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July 1 - September 30, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009    2:00 p.m.

Queen Victoria
The "Queen Victoria" at anchor in Bar Harbor this morning.
Classic Cunard Line styling and colors!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009    8:00 a.m.

Bar Harbor Town Pier
View of the harbor from the Bar Harbor town pier yesterday afternoon.

It's the last day of September and "Queen Victoria" Day! If you thought it was active at the Bar Harbor town pier yesterday, go check it out today! The 965ft. "Queen Victoria" should be dropping anchor about now (8:00 a.m.), for her first ever visit with 2,000 passengers and more than 1,000 crew! We and they are fortunate that the day is starting out bright and sunny - perfect early fall weather! We'll try to post a photo of the "Queen" later this afternoon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cattails in the King's Creek Marsh.

Don't look now, but our great weather pattern of the last few weeks seems to be changing! We have some showers and unsettled conditions coming up for at least the next several days.

The big event this week will be the maiden visit of Cunard Lines' newest ship, the "Queen Victoria". As you may know, the British company Cunard has long been regarded as the premier builder of world-famous, classic luxury ocean liners including two "Queen Elizabeths" and two "Queen Marys". The "Queen Victoria" follows in that same tradition. Just slightly over one year old, she will spend all day in Bar Harbor on Wednesday. Many special events are planned including a welcoming ceremony and music in Agamont Park and the closing of a large section of Main and Cottage Streets to make a pedestrian mall. Lots of visitors are expected, but go over and take a look anyway. It should be a significant event. For the record, her sister ship the "Queen Mary 2" will be in Bar Harbor on October 5,
just one week from today!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Eagle Lake
East side of Eagle Lake a few days ago.

The temperature has cooled off considerably overnight, and we may get our first frost of the season tonight, even here along the immediate coastline! That would be a little earlier than in recent years, but it can happen! You probably would be wise to cover up tender plants just in case!

The cruise ships are coming at a rate of two or more almost every day now, so if you like to see the big ones and don't mind the crowds down at the town pier, now would be a good time to head over to Bar Harbor and check them out. There is not one in today, but two are scheduled for tomorrow and two more on Sunday. The complete list can be foumd on our Happenings page. We keep it current about two weeks ahead!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn Leaves

Welcome to the first full day of fall! As you can see from the photo above taken yesterday afternoon, a few leaves are starting to show their autumn colors, but we still have a long way to go before the peak.

Today has started out to be unseasonably warm with mostly cloudy skies. It doesn't feel quite like fall yet.
However, much cooler weather should arrive later in the week!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Margaret Tood Lookout
Bow lookout on the 4-masted schooner "Margaret Todd" out of Bar Harbor.
Cruise ship "Explorer of the Seas" in the background.

Today is the last day of summer! Autumn officially begins tomorrow at 9:18 p.m. UT (that would be 5:18 p.m. local time). Our weather continues to be great, as usual for this time of year around here. We have said it before, but it's worth saying again - get out and enjoy our "perfect season" while it lasts!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bass Harbor Light Inside Bass Harbor Light

Many people are familiar with the Bass Harbor light, one of the most photographed locations on Mount Desert Island. But very few have ever seen inside the lighthouse. That opportunity was available last Saturday, and the photo above shows the stairs ascending through the tower to the light itself.

There is a lot going on this weekend. The MDI half-marathon is tomorrow morning, so look out for runners in Bar Harbor and on the carriage road around Eagle Lake. Also, there is an art show on the Bar Harbor Village Green both Saturday and Sunday, and garlic lovers can eat their fill on Saturday afternoon at Smuggler's Den Campground in Southwest Harbor. You can check it all out, as well as see which cruise ships will be here, on our Happenings page.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Somesville Harbor
Somesville library and harbor.

Br-r-r-r! It's chilly out there. Our thermometer indicated 43 degrees early this morning
- perhaps the coolest night of the season so far.

