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Hidden Maine

Hidden Maine

This photograph and video were filmed 500 feet south of Portland Head Light, 70 feet above the ocean, and 150 feet back. They were taken at 6:57 in the morning. The light on the water, the chirping birds, and the stillness of the Earth are why we live in Maine.

Hidden Maine

We have a new guy in the neighborhood. He’s from away. His house is out on the rocks. He has water on three sides. And yes, sometimes in storms, he has saltwater all the way around.

We have a weathervane competition in our neighborhood. This new guy put up a lobster weathervane on his garage. We have puffins, mermaids, and mermen. You can see Portland Head Light in the distance.

Hidden Maine

Waves at the Shore

This is an ordinary day at the shore: blue water, white froth, new grass growing, buoys offshore. Just another day in Maine.

Hidden Maine

These are grocery store lobsters. The claw bands give them away. Within sight of our building in Portland, we can see the open ocean. Millions of lobsters live there. These grocery store lobsters were roaming the ocean just weeks ago. Lobsters are perhaps one of the scariest-looking creatures on Planet Earth. Lobsters are deeply loved by millions. It’s rather amazing that they have these saltwater aquariums in our grocery stores.

Hidden Maine

Jordan Farm is a legendary institution in the Town of Cape Elizabeth, 15 minutes south of Portland. The Jordan Family has been farming the land since the beginning of time. On one side of the street, they have their farmstand for strawberries, and in season, you can pick your own, buy muffins, and buy a can of whipped cream.

On the other side of the road, they have topsoil, stone dust, and mulch, light or dark. Last Sunday, I stopped to get a pickup truck full of mulch. While I was waiting for fill up, I went out to the edge of the field that stretches down to the saltwater marsh. The dandelions were beautiful. See if you can find a four-leaf clover in the video.

Hidden Maine

We have a 3,500-mile coastline in Maine. Part of the magic of the ocean, as it meets land, is the unlimited combinations of rock, sand, water, and time of day or night, and various atmospherics: sky, clouds, sun, rain, wind, waves, and within that, there are endless possibilities. This is a classic Maine coastal scene. It’s 500 feet south of Portland Head Light on a foggy day. Not at all spectacular, but classic Maine. Greetings from Portland, Maine, May 5, 2024.

Hidden Maine

Sunday, April 22, 2024. I have close to 500 daffodils. All are pastel cream with post-it-note yellow centers. The grass is long enough to consider mowing any day now. It’s 10:45. There is a breeze out of the northwest. There is glittery light on the water. It’s good to have spring return.

Hidden Maine

Best Picnic Table
On the East Coast

This is one of the ten most romantic picnic tables on the coast of Maine. Seven of the best State of Maine tables are at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. If your desire is building, imagine this…one hundred feet away is a takeout restaurant called Bite Into Maine, which serves the best lobster rolls in the State of Maine. This lofty table is fifty feet above the sea. From its position, you can see the inner harbor of Portland, the islands of Casco Bay, the open ocean, and Portland Head Light 200 feet away.

This isn’t just any picnic table. It’s the best table on the East Coast. The fort was filled with 500 army personnel during World Wars I and II. After World War II, the fort was retired, and its 90 acres were converted into the State’s best seaside visitor spot. This premier table is on top of one of the back-filled gun emplacements. You can see the cement of the roof beneath the picnic table.

If someone else is having lunch here, the park has six other awesome tables. If they are all filled, there are thousands of other amazing places to have your lunch at Fort Williams Park. Fort Williams is a must-see, lunch or not.

Hidden Maine

This was a place up on the cliffs in my neighborhood in a place no one ever went to. Twenty-five years ago, a neighbor and I found a spot that had a natural rock backstop. We built a low terraced stone wall in front, filled in behind with rock and soil, and leveled out to the edge. We have two wooden chairs there and a solid, small wooden bench. I hike up there two or three times a year. This was a recent sea storm late in the day as the sun was setting, catching juniper and the cedar tree at the edge with the waves out beyond. This spot is 500 feet south of Portland Head Light.

Hidden Maine

We’ve had some interesting weather in Maine so far this year. On the morning of April 4th, after a night of wind and rain on the coast, we had snow and wind. The picture above shows snow at 7:45.

We have staff who live north of Portland who have over a foot of snow. I believe winter is over in Maine. The snow will melt quickly. Spring and warm temperatures will arrive next week.

Hidden Maine

Summer in Maine is beautiful. Winter in Maine can be dramatic, damaging, disruptive—yes, all of these at times. There are moments, though, when the sea is wild, the wind dies down, the clouds part and thousands gather at the shore to watch. This is recent: March 10, 2024. The lighthouse offshore is Ram Island at the entrance to Portland Harbor.

