Tag Archives: Maine

Fog on the Bog

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It was 2004 when I took this picture.  I was shooting with my Sony Alpha A-100 at the time.  We were on vacation in Maine and had been revisiting some of our old stomping grounds from when we used to live in that beautiful state.  We’d driven up past Moosehead lake on the eastern side and were looking to see some moose.  We stopped and asked where was a good place to watch for them as the sun went down and were directed to a bog that was outside of the nearest small village in the back woods.  We drove there while the sun was still up a ways, parked, and just enjoyed the beautiful serene scenery.

As the sun went down, the fog started to crawl over the face of the bog, getting ever closer and close.  It was eerie.  But it was so quiet and peaceful that you felt butterflies in your stomach…or at least I did in mine.  We never saw any moose on that particular evening, but it was worth it to just be out at this place and to soak in nature at its very best.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1967 when a fire on a United States Navy carrier stationed off the coast of Vietnam killed 134 service members. The deadly fire on the USS Forrestal began with the accidental launch of a rocket.

During the Vietnam War, the USS Forrestal was often stationed off the coast of North Vietnam, conducting combat operations. On the morning of July 29, the ship was preparing to attack when a rocket from one of its own F-4 Phantom jet fighters was accidentally launched. The rocket streaked across the deck and hit a parked A-4 Skyhawk jet. The Skyhawk, which was waiting to take off, was piloted by John McCain, the future senator from Arizona.

Fuel from the Skyhawk spilled out and caught fire. The fire then spread to nearby planes on the ship’s deck and detonated a 1,000-pound bomb, which killed many of the initial firefighters and further spread the fire. A chain reaction of explosions blew holes in the flight deck and had half the large ship on fire at one point. Many pilots were trapped in their planes as the fire spread. It took a full day before the fires could be fully contained.

Hundreds of sailors were seriously injured and 134 lost their lives in the devastating fire. Twenty planes were destroyed. It was the worst loss of a life on a U.S. Navy ship since World War II. Temporary repairs were made to the ship in the Philippines before the Forrestal headed back to Norfolk, Virginia. It was repaired and put back into service the following April, but never returned to Vietnam.

John McCain narrowly escaped the fire and, afterwards, volunteered for duty on the USS Oriskany. Just three months later, his plane was shot down over North Vietnam and he was taken prisoner. He was not released until five-and-a-half years later, in 1973.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The shape of ancient Egyptian pyramids is thought to have been inspired by the spreading rays of the sun.

F.f.f.r.r.r.e.e.e.z.z.z.i.i.i.n.n.n.g.g.g….

Short one today.  We drove from Kingman, AZ to Albuquerque, NM today.  The high temp that registered on the truck’s external temperature gauge was 28.  Most of the time, it stayed around 20 or below.  Saw snow on the ground, none in the air.

My fingers were far too cold today to take any kind of pictures (besides, it’s frowned on when one is doing the driving!), so I’m going to share with you a picture I took when we lived in Maine back in the winter of 2003.  I had gone outside at night with the dogs and turned around to look back at the house.  I thought it looked pretty, so after taking the dogs back in I went back out and took this snap of the front porch of the house.  Ah, it was so warm inside….and as you may be able to tell, cold outside…

Now I’m gonna go warm up my hands.

HouseAtNight1ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: British Prime Minister John Major announced the separation of Charles, and his wife, Princess Diana. Major explained that the royal couple were separating “amicably.” The report came after several years of speculation by the tabloid press that the marriage was in peril, citing evidence that Diana and Charles spent vacations apart and official visits in separate rooms.

In 1981, nearly one billion viewers tuned in to witness the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, a young English schoolteacher. Married at St. Paul’s Cathedral in front of 2,650 guests, the couple’s romance was the envy of the world. Their first child, Prince William, was born in 1982, and their second, Prince Henry, in 1984.

Before long, the fairy tale couple grew apart, an experience that was particularly painful under the watchful eyes of the world’s tabloid media. Diana and Charles separated in 1992, though they continued to carry out their royal duties. In August 1996, two months after Queen Elizabeth II urged the couple to divorce, the prince and princess reached a final agreement. In exchange for a generous settlement, and the right to retain her apartments at Kensington Palace and her title of “Princess of Wales,” Diana agreed to relinquish the title of “Her Royal Highness” and any future claims to the British throne.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  The planet Pluto takes 248 Earth years to orbit the Sun. For 20 of those years, it is closer to the Sun than the planet Neptune. The nature of its orbit, however, always prevents it from colliding with Neptune.

 

Bogging Down With the Moose

The year was 2004 and we were back in Maine on vacation.  I say “back” because we’d lived in Maine for a short time in early 2003.  The day we moved in (early February) it was -14 degrees.  I loved it!!!  But, work didn’t materialize and our dream of living in the woods of Maine for the rest of our lives didn’t materialize either.  Plus, we were missing our first grandchild, Kailani, so badly that when I had work present itself to me back in California, we packed up the U-Haul and moved to Cloverdale, CA in the northern California county of Sonoma, smack in the middle of wine country.

