This is a snippet of what the place where I am from looks like. One thing I miss about Maine is the ocean, and lighthouses.
Portland Head Lighthouse, at the entrance to Portland Harbor in Maine, has an important history. It was the first lighthouse completed by the United States government, (ordered by George Washington) and is the most visited, painted, and photographed lighthouse in New England. It was commissioned in 1787 and finished in 1789, and first shone by whale oil lamps (16 of them) in 1781.
All up and down the Maine coast you will see many different lighthouses. The rockbound, foggy coast of Maine, with high tides, sudden squalls, and treacherous shoals, makes for ahem- interesting sailing.
When my husband and I lived on our sailboat, we relied on every lighthouse along the eastern seaboard, and the ones in the Bahamas. Each lighthouse has its own stripes or decoration, and in that way each one has its own personality. It was like the lighthouses were personal friends of ours. They are a tremendous aid to navigation!!
The easternmost lighthouse is also in Maine, the West Quoddy Head in Lubec. (There is a story as to why the EASTern most lighthouse is called WEST Quoddy Head, but I can never keep is straight.) Anyway, Portland is 238 miles from Acadia National Park. West Quoddy Light in Lubec Maine is another 104 miles from Acadia. Maine is big.
I lived in Gray Maine from 1990 to 2006. It is 17 miles north of Portland, in the Lakes region. I lived in a lake. My husband and I lived in a 900 foot bungalow originally built in the 1950s for summer campers. That is what they called these rudimentary houses, “camps”. They weren’t winterized, were small, and lined the lakes. Fathers would ‘commute’ to Portland while the rest of the family lived in the camps and the kids played all summer in the water. They were built on 50 foot lots and it was one big summer party back in their heyday of the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. As housing prices started to rise, and property taxes increased, many families in the 90s found that they could no longer maintain two homes, and they either sold the camp or winterized it and sold the house in the city. My husband's dad had bought this camp, which he named “Peaceful Waters” and with foresight, also bought three lots, for 150 feet of frontage so we had some elbow room. Not that we could get to the water many months per year, as this photo from winter of 1996 shows
Now you know why I enjoy Georgia winters so much!
This next picture is from the Lubec Maine cemetery. Lubec is the furthest town in Maine along the Atlantic. I used to vacation there every July. It borders New Brunswick Canada. Winters in Maine are fierce. Frost heaves are an annual battle. Frost heaves are defined as “the upthrust and cracking of a ground surface through the freezing and expansion of water underneath. A section of ruptured pavement caused by the expansion of freezing water immediately under the road. When a heave occurs on a grassy section, it heaves up, not caring that there is a historic grave marker on top!
That’s what decades of Maine winters will do to any structure, whether it is a house or an ancient granite grave marker.
The tides up and down the Maine coast are very high. The more north you go the higher the tides. This photo was taken in Cutler Maine. Notice in the photo, at extreme lower left, the masts of a fishing trawler. And then notice the pilings it is tied to. Pretty high, eh? In Cutler, the tidal range is about 16 feet. In Lubec, it is about 20 feet. Note the wet and dry rocks at right. That’s the tide line
Here is a picture of Lubec at low tide. Notice the kids at extreme top right. And the water way out there. The water comes rushing in when the tide changes and the two white rocks in the extreme foreground will be covered by the time it’s done. It is almost like a tsunami when the tide changes. You can hear it and see it. It literally rushes in at you. Notice the bug lighthouse in the harbor.
Here is a representative photo of the scrub pine atop a rocky seaside cliff. This shot is at Lubec looking at New Brunswick Island, Canada. The red object in the middle of the river is a red buoy for ship navigation. The flowers are wild sea roses.
Granite, forbidding coastline! Looks like a dinosaur tooth! Not the fog along the treeline.
What to do with the driftwood that washes up? Why, make a mailbox post out of it, of course!
So that is a taste of Maine! They are forecasting snow for the mountains this Memorial Day Weekend. It is very late even for Maine for this kind of forecast. So I am glad I’m here in GA!