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April 15 - June 30, 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

We have had several cloudy, foggy days over the past couple of weeks (including two this past weekend), but there actually has been very little rain here on the island. As a result many vernal pools and other normally wet areas are drying up. This is not unusual for our summer months. However, despite the showers today, it definitely is time to be especially careful with fire. Most old-timers, and some not-so-old-timers, remember all too well the devastating forest fire on Mount Desert Island in 1947. Originating in the center of the island near Town Hill, that fire burned violently to the east and southeast for nearly 10 days, driven by strong northwest winds. It devastated Bar Harbor and put an end to the grand "cottage era". For more information on that tragic event, take a look at the book "Lost Bar Harbor" in local bookstores or libraries.

We are entering the week of July 4th - perhaps our single busiest day and week during the entire year! You will want to make your plans early and realistically - especially for the 4th itself, and especially where driving is concerned. We have the scoop on our Happenings page. Also, with the weather forecast for the week looking a little unsettled, keep an eye on our Weather page to get all the up to date information along with tide charts and current Maine coast red tide alerts
(no red tide warnings or closures here around Frenchman or Blue Hill Bays just yet).

There are a couple of new issues posted this month (one yesterday) on our MDI Blog. If you haven't been looking at that part of our site, you might want to see what's there - and perhaps make a comment yourself. If enough island folks start both reading and commenting on these issues, the blog could become a very significant force in helping to resolve them. Give it a try and let others know what you think!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ada C. Lore

A few weeks ago we mentioned that the Chesapeake Bay oyster schooner "Ada C. Lore" was being refitted at the Hinckley boatyard in Southwest Harbor. It appears that the refit is almost complete. Her masts are back in, and she has a new paint job. Perhaps we will see her in the water around MDI before too long!

Bar Harbor Brass Week concludes tomorrow evening at 5:30 with a Brass Extravaganza at the bandstand on the Village Green. Also, we are rapidly approaching the festivities surrounding the 4th of July. We have all the details on our happenings page. There will be a lot going on, so check it out - and rest up a little over the next few days!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Flash in the Pans Flash in the Pans

Despite threatening showers that actually materialized during the second half of their performance, last night's concert by the steel drum band "Flash in the Pans" was terrific! Many people donned light rain gear and joyfully danced to their music with bare feet in the wet grass of Bar Harbor's Village Green. For those who decided to stay home because of the showers, you will have a second chance to see and hear them when they come to Southwest Harbor on July 21. We'll remind you then!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Beach Roses

Beach Roses

Everywhere around the island along the immediate shore, banks of beach roses (rosa rugosa) are coming into full bloom. They are both beautiful and interesting, because they thrive on the salt air and the sea mist.

If you have never seen "Flash in the Pans" - the steel drum band from Blue Hill - you are really missing something. You have an opportunity to remedy that by heading over to the Bar Harbor Village Green tonight at 7 p.m.. They are holding an open-air concert to benefit the West Eden Village Improvement Society. It is great music and will be thoroughly enjoyed by kids as well as adults! Don't miss it!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Lupine in the Fog

At 7:59 p.m. today
we will reach the summer solstice - the longest day of the year and the beginning of our most delightful season.

Things in the weather department continue to be unsettled with some clouds, some sun, some fog, some showers and cool temperatures. Fog can be beautiful, however. The lupine are blooming in fields and along roadsides all over the island, and a little fog just enhances the view of this field in Manset. Other wild flowers are now in abundance as well, so look around as you are out and about!

