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October 1 - December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Monument Cove

This photo taken on Monday along Ocean Drive illustrates our relative lack of snow so far this season. The scene doesn't look much different from high summer except for the heavier surf conditions now!

Things appear to be changing this weekend, however. Some stromg storms moving across the country are forecast to combine and bring us a big nor'easter for the first three days of the new year!

Many of you are familiar with "Blue Moon" by The Marcels, or with "Once in a Very Blue Moon" by Nancy Griffith. Well, tomorrow night you might actually get to see a rare blue moon. It won't be blue, of course, but it will be the second full moon in the month of December!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Pretty Marsh Harbor
Pretty Marsh Harbor

As we approach the end of 2009, our ride on the weather roller coaster continues. The past mild and rainy weekend managed to melt most of what little snow we had on the ground, and tonight more snow is in the forecast along with plunging temperatures tomorrow! It really is unusual when we have less snow than parts of the country a thousand miles to our south! "El Nino" anyone?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Lampost

Happy Holidays!

Those of you who are away for Christmas, or perhaps for the entire winter, may be interested to know that we received relatively little snow here from the massive storm that walloped the east coast over the weekend. Totals around the island ranged from 4" to about 6.5", with the highest amounts being recorded on the southern and eastern sides of the island.

Today marks the Winter Solstice. It will be the shortest day of the year - less than nine hours of daylight - but perhaps more importantly, the days begin growing a bit longer now. A little more snow is in the forecast for the rest of the week but no major storms are in sight. After several days of much below normal temperatures, things may warm up into the upper 30's by Christmas Day!

Friday, December 18, 2009     2:00 p.m.


Bay Ferries LTD. of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island has announced that it will no longer offer ferry service between Maine and Nova Scotia. Ferry service from Bar Harbor to Yarmouth has been provided by "The Cat" high The Cat speed ferry since the mid-1990's, and prior to that by a more traditional ferry, "The Bluenose", operated by Marine Atlantic, a Canadian quasi-governmental company. In recent years "The Cat" has not been self-sustaining financially and has received substantial subsidies from the Province of Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia government recently decided that it can no longer provide a subsidy beginning in 2010.

When "The Cat" began offering ferry service from Portland a few years ago, its Bar Harbor schedule was gradually reduced from two runs daily during the season to just one run two or three days a week. Now it appears that there will be no ferry service at all between Bar Harbor and Nova Scotia in 2010. Approximately 120 Bay Ferries employees are expected to lose their jobs in Yarmouth, Bar Harbor and Portland combined.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hay Rake

We have another cold, windy morning, and below normal temperatures are forecast to continue through Saturday. Winter may not officially begin until Monday, but it seems to have arrived early!
Bundle up when you are out over the next few days!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pretty Marsh
First snow of the season in Pretty Marsh.

This is the last full week before Christmas, and the weather looks like it will cooperate with those who are out doing last minute shopping! After several very cold and windy days, things are much milder this morning with plenty of sunshine. Since the days are so short now, we need all of the sun that we can get!

As Christmas week approaches, the Happenings calendar is beginning to shrink. By the end of this month we will move into the slowest season of the year around here. That's when many people plan to take a vacation in warmer, sunnier parts of the world!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Morning Moon

It's cold and very windy this morning! Br-r-r-r!

The upcoming weekend will probably be the most active one before Christmas. There are a lot of holiday events on the Happenings calendar, in addition to the fact that many people haven't finished their shopping! If you are out and about, be safe and try to take time to enjoy the season!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Round Pond
Early morning over Round Pond.

The shortest day of the year is now less than two weeks away, and scenes like the one above are common during many folks' drive to work. We have lost about six and one half hours of daylight since last June! Sunset is a little before 4 p.m., so you also get to drive home in the dark!

Another big storm is bearing down upon us today bringing ice, snow and high winds. Unless you absolutely have to be out, stay in and stay warm!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Barn in Snow
"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow".... and it did!

