Good morning Washington County! Also known as Sunrise County, where the sun rises first in the US. Here is a picture taken last week around 5:45am from my kitchen. There is only one reason I am up at that hour, but explaining would be TMI. The sun rises as early as 4:30am during the Solstice in June.
August brings two of my favorite things to Eastport: whales and wild blueberries! I saw a couple of minke whales pass by my house last weekend. My AirBnB guests said they saw humpbacks breaching, but I haven’t personally spotted any humpbacks yet. We have minkes, humpbacks and finbacks - all should be here thru the end of September.
Ahh, wild blueberries. These are NOT the blueberries you get at Safeway. Wild blueberries are smaller, juicier, and super flavorful. In an earlier blog I mentioned that I played tennis at private clay tennis courts in the town of Perry, about 15 minutes from here. Audrey, the owner, has over 100 acres, waterfront, which also happens to include dozens of acres of wild blueberry barrens.
Washington County is responsible for more than 90 percent of the nation's wild blueberry crop. The glacially formed "barrens", vast rolling plains of sandy soil, are perfect for raising wild, lowbush blueberries. Audrey commercially farms most of her barrens, but every time we play tennis, Bev (my neighbor and a great tennis player from DC) and I stop and pick berries at one of Audrey’s organic barrens. They aren’t that easy to pick by hand without squishing the ripe berries, but I try to pick a container full to last a couple of days. Here we are picking berries after tennis last week.
Because blueberry picking is hard work, I decided to make a stop at Mingos, a nearby wild blueberry farm, to stock up on berries to freeze. I bought a 10 pound box - simply popped the whole box in the freezer and can scoop out berries as needed! Yummmmm!
Speaking of wild things, I had to deal with a hornets nest last week. This nest was in a maple tree hanging right at eye level in my parking area. I don’t know how long it had been there when my rental guests pointed it out. The hornets didn’t seem to be particularly menacing, and the nest was gorgeous but I just couldn’t risk a guest getting stung. It is best to spray at night when the hornets are tucked in for the night so a week ago, I went out about 10pm, stood in the street about 15 feet away and gave it a good spray. It was easy and I didn’t get stung - whew. The next day, I got a close look at the nest, it is like beautiful hand-made paper, light and thin, quite beautiful.
Eastport is a pretty sleepy town, but during the summer at least, there are a lot of music and dance happenings.
Left photo: Barn dance last week, celebrating the town of Perry's bi-centenial. I don’t think I’ve square danced since junior high! It was alot of fun.
Right photo: Crow Town gallery in Lubec hosts concerts. The concert a couple weeks ago featured the jazz duo of Greg Abate on sax (he had just played in the Bay Area) and Jon Wheatley on guitar.
Awesome players in an awesome setting.
First Annual Eastport Pride celebration: Had a great time dancing to DJ Fab at the Chowder House. We danced on the deck until it started to rain, then I was able to stagger - I mean walk - home (I live on the hill above the restaurant) without getting too wet!
The event was organized by Jim Riccio, another recent transplant to Eastport. He is a painter, and bought a house just down the street from me last March, turned it into a stunning gallery/home. I am realizing I am just one of many new transplants who are making this their primary home.
Finally, last weekend I attended Indian Days at the Passamaquoddy Pleasant Point reservation which borders Eastport. My AirBnB guests that weekend were tribe members visiting here from New Jersey for the celebration. I enjoyed the drumming and dancing, particularly moving was the dance for departed loved ones, where anyone could enter the circle and join the dance, while names were read over the PA. No photos allowed during that dance out of respect, but it was ok to take photos of other dances.
Lunch: choice of Indian taco (served on fried dough) or a pulled moose sandwich - I opted for the moose (just like pulled pork).
There you have it - just a typical couple of summer weeks in Eastport Maine! I hope to be back with more tidbits on Maine life next month.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!