The annual Chamber of Commerce Art Show will be held on the Village Green in Bar Harbor on both Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to check it out. Saturday might be your best day to avoid those showers.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Books & Games

After several weeks of sunny, warm weather, we are having a few cool, cloudy days with scattered showers and patchy fog. Not to worry, however, because you now have an excuse to kick back and enjoy a fun parlor game or your favorite summer "read". One of the nicest things about being here on the Maine coast in summer is the opportunity on cloudy, rainy or foggy days to slow your pace and find those little, quiet, indoor activities that make life sparkle.
Memories are made at times like this - so don't let them pass you by!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Friday, June 13, 2008

Another weekend just ahead, and it looks like it will be a very busy one - especially Sunday. There is the Acadia Birding Festival all weekend and a 10k road race on Saturday. Sunday is Father's Day and the largest cruise ship to visit Bar Harbor so far this year will be here that day as well - "Grandeur of the Seas" of the Royal Caribbean Line. And last but not least, the Bar Harbor Legacy of the Arts Festival kicks off a week of activities with a good ol' ragtime band concert on the green Sunday evening. The weather looks great for tomorrow, but perhaps a few showers after that. We sure have no complaints though, because June has been spectacular so far!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Red Lady Slipper
Red Lady Slipper

The heat has broken and we have some beautiful days coming up. This is a great time to hit the trails or carriage roads and enjoy our late spring with all of its wild flowers. A hike just about anywhere will offer many subtle but interesting rewards!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hey, where did all the water go? It was dry this spring, but things must be worse than we thought!
(or it could be low tide)

We are in the midst of an unusual early June heat wave brought on by a "Bermuda High" out over the mid-Atlantic. A breeze out of the southwest is pumping near 90 degree temperatures into Maine - even down along the coast! We are fortunate to have some natural air conditioning, however, so get as close to the ocean as you can today and tomorrow - on a boat would be best! Things should break about Wednesday with more normal daytime temps.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Blue Flag Iris Blue Flag Iris Blue Flag Iris

One of our island's most beautiful and showy spring wild flowers - the Wild "Blue Flag" Iris - is now in bloom along roadsides and by swampy areas. They don't last too long, so get out and look for them in the next couple of days.
The three pictured above were all seen this morning in different locations on the "quiet side".

Tomorrow is National Trails Day in Acadia National Park. A hike might be the perfect way to see those wild irises!
Check our Happenings page for more details on this and other activities.

The weekend weather should be mostly sunny and very warm for this time of year - especially on Sunday.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ada C. Lore

Unusual and interesting boats are frequently seen in the water at ports around Mount Desert during the summer, but they rarely show up on land! This one was spotted a couple of days ago at the Hinckley boatyard in Manset - apparently hauled out for restoration and refitting. She is the "Ada C. Lore", one of only three remaining Chesapeake Bay oyster schooners (note the shallow draft and low freeboard). We don't know who is having the work done, but a good guess might be Downeast Windjammer Cruises Captain Steve Pagels who has restored other historic vessels in the past.

Here is how the "Ada C. Lore" looked under sail in 2002:

Ada C. Lore.
Click image for larger view.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mussel Bed

With the month of June well underway, many island residents and visitors have started thinking about going down to the shore to get some steamer clams or wild mussels for their summer dinner. Unfortunately, over-harvesting has made steamers rather scarce in this area. Most towns now require clam diggers to have a license - even recreational diggers - and the clam flats around just about all of Mount Desert Island are closed completely during the summer months. Mussels, on the other hand, remain plentiful if you know where to look, and no license is required to pick them. However, you do need to be careful about red tide which can show up suddenly along parts of the Maine coast at this time of year.

Red tide is a bloom of a toxic algae which concentrates in the shellfish that feed upon it. Red tide does not harm the shellfish, but it can make humans who eat it quite sick. The Maine Department of Marine Resources keeps a close eye on red tide blooms, and closes sections of the coast to shellfish harvesting from time to time. We have a link to the current information about red tide closures on our weather page. So if you plan to pick some mussels this summer, check our red tide link first to be sure it is safe where you plan to go. Right now, the only closures are around the off-shore islands of Frenchboro and Isle au Haut.

