Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Birding in Maine

Are you a 'snowbird'? Many of these birds are! Some head north and some head south for the winter. But they all call Maine home for at least part of the year. Herring gulls, Canada geese, bald eagles and red tailed hawks are all year round residents.

All of these photos were taken here in Maine at various times of the year. Only the bald eagle was not in the wild. The bald eagle resides at the Maine Wildlife Park due to a permanent injury.

(Remember, you can always click each photo to enlarge it!)

bald eagle
Bald eagle

black guillemots
Black guillemots

mourning dove
Mourning dove


Highway raptor (not its real name)

Gilsland Farm Audubon

great blue heron
Great blue heron

Cormorant with young

sanderlings in flight

herring gull
Herring gull (yeah, we have a few of these!)

Northern mockingbird


osprey pair
Osprey pair

canada geese
Canada geese


canada geese in flight
Canada geese

Sanderlings and a dunlin

sanderlings dunlin
Sanderlings, dunlin and a herring gull
red breasted merganser
Red breasted merganser


Coming to Freeport to do some birding? Use this handy birding guide to places within an hour's drive of here for excellent bird watching! Most of the above photos were taken within an hour of here, the osprey were right in Freeport. For the puffins, your closest bet is in New Harbor. If you're Downeast, there is a boat trip out of Cutler or Bar Harbor.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Nubble Lighthouse

One of the more famous of all the Maine Lighthouses:

nubble lighthouse
Nubble light at sunset.

herring gull
Banded herring gull.
Cormorant with juvenile.

sunset at nubble light
Sunset at Nubble Light

How to get here: take I-295 south to I-95 south. Exit at York Beach (Exit 7). At traffic light (Stonewall Kitchens directly in front of you) turn right. Turn left at the light on Rt 1A. Follow coastal route through York Beach to Cape Neddick to lighthouse. (About an hour and 15 minutes.)

Make a day of it and go to the Kittery Outlets. Walk on Long Sands Beach. Stop in at Noel's for a coffee and a snack. Take a really long walk on Ogunquit Beach and the Marginal Way.

marginal way bridge
Marginal Way bridge.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Florida Lake Trail

Finally had the chance to go on one of the guided hikes with the Freeport Conservation group. (Sign up for their email newsletter if you'd like to go along!)

One of the many bridges and boardwalks the Boy Scouts worked on.

Red Trail around the lake

First freeze of the year.
Florida Lake is an excellent location for birders. Migrating waterfowl use the lake as a resting spot along their journey. The woodlands surrounding the lake are also home to numerous bird species.

In the summer, this is a great spot for kayaking on calm waters or taking a dip to cool off.

The lake gets its name from the general outline being similar to the state of Florida.

How to get there: Take Rt 136 (Mallett Dr) toward Durham. Turn right on Rt 125 (Wardtown Rd). Go approximately 3 miles, pass Laughingstock Farm (stop at the farm stand for veggies!), Florida Lake is on your right. Turn in between the 2 houses and go all the way to the back. 

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Augusta Daytripping

Hit the road the other day with Augusta/Hallowell as our destination. We're putting together a great historical sightseeing trip for you with admission passes and things to do. This is a sneak peek at some of the things you'll get to see and do:

portrait of governor of Maine
In the hall of portraits of governors.

maine moose diorama
One of the four season dioramas. Each season has a different Maine animal as the focus.

birch bark canoe
Gorgeous, pristine birchbark canoe with Harlequin pattern along the side.

inside Maine State Capitol dome
Inside the capitol dome.

Rosie the riveter
Rosie the Riveter from the 'infamous' mural.

Maine state house
Maine state house.

Stinson sardine can
Sardine tin from the last sardine processing plant in the United States.

Full size, operational watermill.

union right to vote
The right to vote, from the same mural.

The historic tour package will be available this summer (some of the planned sites are closed during the winter). We hope you'll go home after your vacation with a deeper understanding of the people of Maine and what was and what is important to them.

(A little background on the 'infamous' mural...the mural had been hanging in the Dept of Labor Building until a few business owners complained to the governor that the mural was 'biased toward workers and against owners'. The governor exercised his right to remove something he found 'offensive'. The mural was removed in the middle of the night and hidden away. It was returned for public viewing, but it now hangs in the foyer of the Maine State Museum where, apparently, it offends no one. Kudos to the Museum for putting 2 large notebooks in the lobby into which MANY Mainers have voiced their opinions about the mural and the fuss engendered by its removal and subsequent return to public viewing.)

Which just goes to show that 'history' is not dead, it is going on all around us all the time!

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cousins River Trail

This Freeport Conservation Trail leads to the tidal Cousins River. You get a glimpse along the way of old stone boundary fences and disused roads. Plenty of opportunity for woodland birding as well.

Great blue herons.

One of the many boardwalk trails thru the woods.

Cousins River from the end of the trail.

Woodland violas.

