Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What We Did On Our Holidays

The Twelve Spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella)

Not having been able to update this blog 'live' from Maine I find myself at a loss, perhaps a little disheartened, when it comes to covering the last lost week.

The delay has rather taken the wind from out my sails and so I've decided to do this one post to give a few highlights and then just return to, quite literally, my own backyard. As I said the other day, when you have to wait to get home to bore folks with your holiday snaps then wheres the fun in that? 

Still,  I did find when we reached Mt. Desert Island was that at the end of our drive was a little bog. And in that little bog the first thing I saw was a dragonfly I've been waiting 8 years to see. Now according to all the books then the Twelve Spotted Skimmer is common everywhere in the U.S. Well that may be so, but as Mr. Wensleydale the owner of Monty Python's immortal cheese shop said when told that Cheddar was the most popular cheese on the planet... 'Not in this manor squire'. So I was tickled pink to find this waiting for me 30 yards from the door.

Now this was a bog and the beast spent every day perched on a twig in the middle of that bog... so I still had to work with the long lens to get a decent shot but finally I think this one was OK.

Around the same little bog were lots of these damsels which I think were Common Spreadwings (Lestes disjunctus)
Spreadwings though are like Skipper butterflies, mostly it takes an expert to tell them apart. Very nice though and again a species I don't see locally.

The Common Garter snake is the commonest snake in New England apparently but this one did pose very nicely until Banished Jr. jumped in to see what all the fuss was about. There are plenty of snakes at home too but luck never seems to give me a decent shot. That and the fact that around water here you need to be aware that what you are looking at might be a Water Mocassin.

On the subject of Banished Jr. it seems he's a chip off the old block, on the shore here armed with my old Olympus.

The shore we were on made me wish I'd taken mask and snorkel. The water is wonderfully clear and I'd have loved to take a closer look amongst the forests of  Bladder Wrack. 

When we weren't exploring then much seafood was consumed. Mrs. B and I got to return to the place in Bar Harbor where I still reckon I had the best meal Ive eaten anywhere. On our first visit I had the fun of introducing her to whole lobster. Down here in the mid Atlantic it seems they feel the need to rip out the tail and throw the rest away. Up in Maine its just boil the thing and drop it on the plate with a cup of melted butter. Back in 2003 we ate 3 courses including a lobster whos antennae dangled in her beer  for around $15. Now in the years between the cost rose a little but you can't beat delicious thick chowder (sorry chowdah) as a starter, a lobster and homemade wild blueberry pie for $28.95! The West Street Cafe still being there and still being awesome made up for the sad loss of  the De Luca market  back in Boston.

So thats what we did on our holidays and tomorrow we'll get back to whats happening back here at home including another 45 Black Swallowtail caterpillars and whats happening with our Black and Yellow Argiope.  

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