Sunday, September 21, 2014

Retail Branding Madness!

Hershey's Chocolate World. Hershey PA.
And may the Mayan god of chocolate have mercy on our financial souls!
But back on the road.
Next stop home.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Passing Through...

Danbury Connecticut 

Hail to Charles Ives, a prince amongst insurance men.

And not too bad an amateur composer on the weekends.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Maine Woods

The only thing wrong with a holiday is that you have to go home. Today is our last day. Cold again this morning, close to freezing. Mist on the water again too until the sun rose above the trees and burned it off.

We took a short but vigorous hike yesterday only 3 miles in total but that's 1700 feet up in 2 miles and 1700 feet down in only about 1 mile. Yes that IS steep isn't it ? Like hauling yourself up the sheep fence on the shoulder of Penyghent...but with lots of trees.

So heading home in the morning, stopping off somewhere overnight and getting home Sunday. Sure as hell not going anywhere near New York on the way that's for sure.
We don't heart NY and even the Hudson Valley was too close for comfort.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Jr. And I spent the morning in Bethel sieving and sluicing our way through a big bucket of mine tailings in search of mineral specimens and semi precious stones.

Banished Jr.'s best find was this perfect little double terminated clear quartz crystal.
We found lots of smoky quartz, amethyst, garnet and best of all tourmaline. This one is my own best find of the day. 6 tourmaline crystals embedded in a matrix of quartz.

Well that was fun if surprisingly hard work !
Action pictures courtesy of Banished Jr.

Just One of Those Insane Maine Direction Signs

This one is in Norway Me. 

Which is right next to Paris Me.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Another Milkweed Specialist

Like a ladybug/ladybird but considerably larger. Being orange and black no one should be surprised to learn  that I found it on milkweed today. It turns out to be a Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle (Labidomera clivicollis)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tales From The Crypt(ozoological)

Say no more !
But that here is the ORIGINAL FeeGee Mermaid of P. T. Barnum infamy.


Heading down Route 26S towards Portland this morning when we spotted this little feature and had to stop for 5 minutes at one of Maine D.O.Ts nicely maintained pulloffs. 
This then is Snow Falls and it's spectacular little gorge. Sorry the pics don't do it justice as you can't get a good impression how deep this gorge is especially seen from the footbridge .

Onward to Portland!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Whoopie! Loons!

We stopped at a roadside stand the other day advertising cakes, pies, and Whoopie Pies. They were all out of all of these but Mrs.B bought a jar of homemade preserves anyway. Passing today we were earlier and so stocks were still good. So we bought Whoopie Pies, a   Maine speciality of two sponges sandwiched with a cream filling. Today they came in chocolate or pumpkin pie. $2.50 each and leave your cash in the box fastened to the tree. You are on scouts honour for that. Seems they do a roaring trade and I'm not surprised.

Big ain't they?

Meanwhile the Loons are coming closer by the day and are finally just in range of the long lens. Only just but here we go. I hope to get better yet but I can't promise. They are birds and so don't ever cooperate.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Another New Dragon

It's always a little more difficult keeping the posts regular from vacation but I'm trying to keep reasonably up to date. And so after the weekends new Darner here is another new dragonfly for my list.
It is the White Faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum obtrusum) 

We used to call meadowhawks darters back in the UK where the common darter and ruddy darter where the most numerous species on my pond back in Gloucester.
I also have this attractive little part ginger Bumblebee 
And, eating blueberries from the bush in front of the cabin yesterday, a Waxwing. I haven't seen one of these in years when they used to migrate in huge numbers to the north of England from Scandinavia.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Twilight's Last Gleaming to The Dawns Early Light.

O.K I admit it's rather later than dawn's early light. So I slept in! I'm on my hols!
And it seems that most everyone else on the pond was weekending and so this late in the summer (and before the leaves change) it's pretty much deserted. All I hear are fish splashing and various as yet unknown birds. All I've actually had time to see yet are a couple of kingfishers and I can hear numberless Jays. Oh yes and I've heard a couple of Loons too from either end of the pond.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

New, Live and Cooperative From Songo Pond

A nice big darner that seemed happy to pose on the deck.  They never cooperate like this at home. I do still need a positive ID though. I update when I get that.
I am very happy to report that this is indeed a new species for me. If appears to be the exclusively northern Aeshna interrupta, the Variable Darner

I Spy From My Little Bed...

Yes this is the view from my bed this morning, out over Songo Pond in Bethel Maine just after sunrise.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

From The Somewhat North

Still on the way to Maine but stopped about halfway for a day in upstate New York. So here are a couple of pictures from Sleepy Hollow on the Hudson. Headless Horseman and all.

The Sleepy Hollow cemetery of the Old Dutch Church. That's the one Michael Gambon gets pulled backwards thorough the window of, harpooned by a fence post, in Tim Burton's version (if that hadn't been shot in England.
Breakfast done on the road again.