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October 1 - December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

MDI Mountains

Warmer than normal temperatures over the past couple of days have melted much of the snow we received during our blizzard of just a week ago! There still is some around, however, especially at higher elevations.
Yesterday was a nice, sunny day to be out and about!

For those who miss going to the beach, you can get a quick "fix" on Thursday morning. That's when members of the local Polar Bear Club take their traditional New Year's Day swim at Sand Beach!
All you have to do is show up at 9:00 a.m. and hit the surf!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The week between Christmas and New Year's is usually very quiet as many local residents are either away visiting family or just enjoying a few days of vacation at home. Our weather continues its roller coaster pattern, with a day or two of very cold air followed by a day or two of very mild temperatures. Interspersed with all of that is a little rain, then a little snow, then a little more rain. Hopefully, we can get into a more normal winter pattern before too much longer!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Monday, December 22, 2008 9:00 a.m.

If there were any doubts about whether or not we would have a white Christmas this year, those doubts were thoroughly dispelled yesterday and last night. We were hit by a full blown, nor'east blizzard that deposited over 14 inches of snow across the island and brought winds of up to 40 knots, building drifts exceeding 4 feet in some places! Everyone is digging out this morning. Despite all the work, this was a pretty (and pretty dramatic) snowstorm, as you can see from the photos above and below.

Monday, 3:00 p.m.

Blizzard 08
Mount Desert Fire Station in Somesville behind two snowbanks.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Lobster Tree

If you have never been to Mount Desert Island in December, you probably have never seen, or even thought of, a Christmas tree made of lobster crates. But those who reguarly drive on and off the island around this time of year, always enjoy Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound's annual display. It went up over the past few days and looks even more festive after our 2-3 inch snowfall on Wednesday!

This weekend marks the Winter Solstice. Sunday will be our shortest day of the year. After that we begin the slow but steady march toward June, and we should gain about seven hours of daylight by then. There is a solstice celebration tomorrow along with several Christmas programs over the weekend. Check it out on our Happenings page.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Our weather roller coaster ride continues! Over 50 degrees Monday, back into the 20's yesterday, and now snow this morning! To top it off, the forecast is for more volatility over the next few days. At this rate, Santa will have to carry water skis and roller blades in his sleigh so that he will be fully prepared for whatever he might encounter around here!

It has been awhile, but there is a new post on MDI Blog - not a particularly uplifting one,
but you might want to check it out.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A lonely, late season dory hauled up on the beach at Seal Cove.

No snow today, but plenty of rain, freezing rain and sleet is making travel on the roads very difficult! Fortunately all of this mild but messy weather should give way to a much brighter and colder weekend!

As we mentioned earlier this week, there are many holiday activities scheduled for the next few days, so take a little time out to enjoy some of them.

WEATHER UPDATE - 1:00 p.m.: While hundreds of thousands of homes in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have lost power this morning due to high winds and heavy accumulations of ice on trees and electric lines, we here on Mount Desert Island were largely spared. The wind has been very strong, gusting to over 50 knots out of the south, but that south wind caused temperatures to warm up dramatically right here along the coast during the mid-morning from around 33 degrees at 7 a.m. to 55 degrees by 10 a.m.! So, in an unusual turnabout, we have no ice problems, while points just inland have seen an inch or more of ice with temperatures staying in the low 30's! The storm seems to have passed now, but it make take days to restore power to most of the rest of Maine.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Early Snow

Snow and sleet...bitter cold...wind...more snow...rain...snow again...! The past weekend and this week seem like a ride at Coney Island! Our weather has been changing fast and the forecast is for more unsettled conditions to come. But the late fall has been very mild around here until now, so perhaps we can't complain too much!

More Christmas activities are coming up later this week and this weekend. Check it out and take advantage of the remaining events. Things will slow down dramatically after the holidays.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Trap Buoys Lobster Boat

Despite our mild weather recently, it's the time of year when most of our local lobster fishermen and women are hauling out their traps until spring and laying up their boats for the cold and snow ahead. Lobster prices at the boat continue to be relatively low, held down by sluggish demand. Once the supply dries up as winter arrives, that should change.

