part of Frenchman May close to the town of Sullivan.

    Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor are part of Mount Desert Island (MDI). The largest section of Acadia National Part takes up about half of MDI.

    Acadia National Park also includes the section of the peninsula just south of Winter Harbor on the first map. It's called the Schoodic Peninsula and so is the Schoodic Section of Acadia National Park.




    Only one road connects Mount Desert Island to the mainland at Trenton. On the second map, Acadia National Park is shaded green.

    Our house is a hand-me-down. My wife and her sister inherited it from their mother. Their mother lived here for part of her youth and there are many cousins and uncles who live nearby. My wife has been going there for vacation time since he was a kid.

    I started going there around 1991 and we haven't missed spending summer vacation there since. So for almost 30 years this is where we have gone for vacation.

    The house really started out as a homestead. The oldest dated photo we have is pictured below. On the back of the photo it says. "Just returned from Lobstering. Sept. 3, 1909" My wife tells me that the house was about 30 years old when the photo was taken which suggests that it was build around the 1880's. That makes it close to 140-150 years old.



    Another old photo below shows another home on the far side and open field. I don't know the date of this photo. That house and the field are gone now. Replaced by forest.



    Based on the look of the car, I'd guess that the photo below was taken around the 1930s or 1940s.



    My first visit was in 1991 and the house had deteriorated quite a lot. No one had been living there full time for a good 30 years. My wife, her brothers and sisters and parents only visited in the summer. The next two photos show it in 1991. Notice that on my first visit I was so shocked at the condition of the place that I actually slept in my tent outside. The barn was also sinking into the ground.



    By 2000 my wife's mother signed over ownership of the house jointly between my wife and her sister. And she provided some money to have the house restored.

    In 2002 the house was lifted up and put to the side. The house had no foundation. It was resting on a pile of red bricks and was sinking into the ground. We had a slab laid down and a basement put in the back were we would build an addition. The house was put on the slab and work was started on the addition in the back. In the meantime, the old barn was taken down and parts of the old barn were used to build a new barn. See photo below



    The photo below is of the house since 2009. The new barn was built using as much wood as possible of the old barn. An addition was put on the back of the house and the old house had a new roof and deck put on. Altogether I have no idea what it cost. I don't know if I want to know how much I paid for this but I know that my wife's mother has funded the majority of the restoration.



    Now a reasonable person might ask "Why?". Well the first answer is the photo below. From the deck of the house, this is what one sees. The mountains on the far end of the bay are Acadia National Park. Mt. Dorr, Mt. Cadillac, Mt's Penobscot and Sargent.

    A short walk down the field and down the ledge and much of Frenchman Bay opens up along with all the things one finds walking the shoreline. And there is the clean crisp and cool ocean air, night skies that one can see the milky way and millions of stars, all of the outdoor activities afforded by Acadia National Park and areas next door. Quiet! Peaceful and fun. And for my wife, an army of cousins and Aunts and Uncles. Ber sister is in the Bangor vicinity about an hour north.



    So this post sort of sets the stage. The next post which will follow pretty quickly will be "Home on Frenchman Bay". Then sifting though at least 70,000 photos from 2003 to the present, I've tentatively planned a post on the subjects listed below. Should people be interested.


    • Home on Frenchman Bay



    And in no particular order posts on:

    • The Town Harbor
    • The Sand Beach vicinity of Acadia
    • Rocky Shores of MDI
    • The Quiet Side of MDI
    • Schoodic Peninsula
    • Lighthouses
    • Petit Manan Wildlife refuge
    • Biking the Carriage Roads
    • Going Inland
    • Mountains
    • Lakes
    • Wildflowers
    • The Beautiful Little Things
    • Birds of Maine
    • Other Wildlife
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    Last edited by crazyfingers; 08-07-2019 at 09:10 PM. Reason: tpyos

  3. Top | #133
    Senior Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    Home on Frenchman Bay

    Our little section of Frenchman Bay



    Like any house by the shore, there will be a nice though limited view of close by land outcroppings and whatever is across the bay. There are sailboats owned by the rich people at anchor in most protected areas like the area here at the field across from the homestead. The rich people tends to have wharfs so that they can tie their dingy to the ward and access then at low tide.



