Wednesday Walkabouts: Around Mount Desert Island

Thuya and Witch Hole (5 of 13)
Thuya Gardens – a riot of color!

Wednesday was a busy day for me.  I had several goals to accomplish – visit Thuya Gardens to see what was blooming and visit with the Monarch butterfly caterpillars, walk the loop around Witch Hole Pond in search of pitcher plants, and pick up a package in Bar Harbor (a new air mattress for my upcoming Isle au Haut camping trip).

I started with Thuya Gardens.  It was the perfect day for photographing flowers.  There was a light cloud cover with no threat of rain.  The last time I had visited Thuya Gardens in early July, irises and peonies were the flavor of the day along with a smattering of foxgloves.  The season got off to a slow start due to the cool, wet spring.  Today, I was anxious to see how the garden had progressed over the last month.  It was a riot of color!  Dominating the scene were lilies, foxglove, delphinium, astilbe and phlox.  The lilies, in particular, were at their peak and absolutely stunning.

Thuya and Witch Hole (1 of 13)
Cool colors abound in this planter at the gate to the garden
Thuya and Witch Hole (2 of 13)
The lilies were a sight to behold at their peak
Thuya and Witch Hole (6 of 13)
More lilies….
Thuya and Witch Hole (7 of 13)
Sunflowers hold a special place in my heart
Thuya and Witch Hole (8 of 13)
An old-fashioned perennial and native plant – Filipendula makes a great accent plant!
Thuya and Witch Hole (9 of 13)
Astilbe species under the shade of an old apple tree

I managed to visit the Monarch caterpillars in their hidden spot in the garden among the milkweed plants at just the right time so as to be all alone with them.  Given that I have never seen the garden so overrun with visitors, I can only say that my solitude was serendipity.  I had at least ten minutes  to observe the caterpillars in action and shoot photographs before anyone else located this little land of enchantment.

Thuya and Witch Hole (3 of 13)Thuya and Witch Hole (4 of 13)

After my Monarch caterpillar fix, I drove over to the end of Duck Brook Road to hike the Witch Hole Pond carriage road loop.  I knew that the pitcher plants were blooming and wanted to seek them out.  Along the way, I scared this little creature at pond’s edge.

Thuya and Witch Hole (10 of 13)
He was as curious of me as I was of him 🙂
Thuya and Witch Hole (11 of 13)
At this spot in May, Jim and I observed huge numbers of painted turtles basking in the sun on the marshy pond hummocks.  They were too far away to get a decent picture.  Today as I was shooting this photo, one of them slid into the water and disappeared underneath the waterlilies!  It really was there hiding!
Thuya and Witch Hole (12 of 13)
Without a telephoto, I cannot get a good photo of the pitcher plants as most of the patches are too far into the marsh.  I did find several new places where they are growing on this walk since I was totally focused on looking for them.  This patch was a tad closer to the trail.

After my Witch Hole Pond excursion, I drove back home and hopped on the shuttle into Bar Harbor to pick up my package.  I am convinced that the first two weeks of August are the most popular vacation times for the majority of folks worldwide.  As I pushed my way through the throng of tourists, I was struck by the absolute calm of the harbor compared to the streets of Bar Harbor.

Thuya and Witch Hole (13 of 13)
Fog rolling in as the boats sat idle in the harbor in Frenchman’s Bay

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