Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Maine - Birch Point Beach

Just down the road from South Thomaston is a state park with a beach. We had visited it last time we were here and went back for a short stroll on a sunny, cool, windy day.
At this time of year the park is closed, so we parked at the gate
and walked down the road,
through the famous Maine foliage,
to the beach.

We walked along the beach
and through the woods

to sit on the rocks
and contemplate
the views,

listen to the waves
and watch the wildlife.
Walking back I noticed one last wild rose on the bushes that line the beach
and are otherwise dripping with rose hips. They must have been a mass of colour in the late summer.
Walking back up the road we disturbed a snake who thought freezing, like a statue, was a good plan. That's how they get run over!
The rest of the day was spent tidying, cleaning and packing.
Early on in the trip we stopped at a garage sale (who can resist?). Heather got a couple of pottery bowls and a ceramic whale, Judy found a pretty iridescent green milk jug and I bought this table (next years furniture refinishing project). Now I had to figure out how to pack everything around it and still be able to see out the back window.
More proof that I was actually on the trip. Photo by Don.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Maine - Lobster Cove and return from Monhegan Island

We had been warned that there was no heat in the apartments and it was the coldest night so far. We couldn't actually see our breath in the morning but nearly. Very nippy. We packed up, left our luggage in the hallway (feeling it was a pretty crime-free place) and set out for a walk before we had to take the ferry home again, at 12:30.
The village store from my bedroom window.
The lighthouse in the morning light.
The harbour and the island on the other side, many of the boats out lobstering in the morning.
I walked down to "fish beach" , gravelly, sea weedy with a strong smell of sea and fish.
Heather fell in love with the house next door
So many windows and lots of gulls on the roof.
Great place to dry the laundry.
We had watched them harvesting the pumpkins from the community garden the day before.
It had been a good year for garlic and we spoke to a woman who was preparing these to sell at the community market.
We walked through the village and on to a trail to Lobster Cove.
"Painfully Picturesque",
a picture at every turn.
Another house for Heather to fall in love with - "If I win the lottery".
Lobster Cove, from here we looked out across the Atlantic
and at the wreck.
We clambered on the rocks,
checked out the wreck,
watched the lobster fishermen (the metal protection on the side of the boat is were they drag the pots up, throw back the small lobsters, keep the bigger ones, re-bait and drop the pot back over the side)
and enjoyed just staring out to sea.
I sat and did a quick sketch of the wreck.
Blue jays were checking out the chicken feed
as we headed back to pick up our bags and go to the ferry dock.
Elaborate cedar shingling and
an interesting shadow on the curtains.
Here she comes
loaded down with cargo for the islanders; gravel, wood, food and water.
The unloading took a long time but the sun was shining and there were lots of photo ops.
The ride back wasn't as exhilarating as the ride out had been, but fresh and scenic.
This little diving bird was in Port Clyde when we docked. We think he is a Black Guillemot (in winter plumage)
Heather and Don have sent me some pictures of myself, to prove I was actually in Maine. This one is by Heather of Judy and I both trying to avoid having our pictures taken. Drinking wine on the balcony on Monhegan Island as the sun set.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Maine - Monhegan Island hiking

After lunch at the apartment we headed out to do some hiking using the Trail Guide we had bought at the ferry office.
We walked through the village amazed by the flowers still in bloom.

There were lobster buoys scattered everywhere. Judy read afterwards that lobster season is closed on Monhegan Island from June to October which explained a lot of the lobster fishing  paraphernalia lying around.
One of my favorite photos. The blue sky, rock, pine and white house with white flowers, just something about it.
We walked up to the lighthouse and its buildings (a museum that we went into last time we were there)

Then off we went onto the trails.
Someone had put a little pine cone on to each piece of fungus.
Our theory is that it was a small child tired of walking.
The trail we were on ended at cliffs and craggy coastal views
in both directions.
We continued to scramble along the coastal path
which, at times, was quite challenging,
but very scenic.

But eventually we were faced with a cliff that we didn't feel we could manage.
Contemplating what we would do next we spotted some porpoises and while watching  them we saw a couple of seals
and spent some time enjoying them surfacing periodically and looking around.
We took a trail into the centre of the island and saw evidence of beavers.
It passed through an area called Cathedral Woods.
Ferns were starting to turn colour, lit by dappled sun.
The woodland trails were much easier walking.
The other side of the island didn't have the impressive cliff coastline, facing the mainland it had small rock islands and shoals. The island is 1.7miles by .7 miles, easy to cover in an afternoon of walking.
No smoking is allowed on the island, just in the village, and it is stressed in all the literature that a fire on the island would be disastrous.

The rental guy had told us that there were no stores or restaurants open on the island (really annoyed the lady at the little supermarket when she heard that) so we carried in food for supper and breakfast, and of course wine to drink on the balcony
While we
watched the
sun go down.
 We had been up early, had an exhilarating boat ride and hiked about 6 miles on some rough terrain. No wonder Don nodded off while playing cards, and we waited a while before waking him as we thought he was in deep thought about his next move.  We laughed hysterically and then decided it was time for bed.