    There is almost always something going on on the water. This this case this morning I saw two fishing boats come out pulling a very long net. I don't know for sure what they were doing but I think that they released the net and let it string out to full length and then reeled it in to store properly or to have it ready to use on the open sea. We don't see fishing boats actually fishing in this area. It's too shallow and the whole bay is full of lobster buoy to snag on. I don't know what the white fishing boat was doing but they were coordinating whatever it was.

    More frequently we see the lobster boats out there. The lobster boats run around the bay all day long. If it's high tide they come in very close. I'm not so keen on high tides in the early morning. From my bedroom in front to the top floor of the house they can be very loud. Sometimes the lobster men drive down the road to the harbor as soon as it just starts to get light and in July that can be around 4:30am.

    Later in the day, on nice days, sailboats will start to appear out there. Frenchman Bay is pretty protected from the large waves of the open ocean. But plenty of wind for sailboats large and small.



    Go down to the end of the field and a wider view opens up. In this case at low tide the gravel shore extends quite a ways out. It's close to sunset. Lots of critters can be found at low tide. Starfish, sea urchins, hermit crabs, some really big, all hang out just below the low tide mark. There are all kinds of crabs in the seaweed. My kids even once caught a lobster by hand by wading out into the low tide waters. Low tide just before sunset is a great time to go out onto the shore. The gulls are still about. At low tide they will be hunting for dinner.

    At low time it's common to see a gull come in with as shellfish in it's beak. It will fly up, hover, and then drop it's catch onto the rocks until it breaks open. Then it will feed.

    At close to sunset the Osprey are also out. They fly in circles progressively moving across the water. When they see a fish close to the surface they will hover a moment and then plunge into the water. With any luck they will then flap madly carrying a fish, always head first, in their talons.

    Sunset is also when the other sea birds come home. The great blue herons will head home following the coastline to wherever their nests are high in the trees. The bald eagles also come home. There is a bald eagle nest somewhere close to our hose. I see then flying across the water and then they head into the woods in back of the house.

    And finally the crows come home. Crows travel in family groups and all want to get home to their common tree before it gets dark.

    Sunset is a great time to be down a low tide. The only bad thing is that the mosquito also start to make their ways out of the woods and come out down by the water. Usually the breeze will have died down and at some point it will be time for me to go back to the house.



    A high tide view looking to the left. Bald eagles seem to like to sit in those trees by the shore.



    A low tide view looking right down the shore. A storm had gone by and the sun was starting to peek out of the clouds before sunset.



    Along the shore to the right the lupines provide not just a pretty sight but also protection against soil erosion from storms. The lupines are popular with all kinds of butterflies. The trees are popular with goldfinches and especially song sparrows. Song sparrows are particularly populous along this stretch of shore.



    Within the protected shores of the inner bay, it's frequently calm enough to take out the canoe. Canoeing and especially kayaking is very popular. There will also be people paddle boarding usually in the morning when it's most likely to be calm. In this case this morning we had taken the canoe out and ventured a few miles down to the right. Great and different views of the mountains seen from a different location. One can feel terribly small looking across that bay. This little beach is made mainly out of crushed seashells, not sand.




    There are many small islands to explore. At high tide many appear to be separate islands but at low tide it's clear that they are all part of the same island formation. Shallow waters connect these small islands to each other and the shallow water reveals sand and broken shells that make the water lighter and easy to look down into. When we approach these islands we try to do it carefully. We've frequently seen bald eagles roosting on the larger ones that support trees. Getting onto the islands will be lots of sea shells not picked up the beachcombers and there will be shells well above the high water mark that gulls have dropped down to break open and eat.



    Ocean birds frequently hang about the shallow waters just off shore. Not just gulls that float on the water or get up on a rock. I've taken some of my rarest photos of surface divers such as various grebes, scoters, scoups from the shore here.



    Come nightfall, all does not go quiet. Instead what I hear are different things. The gulls all roosting on rocks out in the bay seem louder. With a calm water the sounds really travel. I hear the harbor seals bellowing at each other on the rocks. Loons make their long prehistoric calls. And the various navigation buoy bells I don't hear during the day ring clearly across the calm night water. Nighttime at the shore of the bay is all about the sounds, not the sights.


