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MOUNT  DESERT  ISLAND  CURRENTS
ARCHIVE

April 1 - June 30, 2011





Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sunset Sail
A sailboat enjoys the sunset off Bar Harbor, framed by the upper deck of the coastal cruise ship "Independence".

It's hard to believe, but this upcoming weekend will mark the 4th of July! And, as usual, there are plenty of visitors on the island to help us celebrate! High gasoline prices have not kept many folks away! The weather appears to be in a cooperative mood, with the early forecast for Monday indicating that it will be a sunny, warm day".



Monday, June 27, 2011

Pitcher Plant Pitcher Plant Flower

Speaking of unusual plants, the carnivorous Pitcher Plant is now briefly showing off it's strange umbrella shaped flower. (The single flower actually looks like one of those alien machines from the classic movie "War of the Worlds"!)
If you can find one, Pitcher Plants are quite interesting as they patiently lie in wait for a delectable insect to drop in for dinner! Like the Arethusa, they grow in very wet peat bogs. If you venture into such a bog, you might find out what quicksand is like - don't go the way of the dinosaurs!



Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dragon's Mouth Dragon's Mouth

There are lots of wildflowers on MDI, and we try to pay attention to them. But the staff here at MountDesertIsland.Net came across one yesterday afternoon that we had never seen before! It is a rather unusual and very showy member of the orchid family known as Arethusa or "Dragon's Mouth". The plants are quite small - each has just one slender stalk about 6 to 8 inches high with a single bloom on top - and they grow in very wet sphagnum peat bogs. For both of these reasons, they are easy to overlook. (Few of us walk around in peat bogs!) Perhaps 20 or 25 tiny flowers were discovered in one relatively inaccesible location. We would tell you where to find them, but that information must remain top secret for the safety of these fragile beauties!



Friday, June 24, 2011

Foggy Harbor

Those predicted showers have arrived right on schedule, along with a bit of morning fog.
Things should begin to clear out by tomorrow afternoon and into the day on Sunday.

Our free summer shuttle bus - Island Explorer - began running yesterday. To get the full schedule, click here, or click on the link at the top of this page. It is a convenient and environmentally friendly way to see Mount Desert Island while avoiding much of the traffic. And did we mention - it's free?



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bar Harbor Evening

Warm summer evenings are a great time to check out downtown Bar Harbor for people watching and perhaps
an ice cream cone! There will be lots of activity, and the shops are all open until 10 or 11 p.m.

Our weather has been perfect for the past few days, but the forecast indicates that there will be a few showers
moving in by the end of the week.



Monday, June 20, 2011

Flash in the Pans
"Flash in the Pans", a steel drum band from Blue Hill, playing in Bar Harbor on Sunday evening.

Agamont Park in Bar Harbor was the perfect setting for a summer evening outdoor music concert yesterday. The event kicked off a week of activities connected with the annual Legacy of the Arts celebration. Take a look at the schedule on our Happenings page and make plans to enjoy some of these fine programs!

The summer solstice arrives tomorrow in the early afternoon, marking the longest day of the year and the official start of summer! Get outside and take advantage of it, because the days will begin gradually becoming shorter!



Friday, June 17, 2011

Lupine Fence

Island schools begin summer vacation this afternoon, and right on cue, we kick off a very busy week of activities. Three cruise ships will be in port on Sunday, and Sunday also marks the beginning of Bar Harbor's Legacy of the Arts week along with Bar Harbor Brass Week! Get the full schedule on our Happenings page.



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lupine Field
Lupine field on Beech Hill Road.

Lupine are not native to Mount Desert Island, and some consider them to be invasive. However, in our experience they are hard to transplant and difficult to grow from seed unless one knows the secret (freeze them first). And to most people a prolific field of lupine in full bloom makes a beautiful scene around the middle of June each year.
They don't last very long, so get up to Beech Hill Road and take a look at them within the next few days!



Monday, June 13, 2011

Blue Flag Iris
Wild (Blue Flag) Iris were in bloom this past weekend.

Rain, drizzle and fog - oh my! And more of the same is on tap for the next three days, along with much cooler than normal temperatures! Ugh! At least the wildflowers seem to like it. Summer, where are you when we need you?