Don't forget to make your plans for all of the Christmas fairs being held this weekend. Take a look at our Happenings page for a complete schedule. Shop locally this Christmas. Support our island craftspeople and merchants!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bartlett's Narrows

Here we are entering the last month of 2008, a month that will feature our shortest days and also will usher in winter! At this latitude the day's length is especially noticeable. We have already lost six hours of daylight since June. Local sunrise is now about 7 a.m. with sunset before 4 p.m.!

Mild temperatures continue, and despite a very low sun angle, the mid-day hours can be quite pleasant. The photo above is a is a view at Bartlett's Narrows on Saturday.

If it's clear this evening, look to the west just after sunset and you will see an unusual conjunction of Venus, Jupiter, and the crescent moon!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


After our unusual cold snap a few days ago, the weather continues to be mild and partly sunny.
We'll take it for this time of year!

There still is some color to be seen around the island. Winterberry can be found in many areas, and its bright red berries make a very beautiful addition to holiday wreaths or table decorations. This particular patch was spotted a couple of days ago along Ocean Drive in Acadia National Park.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


The big news around here is the very strong wind and rain storm that caused significant damage all around Mount Desert Island on Tuesday night. Trees were blown down everywhere, shingles were torn off roofs, and power was knocked out for hundreds of island residents. While there was a high wind warning posted, gusts in our opinion exceeded the expected 55 - 60 knots, perhaps by a significant margin. Crews worked all day yesterday cleaning up, opening roads, and restoring power. This morning things are getting back to normal, and that definitely is something for which we all can be thankful!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ocean Drive Ocean Drive

We got our first snow of the season on Saturday, compliments of a big ocean storm that passed by well to the east over Nova Scotia. It brought us just a dusting, but that still was enough to close the Acadia Park Loop Road about a week before its scheduled December 1 closing date.! It also is a harbinger of much more to come over the next few months. And, to be honest, the early season snows are very pretty, as you can see from these photos of the Ocean Drive area yesterday.

This week most of us in the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving. While there undoubtedly is much frustration and anxiety about serious world-wide economic weakness, two seemingly endless wars and the prospect of significant climate change; we all continue to have many things for which to be thankful; not the least of them being family, friends, and the indomitable American can-do spirit. Throughout the upcoming holiday season, let's resolve to harness that spirit and work together for the long term benefit of everyone who shares our planet - a beautiful but fragile island in space!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Seal Harbor

Still unseasonably cold around here, but the sun is shining so we can be thankful for small favors!

Tonight and tomorrow are your last chances to see the MDI High School Drama production of "Little Shop of Horrors". The reviews have been great, so check it out. You can get the schedule on our Happenings page, along with a lot of new listings for upcoming Christmas fairs all around the island. These fairs are always very popular events that you will not want to miss!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Like most of the East Coast, our days and nights this week are colder than normal. But the sun is back, albeit at such a low angle that it doesn't warm things up very much. Check out the complete forecast right here.

The Christmas fairs that we have been mentioning recently are starting to show up this coming weekend. Don't miss these great opportunities to find some unique Christmas presents while helping a worthy local organization at the same time! It's always a lot of fun to see how creative our island residents can be - and you will meet many of your neighbors there as well!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We appear to be in for a foggy and rainy weekend, but the temperatures remain very mild for this time of year! Today and tomorrow are good days to do something indoors - like going to see the play "Little Shop of Horrors" at MDI High School. The sun returns next week but brings along some much colder days and nights. We do have a little autumn left, however, because Thanksgiving still is almost two weeks away!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beaver Moon

Our nights continue to get cooler as we move ever closer to the winter solstice. This is especially true when the sky is clear and there is a full moon. Above is the full (and frosty) November "Beaver Moon" setting early this morning! Temperatures should moderate over the next couple of days, however, as rain showers move in from the south and west.
Keep up with all the changes on our Weather page.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Monday, November 10, 2008

Hodgdon Pond
Hodgdon Pond in late fall.

Activity on the island has slowed dramatically, especially when compared to the hectic pace of our summer months. And it's still a little too early for the Christmas fairs, although they should start in a couple of weeks. However, if you are looking for something fun to do, don't miss the MDI High School drama presentation of "Little Shop of Horrors" starting this Friday evening and running on weekends through the 22nd. MDIHS shows are great and draw big crowds.
Get all the details on our Happenings page.