    Next Post will be the Town Harbor. The harbor us used for both pleasure boats and working boats.
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  4. Top | #134
    Senior Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    The Town Harbor

    The Town Harbor (Post 1 of 2 Harbor)

    I think that we are very lucky that the town has a great little harbor. Not to small and not too big. It’s about 2 miles from the house and we go there a lot.
    The harbor is protected from the larger waves of the bay by two islands. The main entrance to the harbor is between the two islands where the water remains deep enough at low tide.
    At high tide boats can also enter the harbor either left or right from the docks between either island and the mainland.
    On many days the harbor is just a beautiful sight. The most famous harbor in the area, Bar Harbor, is almost viewable between the two islands. It’s behind the island on the left. For me Bar Harbor is just to crowded and full of tourists in the summer. I think that in the almost 30 years that I’ve been coming to Maine in the summer I’ve actually ventured into Bar Harbor in the summer once or twice at most. We go to Maine for the piece and quiet. Not the crowds. The town harbor is just right. Small enough to be peaceful but big enough to see interesting things go on.


    Looking left from the docks, this photo is taken at low tide. At low tide rock outcroppings and sea bottom entirely block the way in. Between tides the local fishermen know when and how to navigate through but anyone who is not familiar with the details of the harbor bottom is best advised to use the main entrance.



    Fog is a frequent visitor to coastal Maine. Fog can inundate the immediate coast but it can be sunny just a mile from the shore. In this case the harbor is in the fog. I don’t know if the open bay is sunny or fogged int too. It can go either way.



    In any case, fog makes for interesting photos.


    I enjoy walking down to the shore to the right by the boat landing or along the road. At high tide the water can reach the rock blocks that line the shore of the road. This photo is on the low side of tide but it can get lower. Walking down there is not mud, mostly, but natural gravel. Gravel, as with the shore by the house, pretty much lines any shoreline that’s not steep rocks. Shells, crabs, all interesting critters can be found along the shore. Or along the road I like to photograph the wildflowers or the birds that flip around. Overhead there is the frequent gull. But bald eagles’ nest on the islands that protect the harbor so the harbor is a great place to see bald eagles.


    During the summer it’s full of both pleasure boats and working boats. It just happens that from the far side along the road. I probably have about 500 photos of this particular spot at high tide and low. T the moment it’s high tide. I love the salt water grasses that grow here and elsewhere in the intra-tidal zone.

    From this spot I can also see the vicinity of Bar Harbor across the bay. I believe that the darker blue blob in front of the mountains is Bar Island which gives Bar Harbor its name. At low tide a sandbar connects the island to the harbor. If there was a cruise ship at Bar Harbor, I would typically be able to see it from here. Today there were no cruise ships.
    The main mountain on the left I believe is Mt. Champlain. The two on the right are Dorr and Cadillac.


    This spot is also a nice location to look back at the docks. When the kids come down to crab or fish, I almost always take a walk along the shore or road to this spot.


    Speaking of crabbing, for years the kids loved to fish for crabs off the dock. These are invasive green crabs. They infest the whole area and biologists are trying to figure out what can be done about it. These crabs do not belong here and they have been impacting the local shellfish population. While a full-grown mussel is safe from one of these green crabs the small ones are not. Maine’s coastal shellfish population is at risk from these crabs and my observation is that they are very aggressive next to the local Jonah crabs. I think that the indigenous crabs are also at risk.


    As I mentioned, the harbor is not too big and not too small. Frequently something interesting is going on. In the photo below a lobster boat is being taken from the harbor. I don’t know if it’s being removed for repairs or for the season. Right now, the lobster market is stinking. Trump’s trade war with China is partly to do with it. Competition with the Canadian lobster industry does too. In any case, it’s interesting to watch a relatively large boat being loaded for travel. The truck backs the trailer well into the water and the boat rides right in and onto the trailer. Once in place on the trailer the truck will pull the boat up and then it will be secured for travel.


    In this photo a more typical scene. The way lobster fishing works is that they will come down to the boat ramp with a small motor boat to go out to the lobster boat. When lobstering is done for the day they put the lobster catch into the small motor boat and then someone with the trailer and the pickup will drive the trailer into the water. The boat is run onto the trailer and off they go with the lobsters still in the smaller boat. Off to sell the catch at the lobster pound.

    In this particular scene there had been a recent seaweed invasion. I don’t know the science of it but it’s pretty common for huge floating blobs of seaweed to come floating to shore. When a blob comes to shore the shore will be covered with seaweed until it finally dries up and slowly dissipates. In this case, the giant blob of seaweed must have come ashore on the last high tide. While the high tide doesn’t reach the road, an earlier pickup must have dragged a pile onto the road. It’s natural but can be very stinky as the seaweed decays.