We finally received our first snowfall of the season last night - about 6 inches, courtesy of the same storm that gave Houston its earliest snow on record, and deposited more of the white stuff across the southeast before continuing up along the east coast! Things suddenly look a lot more festive around here, much to the delight of both
the young and the young at heart!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sand Beach
View of Sand Beach and Schooner Head from Otter Cliffs on Wednesday.

The weather continues to be unusually mild for this time of year. Although it doesn't look much like the Christmas season yet, there are plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy Acadia!

There are lots of holiday related activities coming up over the next few days, starting today with the widely anticipated Island Arts Craft Fair at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel (formerly Atlantic Oakes). Take a look at our Happenings page for complete details.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Star Moss Reindeer Moss Soldier Moss

Now that the calendar has turned to December, we thought it might be interesting to mention that some of our most beautiful and common mosses actually have names that are very appropriate for the upcoming holidays. On the left is Star Moss; in the center is Reindeer Moss (actually a lichen); and on the right is (Toy) Soldier Moss (also a lichen). Although it proved difficult to get a good focus on such small subjects that also had to be reduced significantly for publishing online, they still show that you don't always have to look up to see the beauty around here -
looking down can often be just as dramatic!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bare Branches

The leaves are all gone now, and there is no snow, despite the fact that we are past Thanksgiving. Not to worry however, because the snow will come soon enough! Actually, the pattern this fall is more in line with weather patterns of a few years ago. Then the first snowfall here usually came around the second week in December.

Thoughts are rapidly turning toward Christmas, and there are at least two programs that you might want to put on your activity schedule - ACT's performance of "It's a Wonderful Life" and the Acadia Choral Society's Christmas Concert. Get the details on our Happenings page.

Thursday, November 26, 2009



Monday, November 23, 2009

Cadillac Mountain
Cadillac Mountain from Schoodic Peninsula.

It's hard to believe that we are in Thanksgiving week already! My, how time flies when you're having fun!

Despite our mild weather this November, the local lobstermen are busy hauling out their traps in preparation for winter. Lobster fishing is an interesting business, because where you are determines when you fish. Here on MDI, most fishermen set traps around the middle of April and haul them out by mid- November, thereby avoiding having to go far offshore in stormy, icy weather. However, on some of the outermost islands like Monhegan, "Trap Day" is January 1 and they fish around the island during the heart of the winter. Across the border in Canada, lobster fishing is only allowed from December 1 until May, largely as a conservation measure. The bottom line for us is that there are no lobster trap buoys to be seen here at this time of year!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Morning Fog
Early morning fog over Bartlett's Island yesterday.

There is a lot going on this weekend right before the Thanksgiving holiday. In addition to the Christmas fairs we mentioned earlier, there are two more performances of the highly aclaimed MDI High School drama production of "Thoroughly Modern Millie". After a little rain today, the weather tomorrow and Sunday should be very nice for this time of the year. Get out and enjoy it before the snow flies!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Seal Cove
High tide on a mild day in mid-November.

Believe it or not, we are rapidly approaching the holiday season! That will be made increasingly apparent this weekend when several Christmas fairs are scheduled at various locations around the island! These are always anxiously anticipated events, and for all the details, check out our Happenings page.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ocean Drive Surf Ocean Drive Surf
High surf along Ocean Drive Saturday afternoon.

One of the special things about living on the Maine coast is our often interesting weather. We got another example of that this weekend when the remnants of tropical storm Ida helped to bring us a "nor'easter" complete with heavy surf here and drenching rain to many other parts of Maine.

This week promises to be another mild, sunny one - somewhat unusual for this time of the year - but we'll take it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

After many days of beautiful fall weather, we are supposed to get a bit of rain tomorrow through Sunday. So if you are looking for something to do indoors, you should check out the MDI High School Drama production of "Thoroughly Modern Millie". It starts tonight with additional performances on Saturday and Sunday, and it runs next weekend as well if you can't fit it into your schedule right now! Get the details on our Happenings page.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cadillac Panorama
A late season panoramic view from the summit of Cadillac Mountain.

