I think the best part of this whole trip to Bar Harbor, Maine was convincing Mom to take a photo of me doing eagle pose (Garudasana) on top of Cadillac Mountain. I think she thought I was crazy, but the smile was priceless. She and I had a good time together, chasing birds (and our guide & group of 20 other travelers) on and around Mount Desert Isle for 5 days.
I’d love to say that I recommend going there at this time of year, but the long Minnesota winter that I had just endured did not prime me well for a week of mostly 45 degree weather in May. Let’s just say I didn’t generate a lot of vitamin D, last week – and that I nearly emptied the outdoor supply store of their chemical handwarmer packets at the end of day 1. Thus it makes perfect sense that the night we were set free to eat on our own, Mom and I went Cuban, and dined at the fantastic Havana restaurant.
Despite the use of all of our fleece, wool, and waterproofed items, it was worth it for the time with mom and the variety of creatures we spotted. We identified possibly a hundred different species of birds – including eagles that were not wearing plum-colored jackets – and one woodchuck. We also got a good look at plenty of beauteous springtime flora and two very cooked lobsters (briefly).
My favorite sighting was the Arctic Tern, with his/her (pelagic birds have fewer male/female distinguishing characteristics, I learned) graceful long, forked tail. From our guide, Michael Good, and a few of the other bird-savvy program participants, I started to be able to discern different bird songs. There were so many! We were surrounded by at least 5 different warblers at any given time, it seemed, and often 10-20 bird species in total. In my backyard, all the avian sounds seem to blend together, though I do at least have facility with identifying cardinals, robins and grackels without seeing them.
I’m still improving – slowly – with my bird photography. Some of this was with help from fellow participant Ralph, and Greg, the photographer sent by Road Scholar, to document our trip. I used to be better with a zoom/telephoto! If you’d like a view of this part of Maine in mid-May, here are my photos. Enjoy!