    Post 2 of the Harbor to follow shortly
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    Senior Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    The Town Harbor Post 2

    It’s also common for a lobster boat to be left on the shore at high tide. Usually the boat needs some simple maintenance or cleaning. As the tide goes out the boat is high and dry for easy access. The owner has about 8 hours to do what needs doing before the tide comes in and floats the boat again.



    Sometimes even more interesting things go on. In this case a boat had sunk overnight. As we were told the owner of this boat that’s being raised had only just purchased it the day before. I don’t recall what happened to make the boat sink. The harbor is very well protected from most storms and I don’t even recall there being a storm the night before. But in the morning his boat has sunk and so a floating crane was hired to raise it. Word is that no gas escaped from the engine and so environmentally there was no issue. But the owner wanted his boat back and it would have been a navigation hazard. So, for around an hour as the kids fished off the docks, I watched them get the sunken boat out of the water and onto the crane boat. It was put where the orange floats are in this photo and then off to the shipyard. There is a small shipyard on the other side of town.



    Sometimes there is nothing really going on. Though when it’s quiet the gulls will hang out anywhere. I this case a gull is sitting on a pile or ropes on a lobster boat.



    And sometimes you can see that even less is going on. It looks like the owner of this dingy tied to the dock has not been out for a good amount of time. Come fall it will need to be empties and taken away as they remove the floating section of the dock for the winter.



    Anyone hanging down at the harbor will see the occasional lobster boat come or go. In this case one of my favorite boats is coming into the harbor. It looks like it was taking in some traps as they are piled on the stern. Lobster fishing is regulated and each licensed fisherman has his own color patter for his buoys. This one is green and red. I don’t know if it’s the law or just tradition but the boats usually have one buoy on top of the house like a flag.



    Sometimes guys just go out on their boats to putter. With my zoom camera here is a guy doing some boat cleaning.



    Not everything is lobster boats or sailboats. There are some interesting other boats in the harbor. Actually, this boat is anchored outside the harbor on the left side. Some larger boats seem to anchor there, also protected by a third island to the left. I don’t know what kind of boat this is but it looks like some kind of fishing boat.



    The harbor is a great place to go for sunset. This is a view looking right from the dock though the right-side inlet to the harbor that’s OK to pass at high tide but impossible at low tide. It’s this time of day that sounds become more prominent than sights, besides the sunset. Dings from pully’s banging against sailboat masts are clear. You can again hear the buoy bells dinging out in the open bay.



    After dark a boat may still finally arrive in the harbor all lit up. This boat came in at pitch dark. Knowing the harbor so well, it quickly found its anchorage, the lights stayed on for about 10 minutes after the engine was cut and then all would go dark and a small boat came in to the boat came and was driven off by a pickup.



    It’s also in the evening that locals frequently come out on the dock to fish. There is something about this harbor and the tides that schools of mackerel come swilling by the dock in bunches. People will be pulling in mackerel 3 or 5 fish on one line and fill up their buckets to take home to fry. I’m told that mackerel are among the easiest fish to eat because they don’t need to be scaled. But they are not that big. A dinner for 4 people may require 20 fish. But when they are schooling that may only take 20 minutes to catch.
    I’m told that as the night goes on and when the floodlights on the docks come on automatically the squid will school by and make flashes of reflected light for anyone looking down from the pier. And that’s when the Porpoise also come in close to the pier. Locals tell me that 10 porpoises at a time maybe swilling around and under the pier.

    And finally, when no one is left to watch, the harbor seals will come along, get up on the floating docks and snooze or bellow at each other. As I mentioned, I can hear the seals on the rocks off shore from the house at night. I expect that the harbor may also get loud with seal bellows.



    Next Post will probably be about Acadia National Park and Park Loop Road around Sand Beach area.
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    Senior Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    Sand Beach and Great Head

    The Sand Beach area of Acadia National Park is on Park Loop Road which on the map of MDA I provided in my first post is on the southeast side of the island. It’s just a bit south of Bar Harbor.

    One would usually access this area at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center road and wind though the park to the park pass checkpoint. There are other access points but all must pass the park pass checkpoint.