Friday, June 10, 2011

Lady's Slipper
Lady's Slippers in bloom on Wednesday.

We have a relatively uneventful weekend ahead - probably for the last time until Labor Day, as various festivals and other summer activities get underway in earnest by the end of next week, once schools are out! Unfortunately,
the weather over the next few days appears to be less than cooperative with a strong cold front bringing cool showers both Saturday evening and Sunday!



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Labrador Tea
Labrador Tea.

Things are rather quiet around the island this week. We should begin seeing a lot more heat and humidity starting this evening. Also, MDI High School graduation is on Sunday afternoon, with Awards Night tomorrow evening
(Thursday) at 7 p.m. Lots of families will be attending both events!

Don't forget to check out the wildflowers! They are everywhere, and in profusion not seen for a couple of years!



Monday, June 6, 2011

Clouds

Our recent cool and unsettled weather has had some positive aspects - the cloud formations have been quite unusual and interesting. Still, we are all waiting for real summer to arrive! Hopefully, that will begin to happen this week.



Friday, June 3, 2011

Solomon's Seal
Three-Leaved False Solomon's Seal.

Now that June and some warmer weather have arrived, the wildflowers are starting to bloom everywhere.
Keep your eyes open in the woods and fields and along roadsides!

The weekend promises to be a busy one. Tomorrow is National Trails Day, and there is a big Chevrolet Corvette rally coming to the island tomorrow and Sunday. Also, the Acadia Birding Festival is in full swing.
Get all the details on our Happenings page.



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Margaret Todd
The schooner "Margaret Todd" and a sea kayak tour enjoy Frenchman Bay on Memorial Day.



Monday, May 30, 2011

Flag

On this Memorial Day and everyday:

Remember - those who have served;
Respect - their sacrifice;
Resolve - to end war;
Reflect - upon how all can live in peace on this island in space.



Friday, May 27, 2011

Rhodora
Rhodora (wild azalea) is blooming in marshy areas and along roadsides.

Here we are on the doorstep of Memorial Day weekend - the unofficial beginning of summer - and there are many signs of it everywhere you look around the island. The cruise ship "Maasdam" is in port today. Out-of-state license plates are becoming common once again. Bar Harbor streets are crowded. Shops and restaurants are open. The Happenings calendar is growing much longer. Even though we have some fog around this morning, make the time to get out and enjoy our short "season". It passes all too quickly!



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hawk
A red-tailed hawk on the hunt in a woodland clearing.

Mount Desert Island has always enjoyed abundant wildlife, but this spring our wild creatures seem to be out and about a lot more than in recent years! Maybe they, too, are anxious to get past the long winter!

Finally, today should be warm and mostly sunny, so get out and take advantage of it. The upcoming Memorial Day weekend may see a few showers early, but Monday should be sunny for the many scheduled observances. Check out our Happenings page for a complete list of things to do.



Monday, May 23, 2011

Hadlock Falls

Our spring rains have created some beautiful waterfalls around Acadia National Park. Hadlock Falls, shown above in a photo taken late last week, often runs at little more than a trickle!

As frustrating as our weather has been recently, it is nothing compared to the floods and tornadoes that have been plaguing folks in the U.S. midwest and southeast, or the earthquakes that have destroyed so much
around the Pacific rim.
We are truly blessed to live where we do, and we should never take this beautiful area for granted.



Friday, May 20, 2011

Rhododendron

Rhododendrons are thriving on our wet and cool spring, providing an irrestible attraction for bumblebees and hummingbirds! We humans, on the other hand, are growing a bit moldy and badly need to dry out!

As the Memorial Day weekend is now less than two weeks away, our Happenings calendar has started to expand rapidly, so you should have no problem finding fun things to do this weekend and during the next several months! Tomorrow, you can check out some 45,000 spring bulbs in full bloom at the Stewart estate in Northeast Harbor, visit the 2nd Annual Fiber Fair in Southwest Harbor, and sample some dishes prepared by great restaurants in Bar Harbor. Don't let the clouds or possible drizzle keep you down!



