Saturday, March 8, 2014

1816 - the year without a summer

Back in 1815 a eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies (now, Indonesia) caused a huge amount of ash, 19 cubic miles big, to circle the globe.  As a result the northern hemisphere was darkened from lack of sunlight in 1816.  The year with out a summer.
Here in Northern New England there were killing frosts in eleven months, August the lone exception, so no crops, not even hay, were grown.  Snow came as late as June and in Quebec there was 30 inches of snow in June.  It was not a fun time.
Now in 2014 we haven't seen much evidence of warmer weather, yet.  Today is promised to reach 40 degrees, it did reach 34 yesterday with a cold NW wind.  I haven't heard of any volcanos going off so maybe we're safe.
Examples of the amount of ash from Tambora
I think this year will have a very short summer.  When spring leaves finally appear they will be orange and red because there won't be enough time for the green stuff anyway.  Here is what early spring will look like.
Kenduskeag Stream, Bangor
Photo: Linda Grant

Friday, March 7, 2014


Words: The geezer hisself
  I made that photo and made my lovely wife, Linda, post it on Facebook, most everyone got it.  It is supposed to get warmer starting today, but, right now it's -2, and that ain't in my definition of warmer.   The daytime temp today is allegedly going to reach 32 degrees, we will be waiting to see if that happens.  Tomorrow maybe 38, that's a stretch.
  I made a comment in the Bangor Daily News that I was old and wanted to walk outdoors and was scolded by another geezer for not wearing layers and using snowshoes.  Ha, ha, ha, obviously that person isn't bothered by cold air in their lungs, but I am.  As for snowshoes I've tried that - without the attendant success!

Oh, oh! Could it be her?  The lovely Linda?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Portsmouth Naval Prison for sale or lease

The building in 2005 - click to enlarge
Photo: AP via Portland Press Herald
  The former Navy Brig on Pierce Island adjacent to the Portsmouth Navy Shipyard in Kittery Maine.  The island may be in New Hampshire, I haven't been able to pinpoint that.
  The whole shebang is up for sale to any developer interested.  The Navy operated the prison from 1908 until it closed the prison in 1974 and sent prisoners to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  It has since built and still uses to Navy Brig at Miramar, California.
  Maybe it would make a resort casino or office building, whatever use it is put to would require extensive rehab.  So if you're interested please contact the Navy.

                                                  New subject
Here is a link to an article titled "Six Miles Out", it's about the year-round families on Isle Au Haut, Maine there is video, still photos and print.  It's a quick read, very interesting but not able to bring it over:   

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Just maybe I was a bit hasty

Winter color, mussel shell on Mackworth Island
Photo: Tim Greenway, Portland Press Herald
  I went to a meeting yesterday and we talked about negativism, and I thought maybe I was just a little over the line yesterday about San Francisco.  It's a nice place, but, the people are not as nice as the place.  There.
  During the meeting I also remembered former Vice President Spiro Agnew and his statement about news reporters, "the nattering nabobs of negativism" were his words.  Just think of me as a news reporter, after all I've had two courses in Journalism - that should count.
  We here in the great State of Maine are still waiting on the final word from Old Man Winter, and we're not liking what we've heard so far.  We're still waiting for the old guy to make nice with Mother Nature.  Still waiting?  Have a seat.
People are waiting on Mackworth Island too.
Photo: Tim Greenway, Portland Press Herald

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Can you explain this?

 Yesterday I watched the New York Yankees host the Washington Nationals.  I suppose I was looking for punishment but I did make some observations and recalled some earlier memories.  While I was looking at the people in the stands I was in recall as the fans of NYY seem to mirror my conception of all people of New York City, they're different.  The citizens of NYC seem to don a public image of upper crust, highly educated, and at the same time flamboyant behavior.  I guess it's because they (the New Yorkers) seem to think that's what's expected of them.  They are some different than people in Bangor, Maine or Lexington Park, Maryland or Omaha, Nebraska, completely different.
  Then I thought about my least favorite people.  Those people inhabit the City of San Francisco where snobbery is a city-wide project.  If you are not from there stay out, get out, you're not welcome in our place.  Thank you very much.  At least that's my take on the place.  Second are the patrons of the 5G bar in either San Leandro or San Lorenzo who stated "we got the missiles out of Cuba, now we have to get you guys out of here".  I still remember that 55 years later.  Oh well.
click to enlarge
click to enlarge
click to enlarge

Monday, March 3, 2014

Different ways to make your money

  Over here in the netherworld of Maine there are occupations that are the same as in other places, and possible one or two that are only done in Maine.
  I've come up with a few photos to show you some of those jobs and workplaces here in the Grand State of Maine.  There are captions on most of the photos and you can see them if you click on each photo to enlarge.
Cleaning a fermentation tank at Run of the Mill Brewery in Saco
Photo: Carl D. Walsh Portland Press Herald

At work dredging the river in Scarborough
Photo: Gabe Souza Portland Press Herald
Clam diggers at work in Scarborough
Photo: Gabe Souza Portland Press Herald
Partial job listing on

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wolfes Neck Farm

Part of the farm seen from the air
  Wolfes Neck Farm is an educational facility and farm.  Teaching sustainable agriculture and raising livestock and food on an original oceanfront Maine farm.
  Open to the public and partially supported by donations and fees for day camps and week long camps for teenagers interested in agriculture.  The true nature of the place is to teach agriculture and the benefits of farm life.  The sheep, swine, cattle and turkeys raised on the farm are a part of the income along with the pumpkins, squash and other vegetables grown during the short summer months.
  It's a wonderful place to visit for anyone interested in see a historic and original ocean front farm, most of which have long disappeared.  I remember going to a Grange picnic at one in Kennebunk as a child, a wonderful experience then, or take a crack at it now.
  Look it up:
Kaitlyn Gardner a farm Manager with a new lamb
Photo: Gordon Chibroski Portland Press Herald
Photo: Gordon Chibroski Portland Press Herald