The weather of late has been a mixed bag of rain, gray, wind, gray, clouds, gray, sleet, gray, and then suddenly a day of sun! Amber has been compiling a list of things we want to see and do in the area so when we get a sunny day we can jump in the car and head out to take pictures in good lighting. Maine is home to about 70 lighthouses and we have visited at least five so far. The Owls Head Lighthouse was constructed in 1852 and manned until it was automated in 1989. It is still a working lighthouse today and the keepers house is home to the American Lighthouse Foundation, Interpretive Center & Gift Shop. This was the first Maine lighthouse we were able to actually spend much time walking around – our previous visits, it was just too dang cold!DSC_0484 Whether you are looking out over the Pacific or Atlantic, a lighthouse is an enchanted place. Just stepping on to the grounds you feel a sense of history, purpose, substance and resolution. Lighthouses are built to withstand the absolute extreme of weather an ocean can conjure – and do it perched, purposely, atop the most exposed location their builders can secure. Because of this, a lighthouse generates much more than light waves in the visible spectrum. Their combination of hardy build, exposed location, gravity of mission, history, and pristine condition, cause a lighthouse to generate veneration as well. I always feel a sense of reverence when visiting a lighthouse.
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DSC_0503On our way to the light house we made a stop at the Maine State Prison Industries Showroom in Thomaston. The store sells products made by residents of their five facilities. There is furniture, kitchen items, toys, paintings, leather goods, bird houses, lamps, and clocks. All the items demonstrate absolutely beautiful craftsmanship and the prices are just amazing too! Between Hussey’s and the Showroom, we could have our next place totally decked out! DSC_0461 DSC_0457 DSC_0456 DSC_0465Amber tested one of the rocking chairs for quality, balance, and all around comfyness-ness. I took note of that middle trunk design so I can build one in my future home wood shop!DSC_0452Maine is also home to hundreds of Nature Preserves, reserved lands, conservation areas, wildlife refuges, and bird sanctuaries. We have visited about a dozen so far in this area and have had the chance to see them in both winter and pre-spring conditions. In the western states there are millions of square miles of National Forest, DNR and State lands to explore. Here, the preserves are often a collection of private or donated lands and lands purchased by donations, all maintained by the efforts of the trusts, associations, and volunteers. It is an impressive effort by Mainers to preserve this amazingly diverse region. In a walk through a single preserve a visitor may experience forests, farmlands, streams, wetlands, tidelands, wildlife or a local historical site. DSC_0015DSC_0016DSC_0499DSC_0478DSC_0482The trails through the preserves are rarely difficult but always picturesque. We cross over bridges, pass through stone walls, and follow the leafy or snowy paths.DSC_0428DSC_0438But sometimes the trail looks like the one below. What, you don’t see it? It is clearly marked. You just have to look for the blue blazes on the trees. They are very bright actually.DSC_0439If I step to the left just a foot and then zoom in a little the trail is clearly marked. Can you see three of them?
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I seem to recall my father asking me at several turning points in my life: “where in the blue blazes do you think you are going?!” Well, now I can tell him: “to Maine.”DSC_0441Of course other things of interest are clearly marked.DSC_0416DSC_0318DSC_0565And here is something we wish had been labeled. We would love to hear your guesses on: for what purpose this stone structure in Rockland was constructed!?DSC_0532