Prospect, ME

Tonight I drove across the Verona Island Bridge, past Fort Knox and out to the Prospect Community Hall for the Tri-County Beekeepers Association Annual Meeting and Pot Luck.  First order of business was to honor Genevieve for her 20 years work as our treasurer with a carrot cake from Frank’s. You’re a Honey!

Speaker for the evening was Tony Jadczak, the Maine State Apiarist. Tony’s talk was centered around 2010 weather: the warm, early spring followed by a terrific summer honey crop, then a drought setting in for July and August and a dearth of honey this fall. A long dry summer means no goldenrod, and that means the bees eat their winter stores early. In 2009 we had one of the coldest, rainiest summers on record but the rain stopped in early September and the vegetation was lush. Hives put on a lot of honey and the bounty carried many weaker hives, and even some wild colonies, through a very mild winter. Tony took us through the consequences of “reinfestation pressure” and predictions for 2011, touched on new virus research and the ever increasing threat of mites, and talked about the people all over Maine who make their living (and their kids tuition) by the bees.

While I was there I noticed that renovations to the Prospect Community Hall continue. Sometimes I think every building in Maine is a product of retrofitting: the Hall has three layers of ceiling, two front doors (leading directly to the shoulder of Rt 1A) and a new bathroom.

I miss the old bathroom with its irregular toilet and the sheet of polished steel as a mirror, but the flowers are a nice touch.

Like the beekeepers, the Hall is ever-changing in an effort to keep up with the times; to be useful and purposeful and bug free as much as possible.

Gran Manan geology – the rock collection

I have an entire folder on our file server named “rocks”. While we were on Gran Manan this summer we explored Red Point. The guide book says;

RED POINT – A left turn just as you enter Seal Cove will lead you along Red Point Road to Red Point beach. This is an area of great interest to geologists. From the parking area climb down onto the beach at the Point; you will find two geological eras clearly visible in the cliff face. To the left of the dividing line, or geologic contact, you see dark grey lava rock; to the right of the line you see red rock – much older in origin. With the use of a magnet, you can collect magnetic sand (magnetite) on the beach. Part of the point was acquired by the Anchorage Park in 1996, and picnic and parking facilities were added. The boardwalk to the Anchorage Park is also accessible from here.

The boardwalk mentioned above is very impressive. About half way to Anchorage we jumped off and made our way down a steep embankment to the beach. We walked back the way we came for about half an hour, looking for a place to climb back up and not finding one, taking turns saying; “Maybe around that next point!”. Fortunately, we’re experienced islanders and started at low tide. High tide here at Bar Harbor today was 12′, on Gran Manan it was 5.8 meters, or about 19′. We finally made it off the beach at the geologic contact at Red Point. I tried to document examples of all the different rocks along the beach and gave up at 200 photos; here are three – more later.

RED POINT A left turn just as you enter Seal Cove will lead you along Red Point Road to Red Point beach. This is an area of great interest to geologists.  From the parking area climb down onto the beach at the Point; you will find two geological eras clearly visible in the cliff face. To the left of the dividing line, or geologic contact, you see dark grey lava rock; to the right of the line you see red rock – much older in origin. With the use of a magnet, you can collect magnetic sand (magnetite) on the beach. Part of the point was acquired by the Anchorage Park in 1996, and picnic and parking facilities were added. The boardwalk to the Anchorage Park is also accessible from here. A facility for Whale Camp, a summer camp for kids, is located on Red Point Road.

Grand Manan, pies une

We’re here! We almost missed the ferry, after planning to be there early, because we forgot all about Atlantic Time, which is an hour earlier, eh? Then our trip was delayed while the ferry crew heroically rescued three people adrift in the freezing Bay of Fundy after their boat overturned. Only one was wearing a PFD, but they all made it. “Too much speed and too much drink,” according to the rescue crew.

Then it was a short drive to a lovely cottage, and a walk down the hill to our own personal cliff.

Now off to discover some haddock in leek cream.