'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, black and white, exploring new places, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Puffins redux…

The gal from Audubon who rode along with us on our Puffin adventure acted like a bit of a cheerleader. She gave us a talk about their history in Maine as we were cruising to Egg Rock Island, and warned us that it was possible that we might not see them at all. No guarantees. She told us about their habits, how hard it is for them to become airborne, and that we might see them ‘running on the surface of the water’ until those flapping wings took over. So I blame her for the fact that 463 photos of the 1344 that I took on vacation were taken on that cruise. We first came across just a few, but they were close to the boat and in the sun. They might have been the only ones we saw, so I started shooting and pretty much didn’t stop.

Remember the Puffins were bouncing with the surf, and so was the boat, which was another reason to just keep shooting. I wasn’t expecting so many shots to be reasonably sharp.
The groups we saw later were more Puffins but further from the boat.
I carefully checked all my pictures looking for interactions between them, which was a bit tedious, but as far as activity goes this was about it.
But we did see them fly, and probably wouldn’t have appreciated that as much without the Audubon gal telling us that they flap their wings 400 beats/minute to become airborne. I said it before but I just have to repeat it. She said to think of them as “pudgy, slow-moving, hummingbirds.”
Look at the little guy in front, what a graceful little thing he is, LOL.

If I ever see a cute little stuffed animal Puffin I know I’ll have to adopt it…

nature, photography, friends, fun, perseverance, live and learn, 'scene' along the way, road trip, making memories, Natures little dramas, exploring new places

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse…

Rocks and sailboats and beautiful harbors. Is it any wonder that I can’t look at a photo and have a clue which day and/or place it was taken. But I can check my Lightroom data and know which day on the calendar it was taken, but remembering where we went on that day is sometimes hard. My friend was the one who noticed the Puffin cruise and signed us up, but he also wanted to see the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse after we had lunch. This sounded like a fine idea to me…

I have one camera and one all-purpose lens, so I hopped out of the car and took this picture while he was still putting together the camera/lens combination he wanted to use. Maybe I have the perfect set up for myself, the fewer decisions I have to make the better. But I do think about newer, ‘better’, equipment now and then, so I’ll never say never.
I couldn’t resist posting this picture because I liked seeing the horizon line through the window.
Pemaquid is open and you are allowed to climb to the top, but we didn’t attempt that. We did go into the fisherman museum next door.
I loved that stained glass window.
There was more to see there than just the lighthouse. I loved the view, but unlike other people there I resisted the urge to walk out onto the rocks. Especially since the signage cautioned that occasional larger waves are possible, and they might sweep people off the rocks.
Maybe these people didn’t have cameras to protect since they weren’t worried about that occasional wave.
'scene' along the way, a second look, attention to detail, boats, bugs, exploring new places, flowers, friends, fun, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Sails, and rocky shores of Maine…

I had crossed this ‘swing bridge’ the last time I visited this area. It takes you to Southport Island, where, according to our map, there are three lighthouses to be seen just off shore. The bridge operator told me that the bridge opens every half hour so that the boaters and the residents can plan their trips over land or water. I was glad that my friend got a chance to see it in action. There is a sign that warns, ‘draw bridge ahead,’ but this is what you see when you come around the bend. As far as the lighthouses go we weren’t totally successful this time, just like I wasn’t the last time I tried to find them either. Two out of three ain’t bad, or so I’ve heard.

The process of opening and closing probably takes about five minutes. Not too bad.
That rocky coast thing is no exaggeration.
I found this little beach area with a lighthouse the last time I was here also. Only there was just one lady sunning herself on the beach. From the beach the view of the lighthouse is obscured, so we talked about climbing on the rocks (not the big ones on the left, the smaller ones to the right with people in front of them), but I chickened out. I told myself I was being prudent for the sake of the camera. It was the lack of parking spaces that caused me to get this shot. We drove around the area in a circle and found a spot to park up the hill on our third try. But from the hill you had the view I was looking for.
Sometimes photographers are encouraged to ‘zoom with their feet.’ This time I was happy to do it with the zoom lens.
I didn’t have to wish for sailboats while in Maine, they were everywhere. But one of these sailboats is not like the others.
I have no idea what the advantages of these sails might be, but it makes for a nice photo op.
Just pretty weeds.
We encountered bushes with lots of flowers, and the flowers had lots of bees, but mostly they were down inside the flowers. But this one finally climbed out.
We found a town pier with a view of Cuckold’ Light.
When we walked off the pier I wanted to take a shot of the row of rowboats tied up next to it, and was surprised to discover that one was named The Sue.
photography, friends, adventure, perseverance, donuts, food, a second look, road trip, lobster

Gastronomically speaking…

I had several ulterior motives in mind when it came to this recent trip of ours. Going back to Red’s Eats was first and foremost on the list. So as we approached our first destination of Boothbay Harbor, ME I was heartbroken to drive past a closed and shuttered-up shop. It looked so sad and forlorn without the crowds out front and spilling down the hill to the right. I needn’t have worried though, it was only that it was Monday, they would be back in business the next day.

That hill looks shorter from this angle. The umbrellas will shade customers as they enjoy their food. Lots more available items than lobster rolls, but that is what they are known for. Across the street are more restaurants which also serve lobster rolls, with lots shorter lines.
Ah, now that’s what we are used to seeing.
This day we stopped, and I’d been waiting in line for a while before it dawned on me to take a picture. I chatted with the guy in front of me, the couple behind me, and the guy behind them who heard me mention Baltimore, where he was from. Waiting in the line is part of the experience, at least when you are on vacation and have nowhere else to be. I did feel guilty that my friend was waiting down the hill somewhere, having, hopefully, found a place to park. I was also shading myself with one of Red’s umbrellas, and I accepted a cup of water which they also provided to the people in the line.
Something to read while you wait.
This is Zoe, she belongs to the couple behind me in line. Just when I commented (negatively) about the poor dogs who had been walking by with their owners on this beastly hot day, my fellow waiter spotted her husband walking their dog down to join us. This is where I found them as I joined them to wait for our orders. I’m thinking that she was just fine, as it turned out.
And the ‘Maine’ event. I discovered this place 3 years ago when I was camping in the area, and I’d been looking forward to getting back here ever since. See that big piece of lobster on the left? I took a bite out of it already, before I remembered to take a picture. There is no dressing at all, just melted butter to dip the pieces into. It was every bit as good as I remembered. My friend agreed. Just be prepared to enjoy the company in line while you wait, and you will. We decided that we were in line 100 minutes before we ordered. If I ever get the chance I’ll do it again too. In Wiscasset, ME, on Rt. 1.
Ulterior motive number 2, The Holy Donut. If you are ever in Portland, ME, and are ready for breakfast, this is the place to go. Only a couple of blocks from the second campground I visited 3 years ago, I spotted it as I waited at a traffic light. Potato donuts, and boy are they good.
The line was shorter than Reds, and air conditioned too!

We stopped here as we were leaving ME and headed to my friend in NH. We bought extras to share. I failed to take a picture of the actual donut I got, and ate on the spot. It was a blueberry donut with lemon glaze. I got one last time I was here and it was so good that I went back the next day for another, and they were gone. Their season had ended, apple cinnamon donuts were the new featured donut. The apple was good, but I’m so glad the blueberry/lemon were back in season on this day. I was hungry…

'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, 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.