It’s been a tough winter on the Maine coast — more snow and more frigid weather than anyone can remember. And it’s just mid-February. These pictures were taken by a neighbor and friend who keeps our driveway plowed. Lucky us, we’re spending February and March in France! If you’re interested, you can follow our adventures on Covesiders.Blogspot.com.
The Georgetown Working League Fair, a staple of Georgetown summers for a century, celebrated its 100th birthday this past Saturday, August 10. The Working League began as a women’s group at the First Baptist Church in Georgetown, but has evolved over the years as a service organization devoted to raising money for the betterment of the community. The major fund raisers are the fair — traditionally held on the 2nd Tuesday of August, but moved this year to the second Saturday (a change much debated in the league), and the design and execution of an heirloom quilt, all hand-made by the master quilters of the league.
The fair consists of a large “white elephant” sale (of lightly used toys, nick-nacks, household items, and miscellany), a bountiful luncheon of lobster or chicken salad (served with focaccia, fruit, macaroni salad, blueberry cake, and a drink, all for $12!), an extensive sale of art works by local artists, a kid’s tent with face painting, stories, music, and an entertainment tent with music continuing throughout the day.
Proceeds from the money-raising activities of the Working League support scholarships for local students, and grants by the League for various efforts to improve the community.
One of the joys of summer in Maine is the number and variety of local festivals, fairs, and community events of every shape and color. We discovered over Memorial Day weekend – a bit of a washout weather-wise – a fair in nearby Damariscotta Mills (just up the river from Damariscotta) held each year to raise money for the restoration of the fish ladder that allows alewives to bypass the dam at the end of Damariscotta Lake and spawn in the upper reaches of the river. Alewives spend most of their lives at sea, but each spring fight their way up coastal rivers to spawn. They are an important part of the ecosystem, providing food for both shore birds and fish, to say nothing of bait for lobstermen. They are also smoked for human consumption (though we understand they are an acquired taste.) The species has been much diminished by the dams along coastal rivers and this fish “ladder,” actually a lovely series of rock pools and small falls that the fish can easily negotiate, is an important ecological success.
The three-day festival included music, a pig roast, roasted hot dogs, a beer tent, special “fish eye” ice cream (chocolate with M&Ms) and other homemade deserts. Visitors to the festival are invited to walk up the cascading pools of the fish ladder (which actually runs through the back yards of a number of local families) and watch the fish jump their way to the lake. Here are some pictures of the festivities:
We returned from Europe a few days ago, hoping to find the beginnings of Spring. But we found the remnants of a late winter snowstorm: Spring comes to Maine — slowly. The snow is melting fast, however, and we have high hopes that we’ll soon see the first stirrings of the season to come. In the meantime, we’re making plans for the summer season; Carolyn is testing new recipes; and we’re looking forward to our 16th year as innkeepers.
The winter weather has been spectacular. After a substantial post-Christmas snowstorm, the temperatures have remained cold and the skies sunny — perfect for outdoor pursuits. Carolyn and I snowshoed from Route 127 to Robinhood Cove, through the Schoener Preserve, one of the many largely undiscovered preserves open to the public in Georgetown, to the western shore of the cove.
The Portland Museum of Art has been working several years on restoring Winslow Homer’s studio on Prout’s Neck, south of Portland. The work concluded early this autumn, and visitor’s can now tour the house and grounds through a escorted minibus tour that leaves several times a day in Spring and Fall from the museum. The museum is celebrating the opening of the studio with Weatherbeaten, a major exhibition of Homer’s works that we discussed in a previous blog post. The location of the studio is spectacular.
We survived Hurricane Sandy without even so much as a power outage. Lots of wind and rain, but more like a moderate Nor’easter than the punishing storm that hit further south. Sandy did make for some spectacular surf at Reid State Park, however. Here are some shots Tom took this afternoon.
The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest was held last week, complete with the improbable “Pumpkin Regatta” where contestants race their boats of hollowed-out pumpkins across the Damariscotta River. Unsurprisingly, many don’t make it to the finish line!
We missed the festivities, but made it a week later for some of those fabulous Damariscotta oysters at the comfy King Eider’s Pub and to check out the entries in last week’s pumpkin decorating competition. Some of these beasts approach 500 pounds, so their decoration requires both artistic skill and a strong back! Here are some of our favorites (click on thumbnail to enlarge):
The Portland Museum of Art has mounted a comprehensive new exhibit of the later works of Winslow Homer, timed to coincide with the opening of Homer’s restored studio on Prout’s Neck, south of Portland. The 38 major oils, watercolors, and etchings, many of which are dramatic views of the sea from Prout’s Neck, are on loan from museums across the country. The exhibit runs until December 30. The studio can be visited by guided tour and access is by bus from the museum; reservations must be made in advance. We have scheduled a visit to the studio later in the month and will report on it in a subsequent post.
Two more examples of paintings in the exhibit (click on thumbnail to enlarge):