Friday, November 7, 2008

MDI Cows

Due largely to our rocky soils and mountainous terrain, farming has never been a major industry on Mount Desert Island, but there used to be a lot more working farms than there are today. The few that remain are found mostly along the Crooked Road, like this one near its intersection with Norway Drive.

Our unseasonably warm weather continues, along with a few clouds and light showers. The sun should return by Sunday.

Most islanders are quite familiar with Jeff Dobbs' beautiful videos of MDI and the Maine coast. A new one, entitled "Acadia Always HD", will debut at 7 p.m. tomorrow evening at the Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor. Jack Perkins provides his usual soft-spoken narration. The premier showing is free to all Mount Desert Island residents.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

American flags and white flowers on the Somesville bridge in honor of Election Day.

Yesterday was a beautiful, mild day for holding a presidential election, and regardless of your party affiliation, the dramatic results can only be described as historic. Turnout on our island, like most other locations around the country, was extremely heavy; but in keeping with our small town character, everything went smoothly with only a minimum of waiting required. Also, polling places are a little like post offices in that they provide a great opportunity to chat with neighbors you may not see everyday! There certainly was a lot of socializing going on in an atmosphere of euphoria and anxious expectation.

The weather continues to be unseasonably warm with a few clouds hanging around. Hopefully, we won't have to pay for this anytime soon!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Moss on Ledge

The fall foliage is gone now and the sun angle continues to decline. We have lost about 5 1/2 hours of daylight since June 21 and have more to go over the next seven weeks! But some beautiful things are a constant - like the open granite ledges covered with reindeer moss and framed by evergreen spruce trees. This is a period after the leaves fall and before the first snow that some consider to be dull. However, those who take the time to look around can still enjoy our unique island.

With the end of the cruise ship season last week, many of the tourist oriented shops and restaurants are now closed for the season. Also, the Happenings calendar is shrinking. Don't despair though, because there should be plenty to do as we enter the holiday period. We'll keep you up to date right here.

Friday, October 31, 2008


After a stormy week, it looks like the weather will be clear and cool for all the little ghosts and goblins tonight. Be especially alert when driving this evening because spooks will be everywhere!

Tomorrow is Take Pride in Acadia Day. This is a good opportunity for all of us to participate in caring for and maintaining Acadia National Park - a wonderful resource all around us that we should never take for granted.
Call 288-3340 for more information.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Most of the news this week has centered on the extreme weather we are getting. Rain and lots of wind over the weekend caused many trees to come down and created power outages around the island. Now, after a brief lull Monday and today, we are supposed to have another round of heavy wind tonight and tomorrow with gusts to 60 knots along with a little more rain! The seasons are changing in a big way, and Mother Nature seems to be going about her business with special gusto.
Hang on to your hat and be careful if you are out and about!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

We have no "October surprise", but here is today's October sunrise over Frenchman's Bay.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bar Harbor in the Fall
Bar Harbor from Cadillac Mountain last weekend.

Well, after months of record activity, the cruise ship season on MDI is beginning to wind down. Six have already visited this week, and there are only two left to go - one on Sunday and one next Wednesday. Then most people will begin to focus on the upcoming holidays. Our weather already seems like the holidays, with the unusually cold air over the past few days. Events on the Happenings calendar are thinning out as well, following our hectic summer and early fall. But there are still some fun things going on, starting with Halloween activities this weekend for kids of all ages. Check it out!

Sunday, October 19, 2008 - 1:30 p.m.

