Walk with me 

Blog Graphic

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.

Untitled design
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.

collage
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…

1
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.

 

Another Snow Storm in March

Like anyone else in a mom and pop business, we juggle a lot of balls and are always hoping that we didn’t lose one up in the clouds or under the couch.  Last Saturday I was in Augusta to be part of the Fiber College Class Jury…if you’re curious about the September classes proposed, check here.  On Sunday after we notified the 2013 instructors, I travelled down to the Boston Gift Show with the hound and found a few treasures for the store.  Among the more interesting things were clay ornaments designed for us by a lovely artistic couple and socks knit in NH…with honey bees, flowers and lobsters of course.  And it snowed again…In another month, if the Gods are smiling on us, I’ll be busy repainting the store and the rec hall before the merchandise arrives  while Steven works with an outside crew assuming the snow melts and the muddy ruts dry.

It sounds cliché but while I did the shopping, Steven stayed home and took care of business.  He finalized the details with two wonderful marine biology students who will be interning with us this summer;  started the early seedlings and designed a few new microcabins.  He took care of Maggie and the goat flock too…look at the video he made for me so I could laugh at her dancing and I wouldn’t miss her first run in the snow:

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.