Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Maine Audubon- Gilsland Farm

monarch butterfly, Gilsland Farm Audubon Maine
Monarch at Gilsland Farm Audubon
Took a drive to Gilsland Farm Audubon the other day. The leaves had not really started to change except on the the sumac shrubs. The Farm is part of the Maine Audubon Society and is open year round. Donations accepted at the trail heads. Trails open from dawn to dusk. 

Rather than have me go on and on, just take a look at some of the photos. Relax, get yourself a nice cup of tea and enjoy a crisp fall day in Maine...

West Meadow Trail at Gilsland Farm Audubon
One of the trails

Autumn Meadowhawk Dragonfly
Autumn Meadowhawk

beehives at Gilsland Farm
Beehives at Gilsland (those little spotty bits overhead are the bees!)

crow sculpture at Gilsland Farm
Crow sculpture

on the Pond Trail at Gilsland Farm
On the Pond Trail
pond at Maine Audubon
Lily pads at the pond
Presumpscot Estuary Maine
From the West Meadow Trail
red sumac with dragonfly
Another dragonfly

great blue herons at Cousins River Freeport Maine
Herons in flight over Cousins River (not at the Audubon, on the ride home!)

 Directions to the Maine Audubon Center at Gilsland Farm: Approx 12.5 miles south of the inn on Rt 1, just past the intersection with Rt 88, turn right on Gilsland Farm Rd (there is a very small sign). Drive straight thru past the farm to the Audubon Center. Parking is available at the end of the drive and also at the trailhead for the North Meadow Trail. (There is a trail map box in the parking area.)

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

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mini Cheesecakes

2-bite strawberry cheesecakes
Looking for a fun, simple after school snack or a merry treat to take to any event? These mini cheesecakes are perfect!


Nilla wafer or other cookie in that style. Chocolate wafer cookies are yummy as well!
1 block (8 oz) cream cheese, slightly softened
2 eggs
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375. Line mini muffin pan with 24 mini muffin cups. (Do not push all the way down as the Nilla wafers need to go in next.) Place a Nilla wafer into each muffin cup right side up (flat side down).

Mix cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Spoon cream cheese mixture over wafers, filling cups to almost full. You may get more than 24. If you do, put the remaining filled muffin cups on a baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until set. The mixture shouldn't jiggle. 

Top with your choice of garnishes! Sliced strawberries, mini chocolate chips, cherry pie mix (from a can). Keep in fridge until ready to serve.

This recipe comes from a former innkeeper by way of her mother by way of a recipe in the Boston Globe circa 1965.  The oldies are still goodies!

Printable recipe

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

Friday, September 14, 2012

Noontime Cruise from Bailey Island

sailboat in Casco Bay
Lobster buoys and sailboat
The noontime cruise on the Island Romance is the perfect picnic destination for all of you sea lovin' lovers! Pack a basket with your favorite foods and head on over to Bailey Island at noon for the almost 2 hour cruise around Casco Bay. (Park at Cook's Lobster and follow the yellow line around the right hand side of the building to the dock. No alcoholic beverages!)

Island Romance ferry
Island Romance

Seating is al fresco under the red-striped awning or right on the bow of the boat. Even when temps are in the 90's there is a cool sea breeze as you meander thru the islands watching for seals and dolphins. Catch sight of a lobster boat hauling traps or day sailors making their lazy loops on blue waters. 

Harriet Beecher Stowe home Orr's Island
Harriet Beecher Stowe family summer home

lobstering in Merriconeag Sound
Lobstering in Merriconeag Sound
sailboats in Will's Gut
Sailboats in Will's Gut
White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main Street Freeport, Maine 04032

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Maine Wildlife Park

Maine Wildlife Park sign
Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, Maine

Took the road less traveled today and landed at the Maine Wildlife Park! The last time I went to a place like this was the Catskill Game Farm when the 'kids' were small enough to fit into that witch's cauldron. OK, if you've been there, too you know it's no big deal. The Maine Wildlife Park is nothing like it. Seriously, this was the best $7 I have ever spent.

The trail map is a little hard to understand but nothing is as far away as the map makes it seem. So, just start walking and you'll eventually see everything! The trails I missed today due to threatening skies were the Tree Trail, the Game Trail and the Woodland Pond Trail. I was still blown away.

I was looking forward to the big cats exhibit and I probably could have watched the cougar all day. All of the animals in the park are in some way unable to live in the wild. When you see a cat like this one you wonder how it could come to be harmed in such a way that it now has to live in captivity.

Maine Wildlife Park cougar mountain lion
Cougar (mountain lion)

That was the one drawback. Captivity. But, these animals would not survive on their own, so this gives us an opportunity to get a close up look at the different species in Maine. (For a story about cougar in Maine, check this Down East article from 2011.)

Black bear

 If you're a UMaine Orono fan, this is your bear! And, the next bear is your bear, too, even though it isn't black!

brown black bear
A brown black bear.

