When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

If you're looking for something specific that we've done or a place that we've been, use the Search Box feature to search our blog.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Campobello Island, Canada

If you drive over the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Bridge from Lubec's route 189 with the valid information to cross over into Canada from the US (right now, it's a passport) you can enter a world of crazy roads and canadian accented people and get a view of East Quoddy Lighthouse, one of the most beautiful lighthouses I've ever seen. I wish I had known more about what my future would look like before entering the island, because I could have fulfilled a ton of my birding fantasies right there in one day but alas - I had no idea.

Instead, we drove blindly around the island in search of the famous lighthouse, briefly stopping at the Roosevelt Campobello International Park which contains Roosevelt Cottage, where the President and his wife would visit on vacation and then later into this fabulous tourist shop where there were so many fun things that we found we would have needed a box truck to take it all home. We drove by salmon pens, mussel rafts and fishing boats galore, stopping to watch a dump truck load up on a ferry and to let the boy run around in the coarse sand. 

And then the road stopped, and there it was - East Quoddy Light with the Bay of Fundy in the background. I jumped out - took pictures and then we turned around to go back the way we had come. We crossed back over the bridge after stopping to talk to the border patrol (it's always so much easier to get into Canada than it is to come back into the US) and then found something to eat before heading back to our 'beach rental'. Again, pictures were from last August/early September 2003. 

East Quoddy Lighthouse

Salmon pens

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Black Capped Chickadees

Nothing says Maine like a good old Black Capped Chickadee. These sweet little birds are not only the symbolic bird of Maine; that honor is also shared with Massachusetts and New Brunswick, Canada. They are a staple in my backyard, I've watched many a brood hatch and take flight from my nestboxes and I think that those same birds winter over here and start again in the spring - they are SO tame. My buddies. 

"Ummm, you gonna move on there pretty soon?"

"Yep - I just needed to shell out this last seed."

"I'm leaving - it's all yours!"

"Not sure what his hurry was, I was just asking when he was going to move."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Quoddy Narrows Beach - Lubec, Maine

When we scheduled our trip to Lubec oh so many years ago, I rented a house that sat on the beach of the Quoddy Narrows that runs between Lubec and Campobello Island in Canada. It was a huge two story home that contained 4 bedrooms, none that overlooked the water or the views (but the narrow bathroom did if you stood on the tub). Who was complaining? At the time I rented the place for $500 Sunday - Saturday and we made the best of it.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, the tides rise 18 - 22' from dead low so at low tide, you have millions of miles to walk and look for the best sea glass in a range of colors from cobalt blue to fire red, fine china pieces and odds and ends of everything imaginable. You just have to be careful because at times, the sand gets a little soupy and I wouldn't recommend going barefoot too far out. 

At high tide, there is literally no beach at all, so that's when it's best to do exploring to other areas like Campobello, Eastport, Cutler and other outlying areas. Or just get some lobsters and hang out at the house.

Randall's Orchard in Winter, Standish Me

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Easternmost Town in the US - Lubec, Maine

Lubec is a gorgeous place to visit, so long as you aren't expecting to get a taxi to the local hotel and be pampered with fine dining and dancing in the evenings. This sweet little town literally rolls up the sidewalks early and folks go to bed, since they all have to drive long distances or be on the boats really early in the morning to work.

I fell in love. 

Lubec has a rich history, starting when it was settled around 1775 and includes smuggling gypsum, fishing, tanning, gristmill and sawmill trades, boatbuilding, sailmaking and shipyard work. The town isn't very big - not big stores or restaurants and the last I knew the Apothecary is still there, not bought out by Rite Aid yet. They still have an IGA on the outskirts of town and I'm not 100% sure how those folks make it through the winter. Much more information can be found on it's history by checking the Maine Memory Network for Lubec.

The pictures below were taken on our trip late August/early September 2003 and are specific to the town of Lubec and immediate area.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

Black Scoters - Higgins Beach, Cape Elizabeth

Before heading home from my Jackpot Day of birding, I decided to make one quick stop at Higgins Beach and man oh man, I was not disappointed. Offshore - on the outer edges of the surf - was a raft of ducks so large, so incredibly massive... well - ok. It wasn't THAT big but I was so excited! I pulled out my binoculars and stared at them for a few minutes, trying to figure out what exactly I had in front of me. There were far more than a hundred of these dark colored birds, some with white and I was lost for a few until I realized - they were Black Scoters, mixed male and female, with an Eider and two Long Tailed ducks sandwiched in the middle like marriage counselors or playground monitors. 

Black Scoters are another type of sea duck that summers along the coast of Alaska, Quebec or Newfoundland and then hits the Maine Coast for it's winter vacation. The males are all black and sport a bright orange bill, while the females are a dingy greyish-brown with a lighter gray patch on their cheeks. You can clearly see the difference in the pictures below. Of the three Scoter breeds (White Winged, Surf and Black Scoter) the Black is the least common and therefore, the least studied of the trio. It was a great surprise to see them here and I'm so glad I could share them with you! 

This is just a portion of the group. The pictures that show all make it look like a bunch of pepper on a plate!

The orange beaks of the males and the light faces of the females made this group pretty easy to identify.

Spot the two Long Tails and the Eider in the mix? 


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