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dandelion

Those of us desperately longing to see the sun again may have to be content with looking at this dandelion for at least the next few days! It is round and yellow, you know, so use your imagination! The bees seem to like it!
Low clouds, fog and drizzle are forecast to hang around until perhaps Sunday.



Monday, May 16, 2011

Eagle

The cool, rainy weather pattern affecting much of the east coast continues to pester us, but it doesn't seem to bother this bald eagle spotted yesterday fishing behind the Somesville library.

We are extremely fortunate that magnificent bald eagles have always found good clean habitat around Mount Desert Island, but they seem to have become even more plentiful in recent years. Sightings several times a week are common - especially if you know when and where to look!



Friday, May 13, 2011

Town Hill Playground

Our cool and cloudy spring has many people around the island longing for better weather so they can enjoy being outside. Kids want to go to a playground like this one in Town Hill. Adults, on the other hand, want to start planting their gardens. Both have been somewhat disappointed this week as we have had a steady cool and raw flow off the ocean. Today may see some improvement but clouds and showers are back tomorrow through the middle of next week!
But take heart - it is not snowing!

Despite the weather, there is a lot going on this weekend. The cruise ship "Maasdam" will be in port twice - once today and again on Sunday. Also, tomorrow is the first day of the Stewart estate's spring bulb tour.
Check it all out and get the details on our Happenings page.



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cattle
Cattle grazing along the Crooked Road earlier this week.



Monday, May 9, 2011

Hummingbird
The hummingbirds are back!

Contrary to the forecast, we had a very pleasant and mostly sunny weekend. However, this morning an ocean storm is backing in toward us, bringing lots of clouds and a cool, raw wind. Hopefully, things will improve later in the week.

In past years, many people on the island bought bedding plants on Mother's Day weekend and began setting them in the garden right away. But this year has been so cool and cloudy that folks don't dare to plant yet.
The full moon in May will be on the 17th, so we should be safe from frost after that!



Friday, May 6, 2011

Lobster Boats

Lobster boats are starting to reappear on their moorings in harbors around the island, marking yet another sign of spring. But the weather apparently still hasn't received the word, as temperatures remain about 10 degrees below normal!

Several special events are on tap for this weekend. You'll have one more chance to see each of the two spring plays presented by the MDI High School Drama Department. And the Acadia Choral Society will present its spring concert tomorrow and Sunday. Get all the details on our Happenings page.
Also, Happy Mother's Day on Sunday to all the moms out there!



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Forsythia
Forsythia in bloom at St. Saviour's Church in Bar Harbor.



Monday, May 2, 2011

Lobster Traps
Lobster traps being loaded on Saturday morning in Bar Harbor.

Welcome to May! And it actually feels like May, despite some rather cool mornings yesterday and today!
Unfortunately, rain is moving in for the rest of the week.

The lobster fishing season is cranking up in earnest this week, with most fishermen actively setting up to 800 traps each. A few hardy souls began in April, but the weather did not help them much this year! And now that our first cruise ship has arrived, almost all of the Bar Harbor shops are open. Even a few out-of-state license plates can be seen as you drive around the island. Spring is finally here, and apparently we will have a summer after all!



Friday, April 29, 2011

Maasdam
Cruise ship "Maasdam" in Bar Harbor this morning.

Today must be the official beginning of "the season", since the first cruise ship dropped anchor off Bar Harbor about
7 a.m. It is Holland America's "Maasdam" - about 720 feet long and carrying almost 2,000 passengers and crew!

Right on cue, the weather has improved significantly with sun breaking out and
temperatures forecast to reach levels not seen since late last summer!



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wild Turkey
A wild turkey searches for tasty morsels on Easter Sunday.

The weather may feel more like Thanksgiving than spring around here, but this turkey doesn't seem too concerned.
Wild turkeys have made quite a comeback here on the island in recent years, as they have throughout New England!

Shops in Bar Harbor are opening for the season in large numbers now with just two more days before the first cruise ship of the season arrives on Friday. And the weather forecast looks rather promising for increasing sunshine after tomorrow along with temperatures perhaps reaching the 60's by the weekend! Bring it on!



Monday, April 25, 2011

Mergansers
A mated pair of mergansers at Round Pond yesterday afternoon.

