Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hike to Sunsweep Sculpture

June 18, 2016

After we finished our tour of Roosevelt's summer home, we drove over a beautiful carriage road to the other side of the island and enjoyed the view of the Wolves - a string of little islands. Then we went on a beautiful hike to the Sunsweep Sculpture. This is listed as the most difficult hike in the park but only because you have to watch your feet as you step over roots and walk on a narrow walkway over spongy moss. 

This eagle was sitting on a tiny rocky island just off Campobello Island

These iris are a different species then we have at the refuge - ours have yellow in them 

Looking across the little rocky island to Grand Maman

Bridget climing the steps at the beginning of the trail

View from trail

A lot of it looked like this

I love these tiny dogwoods

Kirstin, our pirate, hunting for loot

Explanation of the sculpture

The carriage roads travel through a tree tunnel

Eastern Quoddy Lighthouse

Western Quoddy Lighthouse -which is the easternmost point of the US - but west and south of Eastern Quoddy Light house on the north end of Campobello Island

The West Quoddy Lighthouse

Sunset looking back towards Lubed

Moonshine at a lovely little bay - and a hike that is waiting for me 

This is the third of the three blogs it took to tell you about my day of June 18th. But even the morning's work was play ..... and I ate a LOT of Maine's famous red hotdogs while helping with the Fishing Derby. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Visit to Franklin D. Roosevelt's Canadian Summer Home

June 18, 2016

As soon as we finished bringing back our supplies from the Fishing Derby and putting everything, away, Kirsten,Kristina, and I packed ourselves up and drove to Lubec to pick up our guide, Bridget from her parent's house. Then we crossed the bridge to Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. After stopping to show our passports to the Custom Officer, we continued on to Roosevelt Campobello International Park, the summer home of President Roosevelt from the time he was one until after he contracted polio there in 1921.

We watched a short movie about both the island and President Roosevelt before starting our tour. FDR's cottage is just beyond the visitor center. It should no longer be called a cottage, since it has three stories and 18 bedrooms. We were allowed to take pictures anywhere we wanted. So come along and enjoy a virtual visit.

We were greeted by a docent and then met at least three other women who traded positions each hour and were each responsible for a main room of the house, on the ground floor, or for the bedrooms on the second floor. The third floor is off limits.

The cottage from the front

Birch bark canoe made by Indians - on the back porch

The side entrance used for the tours

The family room - used for board games, Roosevelt's stamp collection activities, etc

Mrs. Roosevelt's tea set - apparently she loved tea time every day

Basket made by Passamaquoddy Indians - love those moose

One of the two bathrooms we saw on the second floor

Plane suspended from the ceiling in the bedroom of John and Franklin, Jr. 

One of the dish cabinets

The summer stove - the oven can be removed to provide an extra burner

The winter stove - across the room from the summer stove

I think this was the master bedroom - all were furnished with this style furniture
 - even the servant's rooms

 Then we went on to the cottage next door, the Hubbard cottage. The Hubbards were friends of the Roosevelts. The story of Eleanor Roosevelt is told her in the Tea with Eleanor activity. You get her story, plus tea and cookies and costs.

View into the living room - Mrs. Hubbard was a concert pianist, I think. 

I loved that this fireplace was in the front hall, under the stairs.  It shares it's chimney with the dining room fireplace. 

The wonderful window overlooking the bay from the dining room - this is where you have Tea with Eleanor

Then we went on a lovely hike, had supper, and visited two lighthouses - but that will all have to wait for another blog.

I had recently read the book, Loving Eleanor by Susan Wittig Albert about the relationship of Eleanor and the journalist, Lorena Hickok, (Hick) as told through their letters. So I was very interested in finding out more about them.  They spent many vacations there while Roosevelt was in Georgia. But there was hardly anything about them and only a mention the Eleanor returned to the cottage after Roosevelt contracted polio there, but he never again returned but for one time.

On the personal front, I'm writing this on a deadline because the other volunteer, Laurine, brought me to town and dropped me at the library while she went grocery shopping.   My ignition key failed on my car- actually the core failed - and I had to have it towed to Bangor, 80 miles away.  I also had to renew my road coverage because it had lapsed.  Then the dealership had to order a part, which they couldn't do until today, so I won't get my car until at least Monday, or whenever I can catch a ride with my boss as he goes home.  All this only cost me about $1000.  Woe.  But this is only the 2nd repair on my 7 year old car with about 140 thousand miles. So please forgive the lack of editing.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Playtime At Moosehorn

School finally finished up last week for the children of Washington County.  As in all the schools I've been involved with, the children get to to on field trips.  We had 60 children from our nearby town of Calais come to the refuge.  I was on the team that planned a set of environmental activities that the children could cycle through.

We had three teams of two people each that ran the activities.  Because I was running an activity, I didn't get to get pictures of the other ones.  But one activity was to play a predator-prey game.  The next one was to learn facts about deer.  Bridget and I played the game Oh Deer, with the kids. About one fourth of them start off being deer, while the rest of the children are habitat. At each cycle, the deer decide if they need food, water, or shelter, while the habitat group get to decide to be one of those pieces of habitat. While their backs are turned to each other, the kids make their signs for each part of the habitat. Then they face each other across a field, and the deer run to a child making the same sign.  Successful deer bring their habitat child back to the deer side, so the numbers of deer rise and fall, based on the success of getting what they need.