Along with the cool weather, we have crystal clear skies, and that is perfect for stargazing! Tomorrow is the first day of the new Acadia Night Sky Festival showcasing and celebrating our unspoiled starry nights. There are many special programs and events throughout the next five days. Full details and schedules are avaliable on
the Acadia Night Sky Festival website. Check it out!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Model T Ford

The 24th annual Model "T" antique auto tour was on the island over the weekend, and you may have seen them either on the road or parked at various locations. These three were spotted at the Village Green in Bar Harbor.

More good weather is on tap for this week, although things will cool off considerably Tuesday night and Wednesday bringing a real touch of fall! A few leaves are beginning to change color here and there, but we are still about three or four weeks away from peak foliage.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Norwegian Dawn
Cruise ship "Norwegian Dawn" in Bar Harbor yesterday.

With cruise ship season in full swing, Bar Harbor streets are crowded as visiting passengers check out the local shops. Various spots on the Acadia National Park Loop Road are also crowded with ship tour buses - especially popular areas such as Thunder Hole, Cadillac Mountain and Jordan Pond. The best times to avoid all of this congestion would be in the morning before 10 a.m. or in the afternoon after 4 p.m. Shopping in Bar Harbor also becomes a lot easier after
4 p.m. when most cruise passengers have to be back on board their ships.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

In case you haven't noticed, today is 09-09-09! But, we're sure you have noticed that our great weather just keeps on keeping on! After the very rainy and cool start to summer around here,
we deserve as much of the good stuff as we can get!

Now is a perfect time to get out on some of Acadia's trails. It also is time to start working on fall chores. The trick is to find a good balance between these two competing activities! Just be sure not to neglect one in favor of the other! The season will change again before we know it!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Water Lily

Happy Labor Day!

Contrary to earlier this summer, there have been large crowds everywhere on the island this weekend. That was especially true in Bar Harbor yesterday with three cruise ships in port at one time! And, of course, the weather certainly hasn't kept anyone away - we are in the middle of the most beautiful Labor Day weekend we have enjoyed in many years. To top it off, the sun and mild temperatures are expected to continue for the rest of this week!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Last Rose
The last rose of summer (maybe).

We have a beautiful Labor Day weekend coming up - probably the best in several years! Folks at the Blue Hill Fair should be delighted! School starts here on Tuesday, so take full advantage of this traditional last weekend of summer! Here on the Maine coast, however, our good weather should continue well into October. Locals have long known that the six week period from September 1 to October 15 is usually the most perfect time of the entire year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Carnivorous sundew plants.

On August 21 we posted a photo of some carnivorous pitcher plants growing in a bog here on Mount Desert Island. In this same bog there were dozens, maybe hundreds, of carnivorous sundew plants. The sundew looks very delicate with sticky droplets at the end of tiny hairs on its leaves. Insects become trapped in these droplets and the sundew's leaf hairs slowly encircle them. Interesting! You might not want to walk around in that bog - who knows what else might be in there looking for lunch!

After a rather wet, cool summer during June and July followed by a so-so August, it looks like we finally hit the weather jackpot! Sunny, mild days and cool nights are ahead as far as the eye can see, thanks to two large high pressure systems moving across the northern states. If you have the opportunity, be sure to get out and enjoy these beautiful days.
We have waited a long time!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bar Harbor
Lower Main Street, Bar Harbor on Friday.

Egad! It's the last day of August! Where did the summer go?

The crowds have thinned out considerably over the past few days as people left to avoid Tropical Storm Danny and to get ready for school. As it turned out, Danny mostly fizzled, bringing very little wind and about two inches of rain. Saturday was a miserable, cool and wet day. However, our reward for putting up with that will be at least four or five days of beautiful late summer weather!

