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Thursday, July 20, 2017


     Durelle has a 94 year old dear friend, Estelle Anderson who with her daughter Karen, spends the summer in a camping trailer in Wells, ME. She's the lady who carried infant Durelle across the threshold when she came home from the hospital. She also baked our wedding cake AND a replica for our 50th anniversary! Since Wiscasset is almost exactly halfway between Wells and Belfast, we have traditionally met for lunch there. The restaurant of choice had always been Le Garage, but it closed after forty years as the owners have yet to find a buyer. We would be travelling with the Roths and we jointly settled on the Montsweag Roadhouse as an alternative.

     I had some local oysters on the half shell that had been delivered just before we got there. They were the sweetest, briniest oysters I have had in a long time. Among us we also had Reubens, hadddock sandwiches and extra skinny onion rings.
     On the way back we avoided the congestion of Camden by leaving route 1 in Waldoboro, taking 235 to Union, 131 to Searsmont and route 3 and thus back to Belfast. Along 131 is an iconic photo op of a red barn and green fields. I sent a copy of the picture to Jackie Fare, my favorite blog-stalker, who tweaked it and sent it back. Below is her version of the picture.

     I hope you enjoy the picture as much as I do. And, yes, we did get back in time for happy hour. Thanks to Joe and Rich for dog sitting.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Foggy Day

     After a string of sunny, or at least partly cloudy days, today began with a fog bank that prevented us from even seeing the water. If the humidity is near 100%, cooling that air mass by either nighttime cooling or by ocean temperatures or both will bring fog. By mid-afternoon the sun had "burned off" the fog over the land, but it is still persisting over the water. While that circumstance swamps out almost all photo-ops, an industrious spider provided one.

     Sometime; we had not noticed the web before; a spider strung a line from the corner of our window canopy to the driver's side mirror. From that line he dropped a couple more lines and strung a web in between. The heavy fog and humidity caused hundreds of tiny droplets to form on the web. The breeze did a bit of damage to the heavily laden web, but it still made an interesting display out the driver's side window.
     OK, OK...not every blog can be a journalistic gem or photographer's masterpiece.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The quiet life on the Maine coast

     Today was a COOL day on the mid-coast of Maine. The high was 67 and there was a cool sea breeze all day. We had decided rather impulsively last night to go out to breakfast (thanks, Dick Roth) this morning. Bowen's Tavern is an unlikely looking place on one of the back roads that radiate inward from the coast. On your first impression drive-by it looks like a biker bar. It's not.

     Since there were eight of us, they set us up in a back room. No, it did not have anything to do with the fact that we were a rowdy bunch.

     I had steak and eggs; two had blueberry pancakes, and Ann had a crabmeat omelet! The portions were large...we'll split some warmed up pancakes for supper.
     When we got back, it was a lazy day. It was too cool to sit outside. Even happy hour was curtailed. I did take some nice pictures through the windshield, however.

     Mocha has made herself at home.

     We are all enjoying and appreciating every minute. We hope you are also.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Bagaduce Diner

     Most readers will remember that every summer, at least once, a group of us will head over to Sedgewick, ME, near Blue Hill, to a fine roadside diner on the banks of the Bagaduce River. It's called, of course, the Bagaduce Diner. It's 100% take-out, but all the tables are arranged in the shade on the riverbank. The outgoing river does battle with the incoming tide. Every six hours they alternate winners, so there are ever changing rapids under the bridge.
     Among the diner's specialties are a fried haddock sandwich and onion rings.

     That's a full sized cafeteria tray and a soda straw to give you the proper sense of scale. We found a table by the river that comfortably seated ten.

     There's no shortage of photo-ops in the Blue Hill area. This is one of many.

     Before we left the center of town, I took a shot through an opening in a piece of granite sculpture.

     Now it's time to adjourn to Happy Hour.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hummingbirds, Moonlight and Camaraderie

     The previous two posts had a theme...the fourth of July. This one is a hodge-podge of pictures with no common element except that the pictures were all taken here in the Moorings campground. Yesterday I decided to try to get some pictures of the hummingbirds at our feeder. Obviously a hand held camera taking pictures of a hummingbird in the shade of a window canopy does not have much chance of success. I have a mini-tripod for the camera. I set it up for a fixed focus and the burst mode of rapid-fire pictures. It was on Durelle's table about a meter from the feeder. Durelle snapped a number of pictures; a couple of which are shown below. I really needed more light to get a quicker aperture. The pictures are interesting, but I haven't heard from National Geographic yet.