Bridget leading one of the groups in Oh Deer

Even under cloudy skies, the kids enjoyed the hike

I missed the grab shot, so this is posed but shows their Scavenger Hunt sheets

I don't know what they found but it was fascinating

The last activity was done by the by the teachers.  We gave them sheets of things to find and then sent them on one of the trails to see what they could find. All the children seemed to have a fantastic time. But one sad thing for me was, during the introduction, Peggy, our Office and Environmental Educational Manager, asked the children, who all live within 20 miles of the refuge, how many of them had ever been there. Only a fourth or less had.

Then yesterday - I'm writing this on Sunday morning because of a long day of work and play  - the Refuge held their annual children's fish derby down at Cobstock State Park which is on refuge land in our Edmunds Division, which is about 30 miles south of the Baring Division where I live and work.  Those of us working met at 8:00 at the maintenance area and hauled down tables, bags tof goodies to hand out to the participants, extra fishing poles, worms, hot dogs, buns, chips, cookies, drinks, ice and other materials to run the Fish Derby.

Families started coming in a little after nine and the excitement built as each participant  picked what they thought would be a winning spot.  around a large, stocked pond at the park headquarters. Parents set up chairs, and many opened tackle boxes, although all the kids fished with earthworms.

Finally ten o'clock arrived and the staff greeted everyone, went over the rules, and sounded the opening siren.  Fishing commenced, broken by announcements of prizes given by a drawing.  There were also prizes for the first fish caught and for the most weight of fish caught. The kids could fish until the siren ran at noon.  Then they brought their trout, which they put in the bags we gave them, in to be weighed.  Then the kids in three age groups who had the most fish by weight also won prizes. About eleven o'clock, Ray was grilling hot dogs, the red-skinned ones that are a Maine delicacy, and people were starting to trickle in to pick up a hot dog, chips, drinks, and cookies. It was soon a flood.  I helped dispense hot dogs in buns.  But by about twelve-thirty, most people had eaten, the prizes had been given out, and we were ready to load up the left-overs and head back to the refuge.

Kursten sets up the fishing poles we loan out 

Organizing the mess from unloading

Setting up the food table

Laurine, the OTHER volunteer setting up posters to give away

Bridget on left and Kristina registered everyone

The first fish caught - loved that it was a little girl and she won a PINK fishing pole

Fishing time  - that's Ray - one of my bosses, in the tan shirt,  helping his two boys

They start 'em fishing REALLY young up here

Amanda, our Law Enforcement Officer, supervises Mike who was chief hot-dog griller 

Murray, another boss, was the official fish weigher

We knew this day was to be the BEST day of June so far, so I planned to go to Campobello Island after I finished work. Bridget,  an intern, spends her weekends with her parents in Lubec, just across from the island,  and she invited me to stop at her house and see the foxes that live at her neighbor's house and the crows and ravens that her parents have named and feed. I then invited Kristina, another intern, and Kursten, a seasonal tech, to come with me.

We had a fabulous rest of the day, touring the Roosevelt summer cottage, a three story house with eighteen bedrooms, hiking and doing other touristy stuff. But that story will have to wait.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Wonder Trail and Other Wonders

Friday, June 3, 2016

On Thursday evening, I  had noticed several parked cars at sign for Wonder Land Hike which seemed to go out to the coast. It was after sunset by the time I came back by the site on the way home, so I decided to explore the west side of Acadia National Park on Friday and take a few of the hikes.

The day was cloudy, with rain showers predicted, but, even without the beautiful early morning light, the hike was lovely.

The trail led through a conifer forest with a few openings. It ended on a point of land with views to sounds or coves both left and right. I enjoyed watching a group of common eiders in the first cove. On the way back, a morning dove seemed to be posing for me. The tide was low and the day dark. This must be really magical in early morning light with the tide high.

Part of many common eiders

The hike was on a spit of land with views of the coastline on either side

At low tide

I saw this as a big OK from the tree

Incoming tide

I loved the long, dark tunnel formed by trees with the open area at the end

I kept driving around and finding other places to enjoy. One of them was the ferry stop where ferries to Swans Island and Frenchboro depart. A birding group was heading out to Frenchboro when I arrived. Taking one of the ferries might be another fun thing to do.

One of the ferries

View of the area around the ferries

The white blooms glowed in the dim light

I loved the sense of a garland along the roof of this church

Lupines were starting to bloom

I stopped when I saw a group of horses running and rearing - then fell in love with this pair

By now it was mid morning and I decided I could take another hike before meeting a friend I met in the Outer Banks for lunch. It will take a few more blogs to fully share my all my Acadia Adventures.

I'll add in an extra blog this week to begin to catch.  However, we have had over two weeks of very cloudy, rainy days so I haven't taken many pictures. Hopefully, I'll get a few good days this next weekend.