Cruise ships are showing up in force now with five scheduled over the next week. Also the Blue Hill Fair starts on Thursday. Even though it is not on Mount Desert Island, it is close by and is a great old country fair that everyone here looks forward to each Labor Day weekend. Check it out and get the complete schedule on the Blue Hill Fair website.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Another weekend, another hurricane - or at least tropical storm! Danny seems to be heading our way with lots of rain for tomorrow and Sunday. Today, however, is sunny and dry with low humidity - a little taste of fall. There is just one week left before Labor Day, and also just one more week before schools start here, so get outside and make the most of it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's still hot and humid today, but you can feel change in the air. After passage of a weak front this afternoon, sunny and much coooler weather is on tap for the next couple of days! Fall is on the way,
and many feel that is the best time of the year!

The Bar Harbor Jazz Festival still has two days to run. There will be free concerts this evening and tomorrow evening at Agamont Park and the Village Green. Later the music moves to Carmen Verandah and the Lompoc. Check out the remaining schedule at the Bar Harbor Jazzfest website.

Sunday, August 23, 2009 ---- 2:15 p.m.

Ocean Drive Storm Ocean Drive Storm

Ocean Drive Storm Ocean Drive Storm

Ocean Drive Storm Ocean Drive Storm
The effects of Hurricane Bill at Ocean Drive around noon today.

Along with the spectacular surf, there has been tragedy here this afternoon. Thousands of visitors and locals alike thronged to the Thunder Hole area on Ocean Drive in Acadia National Park to watch the dramatic passage of Hurricane Bill a couple of hundred miles offshore. Despite the best efforts of Park Rangers and other personnel, it was imposssible to control such a crowd. The extremely high waves swept several people from the rocky ledges into the ocean. A massive search and rescue effort was mounted including all Acadia National Park personnel, Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue, several ambulance companies from Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor, the U. S. Coast Guard high speed rescue craft from Southwest Harbor, and the whale watcher catamaran "Friendship V" out of Bar Harbor.

At this writing we do not know the outcome of this most unfortunate situation, as the story is still unfolding. Rescue crews were seriously hampered by the hundreds of vehicles parked along the Loop Road for more than a mile in either direction from Thunder Hole, as well as by vehicles bumper-to-bumper in the single travel lane trying to get a glimpse of the huge surf! Eventually, Rangers had to close the road to all traffic to allow emergency vehicles to access the area.
Updates will be posted as they become available.

6:00 p.m.(This replaces all previous updates)

Reports varied all afternoon as to the total number of people involved in this incident and their ultimate fate. It now appears that seven individuals were washed off ledges into the sea by high waves. Four apparently were able to reach the shore safely on their own. Three, including a young girl, were swept out to sea. They were rescued by the Coast Guard about 1/4 mile offshore near a rock known as "Old Soaker". Two were still alive, but the seven year old girl was unresponsive and did not survive. In addition, there were several other unrelated injuries in the Thunder Hole area, including a broken ankle and a broken leg. Eleven people were treated at Mount Desert Island Hospital, and two were transferred by Life Flight helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pitcher Plants
Feed me Seymour! Carnivorous pitcher plants waiting for a meal!
What's in your garden???

After about three weeks of no rainfall, we might just get some this weekend. Hurricane Bill is forecast to track offshore bringing with it some showers, but more importantly, some very rough seas. If you are among those who like to watch heavy surf, take care not to get too close on Saturday afternoon and Sunday! Huge waves can appear suddenly and with tremendous force, sweeping unsuspecting observers into the churning ocean! Also, if you are a boater, you should listen carefully to all marine warnings over the next few days. And finally, check the security of your mooring. It's not fun to find your boat pounding to pieces on the rocky shore!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Compass Harbor
"Ada C. Lore" sailing down Frenchman Bay yesterday afternoon.

The story here continues to be unusual heat and high humidity, something many of our August visitors are trying to escape! But however they may feel about the hot, sticky weather, there sure are plenty of people around right now!

Our cruise ship season cranks up in earnest about this time of year with the steady arrival of the "big boys". This will continue through October. We plan to keep you up to date on all ship schedules on our Happenings page.

