Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Campobello Summer

Several years ago, we found a sweet camping spot on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada.
This island was the summer home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and their children. He named it the "beloved island." We returned for a camping week each of several summers until this year. We decided that we would come to Campobello, and Herring Cove Park, for two weeks each month of the summer of 2017. In between, we made plans to visit our children and friends. 

June was a cold and wet month, but we reacquainted ourselves with the island with hikes and visits to the beach. We also anticipated a visit with Carrie and the girls. They came to camp with us for four days and to learn a little bit about the island. 

              We had some wonderful experiences exploring the beach and camping together. 

The visit was too short and soon they had to pull out and head home.


This place is full of wild flowers like Indian Pipes.

Pitcher Plants in the bog.

                                  Grass Pinks - orchids now blooming in the Eagle Hill Bog.

Wild White Roses


End of the Lupine Blooms

Unusual (to me) Pink Bunchberry.


Wood Sorrel

Sheep Laurel


Orange Hawkweed

Wild Roses

And other gifts of nature...
The evidence of the busy beaver chewings.

White Admiral

Common Yellowthroat

Common Whitetail  Dragonfly

Hiking the beach along the Bold Coast

End of a large beaver pond. You can almost see the foot prints of their work.

Orange Lichen on the rocks like a gold crown.

American Toad

Gibraltar Rock

A hiking trail in the tall Spruce and Fir forest.

One end of the mile long Herring Cove Beach.

We are enjoying this special place. We are having fun. We have a Fitbit and try to walk 10,000 steps each day. The quiet, peaceful nature of the island is working a restful calm.  It is July of our happy Campobello summer with much more to come for August and September!


Today is my mother's 96th birthday and I am so grateful for her life and the role model she is to her children, grandchildren and the whole family. When I talked with her today she said she was a little stiff because she had been exercising. Go Mom!!!!!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Big Month+

The last mention of our birding experiences this winter comes in the form of some pictures we took just as the spring migration started. I can say I really experienced the energy of Spring this year as it moved over us in Texas and as we traveled north.  

Yellow-headed Blackbird

All the blue spots are Indigo Buntings and a Painted Bunting sits in the middle of the photo.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak male surrounded by Indigo Bumtings.

Kentucky Warbler

I am so grateful to have had such wonderful birding experiences this past winter.
We also want to say what a happy time we had in Rio Hondo, Texas. The people were so friendly and kind and the food outstanding. We enjoyed the rural area surrounding the campground and the small amount of traffic we encountered most days. We ventured out of the campground each day and were able to hike and bird in many places. It was a good winter home for us, although we missed our friends at Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge.


We had come from Texas, through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana, to the birding festival at Magee Marsh, near Toledo Ohio. The weather was very rainy and cold so there wasn't much bird activity yet. We do like Maumee Bay State Park for camping so it was fun.

From there it was on to a visit with my brother Joe and partner Nancy and family in Harrisburg Pa, where we also enjoyed time with our family friend Hoppy.  We had a sweet visit with my Uncle Frank who lost his wife of over seventy years recently.  My brother also fixed a windshield wiper arm for me that was wind damaged in Ohio ...with many thanks.

Then it was on to Douglassville, PA and a visit with my sister Dotty, husband Forry and my Mom.  It was so good to see her again.  We sure missed the weeks we would spend with her and Chick over Christmas. Happily, all her children, their partners and part of the grandchildren and great grandchildren were able to come for a Mothers Day party. She still looks wonderful to us.  (96 next month!). Her cats Hansel and Gretel are on the bed behind her. 😍

It was fun to also do some birding at their house and to find 33 species including a Black-billed Cuckoo. Dotty spoils us rotten!

Our next venture, was to drive to Stockton New Jersey, to my other sister Sherry and her partner Jim's beautiful house  We really get spoiled with all these special family stops and here we always finds lots of Bluebirds and Tree Swallows. This visit we enjoyed some homemade Blueberry pancakes and fish caught by Jim.

It now was time to head north again and to start visit with our children.  New Hampshire is the first stop in New England with Carrie, Jay, Sari and Lyla, and the dog, three cats and seven chickens.
This is what we found when we landed in the driveway. Bo came to greet us!

One of Carrie's flower beds looked very sweet too.
We get to see basketball with Lyla and soccer with Sari. Usually Carrie has a project which is always fun to do together, and we get to have special meals together with the whole family.

Our big travel goal each spring is to return to Maine by June 1. This year we had even more motivation than usual. We had two grandchildren graduating from high school this year and we were/are so happy for them both.  We wish them a bright future!  Phillips daughter Azure graduated from Sumner...