And if you haven't tried wild mussels steamed in beer and garlic, you have a real treat coming! By the way - lobsters are not affected by red tide - so not to worry about that!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Early Season Sailing
This Cape Dory Typhoon was out yesterday afternoon for an early season sail off Northeast Harbor. crew was out as well - but in a Tempest. Greening Island is in the background.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tomorrow marks the end of another month, and Sunday is the first of June! Each year, once we pass Memorial Day it seems that here on the island everything starts moving at a frantic pace. The happenings calendar has expanded dramatically, and we have another busy weekend ahead. There may be a few showers as well, but you can take in some professional modern dance indoors at MDI High School Saturday evening or stop by the free Abbe Museum Open House all day Sunday. And look around when you are out and about - you likely will see some stylish and classic Corvettes! Those who have lived here for many years know that you have to be intentional about taking advantage of all our beautiful, but short, summers have to offer - so don't let time pass you by. When September rolls around,
it's sad if you have to say "I would've, could've, should've"!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Schooner Margaret Todd
The 4-masted schooner "Margaret Todd" takes a short break on a busy holiday weekend afternoon.

Monday, May 26, 2008 - Memorial Day

U.S. Flag

On this Memorial Day and everyday, let us...

Honor those who have served;
Remember those who have sacrificed;
Stand strong;
Use judgement;
Build community;
Work for peace.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Can you believe it? Memorial Day Weekend is upon us - the official beginning of summer! My, how time flies when you are having fun!

While many here and around the country will be enjoying traditional hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, other fortunate families in our area will sit down to an old-fashioned lobster dinner. Often, these lobsters will be boiled in seawater on an open fire by the shore. Although ground fishing continues to be almost non-existent along the Maine coast, the lobster fishery remains relatively healthy. This is largely due to careful observance of conservation measures by the lobstermen themselves, and they rightly take a lot of pride in their accomplishment. Things are not all great in the lobster industry, however. Fuel and bait costs have been giong through the roof, but the price of lobster at the boat has been little changed, putting the fishermen in a financial bind. Still, it could be worse, so if you are lucky enough - enjoy a good Maine lobster this weekend to start the season off on the right foot!

Our weekend weather forecast looks like mostly sunny and warmer - pretty good compared to some other parts of the country! If you want to check out the accuracy of the forecasters, take a look at one of our live webcams.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Cat

After a long winter in port, our high speed ferry, The Cat, lies at her pier on Eden Street awaiting the start of her summer runs between Bar Harbor or Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Service from Portland begins May 30, and the first trip from Bar Harbor to Yarmouth will leave on Monday, June 2 - just twelve days away!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hay Field
This rolling hayfield on the Crooked Road is beginning to green-up!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Rhododendron Flowering Shad

We have arrived at that very special time of year here on the island when flowers seem to appear nearly everywhere. Some are cultivated in local gardens, but a great many of them are simply growing wild in the woods and fields. Above on the left is a cultivated rhododendron (being courted by a bumblebee), and on the right is a wild flowering shad (known locally as wild pear). Most blossoms, especially the flowering shad, last only a very short time, so look around when you are out and about! There is a lot of beauty to be seen!

Friday, May 16, 2008

It looks like we have another very pleasant spring weekend ahead - perhaps a few scattered showers Saturday evening into Sunday morning, but otherwise quite nice. There are lots of things going on around the island - plant sales, the Spring Bulb Tour, and the Tour de Cure bicycle ride among them. Our Happenings page has complete details.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kebo Valley Golf Club

Our warm and sunny spring days just continue to roll along. In fact, after a wet and snowy winter, we have been enjoying one of the most pleasant and early spring seasons we can remember in many years!

Partly because of the great weather, island golf courses are now in full operation. Above is a photo taken a couple of days ago of the historic and scenic Kebo Valley Club in Bar Harbor.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Kolorful kayaks awaiting kustomers on the Bar Harbor waterfront.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cruise ship "Maasdam" in Bar Harbor this morning on a pretty Mother's Day Sunday.


It is a bright, sunny day here in coastal Maine, unlike areas much farther to our south where severe weather has caused many problems. In addition to being Mother's Day, today marks the first cruise ship of the season to visit Bar Harbor. The "Maasdam" of the Holland America Line will be in town until 3:00 p.m., so go over if you get a chance and take a look. There should be lots of people on the streets and in the park.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bar Harbor

The past two days here on the island have been absolutely beautiful - sunny and warm, more like early summer than
mid- spring! The tourists are popping up, the leaves are popping out, and along with the new leaves comes tree pollen
(A-a-a-choo!) The only downside to all of this has been the emergence of our notorious blackflies. They are around in quantity now wherever there is standing water, and they will be a nuisance for the next six weeks or so. If you want to avoid them but still be outdoors, head for the shore, a mountain top or town!