But this picture was taken when we were on vacation in 2004.  We so loved Maine that we did a bit of real estate shopping again, thinking that perhaps we’d buy a lot (we looked at several –  one in particular, on Big Roach Pond, was lovely!) and move back to Maine at some point in the future.  We didn’t buy one, though.  But we did go out to a bog one evening as the sun was setting.  We’d been told it was a great place to watch for moose who frequented the area in the evenings.  It was lovely, getting cool by the time the sun went down, and the fog was creeping over the bog like Arthur Conan-Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles.  (I wasn’t afraid of any hounds, but was wary of moose or bear that might materialze out of the fog!  We were well out into the back country northeast of Moosehead Lake.)  It was so serene and beautiful.  I almost cried when we drove away.  We didn’t see any moose that night, but we often saw them in Maine, which has more moose per square mile than any other state, including Alaska.

I’m ready to go back to the bog again and look for moose!

Looking for moose on a summer evening at a bog in Maine, 2004

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1431, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake after being condemned as a heretic.  She was later canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.  How a few years sometimes change things!

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Nabisco bakes about 18 billion Cheese Nip Crackers each year, enough to cover 3,500 football fields.  If laid end to end, these crackers would extend over 282,000 miles – farther than the distance from the earth to the moon!  Crackers, anyone?

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Here we are, snuggled in the heart of the deep south.  What do you think of when you think of the south?  You could probably envision many things: Spanish moss on the trees, the home of the civil rights  movement, warm and sunny days, heat and humidity, mosquitos, and maybe, during the right time of the year, hurricanes and tornadoes.

I can understand that.  But let you tell you that if you were in our yard today, you’d be thinking about how to find a warmer coat.  Baby, it’s cold outside!  Tonight it’s supposed to be about 21, and tomorrow night 20.  The high tomorrow is projected at 40.   Not what you think of when you think of the deep south!  At least, I sure didn’t!

But, that’s nothing, right?  I have a friend from high school, Carla, who lives in Anchorage.  I don’t now what the temperature is there today, but I’d be willing to bet that it’s colder than 20.

Here’s a photo I took back in 2003 when we lived in Maine.  This was our new house on 6 acres out in the woods.  It was well insulated.  Do you know how you could tell?  Look at all the snow on the roof!  The houses that weren’t well insulated didn’t have nearly as much snow on the roof because the heat escaping through the roof would melt it down.

I don’t remember what the temperature was on the day I took this picture, but it was cold.  The thing about Maine was that you dressed for the cold.  Here, people seem to be nuts when it comes to cold days.  They just don’t dress warmly enough!

Well, I think I’ll go crawl in the oven for a little while to warm up!

A cold February day in Maine, 2003

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1573, Sir Francis Drake first laid eyes on the Pacific Ocean.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: approximately 40% of the underdeveloped world is under 15 years old.

Kennebunkport Sunset

Ah, yes, my view from my cottage on the coast at Kennebunkport is gorgeous.  My next door neighbors are the Bush’s.  What?  You didn’t know that about me?  You don’t believe me?  Why?  Today I’m showing you a picture that I took in Kennebunkport of a sunset.  If that doesn’t convince you, nothing will, I guess.

Oh, OK…I’m not a Kennebunkport resident.  I was just there in 2001 when we were vacationing up in New England.  I happened to see this sunset reflecting off the water and thought it was worth a shot.  I like sunsets, and I like to take pictures of reflections.  Maybe I’ll have to start a “folder” of favorites on Facebook of “reflection” pictures.  We’ll see.  You can get some really cool pictures that way after a rainstorm!

Sunset in Kennebunkport, Maine

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1878, a Turkish steamer became the first ship to be sunk by a torpedo.  It was fired from a Russian ship.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: male western fence lizards do push-ups on fences and branches as a display of courting prowess, hoping to impress the lady fence lizards.  Strange, isn’t it – not that different from young adolescent human males!!!

Bass Harbor Head Light

No, not a head light such as found in a car or truck!!!  I’m talking about a lighthouse!  Today’s picture is also from our trip to Maine in November, 2002 when we were looking for a house to which we’d move.  (Oh, yeah, we found one…brand spanking new, 2400 square feet if you include the daylight basement, 6 acres of wooded land with a small creek, $160,000!!!!  And there are still deals like that to be found in Maine – but you do have to put up with the four seasons: snow season, mud season, black fly season, and leaf-peeper season!!!!)

This is Bass Harbor Head Light, one of the most photographed places in all of Maine, located on Mt. Desert Island inside Arcadia National Park.  Construction was approved and Congress gave $5000 toward the cost.  The construction of a fog bell and tower, which no longer remains today, was completed in 1876 with a much larger 4000 pound bell being placed inside the tower in 1898. The keeper’s house remains in its original configuration with the exception of a 10-foot addition added in 1900.  The lighthouse was put on the National Register of Historic Places as  Bass Harbor Head Light Station on January 21, 1988.  Bass Harbor’s fifth order Fresnel lens was replaced in 1902 with a larger fourth order. This lens was manufactured by a French company and is still in service to this day.

