Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 27

Emerging pink ladyslippers (1 of 1)

In search of Cypripedium acaule  – Pink Lady’s Slipper!  This evening, I returned to a patch of native orchids I had discovered last year and was excited to see that there are some emerging plants and they will soon be in bloom!  Can’t wait for the show!!  Stay tuned – I plan on getting some shots when in flower 🙂

Emerging pink ladyslippers 2 (1 of 1)

Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 25

Moosewood Maple 3

I promise this is the last Moosewood Maple photograph for at least a month!  I have just really enjoyed watching this native tree wake up this spring and put forth it’s unique leaves and flowers.  Due to the crowds that have descended upon Acadia this holiday weekend, I was not enthusiastic about venturing out on the roads in the park after work.  So, I just wandered close to home and that was enough for me!

Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 22

Moosewood Maple (1 of 1)
Emerging Moosewood Maple leaves

The leaves are really popping out on Mount Desert Island now!  Today, I hiked up to The Triad via the Day Mountain, Triad and Hunter’s Brook Trails.  The forest is definitely coming to life now.  The bright green growth of the tender young leaves is refreshing and welcome!

Just below the summit of the East Triad is a memorial plaque naming the trail as The Van Santvoord Trail.  A little history is in order here.  John V. Van Santvoord was a summer resident of Seal Harbor and a leading member of the Path Committee for the Seal Harbor Village Improvement Society.  In 1912, he laid out the trail leading up to The Triad from a starting point off the old Wildwood Farm Road (near the present day Wildwood Stables). Construction was started on the trail in 1916, three years after Van Santvoord passed away from a heart attack.  He never walked the trail that was named in his honor.  Eventually, the original trail disappeared and parts of it became incorporated into the trails that are used today – the Triad Trail and the Hunter’s Brook Trail.  Throughout the park, there are trail memorials to those who had the foresight long ago to create an enduring place for all to visit and enjoy.  I love happening upon these memorial plaques!

Heard and got a visual on another Yellow-rumped Warbler near the top of Day Mountain.  I think I have this one committed to memory now!  I am making an effort to carry my binoculars around my neck (along with my camera) – instead of it’s usual resting place inside the daypack and inaccessible when most needed!

Van Sandvoord Trail (1 of 1)

Lynn Triad Mt (1 of 1)
Self-portrait – trying to find the bird making all that lovely music!
Hunter Brook Trail (1 of 1)
Portion of Hunter’s Brook Trail coming down off The Triad
Blueberries Day Mt (1 of 1)
I believe these are Alpine Blueberries – Vaccinium boreale – which are listed as rare on MDI – please correct me if I’m wrong. These plants were tiny and located in a small patch between rocky crevasses on Day Mountain
Moosewood Mape 2 (1 of 1)
More Acer pensylvanicum coming to life!
Snake Day Mt (1 of 1)
Almost stepped on this guy along the Day Mountain path!  He was as curious of me as I was of him! 🙂


Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 21

Valley Trail Beech Mountain (1 of 1)
Valley Trail near Beech Mountain

Enchanting forest

With cascading rock gardens

Of soft moss and ferns 

~ Lynn Thomas Amber

That pretty much describes the Valley Trail that leads from the Beech Mountain parking lot and defines the first leg of a clockwise loop hike up and over Beech Mountain.  I love this mile-long hike along Valley Trail through large moss and fern- covered rocks and cliff faces.  I feel like I’m walking through an enchanted forest – a modern day Forest of Fangorn and would not be surprised to hear the Ents – shepherds of the forest – start talking to me!  I expected fairy-like creatures to emerge at any moment from behind the rocks to guide me along the path! 🙂

It was windy at the summit of Beech Mountain. And, in the distance, localized rain clouds were visible.  I did not linger long at the top – and it was a very gusty descent down the ridge trail to the parking lot.  The views of Long Pond were just as magnificent as ever – wind and all.

Beech Mountain 2 (1 of 1)
Looking towards the Cranberry Islands from Beech Mountain Fire Tower
Beech Mountain 1 (1 of 1)
View of Long Pond descending Beech Mountain


Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 20

Jesup Path 3 (1 of 1)
Ferns unfolding along the Jesup Path

The Jesup Path in Acadia National Park traverses through a unique ecosystem –  incorporating forest,  wetland and meadow habitats all in one small area.  Much of the path is comprised of hemlock and birch forest and a short section includes a boardwalk through the wetland area.  I strolled along the boardwalk late afternoon – looking for birds and trying to capture my “photo of the day.”