We have a few light showers this morning, and perhaps there will be more over the next two or three days.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bar Harbor Bar Harbor

Although the season is still very early, most shops and restaurants in Bar Harbor are now open. And while the streets certainly are not overcrowded yet, more and more tourists seem to show up each week. Folks having lunch or dinner on Rupununi's outdoor patio Monday, even with clouds overhead, are always a good sign that warmer days have finally arrived!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Well, so much for accurate weather forecasts here along the Maine coast! Our sunny, cool weekend turned out to be rainy and almost cold! Actually, to be fair, in these days of sophisticated computer models the meteorologists usually do a remarkably good job predicting the weather in an area like ours that is notorious for rapid changes resulting from the impact of a cold ocean on upper air flows. The good side of all this is that now we should see the sun again sooner than originally expected - perhaps later today, or tomorrow for sure (we think)!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Carriage Road

It's hard to believe, but here we are in May! This month will mark the beginning of our tourism season, and the first cruise ship arrives in just nine days! The weather over the upcoming weekend should be sunny but cool - perfect for getting out to enjoy a hike or a bike ride on Acadia's 45 miles of beautiful carriage roads. Now is a great time to take advantage of them before the summer crowds return.

You also can enjoy the Acadia Choral Society's Spring Concert both Saturday and Sunday, as well as some great MDI High School drama productions or, if you are so inclined, some live Texas rock music at the Criterion.
Check the ever expanding Happenings page for more details.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Carriage Road Trailing Arbutus

Our warm sunny weather over the past couple of weeks has allowed the Acadia Park carriage roads to dry out enough after the spring thaw so that they have been reopened for all usual activities including hiking and biking. Early spring is a great time to get out and look for all of the new life popping out everywhere in the forest. Yesterday, we saw the relatively rare Trailing Arbutus (Mayflower) just coming into bloom. These tiny woodland flowers are among the earliest to appear each year, and you have to look carefully to find them, but the effort is definitely worth-while!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Another busy spring weekend is coming up, and once again the weather is cooperating! Tomorrow is Junior Ranger Day at Acadia National Park with lots of activities for kids at the Sieur de Monts Nature Center. Also Saturday morning Friends of Acadia holds its annual roadside Clean up Day, so get out and help keep our island beautiful! And in the evening you can top it off with a performance of "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers" at the Criterion. For more details and some new listings of upcoming events, check our Happenings page.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bar Harbor

Today is Earth Day - Be Green!

Things are continuing to pick up in Bar Harbor as more shops and restaurants are opening almost every day now!

This week is school spring vacation, and it is also "turn off TV week", so there are lots of activities available for kids of all ages. Check out the Happenings page and give some of the venues a call to get more specifics. Or you can just take the opportunity to be outdoors again after our long winter!

Earth Day
a haiku by Jane Pappas (age 11)

Celebrate the trees,
All of the living things too.
Earth Day is each day.

Saturday, April 19, 2008 2:30 p.m.

Earth Day at COA Earth Day at COA

The spring weather could not have been more beautiful today for College of the Atlantic's annual Earth Day celebration in Bar Harbor. A large crowd turned out to enjoy good food, good music, educational exhibits and fun activities for kids of all ages!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cadillac Mtn. Road

As a result of our warm weather this week, both the lower Acadia Park Loop Road and the Cadillac Mountain Road are now open. The long distance views from Cadillac are spectacular, especially when the air is as clean and clear as it was yesterday! Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's, this 3.2 mile road to the 1,530 ft. mountain summit has been praised as an engineering marvel because of it's moderate grade, sinuous curves, rugged terrain, and continuous vistas of both coastal mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. On a good day, it is possible to see Mt. Katahdin, over 100 miles away!


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