MDI Marathon MDI Marathon MDI Marathon

The weather was perfect this morning for the 7th running of the Mount Desert Island Marathon. There were just under 1,000 entrants and they hailed from every state in the lower 48 except West Virginia. As we noted a couple of days ago, the course is quite challenging with a lot of hills, but the scenery is unmatched. Above left was the leading male runner, David Herr, passing through Somesville at approximately mile 20. His time at that point was about 2 hours 5 minutes, indicating that he might have finished at around 2:40. Center was the leading female runner, Jenna Krajewski, who at that point was about 2 hours 30 minutes. On the right was a pack of runners who seemed to be close to the time required to qualify for the Boston Marathon next April. All of the runners appeared to be remarkably strong at the 20 mile mark, probably due to the cool temperatures. It was near 32 degrees F. at the start and climbed to around 40 by mid-morning!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall in Bar Harbor
Yesterday afternoon in Bar Harbor - a beautiful fall weekend on the way!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pretty Marsh Foliage

Our fall foliage may have reached peak color over this past weekend. The weather certainly was beautiful with plenty of sunshine to make the leaves even more vibrant. But yesterday and today we have noticed more and more leaves beginning to drop, even though we have had no significant wind or rain storms. Things in the weather department do appear headed for a change starting this coming weekend, however. The sun still should be around but with much cooler temperatures.

The cooler days should be perfect for the Mount Desert Island Marathon on Sunday. Lots of runners have signed up, so we expect another busy weekend! Remember to drive carefully on Sunday morning into early or mid-afternoon. The race route starts on lower Main Street in Bar Harbor, follows Route 3 to Cooksey Drive in Seal Harbor, then back on Route 3 to Northeast Harbor, up Sargeant Drive, then on Route 3/198 to Somesville, and finally down Route 102 to the finish line in Southwest Harbor. The course is relatively difficult but extremely scenic, so it has become a very popular event with the running community - and it is a Boston Marathon qualifier.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


A few of today's cruise ships have brightly painted hulls, much like some airlines have done for several years. Once in awhile, this painting results in an unusual, whimsical appearance. Shown above is AIDA Cruise Lines ship "Aura" from Italy. She was in Bar Harbor last Wednesday and plans to make a couple of more visits before the end of the month.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Well, here we are already at Columbus Day weekend, the traditional end of the tourist season on MDI. It always amazes us how quickly the summer flies by. Memorial Day seems like just a couple of weeks ago!

There is a lot going on tomorrow. The Acadia Triathalon will be held in the morning at Pond's End in Somesville. Then, in the afternoon you can taste some excellent microbrews and listen to great music at the annual Oktoberfest in Southwest Harbor. To top it all off, the weather should be beautiful all weekend, so hiking and bike riding to see the fall color would be a perfect option any of the three days!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Summer Cottage

For two or three months the grand summer "cottages" that dot the shore of Mount Desert Island bustle with activity. Now they are mostly quiet and in the process of being closed for the winter by their local caretakers. This one is in Seal Harbor overlooking Sutton Island and Eastern Way.

Monday, October 6, 2008

This week before Columbus Day weekend looks like it will feature nice early fall weather and plenty of leaf peepers! Most of the organized activity right now seems to center around cruise ship visits. It's fun to drive down to the pier in Bar Harbor and see them - especially some of the more unusual ones. It also is often amazing to see how most of the newer ships look like boxy, floating, high-rise hotels instead of the sleek, streamlined ocean-going steamers that stirred emotions in years past! We guess the older, more beautiful ships just couldn't hold enough passengers to generate sufficient profits for ship owners! That's a shame! So go over to see the pretty ones while there still are some left. P & O Lines "Artemis" is in that category and will be here from England later this month.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Duck Brook Road

Sunny and cool - a perfect forecast for outdoor activities this weekend. In early October a bicycle ride around the Acadia Park carriage roads or along a quiet lane like Duck Brook Road (shown above) can be absolutely spectacular! Another option would be a mountain hike, because the clear air should provide excellent long distance views.

If you haven't been to the Jordan Pond House yet this season, you just have a few more weeks left to do it. It might be a little chilly sitting on the lawn right now, but the view from their covered porch up Jordan Pond to the Bubbles is great with our fall color.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Bubbles
A view of MDI mountains including The Bubbles (center) from Eastern Way.

Welcome to October! This is one of our most beautiful months with plenty of colorful fall foliage, mild days and cool nights. The leaves are changing rapidly now, although the peak likely will be a week or so away. Days are noticeably shorter, but there remains time in the early evening to marvel at a golden sunset. We have yet to experience a killing frost, so many gardens still look quite nice with lots of late summer flowers and hardy chrysanthemums. Amid all of the economic and political turmoil elsewhere, let's try to pause a little and enjoy October on Mount Desert Island!


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