Also, tomorrow marks the beginning of Bar Harbor Jazz Fest, a full week of jazz at many venues throughout the village.
Check out the complete schedule here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A warm, hazy sunrise over Frenchman Bay on Saturday.

HHH! Usually reserved for areas far to our south, our weather has been hazy, hot and humid since Friday, and it is forecast to continue like that until Friday of this week!

Tomorrow is the premiere of Acadia Repertory Theatre's production of Agatha Christie's "The Hollow". It runs through September 6. And since we are in the middle of "high summer", there are lots of other things going on as well!
Check it all out on our Happenings calendar.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Water Lilies
Water lilies growing at the south end of Little Long Pond.

Our beautiful summer weather just keeps rolling along, and it looks like it will continue well into the middle of next week!

The happenings calendar is very full as well, so take this opportunity to savor all that August offers us
here on the lovely Maine coast!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


This is the time of year when many large yachts show up in harbors all around Mount Desert Island. These two were at the town pier in Bar Harbor a few days ago. On the left is the 117 ft. M/Y "Stampede" registered in Bikini, and on the right is the 120 ft. M/Y "Reef Chief" registered in Bermuda.

The weather continues to be much more like August should be around here - warm and mostly sunny with just a little morning fog from time to time. Be sure to get out and enjoy it, because fall will be here before long!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ocean Drive

The island continues to be very crowded as most of our summer visitors appear to have arrived at the same time! This is especially true in Bar Harbor and around the Acadia Park Loop Road. The best times to do some sightseeing would be in the mornings before 10 a.m. or the late afternoon after 4 p.m. Also, you really should consider using the Island Explorer free shuttle bus to get around. It's easy, convenient and good for the environment!

Our weather has been much improved recently. There are a few showers in the forecast later today through Wednesday morning, but then we are back to warm and sunny conditions for the rest of the week and well into the upcoming weekend!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wood Lily Wood Lily

The beautiful and endangered wood lily is a quite rare wildflower on Mount Desert Island. These were seen on Wednesday growing in a crack on an open, rocky ledge high above the ocean!

We have another busy summer weekend coming up! If you have never attended the Frenchboro Lobster Festival, now is your chance. It is tomorrow, and for the only time each year the State Ferry makes two trips to the offshore island of Frenchboro in the same day from Bass Harbor. Round trip walk-on fare is only $5. Tickets for the lobster dinner are purchased at the church on Frenchboro. Be at the ferry terminal before 9 a.m. and you will be back in Bass Harbor around 4:30 p.m.

If you haven't already done so, don't forget to take a look at our newly completed Island Heritage pages. For all of us who live here, either year-round or seasonally, it's important that we understand the things that have combined to make our island such a special place.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Summer Sunset

The sun is back - finally! The past four days have been beautiful, and it looks like good weather will continue through the upcoming weekend. Those who chose this week for their vacation to Maine can count themselves either very smart or very lucky!

The Acadia Repertory Theatre's third production of the season, "The Pavilion", began a two week run last night. And, tonight is the special preview screening of "National Parks - America's Best Idea" with producer Ken Burns live at the Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor. This event is now sold out, but if you are fortunate enough to have a ticket, you should have a great evening. If you couldn't get a ticket, you can still watch the preview on Maine Public Television at 10:30 p.m. The full series will be aired nationwide in September. Our own Acadia National Park is prominently featured!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Frenchman's Bay
Puget Sound or Frenchman Bay?

Snow-capped mountains along the Maine coast in early August?! An unusual cloud formation yesterday around midday just gave the appearance of a snowy mountain behind Frenchman Bay and Sorrento. We have a few more months before that might become a reality; and even then, the mountain (Schoodic) back there is not quite so large.

There are a lot of people on the island right now, and Bar Harbor is very crowded as it should be this time of year! Take care when driving and allow extra time to negotiate all of the traffic.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Purple Fringed Orchis Pyrola

As promised a few days ago, here are a couple of relatively rare wildflowers we've seen within the past week. They seem to be thriving after all of our recent rain. On the left is a purple fringed orchid growing in a wet area beside one of the carriage roads. On the right is a pyrola (American wintergreen) growing in the middle of a small blueberry patch.