Acadia National Park roads, including the road to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, are still open. However, they will be closed after we have a significant snowfall or on December 1, whichever occurs first. Get out and take a tour now,
or wait until spring! Only the short section along Ocean Drive is plowed and remains open all winter.

Today is Veteran's Day, so don't forget to honor all who have served and are serving our country!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Seal Cove Pond
Seal Cove Pond on a sunny November afternoon.

We continue to enjoy beautiful fall weather with unusually mild temperatures. It hit 59 yesterday here, and should break 60 today! Along with the shorter days, the Happenings calendar has become noticeably shorter as well. However, things should pick up as we approach the holidays! We'll keep a check on it for you!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mountain Stream
Autumn leaves can add color to a scene, even after they are on the ground!

There was a little black ice on the roads early this morning, but we dodged the predicted light snow from a passing ocean storm overnight. The upcoming weekend should be sunny and quite a bit warmer - very nice for November!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Jordan River
Along the north shore of Frenchman Bay late last week.

Another sunny day today, but we may have a few snow flurries in the air by the end of the week. The moon was full last night, and it was quite beautiful as it set in the west around dawn this morning!

Most of our fall foliage is gone now, but there are still pockets of color down on the immediate shoreline as you can see from the photo above. It's not too late to get out and enjoy fall before the weather changes yet again!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Queen Mary 2
"Queen Mary 2" at anchor in Bar Harbor Sunday afternoon.

With yesterday's second visit by the grand "Queen Mary 2", our Mount Desert Island cruise ship season drew to a close. The next ships to arrive will be here in May 2010!

While some shops in Bar Harbor will remain open at least until Christmas, many others closed last night after the cruise ship passengers departed, and they won't reopen until spring. Now attention turns increasingly to local activities - especially those surrounding the upcoming holidays. The Happenings calendar will be shorter than it has been during the busy summer months, but we still will keep you up to date on all major coming events.
Check in regularly to see what's going on!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween


Friday, October 30, 2009

October Marsh

This eerie marsh full of carnivorous plants seems an appropriate playground for goblins over the upcoming Halloween weekend. In addition to tricks and treats tomorrow, we have the last two cruise ships in port for this season - the "Crown Princess" today and the "Queen Mary 2" on Sunday. Complete details can be found on our Happenings page. There may be a few showers around, but nothing too serious.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Last Sail of the Season

This intrepid sailor was spotted Sunday afternoon enjoying the opportunity for perhaps one last sail on an unseasonably mild autumn day before the weather closes in. Most pleasure boats around here have been hauled since late September or early October, as fall storms along the Maine coast can be quite strong. Also, the sun is at a very low angle now, and it sets at shortly past 5 p.m., even with Daylight Saving Time!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Harbor Place
Harbor Place and the Bar Harbor town pier on Sunday. Bar Island is in the background.

Yesterday was a beautiful day after Saturday's heavy rains, but activity in Bar Harbor is clearly winding down as the cruise ship season ends next Sunday with a second visit by the huge "Queen Mary 2".

We appear to have a relatively quiet week coming up with some nice late October weather.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Seal Cove Pond
Seal Cove Pond

It appears that we are back on the weather rollercoaster again - one day of sun, one day of rain, then one more day of sun, etc. You get the picture.

Even though Halloween is still a week away, there are lots of scary and fun events coming up starting this weekend. While the Haunted Hayride scheduled for tomorrow might have to be postponed until Sunday, it will be worth adding to your schedule. Also, there are various indoor programs planned where the rain would not be a factor. Kids of all ages should have a good time over the next few days! Check out our Happenings page for all the details.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Carriage Road Bridge
One of the 16 stone bridges along our beautiful carriage road system.
(Photo last Wednesday.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bubble Pond
Bubble Pond on Friday afternoon.

