So soon?

August 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

This evening we walked down to the dock with the dogs under bright blue skies with nary a cloud. It was a warm day that turned breezy in the afternoon and smelled like the ocean. It felt like summer. But when we turned the corner at Old Schoolhouse and 127, the parking lot in front of the Love Nest was almost empty for the first time in weeks. I guess that’s it. Summer’s over. Apparently the kids have gone back to school, and the height of vacation season has passed.

I know some of our neighbors are probably rejoicing. It’s been pretty lively around here, with tourists cruising Old Schoolhouse looking for parking, lots of curious daytrippers poking down our little road looking for views I guess, noisy motorcycles and fast cars roaring up and down 127, late night fireworks, and earth-shaking cannon fire at all hours (don’t ask). Still, I felt a little sad to see that near empty parking lot on such a perfectly summery day.

But the end of the season brings its own joys. If we’re lucky, the warm weather will continue for months, before giving way to a mild winter (like it did last year–thanks la niƱa). That way we can enjoy the silence of the off season, but with the warm air and ocean breezes. Boogie can go back to laying in the middle of the road.

I’m still way behind in the blogging department, so once again, I’m just going to pop in some of my favorite shots from recent weeks. We’ve had more wonderful visitors and a few fun adventures.

We had the pleasure of Belinda’s company again. And we took a drive down to Popham Beach for a short hike and a long lunch at North Creek Farm. This place is absolutely wonderful, truly. I don’t know why we don’t go more often. It’s a small house with a hodge podge of stuff for sale, including fresh produce, seeds, herbs and spices, beer, wine, bags, toys, and on and on. They serve a short list of sandwiches, soups, and salads for lunch. You place your order and then head out the back door to grab a table in the garden amongst the vegetable and flower beds. While you wait for your lunch, you are serenaded by a large flock of fancy chickens. We visited on a glorious, warm day and had delicious food and great fun.

Oh, and the butterflies were out in full force.

I like the shot below because I was trying to capture the butterfly bush, and ended up catching a butterfly in the upper right corner.

We also had our dear friends Glenn, Rebecca, and Liam visit in early August. We spent one day at an all-day music festival in Portland, where Liam proved he is the most easy-going lad in the land, not to mention a real rock-a-saurus.

We’ve also been tending our vegetable beds and were gratified to finally harvest tomatoes starting about a week ago.

This is going to be a short tomato season, so we’re enjoying them to their fullest. Oh, and there is more zucchini than we can possible eat.

There was a lovely boat ride to Newagon Harbor with Belinda and Jim, a delicious birthday dinner for Robert at Tao in Brunswick, a visit to the Bowdoin Museum of Art, and much more. Oh, and Robert built a rock wall around our new garden bed. It will all have to wait. For now, I’m all blogged out.


Back to Five Islands

March 15, 2012 § 1 Comment

Well, we made it back to Five Islands late last month just in time for an early spring. While we’re happy to be back in our little cottage on the rocks, it was very difficult to say goodbye to our dear friends back in Maryland/DC/VA.

When we came up here for the initial six months, we fully expected to return to life in Silver Spring in January. So, while we missed our friends and neighbors, we were enjoying the adventure of a temporary Maine life. But, as plans are wont to do, ours changed along about December, and we made the decision to move to Maine indefinitely.

We went home to Maryland in January knowing that we would be packing, storing, or tossing 20 years worth of stuff and preparing for a real move. All this corresponded with our busiest period of paid work since we started our business about 14 months ago. So that last couple of weeks in Silver Spring was incredibly busy and stressful. In fact, I’m not sure we would have survived the move without help from Tom, Sandy, Charlie, Jim, and Shelley, who either helped us pack or rode along and unpacked at this end.

We packed in several lovely evenings with friends before the departure. I shed many tears as we said our goodbyes. Frankly, I was a blubbering mess. And it wasn’t just the people. I realized how much I do love that old house on Thayer Avenue, not to mention Thayer Avenue. But I am confident that we’ll be back there at some point, and we’ll be spending quality time with our friends during frequent visits to DC. And of course, they all know there is a lovely guest room waiting for them in Five Islands, not to mention a cocktail or two.

So on to the next adventure. Maine, what have you got in store for us?

Within days of our return, the biggest snowstorm of the winter dropped 10 inches on us. It was a lovely, dry, sweepable snow that melted within a couple of days.

Within days of the big snow, the sun was out and the temperature was up to almost 60 degrees. One morning I spotted a bald eagle flying over the river in front of our neighbor’s house. I went out to see if I could get a picture and spotted two adults on a large nest on Hen Island. The nest is too far away for me to get a good picture of the pair, but I can see them well with my binoculars (the perfect Christmas gift: thanks Robert). Here’s a shot of Crow Island. The nest is in the top of the tree behind the house (which is actually on Little Crow). In the shot below this one, if you look closely, you can see a white spot in the nest. That’s the eagle’s head.

It’s been fun keeping tabs on the pair. Yesterday one of them landed on the osprey nest that sits atop a platform in front of Little Crow. It seemed to be eating a fish and I ran for my camera, only to find the battery completely dead. Doh!