     Our evening Happy Hours grow dramatically in both attendance and snacks when the Bouchers and the Peraltas are here. There were some severe storms in the area on Saturday, but they passed to the south leaving some fine weather for our socializing. Here we are nestled between our rig and the Roths'.

     And, the same group from the other direction...

     The date also marked the third wedding anniversary for Joe and Rich who are relatively new additions to the group. In lieu of a cake, Hilda brought a huge whoopie pie.

          As it began to get dark, we adjourned to the Bouchers' site down by the water for a campfire. It turns out that the drum from a typical clothes dryer makes a wonderful fire pit.

     We were soon treated to a lovely sunset. The sun was completely gone, but it was still illuminating the high altitude, wispy cirrus clouds left behind by the storms.


      Later in the evening a nearly full moon poked up out of the fog bank that had covered Ilseboro.

         Thus endeth another wonderful day on the mid-coast of Maine.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Fourth of July at the Moorings

     The 120 pound pig cooked slowly all night. After he (she?) was thoroughly injected with one set of seasonings, slathered with another set and topped with bacon for basting, he was completely double wrapped with foil. Then he was hoisted aboard two bags of charcoal to spend the night slowly roasting at 250 degrees. There is a perforated tube under the charcoal so that the air supply for combustion is provided by a thermostatically controlled fan. Come morning, Tom and Michelle Peralta pulled the meat apart and put it in wrapped foil pans to stay warm in the oven. You stock players out there might want to go long on aluminum foil. The sixteen racks of ribs went on first thing in the morning. Here's what three of them look like about three hours later.

     Next the ribs get treated to a dose of honey and brown sugar, double wrapped (more foil again) and returned for another hour or so.

     After the ribs were "nestled all snug in their beds", twenty pounds of coiled sausage went on. Meanwhile the campground staff and many volunteers were setting up tents and tables.

     Finally, when all the meat was done, It all had to be cut into serving size pieces. The pork was already pulled and the chicken was cut up, but the ribs, the sausage, and the brisket needed to be sliced. Again, more volunteers.

     The brisket takes a bit more finesse with the knives. First of all, there is a layer of surface fat to be sliced off. Then it must be thinly sliced cross grain.

     While the finishing touches were applied to the meats, an amazing plethora of side dishes magically appeared. [I'm told that there was nothing magical about it. Rather, it was the organization and effort of the distaff side that made it happen.]

     There were twenty tables set for six each, and there were only a couple of empty seats. Debra Donnahoo, the campground manager, welcomed everyone to a wonderful Moorings July 4th tradition. She thanked the several groups and individuals that made it happen. Appropriately, she also thanked the men and women, past and present, who have secured and maintained our independence. Then the tables were called, one at a time, to the serving line.
                                   Don't forget your vegetables!

     It seems like a festive occasion, and it is, but it is also a lot of work for a lot of people.

                                            Are we done yet?

          It's a trite cliché (a redundancy?) to say life is good, but this is one of those times that we are obliged to step back and take a moment to appreciate the good fortune and good friends that we have.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Day Before the Fourth

     I took a lot of pictures of the food preparation for the fourth, but they will be a piece of the blog for the fourth. Tonight was a seaside happy hour with some fine sunset pictures.

     That's Bonnie Nester, the campground owner, on the right. Durelle's on the left.

     Note the back porch on the back of the big, three-axle fifth wheel.

      Tim Boucher and Liz Flood.

     More hors d'oeuvres. 

     As the sun was going down there were a lot of nice shots of the sunset.

      And here comes a paddleboarder.

Cormorants on the monument.


     Sunset. It was a busy day for the barbecuers. They are preparing to feed over a hundred people tomorrow. The whole hog weighs 120 pounds...there are five briskets weighing just south of a hundred pounds...there will be sixteen racks of ribs, twenty pounds of sausage, and ninety pieces of chicken. All the other participants will be bringing a side dish.
     For some altruistic motivations I don't completely understand, the barbecuers have decided not to charge anyone. Since I am one of the happy beneficiaries, I shall not complain.