Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mackworth Island

I found my digital camera card reader while unp
acking my stuff, and was able to download pictures from my vacation. Such as they are, because I'm discovering that photos that look great on my camera do NOT turn out so well once uploaded. Not sure what that is about, but it was a pretty inexpensive digital camera so perhaps I got what I paid for.

At any of my favorite little places to go is Mackworth Island in Falmouth, home of the Baxter School for the Deaf but also a state park. It is a beautiful little place that overlooks Casco Bay, and its small parking lot guarantees a certain amount of solitude and quiet. The limited parking can be a hassle on nice weekends, and they don't let you wait for a parking spot, so I always try to have a "Plan B" in mind when I go there. I first visited here with T. and the Chloe dog, as there is a well-maintained hiking trail winding around the island that is great for both dogs and people. The trail is very even, although there are some steep access points to the shore, and there are plenty of spots to sit and picnic or just watch the water. I overheard one mother say that the 1.25 mile trail is "short enough for the kids to walk and long enough to tire them out for a nap". The kids also like building fairy houses in the community forest.

This was my first visit to Mackworth alone, and the first time that I actually made it down to the water. What did I find?

A snail graveyard. Or housing development, perhaps; I like the idea of snails leaving their old house here and finding a new one, before sailing out to sea again. But seriously - the ground was just covered in snail shells. I've never seen so many in my life.

I also found several glorious yellow forsythias, which contrasted beautifully with the blue water and sky:

But my favorite thing about Mackworth is how it smells. The salt water from the ocean combines with the pine trees, and provides a uniquely Maine smell. It compels you to breathe deeply, and when you do it feels medicinal. For native Mainers, I think we carry this smell in our DNA; there is something about it that is more than just home, it's primordial and in our blood. People "from away" can appreciate it, even love it, but it will never posess them the way it does us natives. I sat on the little jetty (top photo) and inhaled while watching several loons swim around sputtering at each other - it sounded like they were saying "Wow", and I had to agree.

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