Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Little Cranberry Island, Maine, USA, North America, Earth, Universe

Update: I have updated the text since the original text was written late last night while I was really tired, and now I have some more energy to describe it better.

One day on our vacation in Maine we took the post boat to Little Cranberry Island, a wonderful island with 70 residents in the winter and 13 children in the local school. In the summer there are hundreds of people living on the island. It is maybe 5 km long and 3 km wide, but has real (short) roads and a few cars, including electric ones. The photo to the left is the "post boat/ferry terminal", and on the right is a very unhappy electrocuted seagull in the harbor. You have to be careful if you plan to sit on electric wires. The island is beautiful, and I can imagine living there, at least in the summers. The winters must be very cold though, and it must be hard to transport everything out to the island. And I mean everything - toilet paper, fridges, gasoline, frozen peas, and library books.

Religious house (church) and ornithological hat house. In the little and only village, Islesford, there is a wonderful art gallery featuring local artists, and we were contemplating buying several watercolor prints, but our finances aren't the best so we decided not to. But there was a lot of really good art, and AREA commented that my mom's paintings would fit right in with the others on the wall.

Xanthoria lichens on a brick wall (right), and a typical New England house with lots of "veranda" space (left). The houses are in various state of repair, from not at all to wonderfully kept large farmhouses. I loved the porch encircling this house, like a shawl protecting the inside against cold winter winds. These colorful lichens are common along the coast and love higher pH so often grow on limestone and cliffs where the sea gulls hang out.

On the other side of the island is a wonderful pebble beach with tide pools, seals spying on us by bobbing up and down in the water, a view towards the ocean (Sweden is on the other side of the horizon, so far away), and washed up seaweed. This reminded me a lot about Gotska Sandön in the Baltic Sea, because of the serenity, the sky and the ocean (both so incredible blue here in Maine), and the lack of people. This is one of my favorite spots we visited. The lighthouse in a distance is on Little Cranberry Island and at low tide you can walk over to the island next to it.

In the harbor is Islesford Dock, a wonderful restaurant in an old harbor boat house. Here we had the best views and the best clam chowder, a kind of soup, in all of Maine (that we have tasted). Lobsters dipped in butter of course, and drinking Bar Harbor Ale, which is the local beer and not bad at all. We had lobster rolls (more about that later) and chili shrimp too. When you eat lobster you need real tools, lots of napkins, and a bib. It was all delicious!

The general store shares its space with the post office, which is minuscule. In the winter the store is open only a few hours per day. Everybody has to walk to the postoffice to get their mail. The store owner knew one sentence in Swedish which she proudly said: "Jag älskar min Volvo!".

Lobster buoys are color coded for each owner. These ones are definitely inspired by Sweden, right? To the left are some lobster cages, ready to be thrown in the sea.

1 comment:

reetajenet said...

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