Karenhammond's Blog

September 21, 2012

Summer’s End

Tomorrow’s autumnal equinox marks the official end of summer and the beginning of  the beautiful fall season here in Maine.  Autumn in New England always seems like a time for reflection after a hedonistic summer of swimming, boating, hiking, and yes, lots of lobsters and pina coladas on the deck.  Today I’m thinking about the ways in which the changing seasons reflect the seasons of our lives — spring, with its youthful promise;  summer, when nature, and often our lives, reach their peak of beauty and activity; fall, when it’s dark by 3:30 PM, encouraging concentration on everything we need to accomplish; and winter, when life slows down–at least after the holidays–giving us a couple of months to focus on major projects and prepare for when the cycle of life begins again with the first crocus poking through the earth and the first robin sighting. It would be impossible for someone like me, with 12 generations of New England blood flowing through her veins, to live someplace where the seasons didn’t change.

But enough contemplation! Fall is terrific in Maine and the leaves are changing rapidly in the northern part of the state–about 1/3 of the way toward their peak color in Aroostook, Piscataquis, and Somerset Counties.  Follow the leaf-changing process or sign up for a weekly update through at least Oct. 17 at MaineFoliage.com.

At parksandlands.com you can learn about Ranger-led foliage hikes and canoe/kayak paddles at historic sites and state parks.  And coming right up on Sept. 28-30, check out the more than 60 events and activities planned for the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, including hikes, canoe trips, trail walks, and bike rides at greatmaineoutdoorweekend.org.

For lots more information about fall in Maine and all there is to do, go to visitmaine.com.

Sorry, no photos this time. I’ve been busy at home with assignments, but will soon be out enjoying the foliage and sharing some pictures with you.  Meanwhile, enjoy the scarlet and golden days of autumn.

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September 6, 2012

Sailing the Maine Coast

Pleasure boats bob on their moorings in the beautiful harbor of Camden, Maine.

Maine by land is wonderful, but as many devoted sailors will attest, seeing it by water is truly something special. I’ve just returned from a lengthy trip along the coast from Portland to Bar Harbor, with stops at several small villages along the way.  From bustling Boothbay Harbor, to tiny, historic Castine, each town has its unique characteristics.

It’s hard to choose a favorite port. Rockland, the lobster capital of the world and home to the incredible Farnsworth Museum,  a great lighthouse museum, and a charming little museum devoted to puffins?  Camden with its lovely park swooping down to the sea? Funky, artsy little Belfast where you can find Maine-made items you’ll be proud to have in your home? Who can decide? You’ll just have to sail the coast yourself. Whether you choose to sail aboard mone of the mega cruise ships that arrive regularly in Portland, a small ship that can slip into our most obscure ports,  or arrive aboard your own sailboat, the coast of Maine  will not disappoint.

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