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>> Friday, July 30, 2010

I love tidepools.  I have for as long as I can remember.  They're so mysterious, and so chock full of cool things.

Although the coastline of Maine is rocky, there aren't a whole lot of opportunities for tide pooling around Cobscook Bay.  I think the explanation for that is that it's a bay, and tide pools need waves.  There are a few good tide pools on the Quoddy Head, though, so of course I spent a little time picking things out of them. Unfortunately, the rocks are wicked slippery, and with my good camera in my hand I didn't feel all that daring in my tide pool adventures this year.  Dunking it would really have ruined my day.

I did pick out a few neat critters and take a few shots that I liked though.

The seaweed is awesome.  I love seaweed.  There are seemingly zillions of different varieties, from fat plasticky kelp, to puffy little bumpy pods, to delicate frilly pink curly things.  Some are iridescent blue, some pink, lots are brown or green.  Sadly, I haven't taken the time to identify these yet.  I may still get around to it.  But even without identifications, I think they look cool.

I also love all the snails and barnacles.  Why is it that snails are so cute, yet slugs are sort of gross?

A few titchy starfish:

I also found some crabs skittering around, but given how much grief the one I picked up gave me, I couldn't manage to hold the camera with one hand and him with the other without getting my fingers pinched, HARD.  I therefore have no pictures of him, although the pinch marks have finally faded off my fingers.  Quite a defense mechanism.  I wonder how many pounds per square inch of force those little suckers generate?  Seriously impressive amounts.

Other things in the tide pools in Quoddy Head are sea urchins, anemones (which I can't help poking gently to make them suction onto my fingers), and even, if you're lucky, bitty lobsters.

Spouse and kids waiting patiently for me to stop poking in tide pools:


Quoddy Head, Part 2

>> Thursday, July 29, 2010

The woods at Quoddy Head are not like any other woods I have ever immersed myself in.  They are dark and quiet and mysterious, and have this faint whiff of fairy realm about them.  All the mist up there on that point makes everything so, so green.  Moss and lichen cover earth and rocks and trees.  There is little undergrowth other than the thick, lush moss.

Lots of little streams run through the woods, often in channels so overhung with moss that they are hard to spot.

The trails are thrillingly compelling.  How can anyone resist walking down all of them?

I spend much of my time there torn between darting quickly down the trails because I can't stand another minute of suspense about what will come next, and stopping dead in my tracks to appreciate some particularly appealing detail.  I stop for a whiff of balsam coming off the trees in the sun along the coast, or a patch of particularly soft moss, a delicate flitting in the trees above my head signifying the aerial presence of a bird, or the delicious gurgling of a wood thrush's song.  Most often I stop to photograph mushrooms.  Oh, the mushrooms!  Tiny etherial little beings.  I will do an entire post on them... at least one.

Most of the time you have no idea that you're near the coast.  The hush of the woods is so intense that you can't hear the crashing waves, even when the cliffs are quite near.  Then suddenly, there is a reminder of the ocean's presence, sitting beside the trail.  Or occasionally the trail will pop out onto a rocky cliff, leaving you blinking in the sunlight and disoriented by the contrast.

Then just as suddenly, the trail will return to the cool, quiet greenness.

Something about spending time in those woods makes me feel as though, if I stay there long enough, I will turn into a dryad or a bowtruckle*.  I can almost feel my limbs turning into angular wooden arms and legs, and am certain that if I leap upward with all my might I can land right in the branches of the trees.  When Lucy takes advantage of my spending a long time photographing a mushroom and falls asleep, I have a fleeting moment of fear that some fairy queen has put her to sleep with a spell, and she will have to stay there on her bed of moss for 100 years of enchanted sleep.

Even the delicate wood sorrel takes on a certain air of enchantment in the way it carpets an entire swath of the forest floor with its symmetrical leaves and delicate striped blossoms.

It's all so magical, that the woods of Quoddy Head have left a deep impression on me.  I shall think about those woods often, I am sure, and the memory of my few stolen days of grace there will be a source of solace for many years to come.

* For non-Harry Potter fans, a bowtruckle is a small wooden tree-guardian that lives in trees that are used for making magic wands.  They are made of bark and twigs, and live off woodlice and fairy eggs.


Maine Photo Essay

>> Wednesday, July 28, 2010

There's no particular rhyme or reason to these, they're just some of my favorite shots from various spots in Downeast Maine.

Little Village called Eastport:

Little Village called Lubec:

Little fishing Village called Cutler:

Wouldn't be Maine without blueberries:

Wild roses were everywhere:

Various fishing boat graveyards:

And just some random miscellany:


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