Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Sunset on Caesar Pond

Gotta love Caesar Pond sunsets, especially in wintertime. 
The clouds and reflections are stunning...

Friday, January 1, 2021

New Year Resolutions/Adventures

Okay, it is a new year. And, there are a few resolutions and tons of adventures to consider. Here are a few old ones that I never got around to last year, as well as a few new ones:

1. Try new photographic techniques
a) Use a neutral density filter when taking moving water and cloud photos (longer exposures like a minute long.)
b) Learn and practice stacking photos.
c) Use the Apeman Underwater camera at the beach.
d) Go to Popham Beach and photograph the tide pools, seaweeds on the rocks at Fox Island, Piping Plovers (bring long lens)
e) Get together with Greyhound friends more often and do lots of photography.
f) Play around with the lensball with photos.

2. Plant Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), male and female plants, for berries for birds during the winter months. The Maine Cooperative Extension link has more information. Planting guide for Winterberry. Buy from Gammon's Garden Center in Auburn, ME  (207) 783-6986. (1 mile past Lake Auburn toward Turner.)

2. Visit Saco Heath Preserve (Nature Conservancy) to do some photography and butterfly watching during late May to early June when the heathland plants bloom AND when the Hessel's Hairstreak Butterfly is feeding off the heath flowers.

3. Photograph Piping Plover chicks on Popham Beach (by July 4th many of the chicks have hatched and they are flightless for 25-30 days). So, go to Popham Beach any time during the month of July to photograph the chicks.

4. Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center - Rent a canoe for an hour or two to photograph the marsh along the Dunstan River. Opens 9:30am.

5. Seguin Island with Ethan DeBery. Gulls nest on the island and young gulls can be seen in nests in early to mid-July.

6. Potts Point Reserve AND Stover's Point Preserve - South Harpswell - Short walk.

7. Maquoit Bay Conservation Land - Brunswick Land trust - over a 1 mile trail.

8. Vaughan Woods, and Historic Homestead - Kennebec Land Trust, Hallowell - Short walk.

9. Orono Bog Boardwalk - One mile boardwalk loop trail through part of the 600 acre bog that is part of the Caribou Bog Complex.

10. River Run Tours around Bath, Arrowsic, Georgetown (through July 28th)

11. Maine Maritime Museum Lighthouse and Nature Cruises (through Oct. 29th.)  YAY! My buddy, Shannon, has gifted me a 4 hour lighthouse boat tour for 2021!

12. Whale Watching - 
a) Odyssey Whale Watching Tour - Portland.  
b) Quoddy Link Marine - Whale Watch out of St. Andrews New Brunswick. - Humpback Whales and Finback Whales in August. Ha! This means that we would have to stay in Campobello for a few nights...Awesome!

13. Monhegan Island - Monhegan Boat Line out of Port Clyde AND Hardy Boat Cruises out of New Harbor. Go in May for the migration of Warblers and other birds.

14. Casco Bay Lines - Cruises and tours.

15. Machias Seal Island Puffin Tours - Bold Coast Charter - out of Cutler. Late July to early August is when seas might be calmer.

16. Maine Mineral & Gem Museum - Bethel, Maine

17. Mt. Washington Cog Railway (New Hampshire)

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Drew constructed a new bridge!

With my knee instability and Toby's blindness, Drew decided to construct a new bridge over the creek. Here, Drew is inspecting the old bridge that he put in place 15 years ago. The goal is to move that bridge to another location and replace it with a bridge that is 6" wider. In the foreground, you can see that Drew carried the boards from home using a firewood hauler.

Drew decided to construct the new bridge at the creek because it was to be made from super heavy, recycled, pressure treated wood from Ernie's old dock and our old front deck. Drew had to make several trips from home to the creek to haul all the materials there. By the way, the air was a frigid 15F feel-like temperature!

After watching big bridge construction over the years, Drew remembered that the old bridge would be moved off to the side and the new bridge would be installed in its place. So, that is what Drew did. He moved the old bridge to the left (and tested its capability of keeping stable,) hauled the new bridge up and slid it as far as he could across the gap. The end of the new bridge ended up in the water. But, Drew just walked across the old bridge, to get to the far side of the creek, and pulled the new bridge up into place. You can see him hauling the old bridge to its new location. Super genius!

And, voila! Both bridges are now in place and ready to use. Drew pounded a couple of rebar rods into the ground, and fashioned some wood stakes as well, to hold the bridges in place in high, rushing water. Now, we can keep our feet dry and neither Toby nor I will fall into the creek!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Longish walk in the woods

Whoooeee! I took the longest time yet to traverse the woods! We took 112 minutes (almost 2 hours) to walk 1.37ish miles. Poor Drew and Toby... I am such a slow poke.

But we had uneven trails to walk, mud to slog through, ice to navigate, a creek to cross, brush to remove from the trails, photos to take and Toby with his blind dog stand-up strikes because he didn't want to go where we wanted to go! 

Here is the old county road where water has iced over a bit in the tracks of the ATVs that traverse it.

I took a photo of the edge of the track where you can see the frost crystals that have formed.

Drew's bridge is still standing after all the rushing water from the rain, wind, and snow melt.  

You can see the rushing water under the bridge. It took me a few tries to cross it as I got a bit of vertigo from the motion of the water. But, I figured if Toby could do it, so could I! It is a bit skinny for the unsteady of foot, and for a blind dog. Toby fell off it several years ago, but was successful at crossing it today as he took it very slowly. Drew is so great at guiding him. 

Further up the trail, I found more crystals and ice to photograph. There were lots of wet areas and lots of drainage from all the melting. I love this photo as you can see layers of ice and crystallization patterns. And, the sun was hitting it in such a pretty way.
I also love this frosty ice on a tiny puddle. So pretty...

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Snow Day # 1

The table shows the last 8" of snow in the afternoon as the snowfall was just about done.

 We got 15 inches of light, fluffy snow today! It was easy to shovel and was so pretty.

Here is a photo of the bird feeding area after the first 7" of snow had come down. There was double that amount at the end of the storm.

I love mourning doves, and this one spent a lot of time near the feeder station
Drew took the screen out of the guest room window so that I can have an unobstructed view of the outdoors for photo purposes. All I have to do is bundle up and open the window to the snowy world!

I took this photo through the kitchen window in the morning.
There were a lot of bluejays at the feeder today. This bluejay was patiently waiting his turn.

Once I went into the guest room, I could get closer to the birds.

It was nice to finally be able to photograph them without a dirty window between me and the birds, and they didn't get spooked.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

First measurable snow of the season

 We got 7" of snow from this awful storm. First it rained, followed by snow, followed by rain, followed by snow. By the time we got around to shoveling it, it was hardened like a brick. This was by far the heaviest snow we have ever tried to move around.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Monday, October 12, 2020

Hix Small Cemetery to Gordy's woods walk

Today, we maxed out my knee! First, I did a slow mile on the elliptical machine. Then, an hour later we drove to Hix Small Cemetery Rd. and walked over to Gordy's property via the old county rd. This walk challenged me to new levels as I haven't gone down as steep a slope as I did, on part of this walk, since before my first knee surgery 15 months ago. I had to zig-zag down the slope and be careful of every footstep. As it was, my knee gave way just before crossing the creek near the last 1/4 mile of the walk (thank goodness I was using my walking poles as they saved me from face planting.) I really pushed it today. Each time I go out, I push myself a bit more. Hopefully, by next summer I will be able to walk small hills and not think of them as insurmountable mountains. Everything I do is magnified in difficulty at this moment. I always feel sorry for the people who choose to walk with me as I am agonizingly slow...slow...slow...