When the fog rolls in

We can watch it roll in over the neighboring town of Lubec and move up the channel. Treat Island is about to be engulfed. 


It often rides in on the tide, this time from the Canadian islands.


I’m getting used to hearing the foghorn, too.

“Another crappy day in Paradise,” as one wit has been heard to say on a gray, chilly, wet morning here.

How to end a most memorable summer

When last summer ended, I proclaimed it my best one ever – in part because there were no complications from an employer or romantic upheavals. Instead, it was filled with new adventures, explorations along the Bold Coast and out on the waters, introductions to fascinating characters and geezers (both positive terms, in my estimation) who live here at least a goodly part of the year, plus a sequence of fascinating artists in residence combined with local painters and photographers and their galleries as well as a world-class chamber music series by mostly resident performers. Whew! And, oh yes, I had plenty of time to devote to a new book and setting up posts for this blog. I even got a new laptop, which meant importing and tweaking everything.

This time around has simply amplified everything.

The temperatures are generally cool on the island – often ten degrees less than what’s happening on the mainland even just seven miles to the west – so I rarely suffered from sweltering. On the downside, heritage tomatoes are rarely found here. Remember, in Dover I lived on tomato-and-mayo sandwiches from the beginning of August into October, some years, though in no small part due to global warming. Even so, the ocean temps here are too cold and the currents too treacherous, for any swimming, though inland lakes and streams provide a welcome alternative.

Well, that’s only half of it. Summer is when Eastport comes into its full glory. The streets are swarming, like a big party. To think, I’m experiencing the ideal of summering on a Maine island, combined with a lively artistic dimension! Never, in my wildest dreams, would I have expected that.

But all good things must come to an end.

Three-quarters of the Eastport’s population is what Mainers call Summer People. Now they’re mostly going-going-gone and we’re on the verge of getting back to our more essential state, something akin to a ghost town.

Not that we go down that easily.

This weekend featured the annual Salmon Festival, a delightfully low-key event highlighting local musicians, galleries, and crab rolls served by the senior center and Episcopal Church on Saturday and salmon dinners on Sunday, as well as tours of the salmon farms at Broad Cove.

The Salmon Festival is a low-key event, centered on the waterfront..
Historian Joe Clabby tells a circle at the amphitheater about the region’s rich past. One local wag calls this our “NPR festival,” in contrast to what’s coming next weekend.
Celebrating local seafood, there are crab rolls on Saturday and a big salmon dinner on Sunday.
And, of course, live music.

The event honors what was once the Sardine Capital of the World in its current incarnation as a center of aquaculture in the form of salmon.

But it’s also a prelude to next weekend’s blowout, the Pirate Festival.

On Saturday, a mini-flotilla, armed with water balloons and squirt guns, sailed down to invade neighboring Lubec. Next week, they’re expected to return the favor, all in good spirits.


What’s made your summer special?


Gee, has it seemed I’ve been a bit AWOL lately?

Have to confess the Red Barn posts have been moving along on schedule, but just not as many or as varied as usual.

Seems I’m not alone that way, here on WordPress or other social media, for that matter.

On this end, I’m knee-deep in trying to get a big project in gear – the part that follows the publication of a new book, which is just around the corner. These next steps are time-consuming and emotionally a roller-coaster. I’m always feeling I’m way behind there, as well as uncertain of the way.

As a complication, about a month ago I suffered a physical fall in the middle of the night and was reminded once more how fragile the body gets in older folks, aka the elderly, and how risky that can be when living alone. I’m still feeling some of the aches after the bruises and what else and won’t be resuming the twice-a-week fitness classes till after Labor Day.

Quite simply, that’s slowed me way down.

And then there was my week at the annual sessions of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (Quaker) off in Castleton, Vermont, now that we’re gathering face-to-face again. Getting across northern New England, however, is a remarkably drawn-out trip, no matter how stunning some of the scenery can be. I did see parts of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont for the first time.

Weighing on me especially has been the surreal political and social nightmare unfolding here in America. It’s not just Trump, either, but closer to home the threatened return of Paul LePage to the governorship of Maine. Trying to write about that has been paralyzing, and the news developments keep mounting at a dizzying pace.

So here we are and summer’s almost over. It hasn’t exactly felt lazy.

Little Prince Cove has its charm 

The inlet gets its name from an early family rather than royalty, even if the British Navy did land here when it captured Eastport during the War of 1812.

Its banks once were crowded with shipbuilding and later fishing operations.
Eastport’s leading lobster wholesaler operates from the mouth of Prince Cove.
You can’t see this Victorian-style house from land, where it sits beyond an imposing gate at the end of the road. Nobody seems to know the owners, who come in the summer.
Somehow, it seems to fit right into a Stephen King novel. 


How about corporate naming rights for hurricanes?

Running out of baby’s first names for hurricanes and tropical storms has me wondering.

Can we turn to corporate behemoths, you know, for naming rights, like sports stadiums do?

Hurricane Amazon would be a natural. Or Geico, reminding folks of the need of home insurance. Victoria’ Secret Hurricane could be hot. You get the drift.

And let’s think about all the good uses we could put the money to, starting with relief for impoverished folks in those storms’ paths.

So how ’bout it?

What corporations would you nominate as the most amusing or fitting for the storms?


Misty afternoon light over Campobello Island as seen from Eastport gets me in a reflective mood.

Full moon rising

Refined Japanese, I’m told, would gather with sake to watch the full moon rise. First there’s only the crown of the head, and then the brow and cheeks and chin before the moon lifts altogether in the air. The passage is both slow and fleet, maybe five minutes, if that.

The event would be celebrated with the writing of hokku on the spot.

Here’s how it happened one summer night in Eastport, looking over Campobello Island. And this is what you get rather than a cocktail or poem.