    We like to start at Hulls cove because the winding park loop road goes by small ponds and also along ridge lines with a view of Frenchman Bay. It also goes by the Precipice Trail for Mt. Champlain. This trail is often closed in the spring to mid-summer as it’s a breeding area for peregrine falcons.

    Sand Beach is a cove that sits between the rest of Park Loop Road and a peninsula on the east called Great Head.

    Sand Beach actually isn’t sand at all. Since the last glacial period melted sand beach has been built up over the thousands of years by sea shells smashed and crushed on the shore. Close inspection of the “sand” reveals the crushed seashells.

    Few people actually swim at Sand Beach. Mostly people make sand castles or venture into the water just enough to experience the waves crashing in on a good day. The water temperature in the summer hardly reaches 55 degrees so those who do enter don’t usually stay in very long.

    In this photo Park Loop Road section called Ocean Drive winds along the rocky coast.


    But for now, the vicinity of the beach is particularly pretty and interesting if you look back.

    Behind Sand Beach is the lagoon. This lagoon gets fresh water coming down from streams off the mountains in the background and salt water which can flood the lagoon at high tide. So, the lagoon is brackish water.

    Where the lagoon meets the ocean is always changing. Each year to will go down to the beach just to see how the sand has moved. In the photo above water from the waves is flowing back into the lagoon. At other times the water from the lagoon will flow into the sea.

    Behind the lagoon the most prominent feature is that small mountain called the Beehive. It’s a pretty difficult climb up the face of the Beehive and in many places, there are steel rungs that have been place to allow “safe” passage up the face. Fortunately, there are other ways up the beehive including hiking around it and going up the back side.



    But as I mentioned, that connection from the lagoon and the ocean is always changing. In this photo below the water has cut a deep stream though the sand and is revealing the rocks that live under the sand.

    But every winter this all gets rearranged again.


    There are grassy dunes between the beach and the lagoon and those areas are off limits due to the fragile nature of the dunes. But in this photo, it’s possible to see not just the Beehive but also Mt. Champlain to the north.

    One of my favorite hikes is to start just south of the beehive and climb up to what’s called the Bowl. The bowl is a sizable pond a good several hundred feet above the ocean and is locked in by the beehive on one side and Mt. Champlain on the other. It’s a popular place for some people to take a nice swim.


    From the top of the Beehive there are great views of the beach and the whole area. This photo below shows the beach, the lagoon in back and the western side of Great Head which is a peninsula that forms the eastern side of Sand beach. Also, in the top right of the photo there is a partial view of a small rock island called Old Soaker. I guess it’s called Old Soaker because it gets soaked. But there are usually a ton of gulls and cormorants hanging out there.


    Great Head is a fun short hike. Accessing it from the far side of sand beach one quickly goes up the rocky slope to see great views again of Sand Beach and the area behind. This photo that I took in the fall also shows the beehive and the northern end of Mt. Gorham which follows along Ocean Drive giving nice views from that area.


    The Great Head Trail goes along the ocean side of Great head where one can go out of on the rocks and look down at the ocean crashing into them. Most of the trail is likely around 50 feet above sea level butt there are places where one can climb down to the ocean but be aware of the large waves as it’s easy to get carried off.

    After about a half hour going around the southern tip of Great Head one reaches the summit.

    The summit itself is not too spectacular but walking off to the east various vistas open up.


    About 20 yards from the summit one can look down across the southern section of Frenchman Bay looking east and see the island that holds Egg Light. Egg Light some people call the ugliest lighthouse on the east coast. But on a foggy day it’s horn blasts out and I can even hear it back at the house. Across from Egg Light is the shore of Schoodic Peninsula. Part of Schoodic is private land and the southern tip is part of Acadia. I’ll be posting photos of Schoodic later on in this series.


    Also, a short walk from the summit there are other views looking north along the eastern side of Frenchman Bay. This view below shows the rocky coast as well as several of the islands in the bay. In the very distance at the top right one can see Mt. Schoodic on the mainland. It’s a hike that we do frequently and when I get to that post, I’ll show some pictures of the views one has of Frenchman Bay from the summit of Mt. Schoodic.


    There are several ways to get back to the beach from the summit of Great Head. Several wind back into the woods but we usually go back the way we came as the views are so nice. One never knows when getting back to sand beach if the fog will have at least temporarily come in.



    The next post will continue along the Ocean Drive section of Park Loop road and the rocky coastline.
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  7. Top | #137
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    Nice pictures, great scenery.

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