Sunday, May 31, 2015

Some things

I've been panicking about not completing my "Before I Turn 18" list in time, my 18th birthday is today, when I realized something, when I made the list it was only things I could do before I turned 18, not things that I had to do before then.  I didn't want to have to wait until I was an adult to begin my list, I was afraid that I'd lose my enthusiasm about it, so I broke them into smaller bits so I could start right away.

Working towards my goals, I am currently learning Italian (still), and I am working at a climbing park near where I  live! Getting over my fear of heights is an important step to a lot of my goals, including sky diving, climbing the Seven Summits, and BASE jumping, among other things.

Another exciting thing, I recently acquired a Canon Powershot G5 for free, all I had to buy was an extra battery, and a charger.  It's an older camera, but it takes decent pictures, and it's a good "training camera" so when/if I get a better one I'll be more familiar with how to use it.  I realized today that I don't actually have a way to get my pictures onto my laptop though... That, however, is a problem for another day! Like, when all my memory cards are full.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Area spotlight: The Scarborough Marsh

Today's spotlight is the Scarborough Marsh in Scarborough, Maine.  This marsh is the biggest saltwater marsh in the state, with about 3,100 acres of various types of marshlands.  It's also a great place to visit, birding, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, even walking and biking, it's a beautiful place.

My favorite thing to do at the marsh is photography, obviously.  It's actually many people's favorite things about the marsh, the different species of wildlife, especially birds, and the gorgeous scenery it's the perfect place for pictures.  My family actually had a photoshoot done there a couple years ago!

Fishing is another thing that is quite popular at the marsh.  With a fairly large population of Striped Bass (or "stripers") swimming in and out with the tides many saltwater fishermen.  There are even some clam flats open for clamming.

Sorry for the blur, my phone hates zoom.

Though I haven't really been specifically bird watching here, yet, I haven't completely missed some of the species there.  The most common species I've seen are Snowy Egrets, and of course, Seagulls.  Great Blue Herons aren't uncommon either, they are often seen flying over the roads of the towns surrounding the marsh.  Mallards seem to be the most common duck of the area, the marsh, and Milliken Mills pond almost always have a pair or two of mallards on any given day, I haven't ever seen a nest, but occasionally you even see the ducklings following their parents around in the water! It's very cute, and always fun to see.  One of my favorites is the Glossy Ibis, I don't see them often, but they're gorgeous, and fun to watch!
There are many trails, including the Eastern Trail that I talked about last time.  Most of them are walking only, unlike the Eastern Trail where you can also ride bicycles.  Another way to see the marsh is by train! There is a train track over the marsh, that's definitely an interesting perspective!

Of course, no tour of the marsh would be completely without talking about the canoeing and kayaking opportunities.  The water is fairly calm, and some of the channels are very wide, making it easy to paddle.  Along the way you'll see lots of different kinds of wildlife, including many species of birds, and possibly some mammals species, such as muskrats.

If you get hungry after spending all day in the marsh you can visit the Clambake, just down the road from the parking area at the Eastern Trail opening into the marsh!

 There's a seating area with big windows looking out onto the marsh, and there are always lots of hungry seagulls outside.  While waiting for your food, and eating you can watch the wildlife outside the window. and when you're finished you can take any leftovers outside to feed to the seagulls.  The birds there have been fed like that for so many years that they will take food right out of your fingers if you hold it out to them.  Just be careful, their beaks are sharp, and it can hurt if they accidentally bite you.

No matter what you decide to do I'm sure you'll enjoy your time at the Scarborough Marsh. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Area Spotlight: Eastern Trail

This is my first post highlighting the wonderful things about where I live in Southern Maine!

I'm starting with the Eastern Trail, one of my favorite places to ride my bike, walk my dogs, look for turtles, and practice photography.  Last summer it was my favorite place to fish, also.

The Eastern Trail is 65 miles with some beauty scenery.  It goes all the way from Kittery to South Portland.  It's usually well traveled, but never too busy, people walk their dogs, jog, run, go cycling, and even ride horses down the trail! 

The trail does follow some roads in certain places, but it's fairly well marked, and easy to follow.  I can easily ride my bike 6 miles out and back in under two hours because most of the trail is fairly flat.  The many trails going into wooded areas off the main trail are nice for walking, too, though a bit more muddy with a lot of roots making it hard to ride through.

My favorite place is a little path into the woods off the main trail that connects to the Milliken Mills Pond, where I find several different species of turtles, frogs, fish, and birds! It's an area full of wildlife.

A couple of animals that live there are the usual, chipmunks, grey and red squirrels, painted turtles, wood turtles (I believe, though I'm not a turtle expert), garter snakes,  largemouth bass, pumpkin sunfish, and many many birds, there are also bigger animals, such as deer, and raccoons.  According to the lake survery I found we even have eels, and a couple types of catfish in the pond.

Some people enjoy kayaking or canoeing on the pond, though it's not the most popular activity on this section of the trail.

"Ralph" the Painted Turtle.

One section of the trail also crosses the Scarborough Marsh, that is my other favorite section.  The marsh is next week's spotlight, so I won't go into any detail today!

Only one of these pictures has been edited at all.  These are not pictures from my Instagram, most of the pictures on my Instagram are edited in some way.  All of my photography is currently taken and edited on an iPhone 4S.