The dogs are happy to be back in Maine. Boogie is in his element. He loves being off leash and running around in the woods looking for chipmunks and red squirrels. He is perpetually ready to play. I see a trip to Reid State Park in his near future.

And the full circle of life plays out right here on Lewis Road. Since we’ve been back the cats have killed two mice. The last kill was particularly gruesome, so I’ll spare you the details. But suffice to say these two are brutal. Here’s Olive recovering from a night of mouse hunting. Trust me, she’s ferocious.

Okay, my camera is poised to capture some new adventures in Five Islands and beyond. I’m pretty excited about Maine Maple Sunday on March 25th when we get to visit sugar shacks, see how they make maple syrup, and sample the results. Maybe I’ll pick up a jug or two.

White Christmas

December 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

On Christmas morning we awoke to “sea smoke.” It’s what happens when the air is much colder than the water below. Stunning. Then the snow started mid morning, just for Katy’s birthday. It was another beautiful, gentle snow, only about two to three inches in total. Enough to make everything beautifully white. Mark and Katy were visiting and Mark made great use of his new fancy camera. All the photos below were taken by either Mark or Katy.

The day after Christmas was gorgeous, sunny and bright. We took a drive off the island to Brunswick for lunch. Sewell Pond on Arrowsic was frozen and several ice fishermen were out there catching fish called black crappy. We ventured out onto the ice for some quick pictures and then made a run for the shore.

On Tuesday, Mark, Katy, and I took a drive up the coast to Rockland. We stopped along the way in Damariscotta to see the Whaleback Shell Midden. Had a nice lunch at the Thomaston Cafe. Stopped at the Owls Head Light. Saw the trap tree in Rockland. And ended the day at the Olson House in Cushing. A wonderful outing.

Around town

October 12, 2011 § 1 Comment

No surprise, Five Islands is as beautiful in autumn as any other time of year. The full moon arrived this week, and it has been amazing, rising in clear pink skies at sunset.

Gott's Cove

Moonrise over Five Islands

Full moon over the Sheepscot River


End of the season at the dock

October 12, 2011 § 1 Comment

Last weekend was the final one for the Five Islands Lobster Co. pound and snack bar. Since we were there for the first weekend of the season (Mother’s Day), we thought it appropriate to have lunch on the final day (Columbus Day). The weather all weekend was absolutely gorgeous, even summer like, with temperatures in the 80s. The only drawback was the emergence of deer flies with the warm weather. Anyway, lunch on the dock did not disappoint.

Last day at the Love Nest

Nothing left but vanilla

Lobstermen keep bringing in their catch

Hendricks Head Light

Colors of fall in Five Islands

Until next spring

Autumn in Maine

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Giant carved pumpkin at festival in Damariscotta

To celebrate the season, we took a drive up the coast to Rockland last Saturday. Our destination was a sushi restaurant, Suzuki, that we’d heard very good things about. We decided to stop in Damariscotta for the pumpkin festival. While we were there, we bellied up to the bar at King Eider’s Pub for some pub pretzels with brie and blue cheese dipping sauce (light fare!) and a dozen Pemaquid oysters, and some local beers of course. We got such a late start that the festival was wrapping up by the time we got there. But we did get to see all the cool giant pumpkins along the Main Street.

Pumpkin as cat head

And then it was on to Rockland, another 45 minutes or so up Route 1. Rockland is a pretty big town with a nice working waterfront and a very good museum. Of course, everything but the restaurants and bars was shut by the time we arrived. So we took a short walk along the harbor before heading into In Good Company for wine and snacks before dinner. This is a very nice little wine bar with very nice food and a good wine list.

Rockland harbor

Outside the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland

But the whole point of our journey was the sushi at Suzuki. It did not disappoint. The highlight was the lobster sashimi and the Spanish mackeral sashimi. Everything was super fresh and beautifully presented. We’ll be heading back again soon I hope.

Lobster sashimi at Suzuki in Rockland

We have arrived!

July 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Finally, we made it to Five Islands! We’ve been here since last Thursday, but what with the unpacking and putting up temporary fencing to contain the beasts, there’s been no time to blog. Also, the only thing I left behind in Maryland was, yes, my camera. So I don’t have any nice inside shots of the house yet. Suffice to say, it is lovely with the new countertop, finished pine floors, and the trim. I hope to get a camera in the next day or so and will start posting some pictures.

In the meantime, here are some shots we took with the Blackberry at the Fourth of July Parade here in 5I.

The parade arrives at Lewis Road

Vintage car in the parade

Lobster trap float

Lobsters boiling the fishermen float

And a shot of our friend Jim with Robert and the dogs at the Five Islands Lobster Company. This was the dogs first time dining out and they did pretty well.

Jim and Robert awaiting their lobsters at the dock

So that’s all for right now. I’ll post pictures of the cottage and a more detailed account of our first week soon. We are learning about the history of our little corner of Five Islands from our neighbors, the Tharps. Tanja Tharp has very kindly included some wonderful details in the Comments section of the previous post. Thanks Tanja!

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