After the bear habitat, I looped around to see the birds. An assortment of raptors, owls, turkeys and other birds, some definitely not native to Maine were on display.

bald eagle maine wildlife park
Bald eagle (native)

Peacock (non native)

It was a glorious day to wander through the park, even though it got very cloudy for most of the time I was there. I would definitely recommend a trip to the Maine Wildlife Park. About 2 hours would give you an excellent overview of the park. You can also pack a lunch and stay longer. Other attractions in the near vicinity are the Shaker Village and Poland Springs (the original spring and museum).

wild animals sign

How I got there from here: Turn right at the traffic light on the corner (Rt 136) and go across the interstate. Just over the interstate, bear left toward Bradbury Mountain State Park (Elmwood Rd). Stay on Elmwood to the end and turn left on Allen Rd. Go to the end of Allen Rd and go straight across at the stop sign. (Pineland Farms is straight ahead.) Take Morse Rd to the end and turn left onto Rt 202/4/100/Lewiston Rd. Go about a mile and turn right on Weymouth. Go to the end of Weymouth and turn right on Rt 26. The park is about a mile up on the right. (I find the 5-way intersection in downtown Gray to be nerve-wracking so this is a better way to go.)

There are rest rooms throughout the park. There is a small snack bar with ice cream and drinks. The nature store is over near the birds and has postcards and other small gift items.

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ram Island Ledge Light

ram island ledge light portland, maine
Ram Island Ledge Light
 This is one of the 'sadder' lighthouses in the area. Neglected and very difficult to land at, the Ram Island Ledge Light is visible from Fort Williams as the 'ugly stepsister' of the Portland Head Light. This photo is taken at low tide. At high tide the entire ledge is not visible and a lot of the iron pier disappears in very high tides.

Before the lighthouse was installed in 1904 many boats and ships ran aground on the nearly invisible ledge just off the coast of Portland Harbor.

The lighthouse was sold at auction in 2010 for $190,000 sight boats could land for potential buyers to have a look around. One set of lighthouse keepers (they worked in pairs) were stranded on the ledge for 45 days, just 1 mile from land! This lighthouse uses solar power. The granite blocks that comprise the tower came from Vinalhaven Island.

ram island ledge light portland, maine
Ram Island Ledge Light
Ram Island Ledge Light is easily visible and photographed from various locations in the Casco Bay area. These photos were taken at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. The lighthouse is also visible on many boat cruises around the Casco Bay.

There is a great photo of Casco Bay taken from the top of the lighthouse on the New England Lighthouse website.

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

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Squirrel Point Lighthouse

squirrel point light
Squirrel Point Light

 Wandering down Parker Head Rd (off Rt 209) we came across the Squirrel Point Light. There is a small turnout on the side of the road just before the alewives fish access. There is also a much larger parking lot just beyond the causeway on the right. Easy walk back to the causeway and then to this location for photos.

The Squirrel Point Light was built in 1898. The boathouse on the left was added later on as was the lighthouse keeper's cottage.

view on the kennebec river
Looking up the river from the lighthouse.
boats on the kennebec river
More scenes along the river.

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

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Wordless Wednesday- A Day on the Bay

Eagle Island, Adm Peary

lobster boat with herring gulls

sailboat with lobster buoys

sailing Casco Bay

sailing near Harpswell, Maine

sailboats at Cook's Lobster House

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

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Doubling Point Lighthouse

doubling point light, kennebec river
Doubling Point Lighthouse

On the way home from Popham Beach the other day I decided to drive on Washington St in Bath to see if I could figure out a good spot to see this lighthouse. On a previous trip to the Maine Maritime Museum, the lighthouse beckoned from the opposite shore but I didn't know how I could get closer to it to take photos.

To take a photo from this angle, pull off into the boat launch on Washington St. (Just past the Maritime Museum.)

To get closer to the lighthouse follow these directions- take Route 1 north over the Sagadahoc Bridge in Bath and bear right immediately following the bridge (headed toward Georgetown and Reid State Park). Turn left at the bottom of the hill and continue over the Arrowsic Bridge. Continue on Route 127 for about 1.5 miles and turn right onto the road marked, "Whitmore's Landing, to Doubling Point Rd." At the "T" in the road, turn left onto Doubling Point Road, go past the stone wall, and follow this road to its end. Look for the small 'Lighthouse ->' signs along the way. This road is eventually a one car dirt lane so drive carefully! (The lighthouse and keeper's house are not open to the public, but you may walk around the grounds.)

Boat excursions on the Kennebec are also a good way to see many of the Kennebec River Range lights. 

For more information about the lighthouse, see the Lighthouse Friends website.

doubling point light, arrowsic, maine
Doubling Point Light

Finally made it out here in August to the actual lighthouse site. Gorgeous views of the Kennebec River! You can walk on the short bridge to the lighthouse and go around the outside edge. Maine Maritime Museum, Bath Iron Works and the Sagadahoc Bridge are easily visible up the river.

kennebec river, arrowsic, georgetown, maine
Doubling Point walkway


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