Summer is moving rapidly along, as usual. Tomorrow is the first of August, typically the busiest month of the tourist season. After some more showers this afternoon, the weather appears to be improving for Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully, that trend will continue!

Along with the peak of the season comes a similar peak in the number of activities available. You can keep up with all the action on our Happenings page.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

After several months of waiting, the Island Heritage section of this website is finally complete. If you live here, either year-round or just in the summer, you may want to take an hour or so to read about the many things that, over the years, have made Mount Desert Island the very special place it is today. Preserving this unique "character" in the future will be a major challenge for all of us, and the first step is to understand how it all happened.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dories in Fog

In case you haven't grown tired of fog photos, here are some stop seine dories spotted yesterday afternoon on a mooring, waiting to go fishing. Stop seining is a method of catching herring that was commonly used in the "old days" but is rarely seen today. As fish congregate in a cove, nets from the dories are deployed across the cove entrance, largely by hand, "stopping up" their escape route. The ends of the net are drawn around until the fish are entirely encircled. Then a "purse string" at the bottom of the net is pulled shut and the net is gradually gathered in until the herring are concentrated in a relatively small space. Before the days of modern engines, the fish were pulled into the dories until each dory was filled to its gunwales. Today, a "mother boat" inserts a large vacuum hose into the net and literally
pumps the trapped fish into its waiting hold.

Unfortunately, the herring stock has been severely depleted in past years,
so these dories can only sit idle and hope that the fish will return!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Main Street
Lower Main Street in Bar Harbor on a foggy day in late July.

Despite the more upbeat forecast, fog and showers persisted throughout most of the past weekend. As one might expect, that drove visitors off the trails and into the shops and museums.

This last week in July promises to be hot and muggy, a relatively unusual combination right here along the Maine coast. Frustrated sailors may have a chance to make up some races that were cancelled earlier this month, and the rest of us should find more opportunities to get outdoors!

So far, our rainy summer has been hard on everyone trying to maintain flower or vegetable gardens. Hopefully, things will begin to dry out and return to normal in August.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bar Harbor Waterfront Bar Harbor Waterfront Bar Harbor waterfront at noon on Thursday.

Even on a cloudy day, the Bar Harbor waterfront in July is a busy place with nature cruises, whale watch boats, kayakers, fishermen and yachtsmen all competing for space.

Those clouds yesterday have turned into rain today as yet another nor'easter moves up along the New England coast. You can check out the rather dismal forecast right here. A little sunshine may be in the offing for Saturday and Sunday, along with relatively hot and humid conditions!

All of this rain has been good for the many wildflowers scattered along roadsides and in the woods around our island. We'll try to have some photos of the more unusual ones online soon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lobster Boat in Fog

This has been a tough summer for local lobster fishermen due to all of the fog and rain combined with lower demand and the resulting low prices paid for lobsters at the boat. So it's not uncommon to see lobster boats on their moorings - especially on foggy days!

We have more unsettled weather on tap for the rest of this week, but hopefully it will clear by the weekend. Tonight is the Bar Harbor Music Festival's annual free outdoor concert at Acadia National Park's Blackwoods Campground amphitheater. This concert is always very popular, and the weather should remain dry. Meet at the Jackson Laboratory parking lot about 7 p.m. and take the free shuttle buses, because there is no parking at Blackwoods.
The concert starts at 8.

Monday, July 20, 2009

F/V Sunlight F/V Sunlight
A large deep sea trawler, F/V "Sunlight" out of Rockland, Maine, at the Bar Harbor Town pier Saturday.
She is a purse seiner going out after herring. Note the "bug boat" hauled up on her stern.

Deep sea fishing used to be common here and throughout coastal New England - but no more. Fish stocks have declined dramatically, forcing most commercial fishermen out of business, so it is rare to see a big fishing vessel tied up in Bar Harbor. But this one was in on Saturday.

