Acadia and Elsewhere

IMG_2988

On the first Sunday in October, we visited Acadia National Park on Maine’s Mount Desert Island. It’s the furthest East I’ve been.

IMG_7099

I found a temporary artifact left behind on the aptly-named Sand Beach.

IMG_7121

Sand Beach is one of the park’s most popular attractions, for obvious reasons.

IMG_2999

A cove along the park’s stunning coastline.

IMG_7144

Triumphant waterfowl as seen from the Ocean Trail.

IMG_7085

A typical stretch of Park Loop Road.

IMG_3008

The view from Otter Cove, facing South.

IMG_7168

Along Otter Cove, looking North.

IMG_7173

Cadillac Mountain, a trip up which we decided to save for our next visit.

IMG_7189

Pines along Jordan Pond.

IMG_3026

After leaving the park, we spent a few hours in nearby Bar Harbor, a port popular with tourists. Above, a juxtaposing of two very different types of ships that often frequent it.

IMG_3021

CJ’s Big Dipper on Main Street, across from the Village Green (I always thought the latter only existed in England.)

IMG_3017

Swatches of Bar Harbor remain gloriously un-gentrified, like this vintage stained-glass sign, complete with Rexall logo.

IMG_7198

Another blast from the past. What could this be?

IMG_7199

It’s the underside to this classic marquee, which predates the movie theater I work at by one year.

IMG_2969

We actually stayed near Boothbay Harbor that weekend, taking an easy day trip from there to Acadia. Above, a Boothbay Harbor business I always visit when in town.

IMG_2975

Spotted at another bookshop in nearby Damariscotta (sadly, it was too late in the day for browsing.)

IMG_2982

My husband and I have spent considerable time in Boothbay Harbor (even getting married near there), but not so much in Wiscasset, which once has to pass through in order to get there if coming from Portland or any point South. In Wiscasset, this combination of old lettering, filmsy white curtains and christmas lights (in October!) intrigued me to no end.

IMG_3030

Wiscasset is tiny but full of charming signage for businesses new and old.

IMG_3033

Perhaps Wiscasset’s most famous, iconic eating establishment (in summer, there’s usually a long line of people leading up to that window), and one I hope to try someday.

Advertisements

Pumpkin Season

IMG_7053

Upon returning to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, we found it overrun with pumpkins.

IMG_6886

Piles and mounds of pumpkins all over the grounds, suffusing clear blue October skies with more than just a hint of orange.

IMG_6957

There was also a row of pumpkins.

IMG_6893

An endless procession of pumpkins, in fact.

IMG_6928

However, the gardens also had room for a variety of gourds, those less-loved pumpkin cousins.

IMG_7068

Some miniature gourds adorned window boxes…

IMG_6982

…while others hung from the rose arbor on strings.

IMG_6983

Swaying happily in the sunshine… or HANGING FROM THEIR DEATHS?

IMG_6924

Not a pumpkin, although wouldn’t it be great if they came in this exact color?

IMG_6959

Also not a pumpkin, but after seeing so many I couldn’t help but notice all the other pumpkin-shaped plants at the gardens.

IMG_7012

Also also not a pumpkin, but… (you get the idea).

IMG_7003

Again, not a pumpkin (though you can spot some in the background), but one of a few new steel sculptures currently on display.

IMG_7065

Those pumpkins do often seem to be lurking in the background.

IMG_7066

In addition to naturally orange pumpkins, there were a few painted pumpkins scattered throughout: some in bright colors…

IMG_6976

…others cloaked in silver or gold.

IMG_6906

Still, nothing beats the autumnal glow of an orange pumpkin patch.

Woods Hole

IMG_6871

Right next to Falmouth, the village of Woods Hole is at the very Southwestern tip of Cape Cod. As a ferry port to Martha’s Vineyard, it gets a lot of heavy traffic, but its remoteness helps it to stand apart from many of the Cape’s other likeminded enclaves.

IMG_6790

Eel Pond sits in the center of town, providing a marina for local boat craft.

IMG_6861

I’d like to know how this one got its name. Cute logo, but I can’t help but want to read it as “Cot’s Pow”.

IMG_6875

Some significantly larger boat craft docked in the Great Harbor leading out towards the Atlantic.

IMG_6838

The Water Street bridge in mid-ascent, allowing passage from Great Harbor to Eel Pond.

IMG_6840

I love bright red maritime lamps, although their placement is important–they probably wouldn’t work as fixtures in my current landlocked home.

IMG_6848

Bits and pieces of Woods Hole remain stuck in another time, like this sign…

IMG_6831

…and this one (though I can’t place whether it’s old or just made to look that way.)

IMG_6829

Representing modern Woods Hole, an honest-to-god film festival that’s actually been around for almost a quarter century.

IMG_6832

Even more mod.

IMG_6827

Ah, but who doesn’t love a classic ship, even one rendered as a sign?

IMG_6876

Stroll around town and you’ll find quirky public structures like this upright sundial.

IMG_6819

Across Eel Pond on Millfield Street sits the Angelus Bell Tower.

