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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Best of Mt. Desert island, Maine

We had a great trip to Mt. Desert Island last weekend. Some of our favorite things were Acadia National Park with it's spectacular scenery. We visit there every year.

Black Guillemots were just about everywhere we looked out at the water. Very cool little sea birds, Black Guillemots are in the family Alcidae, as are Atlantic Puffins. You can frequently see them from shore from New England and north.

Peregrine Falcons nest on the same cliffs in the park each year, building their nest in different spots. This year, their first nest was abandoned and park rangers through they would not have a successful nesting. To their surprise, the peregrines re-nested but it was not discovered until they say one fledgling. So once again, peregrines produced young in Acadia.

We got one very brief distant view of a peregrine.

Across the street, several Red-eyed Vireos were constantly singing back and forth. One came lower down from its tree-top perch and eyed me.

Jordan Pond and the Bubbles mountains are a much photographed view. Don't miss the A-game popovers and lobster stew (which we're addicted to) served at Jordan Pond House restaurant which overlooks this view. We hiked around the pond, an easy hike on a well-mantained, level, crushed stone path, edged with pink granite. We saw so many people, young, old, middle, parents pushing strollers, people with dogs on leash, even many people from foreign countries were walking on the path, enjoying nature. Acadia is one of the crown jewels of the national park system and one of the most visited. What a grand treasure, there for all to enjoy.
We are avid gardeners, as well as birders so we stopped at Asticou Azalea Garden in Northeast Harbor on Mt. Desert Island. This is a garden in with a strong japanese influence, yet using many native plants. It is open to the public all summer.

I love to walk across the stepping blocks that cross the stream.

A bonus was the bi-annual garden tour, sponsored by The Garden Club of Mt. Desert Island where you can see the private gardens of spectacular mansions. One had an incredible, recently restored, Italianate garden, one of the highlights for us. Maine gardens make excellent use of their native materials of moss, ferns, shrubs, it gave us a renewed interest in incorporating even more of these type elements into our gardens than we already do.

Italianate garden with yellow Ligularia in foreground.


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

This must be a little bit of heaven on earth.The scenes are gorgeous.

Ellen said...

While vacationing on the island last month, I finally got to see those wonderful Atlantic Puffins on a whale/puffin watch. Acadia is one of my favorite places in the whole world!

Paula said...

Great photos Lillian, and great trip. I echo your sentiments about Lobster Stew and popovers at Jordon pond. We will most definitely return.