No fog is around for today, however. It is crystal clear and humidity is low promising a beautiful mid-summer day. Take the opportunity to get out and enjoy Acadia!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Foggy Morning
Canoeing this morning in the fog on Long Pond.    Listen to the silence!

As you can see from the photo above, it's "thick-a-fog" around the island today, and apparently we are in for more rain over the weekend. That's not great for outdoor activities, but it will give you a chance to take in one of the last performances of Acadia Repertory Theatre's "Turn of the Screw". The second play of the season, "Pools Paradise", starts Tuesday. Also, we are down to the final week of the Bar Harbor Music Festival which will end on the 26th. They often save some of their best for last, so take a look at the Happenings calendar for the complete remaining schedule along with many other things going on here at this time of the year!

If you do get a chance to be outdoors, don't forget that this is the second of three fee-free weekends scheduled for Acadia National Park this summer. Most of us who live here already have annual passes, but in case you don't, this would be a good time to enjoy some of the spectacular beauty around us!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Long Pond
By the swimming hole at Long Pond.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cruise Ships
Cruise ships at the Bar Harbor town pier on Sunday afternoon

After almost two weeks of parades, festivals and fireworks, things appear to be settling down a little to a more normal summer pace! There is still plenty going on, but it's not quite as hectic as in recent days.

The unusually wet weather pattern we have been experiencing seems to have broken, and skies should be at least partly sunny until Friday or Saturday. However, around here things in the weather department are always changing. You can keep up with it all by checking our forecast on a regular basis.

A word to the wise - summer is moving along, so make time to get out and enjoy it before it is gone!

Almost all of the pages in our Island Heritage section are now complete. Take a look!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Long Pond

It's a beautiful summer morning here today, and the forecast looks much improved from what we have been experiencing over the past two or three weeks!

Another busy weekend is coming up, including the Flamingo Festival in Southwest Harbor and the Native American Festival at College of the Atlantic. Get all the details on our Happenings page.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Our unusual weather pattern continues, but there are signs that more normal conditions for July will return by Friday. That means sunny and warm - most of us can't wait!

Meanwhile, there are lots of activities available to take your mind off the clouds and showers. Check our Happenings page for complete details. And make your plans for the upcoming weekend, because it will feature Southwest Harbor's Flamingo Festival and COA's Native American Festival! Both are fun events! Also, this afternoon is the much anticipated annual Strawberry Festival at the Somesville Firehouse to benefit the Mount Desert Island Historical Society - fresh strawberries, biscuits and real whipped cream - yum!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fireworks Flag Fireworks


(Posted at 12:00 noon) - 4th of July parade in Bar Harbor this morning.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hadlock Falls

With all of the rain we have had recently, there is a lot of water going over the falls on Hadlock Brook! Usually it is down to just a trickle at this time of the year.

Tomorrow is Bar Harbor's big day, and hopefully the weather will cooperate. Also, the sail racing season begins today when the Southwest Harbor Fleet holds it's first races this afternoon. And don't forget the Acadia Repertory Theatre opening tonight. There is a lot going on, so get out and enjoy. We have a complete list
on our Happenings page.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June sunset

We haven't had much opportunity to see the sun for the past week, but it did make an appearance for several hours yesterday afternoon. So just in case you forgot what it looks like, here is a photo of the late June sunset!

Just three more days until the 4th of July, and if you are planning to be in Bar Harbor on Saturday for all the festivities, now is not too early to plan how you will get there and back home. Driving in town will be very difficult all day, especially late morning during the parade and from about 8:30 to 10 in the evening for the fireworks. The Island Explorer might be a good option if you can park on their route outside the village, but check the Explorer website for details on schedule changes for the 4th. If you do drive in, park either on West Street extension or at Emerson school and walk from there - you'll be glad you did! Whatever you decide, Bar Harbor is a fun place on July 4; so come on over, be patient, and enjoy the activity.


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