Midcoast Maine July Events – Salad Days at Watershed Pottery and the Volunteer Fire Department Auction

Of course, the annual Independence Day parade in Georgetown is the highpoint of summer (see photos of the 2010 parade here.)  But there are other events on the social calendar. Last weekend was the annual Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department Auction. The auction provides a opportunity to pick up things you didn’t know you needed or wanted (and which you can donate to the auction next year…) But there is always an amazing array of “good stuff,” including paintings by local artists, antique furniture, boats of various sizes and means of locomotion, etc. Here are a couple of shots that give a flavor of the event:

The auctioneers are always entertaining

 

And the audience is always attentive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Midcoast summer event is the annual “Salad Days,” a fundraiser for the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, in Newcastle — just across the bridge from Wiscasset. Watershed is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving ceramic artists a place to hone their art, work in association with other potters and — for one talented individual each year — a year of full financial and artistic support at the center. In exchange, this artist creates several hundred individual salad plates which form the basis of the Salad Days event. For a $30 donation, attendees receive a plate of their choice, upon which they can then heap salads prepared by local restaurants, caterers, and the center staff. There is music (a talented bluegrass band played this year), an invitational show and sale of ceramics by artists associated with the center, and tours of the facility.  A couple of pictures, taken by iphone and a bit fuzzy:

Come early for the best selection of the plates  (if you come too late, they may be sold out).

This year’s selection of plates

 

 

 

 

 

 

And you get to use the plate right away!

The selection of salads

Summer in March!

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.

Put-in near Sawyer’s Island. Note short sleeved shirt

Is this March?

Picnic site on Sawyer’s Island

Moonrise Five Islands

Moonrise Five Islands. Tom McCandless, photographer

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.

Portland Museum of Art Celebrates Georgetown’s Artistic Heritage

Marsden Hartley, Jotham’s Island (now Fox), Off Indian Point, Georgetown, Maine. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts

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.

 
 

 

Major Midcoast Maine events this Saturday, and a Coveside “sale”

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.

April Fools Day Nor’easter

April Fools!

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….

Early spring in Mid-coast Maine

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:

(very) early spring at Coveside

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?

 

Summer at the Fat Boy

Busy car hops prepping trays for delivery

Maine’s Common Ground Country Fair

   

Black and white beauties

 

    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.   

Amazing squash

 

   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:   

Check out the bags of potatoes!

 

More potatoes

 

Chai tea and other Indian delicacies

 

Our favorites

 

Among the livestock at the fair we especially liked the oxen:  

Note the coiffed tail!

 

These animals were beautified from all sides.

Waiting for Hurricane Earl

Gotts Cove Panorama. Justin Stailey, photographer

 

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!