Over the holidays this year, my family and I decided it was time for a trip beyond Downeast Maine. We crossed the border at Calais and drove on to Black’s Harbor, New Brunswick (Canada) to catch the ferry to Grand Manan, an island at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. I’d been to Grand Manan on a few occasions, once for a wedding ceremony overlooking the sea and its fishing boats. On Grand Manan, life is still timed by the sea.
If the air is still and cold enough, great wisps of sea smoke hover and drift above the water surface. That “smoke” actually is water vapor that forms when really cold air moves over relatively warmer water and the thin boundary layer of warm air just above the surface. When the evaporating water rises, the cold air can only hold so much moisture, forcing the liquid to condense into fog. Clouds rise like smoke from the sea’s surface, dispersing and reforming, turning bays and coves into ephemeral cauldrons of submarine fire.
I would attend again because it is a treasure trove of important information for anyone who loves Maine Beaches or Maine in general. Quote from a 2013 conference evaluator
Design workshops that bring community stakeholders together with housing professionals are an annual event now in Maine. In October Maine Sea Grant partnered with the Workforce Housing Coalition of the Greater Seacoast to host a workforce housing “charrette” (intensive design workshop) at a site off Route 1 near the Kittery border in York, Maine.
The "Seaweed Scene 2014" was held on the beautiful oceanfront campus of the Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, ME, on August 30th. The morning meeting reviewed the latest from the new seaweed farmers and researchers in Maine and Long Island Sound.
While out on the Damariscotta River this morning in search of wild oysters at low tide (more on that story later), we came across this giant, gelatinous mass on the shore of Goose Ledge. None of us, not even the one who is on the water every day, had ever seen anything like it. The fingery protrusions were all connected, the whole mass jiggled when prodded. Was it alive? Did it sting?
News media and Sea Grant’s coastal correspondents (a.k.a. the Marine Extension Team) have been reporting jellyfish sightings along the coast, from Casco Bay to Penobscot Bay to Frenchman Bay.
I saw them, too—a parade of moon jellies moving up the Damariscotta River.
The tide was going out and the jellies were coming in, one after another pulsating toward head of tide.
I found this little guy (right: American Toad Anaxyrus americanus) on a hike in Camden Hills last summer. It was a thrilling experience and a rare occurrence for me. I remembered my mom telling me as a child that I would get warts from handling them—which is not the case. The American toad does produce a toxin in glands behind its eyes that can be harmful to our pets and us; yet for the toad, the toxin provides protection.