After a chilly February spent on the Cote d’Azur, we returned to summer weather here in Maine. All this week we have had sunshine and temperatures more common in July than in March. Yesterday broke most Maine records — Portland reached 80 degrees. We had to go kayaking, a first since often we don’t get our boats in the water until late June or July. We drove to the Boothbay peninsula and put our boats in near the Maine Botanical Gardens, near Sawyer’s Island. Smooth water, warm temperatures, and a picnic on a little beach we found on Sawyer’s Island.
We had dinner at the Five Islands wharf the other night, to celebrate the rising of the full moon and the gorgeous weather. It was captured beautifully by our good friend and photographer, Tom McCandless. One of my all-time favorite images is Ansel Adams’ “Moonrise Hernandez.” Tom’s picture is almost as beautiful.
This summer, until September 11, the Portland Museum of Art is featuring an exhibit entitled, Maine Moderns: Art in Seguinland, 1900-1940. It celebrates the art colony established in the first half of the 20th Century in Georgetown, by a group of artists based primarily in New York. Here’s the description by the museum:
This exhibition of 65 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs will examine the personal and professional relationships of a small group of American modernists who worked in Maine in the first half of the 20th century. Although much of their artistic activity was centered in New York, along with their mentor the photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz, these artists all chose to summer in the small mid-coast communities south of Bath, in a region that was then known as “Seguinland.” It was there that they developed a camaraderie and sense of place that strongly influenced their work. This exhibition will feature works by F. Holland Day, Clarence White, Marsden Hartley, Max Weber, Marguerite and William Zorach, and Gaston Lachaise, among others.
Called “…a jewel of an exhibition…” in the Boston Globe, the exhibit was put together with assistance of the Georgetown Historical Society, which has its own exhibit this summer of work by many of the same artists at the Society’s building in Georgetown: Georgetown Goes Modern: The Modern Art Movement Meets An Island Community.
This Saturday, June 11, will be a busy one in Bath and Georgetown. Reid State Park in Georgetown will host its first (annual?) “Reidfest” — with top local bands appealing to a variety of musical tastes, refreshments, and the promise of fine weather at the beach. For more information, click here. The music gets started at 2 pm and runs until the musicians don’t want to play any more. Visitors are suggested to bring blankets, lawn chairs, snacks, and (of course) bug spray — though the mosquitos aren’t too bad so far this year.
In Bath, the 10th annual home and garden tour, sponsored by Sagadahoc Preservation, will be held. Lovely home and beautiful gardens will be on view. Folks who stay at a local B&B (including Coveside) get half-price admission to the tour, as well as coupons for reduced price meals at most local restaurants, and price reductings on lodging (see below). For more information, check with Sagadahoc Preservation. The tour runs from 10:30 to 3:30.
As for Coveside: We still have a three rooms available this weekend. And the weather promises to be fine for either event, or for just lounging on the porch. These last-minute rooms will be available at a 30% discount if you ask for it when making a reservation. New reservations only, please. For availability and room selection, check here.
Just when the piles and drifts of winter snow were almost melted, and the daffodils were tentatively poking through the ground, we got an early spring pounding! This year’s winter has been long and harsh; last year, it was warm and short. Never a dull or predictable moment here on the Maine coast. We’re pretty sure, however, that the snow will be gone in time for our season opening on May 20….
Two signs of the approach of Spring: First, though there is still a lot of snow on the lawn down to the cove, you can actually see the ground here and there. And I just detected the first stirrings of daffodils on the hill above our front door (they won’t bloom, however, for another six weeks). Here’s a late afternoon pic I shot yesterday:
The other sign of spring is the annual reopening of the iconic “Fat Boy” drive-in on the old Bath-Brunswick road. Great greasy burgers, frappes, fries, and car hops [are you old enough to remember car hops?] to deliver them to your car! Here’s a link to a story on the event in the Bangor Daily News. And here are some pics of Fat Boy in the summer that I found on the web, along with the following comment: “Going to Brunswick, Maine, set me back in time where drive ins still exist and manners never went out of fashion. I can only make reference b/c I used to watch Happy Days growing up as a kid. If you like burgers, fries, and nice sweet young girls serving you in your car – it’s never to late to go to Fatboy and enjoy your Happy Days.” Can summer be far away?
Last weekend we attended the annual Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, Maine, about an hour’s drive north of Coveside. The fair is sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), the oldest and largest organization of organic food producers in the United States. The event — the largest such fair in America — is a grand harvest celebration, complete with everything usually associated with state fairs, except perhaps horse racing and a midway. The twist is that all the agricultural products are organic, the exhibitors emphasize earth-friendly products and processes, and the typical fair-goers resemble refugees (of various ages) from the 1960s. This would be a great place to recruit entrants for a Willy Nelson look-alike contest.
A major attraction is the food — scores of venders selling everything from organic beef hamburgers and pulled pork, to vegetarian brick-oven pizza, to organic gelato, to fabulous fried potatoes, to foreign food. Some examples:
Among the livestock at the fair we especially liked the oxen:
These animals were beautified from all sides.
This picture of our cove was snapped last evening by Justin Stailey, a frequent guest at Coveside and a serious photographer. Yesterday was uncharacteristically sultry while we prepared for Hurricane Earl. When it finally arrived after midnight, it was something of a non-event, at least in Midcoast Maine. We got a bit more than 2 inches of much-needed rain. And the humidity has finally broken after the longest heat spell in Maine history (Portland had four consecutive days of 90+ degree heat, a record). But we got very little wind — due, undoubtedly, to the fact that we spent much of yesterday bringing in the boat, kayaks and canoe, stowing away all the porch furniture, and generally battening down the hatches. The weatherman promises a week of sunshine, moderate temperature, and low humidity. We’re ready for fall!
Browsing the web, I came across a group of great aerial photographs of Georgetown, made by midcoast photographer Dave Cleaveland. His organization, MaineImaging.com, has photographed all but 30 miles of the New England coastline from the air. Here’s a shot of Seguin Lighthouse:
There are more beautiful photographs of Georgetown and the entire coast of Maine (and beyond) available for purchase on their website, http://maineimaging.smugmug.com/Aerials/Kennebec-River-toaugusta.