courage, death, exploring new places, facing facts, fences, history, learning, lest we forget, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Gettysburg…

If you ever get a chance to go to Gettysburg don’t do what we did. We were going to ‘see’ Gettysburg, only an hour from where we had stayed the night before, and then be on our way back home to Florida. We arrived at a little after opening, around 9:30 AM, seeing the Cyclorama (amazing) and the museum, and then heading out for the auto tour which we only finished by 5PM by rushing a bit at the end. I didn’t ever understand the impact of that battle on the outcome of the war, and my head is spinning as I look at the pictures and try to remember where each one was taken when we have just arrived home this morning. I was as much taken with the beautiful landscape of Pennsylvania itself, as I was by the historical significance of the scenes before me. And yet there are monuments to be seen in the pictures. Three days of battle leaving thousands of soldiers dead and dying in these fields, and a townspeople of less than 1300 to cope with the aftermath. This place is beautifully preserved lest we forget…

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, friends, fun, learning, live and learn, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography

Egg Rock Island…

A cruise to Egg Rock Island hadn’t ever been on my radar screen before this trip, but today was our chance and we took it. An Audubon cruise to see and learn about Puffins, the cutest birds ever.

They are social little things and a group of them such as this are a raft of Puffins. Males and females look alike, and they both take care of the one chick per year that they produce. August is towards the end of their breeding time and we were told that we are among the last of the people who will see them this year.
I imagined seeing these birds standing on a rock, so that we would see their cute feet. But our instructor told us that these birds struggle to become airborne. They must flap their wings over 400 times per minute to become airborne. Sometimes, she said, you can see them running on the surface of the water as they are taking off. I love this picture because that’s exactly what we see here, and we see those orange feet. A lucky shot for sure.
Think of them as pudgy, slow-moving, hummingbirds, said the instructor.
We were lucky to see them at all. What a treat.

There were no more Puffins in Maine by 1901, and sewing machines were at fault. Ladies were so enamored of having feathers adorning their clothes and hats that the population of Puffins, and other birds, were affected. It wasn’t until the 1970s that attempts to repopulate the island began, and it took over 8 years to make progress. The winning combination involved bringing young chicks to the island, playing their mating calls, populating the island with Puffin decoys (back to that social thing), and even placing mirror boxes on the island to make them think there were more birds in residence and this would be the place for them. And it worked. There are 300 mated pairs on this island, and over 1000 in Maine as a whole. And these same conservation techniques are in use with other species of birds all over the world. This was a great experience on a wonderful day. We couldn’t have asked for more.

'scene' along the way, a second look, attention to detail, bugs, butterflies, flowers, fun, gardens, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens…

A friend who lives in Maine and is an avid gardener took me to visit this wonderful botanical garden three years ago when I was camping in Maine. She found me the nice camp ground also. So she will be ashamed of me when she discovers that when I saw the little sign pointing out the turn for a botanical garden it never dawned on me that it was THAT botanical garden that they were talking about. If I’d have known that I would have made a better plan to go there. As it was my friend asked if I wanted to go see it, and we only had an hour and a half to enjoy it before it closed. It was time enough to to see some beautiful displays, and more than a few bees.

And butterflies too!
Simple, but beautiful.
More bees, because I can’t resist them.
Lots of wonderful settings also.
And a scary new addition to the gardens.
And a water feature.
I know, I’m addicted to bees.
Such a beautiful dark purple on these flowers.
The varieties were endless.
These caught my eye, but so did those dark purple flowers… and the yellow flowers.
He must have photo bombed my shot.
A nice peaceful setting.
I was so happy to see that this quaint little building was still there, with it’s kitty-faced pickets on the fence.
I like pink flowers too.
I love how this one is constructed.
Last but not least, an orange beauty.

If you ever get to visit this place make sure to leave yourself plenty of time, you will be glad you did.

'scene' along the way, a second look, boats, exploring new places, friends, fun, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Boothbay views…

It is impossible to explore Boothbay, Harbor, ME without seeing wonderful waterfront scenes, one prettier than another. The photo below is my example of that, even though I was totally missing the point as I was taking my pictures. There was a sign right beside our parking space along the road, it said, “Cuckolds Fog Signal & Light Station,” and as I looked at the scene I wondered what the heck they were talking about. But we took pictures and we moved on, using a barely discernible map that gave the location of three lighthouses in the area. And we did find one of them, which, as it turned out, was the Cuckolds Light that we had seen the sign about.

This island was most prominently in view, so I thought the sign had something to do with the building on the island. But as I looked I spotted a great sailboat off in the distance. Way off in the distance.
I zoomed in on the sailboat and never realized that the lighthouse was right there in the photo also. As we continued to explore we ‘discovered’ it.
We traveled over the bridge and down to the tip of land, where we found a town wharf which gave us a nice view of that lighthouse.
There was no end to the photo ops from that vantage point.
Sweet, peaceful, scenery.
Interesting boats.
That sailboat again.
And a surprise for me, since I have come across the last name only a few times in all my travels over the years. A relative perhaps. Should I have knocked on the door? I think I could get away with that better at my age, but I didn’t.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Heading north…

I was supposed to be loading the car, but there were these pretty flowers, and bees! Can’t resist the bees. But eventually we were on the road, heading north. Destination, Boothbay Harbor, ME. But there were stops along the way…

First was Nubble Lighthouse, just in time for a proposal.
But here is Nubble sitting up on it’s own little island.
Lots of birdies live there too.
Looking across to the left of the lighthouse.
Another hour up the road and we stopped to see the Portland Head Light,
What a pretty sight. And off to the right in the distance you can see Whaleback Lighthouse.
Zooming in on
Whaleback..
Our destination, Howard House Lodge, tucked away off the street.
Ahh…