Friday, August 21, 2009

A Foggy Day in Maine

After two warm, sunny days, tailor-made for lounging poolside at our inn on Mt. Desert Island, we awoke today to clouds, fog, and a touch of drizzle. The first signs of Hurricane Bill. I didn't mind. I like moody days in Maine as much as sunny ones. After blueberry pancakes and an addictive combo the innkeepers invented — a "trifle" made with layers of strawberry yogurt, sweet whipped cream, crumbled coffee cake, and fresh berries — we went to visit some local gardens.

First, Asticou Azalea Garden, a Japanese-influenced garden in Northeast Harbor:

I should have known that the garden has funding from the Rockefeller family. Like their own garden, which opens to the public once a week by phone reservation (the number, which we have, is a carefully guarded island secret), every blade of grass in this garden is manicured.

The landscapes were especially romanic in the mist and fog.

Even the spider webs are beautifully composed:

Then we headed to Thuya Lodge and Garden, another historic, more colorful, less formal Northeast Harbor garden, originally created by Charles Savage. We visited with one of the gardeners who was greeting people in Savage's Lodge, which is maintained as a house museum and gardening library.

I couldn't resist trying to capture the misty rain on these delicate flowers:

Usually the flowers peaked in late July, but the gardener explained that peak season was a month late this year because of all the June and July rains. We were just in time. He also gave us the secret for their enormous, healthy annuals and perennials: seafood compost, primarily, along with a number of other organic mulches.

After Thuya Garden, we had lunch in town and drove around the Park Loop Road, admiring the vanishing, foggy views and searching unsuccessfully for deer. Any old deer would do, but we were particularly hoping to see the white deer we spotted last month. Ha.

The fog made Otter Cliffs look moody and mysterious. We're used to seeing the water sparking and a bright blue sky. I might prefer this:

We sat on the rocks for a long time, watching the surf and trying to figure out exactly where the sea spread before us met the sky:

I hope we'll return shortly after Bill passes through, when the surf should be considerably more dramatic.

We returned to the inn, read in the hot tub, went to a little cocktail party the innkeepers hosted, and made a simple dinner in our kitchen. Now we're watching the Sox get pummeled by the Yankees — one glaring flaw in an otherwise splendid day. At least we finally have Jerrry Remy for company.

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