Hidden Maine

In the morning, the wind blew, and the rain fell. It was fierce. At 9 a.m., it was still coming down. The coast was shrouded in fog. Nearshore, we could see waves and the rising tide; electricity was still flowing.

We went to breakfast…an hour in, she said, “It looks like the sun is coming out.” By noon, the rain had stopped, the wind had settled back, and the coastal waves on the shore were still awesome. Rarely in a storm is there a break in the clouds to provide really good light for photography.

I took forty videos. They are awesome. Today’s video is Heart Rock Beach, five hundred feet down from Portland Head Light. You can see the white house on the west end of Hope Island, several miles into Casco Bay.

Our winter storms and winter waves can be destructive and, at times, beautifully dramatic. The video pans right, capturing Ram Island Light with Jewel Island behind.

Hidden Maine

In Cape Elizabeth, we have a rock on Route 77 that gets painted every year by the graduating class of the high school. The rock for the class of 2023 featured mermaids and mermen. The handprints may be from students of the graduating class. Cape Elizabeth fronts the ocean and is 20 minutes south of our store.

Hidden Maine

I live on the Maine coast. I study many things. I’m a fog watcher. I actually love fog. Fog paints a fascinating view of the world by hiding many distracting things. Fog feathers backgrounds into invisibility. The year 2023 had little fog. Where I live, just outside of Portland, our summer was almost fogless.

This morning of fog was beautiful. The sunrise was magic, and yes, I’ve gone back seven years for this still and video.

When you come to Maine next, I wish for you to have several precious days of fog. It’s one of the gifts our state has to offer.

 

Hidden Maine

This is 34 seconds of a rising tide on the Spurwink River at Higgins Beach. It’s a happy place on a summer day. Yes, July will be here before you know it. Higgins Beach is in Scarborough, 25 minutes south of our store.

 

Hidden Maine

Explore Portland, Maine

If you live outside of Maine and you love the Maine coast, I have a strong recommendation for you. There is a rich world on our Portland waterfront. We have more than a dozen piers that jut out into the harbor. It’s a Hollywood-like setting of a real Maine working waterfront with lobster boats, tuna boats, trawlers, shrimpers, and scallopers. There are day sailors, motorboats, and ferries. This may sound crazy, but you could come to Maine, stay in one of our fine Portland hotels, explore the piers for a week, have breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the Old Port, and never begin to see it all. People come from all over just to see our jewel by the sea. And yes, you can fish off our piers. The possibilities are endless.

 

Hidden Maine

It snowed overnight. Everything was white. As I prepared to leave, I decided to film the snow, the sea, and the sky. I caught this person with a black and white dog down on the roadway. This photograph and video were taken a thousand feet south of Portland Head Light.

 

Hidden Maine

In my neighborhood, it’s mostly guys who venture out on great storm days to approach the edge and watch the waves. I will admit, I’m old enough to take the truck. It protects from the wind and the rain. I could claim otherwise; the windshield wipers, though, would give me away.

 

Hidden Maine

On Saturday, January 10, we had 10, 15, 20-foot waves along our shore. The frothy water in the front is dry on a normal tide. Today, the waves broke upon the lawn and swept Adirondack chairs across the road into the freshwater marsh. Window up, window down, the wind and salt spray were so fierce it coated the inside of the windshield with a layer of salt.

We lost a section of a cliff in this storm. You can see an open spot along the cliff line where a 2-ton block of rock was pushed out. This location is a quarter mile south of Portland Head Light.

 

Hidden Maine

Wild Maine Coast Surf

Tuesday into Wednesday, we had a wild night of wind and rain. Although we closed the store on Wednesday, I went in at 6 AM. The wind was still blowing, and the rain was coming down hard. Another member of my staff came in, and we took care of several storm issues. I left the store around 11:30 and headed for the coast.

As I approached Crescent Beach in Cape Elizabeth, they had the road blocked off. I could see front-end loaders, big trucks, and what they used to call a steam shovel working on repairs to the road. The 59-second video was near high tide and showed the waves coming into Seal Cove, Crescent Beach, and Richmond Island.

 

Hidden Maine

An August Sea Breeze

Ours is a blue planet 2/3 covered by water. The sea is everywhere. This spot is the Spurwink River on an outgoing tide. It’s an afternoon in August with a sea breeze and one-foot waves. On the right-hand side of the video is Higgins, a white sand beach. On the left-hand side of the video is the Cape Elizabeth shore. And obviously, in the middle is a red, white, and blue dory riding the outgoing tide.

Yes, August is only seven months away.

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