Walk with me 

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It’s been a beautifully warm and dry spring.  In the past couple of weeks we’ve hosted many more guests than we usually see before Memorial Day Weekend. Some years I cringe at the thought of sharing our muddy roads and cold fog with people who have traveled so far to be with us; but this year, the flowers are huge, the grounds are ahead of schedule (thanks to the weather and the crew’s hard work) and the sun has been kind.

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lupine buds and snow on the mountain populate the gravely soil of the boardwalk

When the ocean is sparkling, it’s easy to feel like we’re living in a magical place, and our tagline “tidepools, gardens, goats and honeybees” takes on a life of its own. We plant with the intention of feeding ourselves, growing herbs for flavor and healing, making things pretty and nourishing the soil.

pinktulip

There is a seemingly effortless quality in how our grounds flourish in the everchanging combination of groomed gardens and controlled wild spaces.  Really, the gardens are a result of carefully feeding the soil with sea weed, compost and worm castings and the hard work of our dedicated team who spend the summer making the park better…  and choosing plants that thrive in our environment.  We find our plants most often the local fire department and garden club plant sales and from our friends at nurseries who grow plants from seed and propagation…we don’t get our plants from the big box stores.

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from the top left, clockwise: lily of the valley (insert scratch and sniff for a touch of heaven), apple blossoms, sweet woodruff, Solomon’s Seal, hostas by the sea, the rec hall door

Yesterday Sue Riley asked me what the gardens were looking like this week and in particular, the state of the lupines.  I don’t need a big excuse to abandon the office and the computer to take pictures of our world…so take a walk with me, the plants would love to meet you…

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Don’t you just love to forage?  We’ve been eating dandelion blossoms with butter and filling our salad bowls with chickweed and tender lettuce…with some pea shoots and garlic greens to make us feel cosmopolitan.  The flowering fruit bushes are looking promising…the quince, blueberries and bing cherry blossoms are abundant this spring.

It’s hard to believe Memorial Day weekend is upon us…if we won’t have the pleasure of your company, we hope that you’re surrounded by friends and family.  If we are lucky enough to have you share our world…make certain you find time to wander through the gardens.  If you’d like us to draw you a mapped trail of some of our favorite plant nurseries (including stops for lunch and cocktails) don’t hesitate to ask.

 

Santa Comes to Searsport Shores August 2-8



SantaSteveSchruersWe don’t have to wait until winter to visit with Santa at Searsport Shores! He visits every August and again during Fiber College of Maine.

Here’s a note from the “jolly ol’ elf”

Hello Dear Friend,

The cold dark winter here at the North Pole has ended and it is time for me to visit folks around the world. My first stop will be to visit my mid-Atlantic workshop in Olney, Maryland. While in Maryland, I will participate in a few athletic Charity events and run in the Cherry Blossom 10 mile race, the Race for Hope, the Race for the Cure and the Purple Stride race. I will also check-in on Olney Armorers where I am a Master Armorer and teach armor construction and chainmail jewelry. I learned these skills many years ago when some of my elves asked for chainmail shirts as props for their role playing games. At $800 each we could not afford to buy chainmail shirts. This was before the days of the internet, so we used a picture from a museum catalogue and a magnifying glass to teach ourselves how to make chainmail.

In August, I will be visiting Searsport Maine where I will be teaching chainmail, macrame and cartoon character design. As you may remember, I learned my basic knotting (macrame) skills as a Boy Scout and expanded upon that while I worked as a cowboy and a canoe guide. I taught myself cartooning when I needed to create my Santa Claus coins to give to children who were brave enough to talk to Santa. In addition, I expanded my cartooning when I needed to create sports team t-shirts and singlets for my North Pole Endurance Team.

All three arts take time to learn the basics and even more time to broaden your knowledge. Macrame takes the least amount of time to learn and chainmail takes the most time to learn. Cartooning is somewhere in the middle. For chainmail, I teach all three basic types of chainmail: European (what you see in the movies), Persian (what some call Byzantine) and Asian (rarely seen). Most beginners can learn European and Asian weaves in a couple of days. Persian weave is much harder and should wait until a student is more advanced.

The most popular type of macrame today is “Survival Bracelets.” My students have so much fun with them and they are quick to make, we seldom go beyond the survival bracelets. The students end up making bracelets, anklets, dog collars, and leashes. If a student wishes to go beyond survival bracelets, I will have a knot sampler project and resource books with me.

The cartooning I teach is character (or avatar) design. I start with simple characters like “Kilroy was here” dating from World War II. I will have several resource books for character ideas and sketching pointers.

I have a special fondness for these three art forms because I can use them to bring happiness to others. Watching the triumph in a student’s face as they master an art is priceless.