How to get here: Take Rt 1 south to the YMCA (about 3-4 miles). Pull into the Y, go to the very back of the parking lot on the left side. You'll see the start of the trail going uphill from the parking lot. There is a map at the top of the hill.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Year in Review 2012

It's time again to comb thru the files and pick out some fun tidbits about last year. Without further ado...the year in review:
So, where did you all come from?

Countries- in order of number of guests
  • USA
  • Canada
  • Columbia
  • Italy
  • UK (including Scotland and England)
  • Australia
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Spain 
States- in order of % of reservations

  • MA
  • CT
  • NY
  • PA
  • ME (first time ME has been so far up the list!)
  • NJ
  • RI
  • VA
  • OH
  • CA
This year only 39 states made an appearance. One of these years we'll get all 50 in one year! Don't forget to put a pin in the map.

The youngest guest last year was 5 weeks old. 

Number of guests who went on our lobster boat trip- 18

Pounds of blueberries made into jam- 8 (How long did the jam last? 4 weeks!)

Gallons of maple syrup from our trees? 0 (It was a really bad maple syrup season. Too warm for too long too soon.)

Guest from farthest away? The Australians take it again!

Longest stay? A 2-way tie for first place with 7 nights each. A 3-way tie for second with 6 nights.

Number of languages we heard this year? 7 + all those variations on English from Australia, England, Scotland, Boston. ;-)

New recipes we tried: Cranberry Scones, Pear Salad, Panna Cotta, Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes, Grape Cake (I'm pretty sure there were others I'm forgetting!)

Well, that's it for 2012. Looking ahead to 2013 we already have reservations from 12 different states and 3 different countries!

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Mac n Cheese

lobster mac n cheese
Lobster mac n cheese
OK, not something we're serving for breakfast, but I'll file this under 'Dinner with Rock & Monica' as something we make for ourselves.

There are so many variations on mac n cheese I hope you'll share your favorites with us! Either email them or post them in the comments below.


8 ozs macaroni (I know a lot of recipes call for elbow mac but I really like a mac with more surface area for hanging onto the cheese. Cavatappi has a few more twists and turns to it. My fav is penne.)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp mustard powder
pinch cayenne pepper
12 oz evaporated milk
1 1/2 c cheddar cheese (you can use sharp or mild or flavored, whatever you like)
1/4 c shredded Gruyere
panko or crumbled Ritz crackers

Boil enough water for the type of pasta you bought. Cook til al dente, pour off 1 cup of liquid then drain pasta and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking- melt the butter in a saucepan over med heat. Whisk in the flour, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, cook while whisking for 1 minute. Whisk in the evaporated milk, then simmer about 5 minutes until thickened. Stir in the cheeses and the pasta. Add just enough of the reserved water to make the sauce thick, not thin.

Butter a 9x12 baking dish. Pour in pasta mix, spread panko or crumbled crackers on top and bake at 350 until cheese bubbles.

Alternate ideas-  

  • Pop over to Bow St Market and pick up a cooked 1 1/2 lb lobster, pick the meat and mix in after baking. (Ok, this is easy here, not so much elsewhere!) 
  • Add chopped ham or bacon before baking. 
  • Add tuna fish and peas (tuna pea wiggle) before baking.
  • Broccoli is pretty good slathered in cheese, so that's an option, too.
White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cuckolds Lighthouse

Plans are afoot to reopen the Cuckolds light to visitors in the summer of 2013. The lighthouse is now owned by a private group that has been working to restore the buildings over the past few years. Until the lighthouse was automated, lightkeepers lived on the island for 82 years.

Cuckolds Lighthouse
To get to a good vantage point to see the light and take photos follow Rt 27 through Boothbay Harbor Village to Southport Island. The lighthouse can be viewed from the town dock. 

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Maine State Aquarium

Fun, hands-on side trip for families with kids. For parents, you've got the view, the lobster rolls, lighthouses and much more!

Lots of kids love handling 'creatures' and this is the place for them! Got a kid who doesn't like to be dirty or wet who is a little trepidatious? This is a safe zone for kids to look even if they don't want to touch. 

Take a look...

Maine state aquarium
ugly fish maine aquarium
One heck of an ugly fish

hands-on touch tank aquarium
Hands-on snail

sailboats in boothbay
Gorgeous views from the aquarium lawn

boothbay harbor
Boothbay Harbor view

lobster buoys
Lobster buoy collection at the aquarium

How to get there: Rt 1 north from the inn to Boothbay exit (Rt 27). Stay on Rt 27 all the way through Boothbay Village. Cross the steel deck bridge and turn left on McKown Point Rd. Follow the road to the end.

Make a day of it and wander around the harbor. Stop in at the Lobster Dock for lunch and great views. Take a drive around Southport Island and check out the lighthouses!

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Nemo finds Maine

Saturday morning in Maine after Nemo makes landfall...

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032