It’s a great birding destination.  Last year I often observed Barred Owls in the early evening.  Today, I was able to spot some downy woodpeckers, a magnolia warbler and an oven bird.  I’m hoping to improve my birding skills this summer – off to a good start! 🙂

More pictures of the Jesup Path:

Jesup Path 2 (1 of 1)Jesup Path 1 (1 of 1)

Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 19

Acadian Full Moon 5.18.19 (1 of 1)

Since ancient times, people have bestowed names on each full moon of the year.  Different cultures had unique labels for the full moons – usually designated by characteristics of the particular month in which each occurs.  The descriptive tags often refer to the tasks carried out by those who lived off the land including – planting of crops, important flowering/fruiting plants, or harvest time.  May’s full moon is called the “Flower Moon” as a tribute to all the flowering plants that we enjoy during this month.  You remember that age old saying – “April showers bring May flowers.”  I read where this nomenclature may have been sparked by all the lupines that bloom during this month in North America.  Well, they are not yet blooming here in Downeast Maine although their leaves are stretching skyward.

While perusing the internet, I was confused when I saw reference to this moon as the “Blue Moon.”  Isn’t that when there are two full moons within one month.  And, this had not occurred in the month of May.  Time to do some research.  It turns out that when there are 4 full moons within a “season” – the third one is called a “blue moon.”  Hence, the reason why there have been so many references to this month’s moon as the “Blue Moon.”   Personally, I prefer “Flower Moon.”  🙂

Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 18

Amelanchier laevis Acadia 2 (1 of 1)

I’m obsessed with Amelanchier right now – sorry!  It was a beautiful, sunny day and I was pumped to do a hike up Gorham Mountain to see if the Serviceberry were blooming yet.  I was rewarded immensely for my efforts.  The Amelanchier laevis was putting on a spectacular display along the trail.  I seemed to be the only hiker who stopped and admired its delicate flowers – or maybe I’ve just been starved for some spring blossoms!  Just in case you are in doubt that I was indeed on Gorham Mountain – I’ve included a shot below of the coastline in the background 🙂

Amelanchier laevis Acadia (1 of 1)

Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 17

Amelanchier laevis (1 of 1)

This photograph captures the essence of what our weather has been like over the past several weeks!  DRIPPY!  I’ve been anxiously awaiting the first sign of flowers on the Amelanchier laevis that grows throughout Acadia National Park.  Finally, the first of the Serviceberry blossoms are making their dainty appearance!  I love that the white flowers emerge in conjunction with the red-tinted new leaves.  The effect is stunning  🙂


Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 16

Otter Point Sunset View (1 of 1)

A sunny day always brightens the spirit and brings forth an inner vitality often suppressed by extended gloomy, overcast sky’s.  We have certainly had our share of inclement weather over the past couple of weeks!

The cloud cover increased somewhat this evening, however, the setting sun still entertained us with a colorful display – albeit somewhat subdued.  The winds were calm along the coast making my foray to the rocks doubly pleasant this evening.  I enjoyed the quiet and solitude of the moment.  I find it always worthwhile to force myself to venture outdoors after dinner and enjoy the company of mother nature – even though the prospect of staying put and curling up with a book or movie often competes for my attention!  🙂

Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 14

Peony at Asticou (1 of 1)

Today was cold and rainy with temperatures that just chill you to the bone.  I had a long, long day of work and training sessions.  For my photo today, I chose to once again review some of my photographs from last year – as I anticipate what will be coming into bloom in the coming weeks.  It’s been a great exercise to look over last years spring photos as it reminds me what to look for in both the native and public garden environments on the island for the rest of the month.

The above shot was taken at Asticou Azalea Garden and is a beautiful peony that I stumbled upon last year.  When I downloaded this photograph last year, I realized that the one flower was somewhat obscured by a bud that was hovering in the foreground.  But, I still love the photograph.  The rest of the flowers and the petals are in good focus and capture the essence of this delicate flower.  I plan on photographing this same plant this year – and hopefully do a much better job of composing the picture! 😉