Spring in Pennsylvania is a beautiful sight, although when you have seasonal allergies an occasional day of rain is welcome to knock some of the pollen out of the air. However, I will gladly take some sneezing and itching eyes rather than endure the heat and humidity that is sure to arrive soon.
Across the street from my new house is one of the county’s largest parks: Lancaster County Central Park. Miles of trails, a small “river”, tennis courts, skate park, baseball and soccer fields; numerous pavilions and even garden plots make this large green space a welcome (and handy) escape from the city.
Yesterday on a beautiful morning walk, I captured the images below of spring in full bloom.
I haven’t seen any really interesting trees lately, I actually think I like them better (as photography subjects) without all the leaves on! However, I did come across this swath of ferns while hiking along the carriage road late last Sunday afternoon.
The deep green and the way the filtered light was hitting them really made for a lovely composition.
Well, as I hinted at a few posts back, Lupine, the beautiful late spring blooming wildflower here is making another appearance on my blog.
Thanks to a tip from one of my fellow bloggers and Acadia enthusiast (David Patterson, you know who you are), I headed down Beech Hill Road early this morning enroute to Southwest Harbor for an acupuncture appointment (for a nagging arm and shoulder problem I’ve been having). And indeed, there were several lovely meadows full of lupine, with wonderful views of the mountains in the distance.
After who knows how many days of rain and clouds (I stopped counting), the skies finally turned glorious blue with puffy, white clouds – giving a Maxfield Parrish kind of feel to landscape.
This place was a definite natural mood enhancer!!
A great vantage point from which to take in the views and breathe the fresh air.
I continue to be amazed at the beauty of this place. And a big shout out to Sarah Tewhey, a wonderfully skilled practicioner. So great to find competent alternative medical therapists here. I know after a treatment or two, my arm is going to feel much better! If you want to learn more about acupuncture, check out her website at: www.acadiaacupuncture.com it’s good medicine!
As I mentioned last week-end in one of my posts, I hiked up Dorr mountain, which at 1270 feet (390 meters) is the third highest peak on Mount Desert Island. Now as mountains go, that isn’t very big, but keep in mind that you begin these hike at or near sea level so it provides sufficient challenge, especially to a relative novice like me.
There are numerous ways to reach the summit of Dorr. Two of the approaches involve long staircases of stone carved into the mountainside; trails designed by the earliest trail designers and builders. These designers included George Dorr, considered the “father of Acadia”. He was one of the first wealthy “rusticators” (as they were referred to) whose family vacationed on the island. He was a lifelong bachelor and in the end used most of his family’s fortune in the pursuit of securing Acadia’s future as a National Park. So it seems only fitting that he have a mountain named after him!
The trail I decided to take is called the “North Ridge Trail”, and avoids those pesky ladders attached to boulders that send me straight into an anxiety attack. The trail while steep was not as daunting in terms of technical difficulty as the ascent I made up Pemetic a few weeks ago. The first section of the trail follows the fire road through old growth Hemlock forest. I saw some fallen trees that had to be sawed in order to keep the fire road clear, and had to wonder just how old those trees were and what they had been witness to over the years.
Within 20 yards of leaving the fire road and heading up the North Ridge Trail, the trail becomes rock to rock stepping, climbing the whole way. A “huffer and puffer” for sure as one of my friends describes these mountain hikes. Along the way, I saw wild blueberries and a shrub that looked to be in the rhododendron family blooming.
The trees had really pushed their leaves during the past week, and my sping allergies weren’t helping my breathing any (that’s my excuse and I’m working it all the way). As I paused to look behind me, I was amazed at how green the valley had become, seemingly overnight!
As you can see from the photo above, a cruise ship (and that’s one of the smaller ones) looms large in the harbor. They will be a routine sight from now until the end of October. The next photo gives you a different perspective of the harbor and valley from the summit of Dorr, and gives you some idea of how steep the ascent was.
Cadillac mountain sits just to the west of Dorr and a long, deep gorge seperate the two. Cadillac, the tallest peak on the island rises an additional 250 feet (76 meters) above Dorr. Here is a shot looking across the top of Dorr toward Cadillac. I could see the reflection of the sun bouncing off car rooftops as they drove (the nerve of them) up Cadillac.
This was one of the calmest days (breeze wise), that I’ve had on the island; and as the temperature rose to 75 degrees (24 c), I was longing for that wind. I didn’t linger too long at the summit, as I was eager for the relative cool of the forest below. Going down sure was alot easier than going up and I enjoyed spectacular views until I hit the tree line.
THANK YOU MR. DORR!! Your dedication and generosity have allowed millions of people to enjoy this beautiful place. Thank you for sharing your mountain with me.
