Last warm day

It was 34 degrees when I got up this morning, and an October day that starts off above freezing is a treat. So I had a cup of tea, planted strawberries, talked to my neighbor RAT about taking down a stand of trees to make more gardening space and gave him some Pedialyte for his daughter who has the flu. Then I went to Bar Island to look for apples.

Bar Island is connected to the village of Bar Harbor by, well, a bar.  At low tide it is passable by car but is completely covered by water at high tide. Every summer some tourist miscalculates the window of opportunity and has to be rescued before their SUV is swept out to sea in an oil slick. (Or after, in which case there is a hefty fine.)

This is the bar toward Bar Island at dead low tide. There’s actually salt water to either side. Today it was crowded with seagulls and crows eating barnacles and small crabs, as well as tourists.

bar island 1

And here we are, halfway across, with the Crown Princess anchored just inside Sheep Porcupine Island. There are four Porcupines: Sheep, Burnt, Long and Bald. If you’re standing on the town pier and looking out across the harbor, they are “A Sheep Burnt is Long Bald”. Probably true, along with being a nice memnotic.

crown princess

Bar Harbor logged 97 cruise ships from May through October in 2009. The Crown Princess is actually on the petite side, no matter that she could easily be another island in Frenchman Bay. Tomorrow we have the Queen Mary II and that will be the end of them till mid-May 2010. Town will be filled with passengers all weekend, on foot and in tour buses, clutching shopping bags and cell phones, decked out in parkas and wool hats in the 40 degree sunshine. Not that I’m complaining all that much – they spend a great deal of money here and can’t bring their cars.

This is the view down the bar, back toward the village.

bar toward village

I didn’t take home any apples this trip. It was a beautiful day: I saw buffleheads and eiders, heard ravens talking in the woods and the calls of several species of woodpeckers, spoke with many foreign travelers (mostly about apples) and had a wonderful day. There was even enough light to work in the garden when I came home.

These are the only apples I saw on Bar Island today. Little orange crabs on a pale (but still living) tree, they were growing in an abandoned orchard mixed in with cherry, peach and plum trees, all gone to ruin.

crab tree

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