Spring is making valiant attempts to arrive this year; but cold, wet, and yes, even snow, continue to hang around. Despite the "iffy" weather, there are several things worthy of note happening this week. The first cruise ship of the season arrives in Bar Harbor on Friday. Also, Friends of Acadia will be conducting its annual roadside cleanup on Saturday morning. And last but not least, the impressive MDH High School Drama Department has two spring plays on tap starting this coming weekend. Keep up with all of it on our Happenings page.



Friday, April 22, 2011

Western Bay
Twilight at Western Bay.

Happy Earth Day!



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Beavers
The occupants of this beaver lodge have been busy along Duck Brook.

It's hard to believe, but parts of Maine probably will get several inches of snow today! Fortunately, we should see only rain here. So far, our spring has been as cold, wet and stormy as the past winter was! Maybe some warmer weather will finally arrive next week! We can only hope!



Monday, April 18, 2011

Daffodils



Friday, April 15, 2011

Osprey
The ice is out, and this osprey is keeping a watchful eye for unsuspecting fish in Somes Pond.

Next week is school vacation week. It also is National Park Week, and Acadia Park has a list of activities planned that should be of interest to the entire family. For more details, check our Happenings page. Unfortunately, the weather forecast for the week leaves a bit to be desired, but there still will be opportunities to get outside and enjoy the early spring after a long winter!

By the way, the Acadia National Park Visitor Center in Hulls Cove and the Park Loop Road all opened for the season today. Carriage roads, however, have been closed to all use, including foot and bicycle traffic, for about two weeks until the road surface dries out. It is mud season, you know, and just walking on the soft road surface can do considerable damage!



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pussy Willow

More signs of spring are popping up everywhere - like this pussy willow spotted along the shore a couple of days ago. Also, many homeowners can be seen outside in the afternoon raking their lawns to get rid of winter debris.
Even a few motorcycles are on the roads again!



Monday, April 11, 2011

Somesville Bridge

After a beautiful early spring weekend, we are seeing some April showers today. They should continue off and on for a good part of the upcoming week. Still, it is becoming more clear that this year's harsh winter is behind us - finally! Trees and shrubs are budding, the birds are chirping, peepers are peeping, and forest animals are once again on the move.
Get out, take a look and listen!



Friday, April 8, 2011

Lilies
Daylilies sprouting along the seashore on Wednesday afternoon.
(Are these the proverbial "green shoots"?)

We have yet one more unusually cold morning today, but the forecast indicates that we might finally turn a corner toward warmer, more spring-like weather starting tomorrrow! Let's hope!

You have another chance this weekend to see some great live theater. It's Acadia Community Theater's production of "Godspell" starting tonight and running through Sunday. Get all the details on our Happenings page.



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Brown Mountain Lodge
Brown Mountain Gate Lodge.

When John D. Rockefeller, Jr. built Acadia's beautiful carriage road system, he also constructed two large stone gate lodges to control access to this system. Today these lodges are used as seasonal residences for Park personnel and are rarely open to the public. One of those rare opportunities occurred a few days ago when alert readers were able to visit the Brown Mountain Lodge on what seems like an equally rare sunny Saturday morning! Things like this pop up from time to time, and we try to make you aware of them on our Happenings page.

That rare sun is back with us this morning and should remain for the rest of the week. The recent snows are melting once again, and hopefully, spring is not too far away!



Monday, April 4, 2011

April Snow
Is this January or April? You won't be able to tell just by looking!

Our April Fool snowstorm on Friday deposited over 5 inches of snow and sleet, making travel very difficult into Saturday morning. However, with lots of sun yesterday and a high temperature in the mid-forties,
everything is melting nicely!

Eventually spring will arrive. It's now less than one month before the first cruise ship of the season is scheduled
to drop anchor in Bar Harbor!



Friday, April 1, 2011

Island Farm
An offshore island farm ready for spring earlier this week.

Most of our snow had melted prior to today, but we are currently being socked with yet another major snowstorm - and that's no April Fool's joke, although many wish it was! The weather forecast calls for more than six inches of heavy, wet snow even right along the immediate coastline with substantially more just inland! The good news is that it should not last long, and temperatures are expected to rebound into the 50's by Tuesday!






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