"The times, they are a-changing."
No, we are not talking about national or international trends. But things definitely are changing here on the island! As of last week, our tourist season oficially ended; the colorful autumn leaves are coming down rapidly now with the wind and rain; the days are almost 5 hours shorter than they were in June; and the temperatures are dropping. We even had a little slushy snow mixed in last night's rain! Not to despair, however, because the cruise ships still will be arriving for the next two weeks. And sunshine should return later today, with a nice stretch of weather ahead for mid-week.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A very cold bunny huddles near the last remnants of this year's garden.
Where did summer go?

Our cool (cold) weather continues with reports of actual snow to our south! Is it really just the middle of October?

This is Marathon weekend here on the island, and on Sunday morning there will be between 800 and 1,000 intrepid runners on the roads between Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor. From the starting line on Main Street in Bar Harbor the route goes south on Route 3 to Cooksey Drive in Seal Harbor, then follows Route 3 into Northeast Harbor, proceeds along Somes Sound on Sargent Drive, then into Somesville, and finally south on Route 102 to the finish line in Southwest Harbor. If you are driving on Sunday, take care to avoid runners. Also, there are several good vantage points along the course for those interested in watching.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Long Pond Marsh
The marsh above Long Pond.

It's another cold morning for this time of year - 33 degrees here along the immediate coast and there are predictions of a hard freeze tonight! We're not ready for this quite yet! But the cruise ships just keep on coming despite the unusual cold. Also, the cool weather should be good for the MDI marathon scheduled on Sunday. And bright sunshine is back again, so things could be much worse! Enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Duck Brook
Duck Brook.

Columbus Day dawned bright and sunny but with a cold north wind that has made it feel like late November! Br-r-r-! This early season chill is supposed to last all week with even the possibility of some wet snowflakes tomorrow night! Where is Indian Summer when you need it?

Despite a lot of clouds around on Saturday and Sunday, there have been plenty of people on the island this weekend. And the foliage is still looking very beautiful, so if you have the day off - or even if you don't - try to get out and see the leaves before they are gone. Wind and rain tomorrow will take its toll!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Autumn Leaves

Columbus Day weekend is upon us, and along with it comes the traditional end of our tourist season! This always seems to happen too soon each year! Still, the leaves are near peak color right now, and there are lots of activities coming up for the next three days. Check out the complete list on our Happenings page.

After weeks of sunny, warm early fall weather, we have seen a shift toward cool and wet! Some showers are in the forecast again today, but most of the weekend looks dry.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Queen Mary 2
Cunard Line cruise ship "Queen Mary 2" in Bar Harbor yesterday.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Somes Pond
The marsh at Somes Pond.

The leaves are changing very rapidly now, so get out and take a look whenever you get a chance - especially along Eagle Lake Road! That's among the earliest areas to show good color and also among the first to drop its leaves.

If you swing by Bar Harbor sometime today, you'll see another interesting Cunard cruise ship in the harbor - the huge "Queen Mary 2"! She is the largest ship to visit Bar Harbor this year, checking in at 1132 ft. That's almost four football fields long! If you miss her today, she'll be back once more on the last day of the season - November 1.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rose Hips
Ripe rose hips from rosa rugosa.

It would be hard to live on Mount Desert Island and not be aware of our wild beach roses. But there is much more to these roses than just their lovely flowers. After the blossoms fade, they form fruit or seed pods known as rose hips. Rose hips are usually bright red, can sometimes grow as large as small apples, and contain a lot of Vitamin C. They are great for making jams and jellies, particularly when combined with cranberries. Now is the time to collect rose hips - that is unless someone has already beaten you to them!

As we are entering the month of October, our fall foliage is becoming noticeably brighter each day. At this rate we should reach peak color within about a week - just in time for Columbus Day weekend. The color is already at peak in many inland and northern locations. Click here for a complete statewide foliage status report.


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