...And Torrey graduated from John Bapst on Bangor.  She plans to go to University of Maine, Orono, in the fall.  She told us the date last fall, and got tickets so we would be sure to attend.  We heard Senator Angus King give the keynote address to the graduates, "Ten Things I Wish Someone Told Me at 18 Years Old" . (PS. Great exercise to try to make a list like this for yourself)                   
After a really nice visit with Katrina and the family, we headed to see Phillip in Winter Harbor and to catch up with him. It is so nice to talk with our children and to learn more about their lives. Phillip has four dogs who make it quite an adventure to visit. We enjoyed several lobsters he brought in for us to enjoy.

One final note:  We love Acadia National Park and made it a point to have a visit there as well.  We hiked Gorham Mountain one day, and took a hike around Aunt Betty's Pond on the carriage trails another.

Our final stop was a visit with our friends Joan and Lucille in Hancock. They have been wonderful friends over the years and always help us out with a plug-in for a few days. Last Thursday we headed to a favorite summer camping Campobello Island and Herring Cove Provincial Parc.  We are sitting there right now waiting out the weather and a flu bug that got Latona.

I have been thinking about our children and I want to say how grateful Latona and I are for them. It is wonderful to see the extent of their faith and the relationship they each have with God. We love you!

My hope is to post a bit sooner next time. We are camping for two weeks in New Brunswick and will have much to share.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Migrating With the Birds!

On April 24, we left Rio Hondo and started our journey north. We stopped for our first night at Brazos Bend State Park on the way to Galveston Bay. We did visit Port of Aransas and a birding area there that someone told us not to miss.

We saw some of the beautiful homes and buildings in Galveston and captured this photo as we headed for the ferry.

Something else we captured in a photo, was the amazing sky. (This had to be taken through a dirty windshield)

After crossing the bay, we headed for the Texas border north of Port Arthur and entered into the state of Louisiana. We have always loved travel in this state. We learned several things from our Google searches as we drove along. One was the origin of the name of the Po-Boy sandwich, and another was the background of the old saying, "Root hog or die". 

The sandwich name grew out of the Depression era when two brothers who worked on the streetcars, made this food for out-of-work men and would call to the kitchen, "Here comes another poor boy!" The sandwich took on the name.  The other was a saying that was an encouragement to self-reliance and originated when farmers would release their pigs into the woods with the send-off...root hog or die!
We saw it over on old store in the countryside of Louisana.

Just to give you idea of our travel, let me say that we rarely use Interstates, spend some of our time listening to all kinds of music, and google any thing we find of interest to us. One such place was a working cotton plantation, open for tourist to see what this life. Is like.
The plantation store now with a gift shop look.

We didn't stop long here since a main goal was to drive the length of the Natchez Trace Parkway.
For many years, I had heard of the parkway that is 444 miles and goes from Natchez, MS through the corner of Alabama and ends in Nashville, TN.  

The Trace has been a passable route used for over 10,000 years and speaks the history of early man, pioneers, soldiers, Native Americans, travelers, and now tourists. It bisected the homelands of the Natchez, Chicksaw and Choctaw nations.  In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson designated it as a mail route between Natchez and Nashville.  It was established part of the National Park system in 1938. Today it creates a greenway from the bluffs of the lower Mississippi River to the foothills of the Appalachians in Tennessee.

One of the oldest buildings in Mississippi, built in 1780 and is one of the last inns or "stands" on the Trace.

Along the Parkway, signs inform the driver of historic sights ahead. Here, we stopped at a place that had been an Indian village and saw what remains, the burial mounds. 

Another interesting place is the Grinder House, pictured below.  This is the site where Merriwether Lewis (of Lewis and Clark fame) died, some believing his death a suicide and some think it a result of 
a robbery.

When stayed at a beautiful campground along the Trace, at Jeff Busbys site, and completed our drive the next afternoon in Nasville, Tennessee. We had a night booked in a campground and hoped to stay for the weekend but could not get an extra night. So instead of a day in Nashville, we decided to move along to Lexington, Kentucky and visit the Kentucky Horse Farm and Park. It was a must do as we went through the lovely countryside of Kentucky.  We shared my birthday meal along the way at a place called  Chasers, and the visit to the Horse Farm was one of my gifts!

I was a horse-nut during my early teens. The love of horses is something I share with my daughter and granddaughters!

One of the champions we got a chance to meet.                              

Bubbles and Squint, asleep with his mother watching.

In the Kids Barn.  Guess Who!😍

And a very moving tribute to the great Man of War! 
The next few days, we travelled into Ohio from Kentucky and headed to a special birding experience, Warbler Week at Magee Marsh. We booked for a week at Maumee (pronounced like Mommy) Bay State Park, not far from the marsh.

So here we are today, waiting out a very rainy day and hoping all the little birds that have flown so far can get some restoring food and rest on the shores of Lake Erie. We too are able to get a nourishing meal of corn and shrimp as we sit in our warm and cozy home.

Next week, we will leave this area and head into Pennsylvania for our first visit to family since November.  We will all be together on Mothers Day with our wonderful "mom"! Latona and I are grateful for each day, and look ahead for the blessings of seeing our families and friends! Love and hugs!