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!

Aerial images of Georgetown, Maine

Reid State Park from the air. Photo by MaineImaging.com

 

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:    

Seguin Light. Photo by MaineImaging.com

 

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.

New Lobster Shack in Georgetown

Big Sam’s Lobster Shack on Gotts Cove

For most of the 13 years we have welcomed guests to Coveside B&B, there has been a lobster wharf across Gott’s Cove from us, serving up seafood, burgers, fried food, and great views. First was Lisa’s, run by a newly minted high school graduate who originated the shack on her father’s wharf and was recognized four year’s later as one of the “10 best” lobster wharfs in Maine by Travel & Leisure magazine. But Lisa graduated from college, got married and moved away. Then came Dena, Mama D, and Sara, all of whom lasted only a year or two.  After a year without a lobster shack on the cove, we have a great new addition to the Georgetown scene — Big Sam’s.

The prices are very reasonable.  This weekend lobster rolls (“the second best lobster rolls in Maine”) were going for $9.99 — several dollars less than the competition. The prices for boiled lobster are almost cheap! (click on the picture for an enlargement):

Sam’s menu

Here’s the manager — not Sam (Lisa’s father, who owns the wharf), but Justin (Sam’s cousin):

Puffin viewing in Maine’s Muscongus Bay

  

 We joined a National Audubon Society boat trip out of New Harbor, on the Pemaquid peninsula, to see the puffin colony on Eastern Egg Rock. The colony was reestablished by the National Audubon Society’s Project Puffin (www.projectpuffin.org) in 1972. There are now several hundred breeding pairs of puffins on the island each summer, where previously there were none. It was a magical summer evening–warm, clear, with just a little sea breeze.  Along the way, we saw a minke whale, harbor porpoises, harbor seals, and lots of sea birds. Here are some images we made of the trip (while we went on an Audubon Society charter, the trip is run daily in the summer by Hardy Boat Cruises: www.hardyboat.com). 

Leaving from New Harbor

 

First puffin sighting

 

Made it!

 

Relaxing after dinner

 

Franklin Island Light, one of the oldest in Maine

Photographer Scott Snyder’s images of Reid State Park

Perusing the web, we ran across lovely images of Reid State Park by Scott Snyder, a professional photographer based in Concord, New Hampshire. 

Todd's Point, Reid State Park. Scott Snyder

 

You can see more Reid images on Scott and his wife Allison’s blog — http://rockwaterandlight.blogspot.com/2010/07/reed-state-park-midcoast-maine.html.

Georgetown’s July 4 Parade

  

Georgetown’s July 4 parade is pure small town New England, with a Maine accent. 

Georgetown's vets lead the parade

 

Followed by the rolling stock of the Volunteer Fire Department 

Note our new sea rescue boat

 

Lobster floats are always a favorite 

One lobster example

 

More lobsters

 

More floats: 

Seafaring beauties

 

Either a bald eagle or a seagull...

Five Islands Lobster Wharf Opens for Season

It’s mother’s day weekend, and summer has officially arrived: The Five Islands Lobster Company opened today. Our favorite locale for munching on fresh-from-the-ocean seafood — especially Maine lobsters — is up and running!  This spot is on just everybody’s list of the best dock-side lobster grills in Maine.  We agree:  the food is excellent and the ambiance (at least when it isn’t raining) is incomparable.  Just a five-minute walk from Coveside.