audrey-releasing-butterfliesIt has been a difficult year finding Monarchs, at any stage, in the wild.

Audrey discovered if she bleaches the eggs of sick butterflies, the offspring have a good chance of being healthy.  She set up a nursery and managed to collect a lot of eggs this year. I do not know exact numbers, but she has released over 150 Monarchs this summer!

Bass Harbor Wharf

img_7206-wharf_shareWhile waiting for our lobster dinner, we enjoyed the wharf.  It was neat seeing all the lobster cages and watching boats come in.

When we were there, the tide was low.  We were told that it will rise twelve feet higher! You can see the water lines on the sides of the piers.

First Lobster

img_7210-lobster_shareWhile in Maine, we knew that we should try lobster. We asked around all week and most people suggested getting a lobster roll which sounded like lobster in mayonnaise on bread.  One of the last days there, we were talking to a college student who suggested going to Thurston’s Lobster Pound in Bass Harbor.  She said the prices were reasonable, the lobster caught recently and at times there were lines down the road waiting for a table. Plus, it was a lot less expensive than most other places!

So, we decided to try fresh lobster.  We chose what size we wanted and then approved the lobster they chose for us.  We watched them label the lobster and get it ready to put in huge vats of boiling water. Our table was next to the harbor and it was fun watching everything outside.

We agreed that lobster was similar to shrimp. Everyone liked it in varying amounts.  Megan liked it with a little mayonnaise, but everyone else enjoyed it with LOTS of butter.

Adrian was excited to get the lobster and eat it with a bib.  Mark was given the privilege of trying to figure out how to get to the meat, though everyone got to try. Then Mark had fun dissecting it and commenting on how it was different from a crayfish.

All of us would enjoy lobster again sometime.  But, only when it is freshly caught and less expensive than what we can buy in the midwest!

The South Bubble

people-lesson-3_shareMark enjoyed looking at park maps and wanted to find a really good hike.  He wanted something difficult, but not too hard for everyone.  He would have been happy to find a place that only he and Daddy could go, but that did not work this time.

He did find a hike for us though.  We walked around Jordan Pond and climbed the South Bubble. It is not the climb for people who dislike hikes or climbing over rocks!

Unfortunately, I did not get as many pictures as I would have liked.  I had used up all my memory cards and deleted the obviously bad pictures just so we could have a few more pictures.  Allan would later comment that I took over 1500 pictures before running out of space. He also promised new memory cards for future trips!

The kids all took off ahead of us again and helped Megan over rough spots. There were only a few spots she had trouble with because of her height.  We had people stop and ask if that bunch of kids ahead were ours.  Then they would comment how polite the kids were or how good they were with the little ones.  We heard so many complimentary things about our kids during that walk!  They even tried helping another family with younger children get to the summit!

The trail going up was a bit challenging for me.  I don’t enjoy climbing rocks as much as Mark does; though climbing down is a lot worse! There was one spot where my legs were just not long enough and Allan had to give me a boost up. Mark and Allan both were there to help when needed and I often thought how blessed I am that both of my men are so considerate. I was also thankful that I can hike trails like this.  I don’t like them as much as others, but it would have been awful not to have been able to enjoy the day with my family.

When we got to the top, we could see a long way off.  It was a beautiful place to rest and enjoy our lunch! Coming down was a lot easier, it was less rocky and the scenery completely different.


Beech Mountain Fire Tower

img_2115-ladder-tower_shareWe learned that the Beech Mountain Fire Tower was going to have an “open house”.  It is usually closed, but a ranger would be there to answer questions and the tower would be open to look at.

Going up, the trail was easy in spots, but more difficult over rocks in places.  It was never super hard, though someone who struggles with walking would not be able to get to the tower.  It was a pretty walk and the kids all had fun running ahead.

The view from the top was pretty.  We enjoyed the scenery and talking with the ranger so much, I forgot to get a picture of the tower.

The ranger was very helpful and explained that there is not as strong a fire hazard there as in the west because they get so much rain and snow.  Because of this, the tower was only manned during the day until the mid 1970’s,  There were three fire towers that used triangulation to pinpoint where fires were.  Now the tower is  on the National Registry of Historic Fire Towers and is not used.

We took a different way to get to our car.  The way was a lot easier, but we took longer since I stopped to admire the scenery so often.

Junior Ranger Badges

Junior Ranger Patches
Junior Ranger Patches

The kids have been collecting Junior Ranger badges at every National Park we visit if we have time to work on them.  If we are just passing through, it is hard to complete the work needed properly.

In order for the children to earn their Junior Ranger badges, there are different activities to complete in a workbook.  The younger you are, the easier to earn a badge, though Megan tried to do everything in her book. They also needed to interview a ranger and attend a ranger led activity. They were able to finish both projects the first day, though it took longer to finish their books.

They also had the opportunity to earn centennial Junior Ranger Badges. There was a separate book with different activities.  The kids enjoyed working on that book also.

All of the children earned Junior Ranger patches and their centennial Junior Ranger Badges.


img_2080-birds_shareAs we explored around the coast, we enjoyed observing and listening to the waves on the rocks. We watched the seagulls and the cormorants. Â We admired how the fog changed the scenery.

It is amazing to me that God created such awesome scenery for us to enjoy.  It is easy to forget that he designed this world in the busyness of every day. I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to remember and enjoy what God created!

Bass Harbor Lighthouse

img_1734-bass-harbor-lighthouse_shareWe were told that a great place to see sunsets was Bass Harbor Lighthouse. Our campsite was a short distance away, so we went there a few times during our stay. It was a challenge getting there on time, the sun set a few minutes after 7:00 while we were in Maine. We wanted to get there earlier so we could see the sun setting.

We were disappointed the first time there because the lighthouse was behind us and there was only a short sidewalk to watch the sun setting.  The parking lot was crowded and the sidewalk lined with people watching the sun set. We wondered what was so special about the place.

The last time we went there, I was talking to a family who mentioned there was another path on the other side of the light house.  We knew we would miss the sun officially setting, but we ran around and discovered what we missed! There was a path that lead to a bunch of rocks that you could climb out on.  Depending where you stopped, you could get some wonderful pictures!


Sand Beach

img_2018-walkingWe continued walking down to Sand Beach.  The entire walk was only about a mile, but there was a lot to see and we took our time.  I noticed the leaves were starting to change colors and collected a few of the prettier ones.

Sand beach is one of the few sandy beaches in Maine.  According to the ranger, in the winter, the sand is washed away, and there is a huge gap between the last step to the beach.  Come spring, the ocean brings the sand in again.

We learned that the water rarely gets above 55 degrees F. so it is chilly year round.  However, it is a lot of fun to play in! The kids squealed and laughed as the cold waves crashed around their legs.  The waves started rises higher and no one had clothes to change into, except Megan who wore her shorts under her pants.  We did not want cold, wet children, so we reluctantly decided to leave after playing awhile.

As we walked back, the heavy fog started to lift.  As the fog lifted, many people started arriving and the mostly empty beach started to fill up for the day.