When I see some of our pictures from Maine that we took along the rocky coast, it makes me want to go back.  The rocky Maine coast is certainly photogenic!!!

Bass Harbor Head Light, Acadia National Park, Maine

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: the TV show, “Mr. Ed”, about a talking horse, debuted in 1961.  The show starred Alan Young as Ed’s owner, Wilbur Post, and Connie Hines as Wilbur’s long-suffering wife, Carol.  The neighbor, Roger, was played by Larry Keating, who was not the only neighbor confounded by Ed’s antics.  Mr. Ed was voiced by Allan ‘Rocky’ Lane.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: by the end of the 1500’s, women preferred to carry their purse pouches underneath their skirts.

On Jordan Pond

Okay, so I’m not Thoreau.  Sue me!  I still thought “On Jordan Pond” (ala “On Walden Pond”) was a nice name for this post.

I’ve been having trouble getting out to shoot pictures.  Just too busy with too much keeping me busy right now.  Besides, I don’t have clue yet about where to go to shoot photos in the Atlanta area.  I guess I’ll just have to research that.  And then find the time to do it.  Any suggestions, anyone?

Back to the post.  This is a picture I took back in November 2002, not long before we moved to Maine (we moved there at the end of January 2003).  It was at a place called Jordan Pond on Mt. Dessert Island (which also is home to Cadillac Mountain and Bar Harbor).  I must say that if it looks like it was a cold day…it was a COLD day!  There was snow on the ground in many locations, and I even took a picture of a tide pool of Atlantic Ocean salt water that was frozen solid.  That doesn’t happen if it isn’t cold, you know.

We thought this was a beautiful place, in spite of howling, frosty wind.  If you get a chance, you should go there sometime.  And make sure you drive up to the top of Cadillac Mountain if you can for an incredible view of the ocean, foliage and Bar Harbor down below on the eastern side of the island.  I think that all of Mt. Dessert Island (pronounced desert – like the hot sandy places in the world) in located inside of Acadia National Park.

I took this  with an old Nikon digital camera (4MB) if memory serves….it took good pictures considering you couldn’t change lenses, etc.  Served us well for a good number of years.

Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park, Maine

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1885, Iowa’s Dr. William Grant performed the first successful appendectomy on Mary Gartside.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: in 1965, the minimum annual salary for a professional baseball players was $6000, just a bit more than it was in 1947.  I don’t know what it is today, but I’ll guarantee you that it’s a bunch more than $6000!!!!

Bass Harbor Head Light, Maine Coast

When we lived in Maine, we loved going to the coast.  We lived in the woods about 13 miles southwest of Bangor, and about 45 minutes away from Bar Harbor on the coast.  It never seemed to matter where you went along the coast, it was always beautiful – like a picture post card.  I loved the rocky shore line and the cold waters of the Atlantic.  It was every bit as lovely as the tour books make it out to be.  In fact, I think that Maine is the most beautiful state (overall) of any I’ve seen…with the possible exception of Hawaii, which is beautiful in a much different way.

I took this picture back in 2002 when my wife and I were on vacation there around Thanksgiving.  While there, we were looking for a place to buy as we wanted to move to Maine early in 2003.  We did manage to find a place, near the town of Carmel.   While we were there, we went down to Acadia National Park where this picture was taken.  Bass Harbor Head Light is one of the most photographed sites in Maine.  Built in 1858, it is well maintained and is still beautiful.  If you like lighthouses, you may have seen a picture of this before, but if not, I hope you get to go see it some day.

Bass Harbor Head Light, near Bar Harbor, Maine in Acadia National Park

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1974, John Lennon appeared in concert for the last time, joining with Elton John to sing “Whatever Gets You Through the Night” and “I Saw Her Standing There.”  The concert was at Madison Square Garden.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the U.S. produces 19% of the world’s garbage, including 20 billion disposable diapers, 2 billion razor blades, and 1.7 billion pens each year.

 

Summer In the City

It was the Lovin’ Spoonful who recorded the song, Summer in the City that had these as part of the lyrics:

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn’t it a pity
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city

All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

While it hasn’t been all that terribly hot here in Cloverdale the past week, it’s warm…and other parts of the country have just completed a horrendous heat wave.  In an effort to help you cool down a bit, I thought I’d include and OLD picture I shot in Maine during the winter of 2003.  We’d not lived there very long yet, and at the end of our gravel driveway that led to the country road in front of our house, there was a pine tree.  As I walked out one day to get the mail from the mailbox (across the country road from our driveway), I noticed the pine needles encased in ice.  After I got the mail back inside, I hunted down the primitive digital camera we had at the time, wrapped back up in my heavy winter coat and went back outside.  (I don’t recall precisely what the temperature was, but the temperature was below zero that day, I know.)  Here’s what I got…and I hope that if you’re experiencing the heat today that this will help cool you down!!!!

Pine needles encased in ice near Carmel, Maine

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1933 the singing telegraph was first introduced.  The first recipient was, appropriately enough, Rudy Vallee, in celebration of his 32nd birthday.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: President Calvin Coolidge had a fondness for cats.  He often walked around the office with a yellow cat draped over his shoulders like a piece of fur.