Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Portland Observatory

The Portland Observatory, built in 1807 at Portland, Maine, is the last surviving maritime signal tower in the United States.  Using both a telescope and signal flags, two way communication between ship and shore was possible several hours before an incoming vessel reached the dock

Portland has a deep harbor sheltered by numerous islands.  Ships entering the harbor are not directly visible from the wharfs, which created problems for merchants trying to prepare for the arrival of cargoes.
We climbed to the top, 109 steps.

Saw a model of the observatory tower.

Also we saw that graffiti is not new.  This was here since the the first restoration in 1937.

The problem was solved in 1807 when Captain Lemuel Moody organized the construction of an observatory on Portland's Munjoy Hill, visible from bothe open ocean and the wharfs. During the War of 1812, the observatory was used as a watch tower.

 Views from the top.

Your could see for miles.

The tower looking up.

And from across the street.

We ended our day in Freeport Maine at the Muddy Rudder Restaurant.  Super good day.

Portland Head Light

Our first destination in Maine was Hebron, where are friends Kathy and David Whittier live. They have become our personal Maine tour guides.

The first place they took us to was Portland Head Light.
The oldest lighthouse in Maine, built in 1791.

Most photographed lighthouse.

Beautiful scenery!

The museum was also very interesting.

One of the lights that came from France.

A map of all the lighthouses on the coast of Maine.

Master Time Control Clock
The IBM Electronic Self Winding Time Control Clock was used at a radio beam station. Using charts a navigator could more accurately pinpoint the vessel's location by the times the signals were received.

Watervlift Arsenal 1898.

Then I picked up these two cute guys and we headed to the Portland Observatory.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Wells Estuary Reserve

One morning we went out to the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve to take a tide pool walk and learn about the reserve. This site was first settled for farming in 1643. 

In 1978, local citizens concerned with the fate of Laudholm Farm banded together to protect the historical landscape and structures.  In 1982 they formed the nonprofit organization Laudholm Trust. By 1986 they had rallied Town, State, and Federal support, formed key partnerships, and celebrated the dedication of the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve.

We walked down to the beach from the farm. 
This tree had holes in it from the Yellow Belly Sap Sucker, a part of the woodpecker family.

Wild flowers all along the trail.

The beach was beautiful but not free, like beaches in California.  If you have a beach house you do not have to allow others to use your beach. Or provide beach access. It is the beach house owners property out to the mid tide line.  There are some public beaches but not all of them are free.  Incredible!

We all searched in the tide pools.

The docent explained what we found.  Flipper shells, snails, green crabs and hermit crabs.

We followed snail trails.

Great walk and talk. Enjoyable morning.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Kennebunkport, Maine

Beautiful Saturday, after a lot of rain so we drove to the resort town of Kennebunkport.

Low tide.

Many Bed and Breakfasts and places to stay.

Quaint shops.

All types of art galleries.

Good lunch places.  We ate at Federal Jacks outside on the deck.  Incredible view.

My friend, Charlene Henard had read about an ice cream shop in Kennebuckport that had ice cream in very different flavors so we had to try it out. Rococo
Bob had Chocolate Coconut Cream Ice Cream and I had Goat Cheese with Blueberries.  Both were excellent and so creamy.

What would a visit to Kennebuckport be without a stop at President Bush's home. (41 that is)

Another perfect day!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Providence, Rhode Island and Newport, Rhode Island

We went to visit Rhode Island, first stop the capital, Providence.

We were impressed with the many older well kept homes in the area.  We drove by the Rhode Island School for Design.

Drove to city hall.

Kennedy Square.

Then on to Newport. We had lunch at the Brick Alley Restaurant and Pub, thank you Yelps!

Cute inside.

 Then it started to rain.
We walked out to the harbor.

And it rained and rained.  We decided to head home.
Of course we had toil to pay as we went over this bridge.

Never appreciated so much Freeways!!