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orourke's blog

Over the Rivers

A trip back from Boston the other day, and then a talk we heard on the Native American “highways” of Maine, reminded us of our rivers again. We focus so much on the Atlantic, here on the Mid-coast, and on the “oceanside memories made in Maine” at Spruce Point (where we greet the dawn over the ocean every day), the great rivers of the lands Down East can get overlooked.

Until you’re driving north to get here.

A Bird's Eye View on the Season

November mornings still bring the occasional “V” of migrating ducks, Canada geese and raptors, heading for sheltering harbors and marsh bays where they can winter over, secure from the northeast storms that will batter their summer islands. We welcome back the chickadees, bluejays and dozens of others who spent summer deep in the forest and watch the woodpeckers foraging for suet and the tasty delights beneath the bark of birch trees past their prime.

Native American Heritage and November’s full moon

While we were prolonging the season, holding out for an authentic “Indian Summer” – defined by the Old Farmer’s Almanac as warm days following the first hard frost -- the climate caught up with us in a blast of wintery weather on the first day of Standard Time. If ever there was a day good for turning the clock back an hour and going back to bed, it was this past Sunday.

Listening to the Trees

Listening to the Trees

The Nature Conservancy recently observed that “trees can’t tell us what they do for us and why we should care” and so they posted a blog featuring musicians and poets speaking for the trees.

All Things Pumpkin

It’s pumpkin season here on the mid-coast of Maine. So much so you’d think that calendars should automatically make the word “October” start with the round orange orb. Everywhere we look there are joyous signs of this garden mascot, from the pumpkins on the lawn at the Foliage Festival at Boothbay Railway Village to the pumpkinboat regatta at the Damariscotta Pumpkin Fest to the Great Pumpkin Hunt at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

Head North: there’s still time

The “Peanuts” cartoon this morning had Snoopy wishing one of his feathered friends a fond farewell. The last panel showed the bird flying back across the frame, with Snoopy thinking “I knew he was headed the wrong way, but didn’t want to tell him.”

Into the Maine September woods

This year is the 150th anniversary of the posthumous publication of Henry David Thoreau’s The Maine Woods, and the musings he derived from three trips on the lakes, rivers and mountains between 1846 and 1857. We’re reminded of it now when September brings the yellow woods that Robert Frost wrote about. Frost’s “path diverged in a yellow woods” and taking the one “less traveled by, made all the difference.”

Coming around to apples

Looking out the kitchen window the other day, we noticed the very tips of some of the hardwoods are starting to turn color. As we stood watching them in the morning sun, we were trying to decide how we would describe the gradual lengthening of the fall foliage ‘shadow’ as it spreads across the branches of  Mid-Coast Maine. We hit upon the comparison with ripening fruit (or pumpkins). And that brought us around to apples.

Boothbay Harbor golf links to history

In 1682 when two English noblemen teed off at Hoy Lake against the Duke of York and local shoemaker, John Patersone to determine whether the game of golf had originated in England or Scotland (the Duke and the Scots won), Maine was still the American frontier, a wilderness of dark spruce forests crowding down to a rocky shore.  Yet already Maine was being eyed for settlement, by 1764, Europeans had settled Boothbay sufficiently to incorporate a town. Another hundred years and the coast of Maine had become vacationland for rusticators and holiday-makers streaming out of the Northeast cities on trains and steamers to places like Spruce Point Inn, expanded from a gentleman’s hunting/fishing lodge to an inn in 1892. Golf kept pace.

Palawan sails in with priceless memories


Funny thing, history, memories, how the past comes back around…

One of the prized possessions and chapters in Spruce Point Inn history is this photograph, hanging in our lobby, of Robert Kennedy, with his wife Ethel, Mr. & Mrs. John Glenn, Andy Williams and Claudine Longet and other guests, posing aboard their sailboat that had just tied up at the Spruce Point Inn dock.