This is really more like portrait of leaves. But as I paused along the trail, the bright green of these new leaves against the blue sky really caught my eye. I felt like the image had a nice abstract feel to it.
Deciding to “play” with that abstract image, I manipulated the photo above in my post processing software and came up with this effect.
I rather like the effect, what do you think?
While the crowd slowly builds in Bar Harbor and along Ocean Drive, the “locals” are enjoying the less obvious spots on a glorious spring Saturday.
Pulling into the parking area at the Eagle Lake Carriage road, I grabbed the last available non handicapped parking space. Nice to see those restrooms opened again. My adventures with using the outdoor, woodland latrine appear to be over for several months! And enough said on THAT matter.
This would be only the 3rd time I had hiked the entire circumference of the lake. The trip is about 6 – 6.5 miles staying on the carriage roads, but I like to take the lake shore trail where it cuts away from the carriage road and hugs the lake shore for about 1.25 miles of the trip. It is a challenging section of trail, and on New Year’s Day this trail kicked my butt (note to self – STAY on the carriage roads in winter).
The water was high and clear, and there were numerous spots where I had to leap from stone to stone (Karate Kid anyone?). Definitely, a good balancing exercise. There is a section of moderately intense “bouldering” as the trail winds along the edge of the lake. The option is to hike the carriage road around and over a small mountain, but you lose sight of the lake, and I was feeling a need to view that crystal clear water. Also, as bike traffic picks up the carriage roads, taking this stretch of trail gets you away from that and back to more solitude.
If you look closely, you can see that the deciduous trees on the hills surrounding the lake are starting to leaf out with their green buds. It is interesting how in town, where I live, the trees are 75% leafed out, where here, a mere 4 miles inland the trees are only 25% leafed out. I continue to be amazed at the variation and variety that occurs within this small geographic area.
Back on the carriage road, and nearing the end of my walk, I passed one of my favorite benches. I have yet to find another like it in the park. It has no marker, I don’t know who built it or who put it there, but it is a beautiful granite bench, and it beckons me.
Why yes, thank you, I WILL “set a spell”. And so I did.
Enjoy your week, where ever you are and no matter what you are doing. If it goes well, cherish it, if it is a tough week, remember; all things are temporary and “this too shall pass”.
As spring takes a little longer to materialize this far north, I thought the traditional “April showers bring May flowers” needed to be adapted to fit my current climate. That, and the month of April was relatively dry compared to (so far) this May.
The pleasant surprise of today was that the skies actually brightened this afternoon (proving yet again that weather forecasts for these parts really are useless). The sunshine was MOST welcome, and I took a quick walk up and down the block to capture these spring flowers enjoying the sun.
There are even “indoor” flowers blooming, as my landlord installed two panels of stained glass on either side of the french doors that serve as an entryway to our carriage house apartments. Thank you Richard and Karin!
Things are really starting to “green up” here on Mount Desert Island, especially in Bar Harbor. And after a very dry March, and relatively dry April, we are seeing more “typical” spring weather patterns. Several days of rain, drizzle, and fog followed by a couple of glorious days of clear blue skies, light winds, and temps around 60 degrees (for my world-wide friends that’s around 15c).
After finishing my first day 🙂 , at my seasonal job at MDI Biological Laboratories (more on that in another post), I came home, grabbed a quick lunch and headed “downtown” (all of two blocks away) to snap a few more “spring is coming” photos.
One sure sign are awnings and signs going up, and windows being washed. Here is a popular breakfast spot, which will reopen for the season in a couple of weeks. Looks like a great place to sit and have tea and a bagel, right?
The fountain was scrubbed out a few weeks ago, and now has water flowing. This fountain is located in Agamont Park which overlooks the harbor. You can catch a glimpse of that deep blue water in the background of this photo.
Last week, the first cruise ship of the season was in port. The harbor is not deep enough to accommodate cruise ships docking harborside, so passengers wishing to come ashore are ferried from the ships to the town pier. I have had the pleasure of seeing Mount Desert Island from the deck of a small boat on several occasions, and I can only imagine what a beautiful sight it would be sailing in on a cruise ship. Keep an eye out on this blog for pics of a variety of ships, everything from small ships of 150 feet, to the Queen Mary II due to dock this fall.
On the way home I snapped a couple of pictures of the Bed and Breakfast across the street from me that has just reopened. It’s one of several B&B’s on the block.
And finally, a pictures of Pebbles, the cat “enjoying” her morning on our patio, which I hope to populate with some plants and flowers of its own later this week. And yes, she REALLY was enjoying it, really!