Thursday, March 19, 2015

Harpswell Stories

 This past winter I got a call from the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, asking if I'd be willing to participate in their Voices of the Sea project.  Sure, why not?  I got to chat with two amazing young men (thanks Brian and Sam!) about things I love.  Who wouldn't want to do that?

Over 25 people with connections to the ocean and Harpswell were interviewed by students from the Harpswell Coastal Academy, a charter school serving middle and high school students.  They interviewed most of us twice, with well-prepared questions, and then transcribed the interviews to carefully evaluate what parts they wanted to use.  These were edited into 3-4 minute portions. 

Earlier this month the land trust had a reception for the students and I got to see not only the fruits of Brian and Sam's labors, but all of the interviews the students conducted.  The range of people they talked to ran from clam diggers to sailors to farmers, and even a scientist and blogger was thrown in for good measure.  This was an impressive effort for kids to undertake, and their teachers and the folks at HHLT are to be commended for all the work they did to set up interviews and put them together into an amazing connection.

One of my interviewers.
Check out Voices of the Sea/Harpswell Stories HERE.  You can listen to me blather on about Leach's storm petrels on Kent Island.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cold at Pemaquid -- again; this time with Coastal Studies for Girls

The first time I ever went to Pemaquid, it looked like this:

It was COLD.
That wasn't enough to drive me away, so I went back during the last blast of winter, and it looked something like this:

So it's no surprise I haven't gotten it into my thick head that we actually have something called summer here, and that I could simply wait to visit Pemaquid again when it's warm.  Nope.  Gotta disregard the fact that spring is on it's way (goldarnit, it really is).  Gotta go again when it's blowin' stink and cold as a clamraker's crack. 

Cold, but beautiful.
No surprise.
This semester I'm lucky enough to be teaching with Visiting Professor Kerry Whittaker, a young biological oceanographer who's also teaching over at Coastal Studies for Girls.  She was nice enough to let me tag along on their recent field trip to Pemaquid.  The only thing better than enjoying an amazing place on the water is enjoying it with a gaggle of thoughtful, enthusiastic young people. 

Group  discussion with Coastal Studies for Girls.
Lots of snow!
The bell house
Orange and white.
Waiting for tourist season
Was it cold?  You bet.  The wind was whipping and snow was being ripped off of drifts and into every crack in our winter defenses.  The snow was deep and we had trouble keeping it out of our boots as we tromped around.  That didn't stop the young women from having a great discussion of what the marginal zone is; what Rachel Carson (who spent quite a lot of time around Pemaquid) had to say about the intertidal; and what it meant to them.  They all found a cozy spot and did some writing as I trudged around exploring.  No way I was going near the rocks; the snow was too deep and the ocean too angry.  But the sky was that perfect blue, Monhegan floated on the horizon, and the sun was indeed feeling stronger than it had for awhile.

Out of the wind and writing.
What better spot to reflect on this amazing place?
Who wouldn't be inspired?
All in all a great trip.  But maybe next time I'll visit in summer.  Maybe.

Group selfie!
Anticipating summer crowds.