While at Searsport Shores, I will be helping children and adults create many fun projects. The typical chainmail projects are key chains, bracelets, necklaces and pouches. The most common projects for macrame are bracelets, anklets, dog collars, and belts. The cartooning projects are mostly animal avatars. Typically I teach chainmail and macrame at the same time on a walk-in basis. For the cartooning, students should arrange a specific time in advance. I will be available for teaching from 9 am to 5 pm with a 1 hour lunch break.

Take care and I look forward to seeing you at Searsport Shores.

Sincerely,

Santa

Santa Steve the Marathon Man
Santa Steve the Marathon Man

SteveSteveMacrame

Pictures of campsites and a desperate plea for a photo filing system!

I’ve been looking for a postcard image since I made coffee two hours ago and still no luck…but as I slog through the pictures, I spend most of my time smiling because of the memories they bring back. Because it’s reservation season and we seem to have more “new” guests than we’ve ever had, I thought you might like to see some pictures that show specific campsites.

These are photos that we’ve accumulated in no particular order. Nothing has been staged and most are snapshots taken for a different reason than showing the site. I say this because you’d think that because I live in paradise, it would be easy to show you breath-taking pictures. Well, the truth is, most of the activity that I’m involved in during the camping season generally happen in other areas of the campground (like the rec hall, lobster shack, art studio and gardens), not on people’s campsites. AND it feels a bit close to stalking when you barge in on someone’s campsite and ask to take a picture…do you know what I mean?

With the aforementioned caveats in place, have a marvelous, good-surpise-filled day and I hope that these pictures are helpful if you’ve never been here before and that they trigger a smile if they remind you a time you’ve spent here in the past.

extreme camping site 13
Looking at site #42 from Site 50
site #6
ocean tent site #6
site #15
standing at low, low tide looking up towards the premium RV sites
standing at mid-tide rising looking towards the ocean tenting side of the campground
Ocean tent #14
site #50
platinum site #2
Shirley on site #12
picnicking in early June on site #51
sites #43 & 44
site #9
Hanging on site #6 or 7
Ocean tent #4

So here are two requests: 1. If you have nice pictures of your campsite, could I please have copies and 2. If you have a fool-proof photo filing system, I really need to hear about it.

For Cheryl…your campsites

Hi Cheryl,

This is what it looks like to stand at site 93 and look to the ocean…site 73 is the site in front of this one…both are really wide, shaded wonderful sites…a minute to the bathhouse and playground…2 minutes to the beach…

Site 93...a huge pull through

And another new project…

Between you and me, I wish it would get cold and snow because I’m tired of new projects and that tiny little voice that keeps nudging me to take advantage of our unseasonably warm weather (think 50’s, not 70’s).  But alas, it’s still really nice out and this morning Steven was outside working with a crew by 7AM…this time they’re expanding the workshop space underneath Dad’s deck…’cause boys never have enough room for their endeavors 😉

Makin' Hay When the Sun Shines

 

50’s-60’s Celebration

We got together this morning for pecan Cinnamon rolls and coffee…just to catch up a bit and talk about the months to come…but as always, the subject drifted to camping…and then to “what are we going to do next summer?”  And the 50’s-60’s weekend was born…just like that.

Tentatively slated for July 30-August 1, Searsport Shores Ocean Camping will pull on our poodles skirts, fire up the muscle cars and dance to Rock & Roll Legends and Surf Tunes.  Got ideas?  We need them.  Please come camping for the weekend…Bob promises it will be memorable 🙂  More to follow as we figure it out.

The Planning Committee: Steve, Amy and Bob...Golden Oldies?

Seining for Knowledge

not as cold as it looks

The Penobscot Bay Watch has been collecting information this fall to establish the importance of the upper Penobscot Bay fish nurseries.   Their blog is one of my “must reads” and one of the only RSS feeds I subscribe to.  Although we’re not able to stay as active as we’d like, we do manage to participate sometimes and we were happy to invite the group to use our beach for their research.

Trained by marine biologists from the University of Maine, the researchers used a 60′, 1/4″ net held on either end by wet suit clad volunteers.  They dragged at the slack tide for a maximum catch.

While they were here they also tested water quality using a marine aquarium water testing kit that used a litmus strip with 4 parameters: nitrate, nitrite, alkalinity, pH, to give approximation readings. Temperature readings of the water were also made.

In spite of the cold and foggy weather, a group from the Bay Watchers came to our shores and netted the waters at low tide and caught several species of fish (juvenile cod, hake, perch, flounder, herring and a few that remain unidentified), shrimp, seastars, crabs and sea urchins.  Click here for the complete photo gallery.