Random (but not really)

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Travels: Maine Critters

Although I uploaded a ton of pictures to iNaturalist, trying ID the various flowers, trees, and shrubs, I also saw a variety of more mobile creatures. (And also uploaded them to iNaturalist)

I mean, look how adorable!!!!


Long-claw Hermit Crab Pagurus longicarpus


Common Eider Somateria mollissima


Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle


Harbor Seal Phoca vitulina


Common Loon Gavia immer (with chicks!)


Green Frog Lithobates clamitans (hiding in a tamarack)

2022-06-04_Azalea Gardens_014


American Bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus

Once again I was desperately wishing for a good zoom lens when I was trying t get good pictures of these creatures whose details I couldn’t make out with the naked eye. But I don’t think I did too bad with what I had.

Written by Michelle at 7:06 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Maine,Photos,Travel  

Friday, June 17, 2022

Travels: Maine Bits

Since we were in Maine for several days, we managed to visit some places we might not have otherwise.

One was Lamoine State Park. It seemed to be mostly a boat launch, but it was late evening and overcast, so it was perfect for a walk along the beach.

Where I got to look at more rocks.



The tide was out, and I eventually discovered what was crunching under my feet.


At which point I moved up from the water line and mostly hopped from rock to rock where I could see there were no snails.


Which is fine because that’s where the fascinating rocks were.


I mean.



OK, yeah, I also enjoyed looking out across the water. That was fine.


Written by Michelle at 12:46 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Maine,Photos,Travel  

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Travels: Acadia National Park

Since we were in the area for several days, we had lots of time to explore Acadia, which was nice, since it let us explore instead of having to hit all the highlights before we ran out of time.

Were the places I wanted to hike we didn’t? Definitely. But that’s true for just about every place except Coopers Rock SF.

The first thing we did was (of course) take a scenic drive of the area. I got one of the driving guide books at the visitor center, and we used that to guide us.


We also did a short-ish hike on the Gorham Mountain trail.



We also accidentally hiked up to Bubble Rock.



How do you accidentally hike up to a ridge line? Failing to look at the map and a stubborn refusal to turn around are the answer.

Of course I best liked (wait for it!) the rocky shores.


The next day we did the drive up Cadillac Mountain.



The view was amazing, but there was very little shade, so it was not my favorite spot of the visit.

The drive on Schoodic Point was gorgeous.




We also did some walking on the Carriage roads, which were fascinating in and of themselves, nevermind the scenery




And I was delighted to get to see new wildlife.


Written by Michelle at 4:45 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Maine,Photos,Travel  

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Travels: Maine (More Rocks)

Our second stop in Maine (the first was the Maine Coastal Botanical Gardens) was Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park.

I spent a lot of time walking on and scrambling around the rocky shore. (I may or may not have been singing Birdhouse in your Soul while doing so.)


Yeah, that’s a nice view and all.











Also, I listened to the ocean a bit.

But really, it was mostly the rocks.


There’s a picture opposite me
Of my primitive ancestry
Which stood on rocky shores
And kept the beaches shipwreck-free
Though I respect that a lot
I’d be fired if that were my job
After killing Jason off
And countless screaming Argonauts

Written by Michelle at 5:10 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Maine,Photos,Travel  

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Travels: Flume Gorge State Park

One of my goals for this trip was to check three more states off my “visited” list: Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

Also, I don’t much care for interstates, so we took primarily back roads on our drive to Maine. And two of my proposals were to drive through the Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

We spent so long at the Botanical Garden we visited in New York we didn’t get any stops in the Green Mountains of Vermont, but had a scenic drive the next day through the White Mountains.

I have to say that aside from our stop, New Hampshire was kind of disappointing and I’d rather have spent more time in Vermont.

But that stop me made?


At the start of the White Mountain Scenic Route is Flume Gorge State Park. It was a pretty hefty admission fee to get in, but since it was vacation, we splurged.

It was worth it.

It starts out somewhat slow, and you walk up to a cascade down a hill of rock.


Pretty, but I’ve hiked places like that in West Virginia–and could go out on the rocks.

Then you come to a boardwalk that runs alongside the Flume Brook.


Then, up ahead, you can see the walls starting to narrow and the creek getting louder.


The gorge narrows and is stunning.


Then you come to the waterfall.


But that’s not the end. You walk gravel trails (some steep) to high point where you can look into the valley.


Through some more forest and finally across a bridge above the Pemigewasset River.


There is more of a walk through the forest, on a very well maintained path, some large trees, lots of wild flowers, and glacier boulders.

So, despite how expensive it was, I very much enjoyed the walk.

But I’d still like to go back to Vermont to hike in the Green Mountains.

Written by Michelle at 4:37 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,Travel  

Monday, June 13, 2022

Travels: Pennsylvania

Hard to believe, but we actually left the house for an extended period of time.

It was weird.

I’m still not ok being indoors unmasked (and I’m never ok with crowded places). Luckily, we spent the majority of our time outdoors.

We drove to Maine with my mother, and our first stop was a place we visited a decade ago: Hickory Run State Park.

The main draw is the boulder field.


I can hear you being unimpressed, so… do you see the people in the above picture?


Does that help? Do you see the person in the red jacket? And all the people past them?


This picture of Michael? There are at least twelve people behind him to the left, and at least one behind him to the right.

This boulder field is more than 20,000 years old. It’s a giant lake of boulders stretching 400 feet by 1,800 feet, and as deep as 12 feet in places.


It’s very hard to walk on (I wished I’d had two hiking sticks and not just one) but very much worth it to go out even a few feet and to see just how stunning the boulder field truly is.

Just don’t look down too closely.


So very many giant spiders.

There are other things to do in the park, and we did manage a brief hike.

Shades of Death Trailhead Sign



We would have taken a longer hike, but when it rained on us, we headed back.

I did get this short clip of Sand Spring Run along the trail.

Written by Michelle at 7:47 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Pennsylvania,Photos,Travel  

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Visiting Fairbanks: Trees

Because I’m me, the other thing I paid a great deal of attention to in Fairbanks was the trees. The boreal forest (Taiga) is beautiful.The trees are very different from what I’m used to here, mostly being black spruce, white spruce, and birch, and all of them tall with thin trunks.





These last two are probably my favorite pictures of the trip.



I wish I’d been more acclimated to the cold, because I could have spent quite awhile wandering along this creek / stream and finding others like it. But hopefully we’ll get to visit again and I’ll be more prepared for the cold.

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Alaska,Photos,Travel  
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