“The warm air temperatures in the upper 60s Saturday afternoon may cause people to underestimate the dangers of the cold water temperatures which are currently in the mid 40s.”
Not to speak of the strong currents.
Gee, we are surrounded by danger in all this beauty.
Maybe you’ve heard of it, the place of the world’s most extreme tides, up to 53 feet every six or so hours, meaning about six feet hourly on average or up to 12-plus in certain time windows.
If you swim, you know that’s way over your head.
So here’s a little perspective.
- Most U.S. maps cut out nearby Canada, leaving little sense of how much lies east of Maine and not just north. That’s anything beyond Portland, essentially, yet not that far north of Boston.
- Typically excised from maps of Maine, the big island of Grand Manan is essentially as lengthy as Martha’s Vineyard but with much more substantial cliffs and an undeniably working fisherman economy. To get there, you need a ferry hop or two from Canada. And that’s saying nothing of its craggy inhabitants. It’s definitely on my bucket list.
- Technically, I dwell on one of the subsidiary waters. Fundy Bay itself is about 55 miles wide just south of here, pointing to another place renowned for its scallops. Or is that also east? In other words, Fundy’s big.
- The bay’s positions of Maine and New Brunswick, on one side, and Nova Scotia, on the other, act as a funnel that intensifies Atlantic currents in and out of the channel. It’s a long story but likely worthwhile for certain nerds, especially once you see how it shapes up on the dinner plate. The intensity of the record tides does have some techies well as others drooling.
- That leads to the possibilities of electrical generation. Mainers would definitely welcome a reduction in our electrical bill. Wind, solar, and tidal power generation are all rising as important sources.
- We are mused by one local craftsman who proclaims her studio the Clay of Fundy. She’s hardly alone. You’d be amused or quite critical of the range of wordplay prompted by the Fundy word.
- It has rivers that reverse their flow, a phenomenon known as tidal bore.
- The bay can report up to ten kinds of whales every summer.
- For water to get from the mouth of the bay to its crown can take up to 13 hours.
- Its ecosystem is said to rival the Amazon’s. Just ask scuba divers.
Also known as Quaker Ladies.
I don’t remember them being common in the woods when I was growing up in the Midwest, but I’ve become fond of them since. I even devoted years to developing a fern bed beside our “smoking garden” patio at our home in Dover. At least now we’re surrounded by fabulous ones in the wild here.
Oh, yes, I’ve finally tasted fiddleheads in the springtime and like their taste almost as much as asparagus.
Here some additional facts.
- They predate the dinosaurs. One variety, the cinnamon fern, looks the same today as it does in 70-million-year-old rock fossils.
- They don’t have flowers or seeds and don’t have leaves. Those lovely green fronds are actually branches fused in one plane.
- They reproduce via spores rather than seeds. Spoors usually look like small dots on the undersides of the fronds. A single plant can drop millions of spoors on the ground, but few find favorable conditions.
- Some species are parasites, growing not from the ground but on decaying tree trunks on the ground or in pockets overhead.
- Their roots descend from rhizomes, a below-the-soil, horizontal stem that can range from very thin and creeping to thick and stocky.
- Some plants survive up to 100 years.
- Bracken ferns can live without any sunlight.
- Most ferns are resistant to cold but many also thrive in tropical zones.
- They make lovely houseplants that require little care. They do, however, need higher humidity than is commonly available, especially when the furnace is running.
- They can remediate contaminated soil and remove some chemical pollutants from the air.