Saturday, August 31, 2013

28 August 2013 - Mount Blue State Park Maine
We have made our way a little further west and are currently camped in Mount Blue State Park. Not sure how long we will be here but it may be awhile what with Labor Day Weekend coming up. The campgrounds are going to be crowded and this may be our best bet. I'll let you know. In the meantime I will put this post together so I can push it to the blog when we get back to Internet access

Our original plan was to return to Roque Bluffs State Park the day after I wrote the last post and we did in fact make it back that day BUT we also went back the day after that also. That was such a beautiful spot with lots of pretty stuff to see and do. There is no camping at Roque Bluffs SP so we spent two nights at Rocky Lake. Trox paddled it but it was too choppy for my taste. He also made a ride and did some birding but mostly we used that spot as a start for our excursions to Roque Bluffs.
Black & White Warbler spotted
on Ride from Rocky Lake

The third morning we headed to Roque Bluffs we broke camp and went to the state park then came back to Machias where we spent the night by the boat dock on Gardner Lake. We got up early the next morning and I paddled while Trox birded along the rivers that dump out of the lake. The following pictures are from Gardner Lake area.
Loons spotted while paddling the lake

Yellow Warbler

American Redstart Warbler

Mr. Vermin
As we fondly refer to this creature

Northern Watertrush
A member of the Warbler family

Most likely another Warbler

hmmmm? A juvenile?
A fly catcher?
A Warbler?

Roque Bluffs is very unusual in that it has very easy access to both fresh water and salt water. There is a narrow parking lot with a nice fresh water pond - Simpson Pond - on one side and a gorgeous sandy beach on salt water on the other side. We both paddled the fresh water pond and Trox got lots of great birding in around and about the park.
Simpson Pond
Turtle

Simpson Pond
Gulls and Terns congregating and preening
in the freshwater

What a beautiful salt water beach!

A gull we can identify!
A Ringed Bill Gull

Heron flying along the beach

Calf Pint at Roque Bluffs SP
Cedar Wax Wing
The power line spanned a field of wild
blueberries and the birds were feasting!

video
Greater Yellow Legs
In the movie you can see them bobbing up and down
We found out later they do that because they are alarmed.
Trox was TOO close!

Near the park is the mouth of the Englishman River and it proved to be a wonderful place to spot lots of birds.
Heron

Least Sandpiper

Greater Yellow Legs Sandpiper

Black Bellied Plover

Guinea Hens spotted along road
Domestic but still cool

The morning we paddled Gardner Lake we left the area and headed westish. Our destination was a little campground west of Bangor on another Pleasant Lake right outside of Stetson Maine. This Pleasant Lake lived up to its name much more than the last Pleasant Lake we stayed on. It was not only pleasant, it was the most consistently flat water we have paddled so far and the water was very clear. We rented a kayak so Trox and I could paddle together and the whole 3 hour paddle the water was a mirror!
Cool Caterpillar with a Mohawk spotted while berry picking along road
during lunch stop. We believe him to be the caterpillar of a
White-Marked Tussock Moth
We will submit our pictures for confirmation

Loon

Loon Family

The water was like glass the
whole time we were there!

American Goldfinch
Male and Female

And that brings the blog up-to-date with pictures. This morning we broke camp and headed from Pleasant Lake further west to this state park. On the way we stopped in Stetson for breakfast at a place called Bratty's. It is a general store, gas station, diner, and just about anything else you want. Someone had recommended we have breakfast there. It was WONDERFUL! Trox order corned-beef hash and she made it from scratch! Didn't even open a can! With that he had a cheese omelet & toast and I had 2 eggs, bacon, and an English Muffin. All for less than 10 bucks! We then stopped at a bakery known as the Bankery because it is located in an old bank in downtown Skowhegan. We had seen an ad for it and it sounded good. It was WAY beyond good! I had a scone and it was the best one I've had in this country! Well, worth the stop!

Monday, August 26, 2013

24 August 2013 - Rocky Lake - The "and thens" continue!
Cobscook Bay State Park was very pretty and the campground was nice but the next day was a must-go-to-grocery-store-and-find-a-laundromat kind of day. We got up that morning and Trox took a spin in the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge just across the road from Cobscook. He was hoping to see lots of Wildlife but did not. He didn't even come home with many pictures. Once he came back and we broke camp we headed southish towards Ellsworth. Along the way we stopped for lunch at Long Pond where I got a paddle in and he took a dip.
Trox claims this is a bird
I swear it is a monkey!

Warbler
waiting to be identified (of course)

Our lunch spot along Long Pond

The short crossing of Long Pond


In Ellsworth we found an RV park where we decided to stay for the night and dropped off the kayak then on to the grocery store and even more important the laundromat! We got all our errands completed and headed back to the camp spot. The next morning we got up early broke camp and headed back into Ellsworth for breakfast at a little diner. It was YUMMY and a real treat! From there we headed towards another state park with camping - Lamoine State Park. It is close to Acadia National Park and we weren't sure we would be able to find a spot but we did. Lamoine is a nice park on a bay. I am not comfortable paddling on salt water - I did enough of that in the 70s while scuba diving the California coast - so we consulted the map and found a little pond nearby and so once we had set up camp off we went Blunt's Pond. Along one side of this little pond is a nice park with a sandy beach and a great place to put-in and take-out. I went for a paddle around the pond which was only a little over a mile around and came back with lots of information for Trox. There were some neat ducks but I couldn't get close enough for a pic; I could hear a kind fisher but couldn't see him; there was a BIG bird - maybe an eagle or osprey - but my pictures were very blurry. Loaded with that information Trox took off and did he hit the jackpot!
Blunt's Pond
This lake must freeze hard enough for
snowmobiles to cross it in the winter.
I spotted these trail markers at water's edge

Blunt's Pond
I LOVE paddling on flat water

Blunt's Pond
The Osprey!

Blunt's Pond
Not only did he find the Osprey
he found the nest!

Blunt's Pond
AND the King Fisher held
still long enough for a few pictures!

Blunt's Pond
Once again these are Blue-winged Teals
This picture shows the pretty blue


AND THEN after our paddles I drove Merlin back to the campsite and Trox rode his bike with a slight detour further down the road to Lamoine Beach. Next morning when we broke camp we drove down to the beach so he could get some pics and I could see the beach. From there we headed towards Machias and two more state parks. The first one was Fort O'Brien State Historical Site which is known as one of the birth places of the US Navy. Not a very big park but a very pretty setting. From there we headed on down the road to Roque's Bluff State Park. This is a unique area in that on one side of the parking area is the ocean with a nice sandy beach and on the other side is a nice fresh water pond. We didn't stay there long because we had to find a place to park and neither of these parks allow camping. We had asked some women earlier in the day if they knew of a place where we could camp and they suggested Rocky Lake so off we went to check it out. We arrived about dinner time and found a spot. That is where I am sitting now as I type this. Trox paddled the lake early this morning and I will paddle it later if the wind dies down. We are also going to return to Rogue's Bluff to explore and paddle that pond.
Lamoine Beach
A juvenile gull of some variety

Lamoine Beach
Gulls and Eider Ducks
Bird behavior can be rather entertaining
The Eider is the largest of the ducks
They feed mostly on mollusks

Along the road between Lamoine Beach
and Lamoine State Park
Great Blue Heron

We spotted this beautiful Osprey's nest
along the road between Lamoine and
Machias and stopped to watch.

Ft. O'Brien State Historic Site

This antenna farm is HUGE!
It is the US Naval Radio Station
located across Machias Bay from Ft. O'Brien

A side stop in Machias
not my idea but I took full advantage!