IMG_6812

The Angelus has a door devoted to Saint Joseph…

IMG_6799

…and wouldn’t you know it, Saint Joseph’s church is right across the street.

IMG_6855

As with Saint Joseph’s, the neighborhood is dotted with charming old architecture.

IMG_6825

Given its location, Woods Hole is a natural home for an aquarium, an oceanographic institution and the Marine Biological Laboratory (whose Lillie Laboratory is pictured above.)

IMG_6823

This MBL building is at least a few decades younger than nearly any other in town. To say it sticks out is an understatement, but I can almost appreciate its modern vulgarity in the middle of all this traditional New England style.

Summer Assortment

IMG_2623

Since I took my summer vacation in late spring, I’m left with a true assortment of photos taken over the season that don’t really lend themselves to thematic photo essays; thus, I present the best of the rest, like this perfect pink rose spotted on Marlborough Street in Boston’s Back Bay.

IMG_2820

One expects a statue of George Washington at the Boston Public Gardens, but not necessarily palm trees.

IMG_2641

The BU-West T stop on the B line: note the slender vertical gleam along the John Hancock Tower.

IMG_2787

Another view of the Hancock Tower, looking down Blagden Street in back of the Boston Public Library – a good representation of the city’s architecture from numerous eras.

IMG_2799

The new Liberty Mutual building, as viewed through structural latticework of the Back Bay commuter rail station.

IMG_2684

On a balmy mid-July Tuesday evening, an outdoor screening of Hitchcock’s The Birds at The Coolidge at the Greenway.

IMG_2692

Tippi watches the Greenway, who in turn watches her.

IMG_2878

This truck with the distinct, cute logo is a Haymarket mainstay.

IMG_6682

The monolithic “luxury condos” at Commercial Wharf along the Waterfront.

IMG_2770

Striking signage on Parmenter Street in the North End.

IMG_2771

Crossing the Charles River into Cambridge, Sew Low Discount Fabrics in its last days; I remember shopping there for curtain-making material way back in ’98.

IMG_2772

For those longing for Sew Low, fear not: there’s another business further up Cambridge Street with a punny name (though not as good of one).

IMG_2785

Closer to my side of town, the Casey Overpass at Forest Hills, mid-dismantle. It’s entirely gone now (save a support column or two); I still can’t get over how much brighter the area now appears.

IMG_2631

And, just down the road from my place, the lovely Mother Brook as seen from Dedham Blvd.

IMG_2863

Millennium Park, slightly later in the season.

IMG_6668

An unseasonably chilly mid-July Saturday at Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

IMG_2711

On the same day: calm, curving Nonesuch River in nearby Scarborough.

IMG_2720

Luckily, the sun soon shone on the Nonesuch.

IMG_2868

Cape Neddick, Maine. Home of the Nubble Lighthouse, but I already have far too many pictures of that.

IMG_2935

A bright afternoon at the Plymouth Breakwater near season’s end.

Signs of Newburyport

IMG_2829

The second-last town on Massachusetts’ North Shore before you hit New Hampshire, Newburyport has a charming historic center full of vintage, well-kept brick buildings and plenty of interesting signage.

IMG_2835

Even some vintage signage remains, like this one for Fowle’s newstand/soda fountain, recently converted into 17 State Street Cafe. I wonder if they plan on doing anything to that faded storefront.

IMG_2825

Seemingly every other New England coastal town has a similarly-named establishment, a la The Drunken Clam.

IMG_2827

Still, not all of Newburyport is stuck in the past, as you can see via the modern signage above.

IMG_2842

The trend continues along Pleasant Street.

IMG_2840

Artisan shops, wine and cheese boutiques–this is clearly not your father’s Newburyport.

IMG_2843

Tucked away from Pleasant down Hales Court, a little bit of whimsy from Fun Way Tutoring.

IMG_2844

Back on Pleasant, some simple, effective, pragmatic signage.

IMG_2861

Practically around the corner, other “dogs”, though I question just exactly what’s in them for such a low price.

IMG_2848

You can get yer two-bit frankfurters at Richdale’s, which somehow continues to cultivate business in the age of Shaw’s and Stop N Shop.

IMG_2853

Poking through a Pleasant Street window, I spotted this over-the-top font, safely confined from most passersby.

IMG_2855

Down Green Street, the quieter, classier side of Newburyport signage…

IMG_2856

…but not one without any groaning puns.

IMG_2851

Back to Pleasant Street and Pretty Poppy at twilight.

IMG_2852

Come to Newburyport for the signage, stay for the gorgeous, late-Summer Saturday evening.

Three Colorado Parks

IMG_5871

My last round of Colorado pix looks back at three other places we visited. First up, Lory State Park, just outside Fort Collins. We arrived on a cloudy Sunday afternoon that eventually gave way to at least an inkling of blue sky.

IMG_5835

Lory State Park has many grassy, sloping hills.

IMG_5797

As with Rocky Mountain National Park, we didn’t see as many wildflowers as we hoped to, although we spotted the occasional outlier.

IMG_5793

We hiked up the Well Gulch Nature Trail; near the top, we could make out Horsetooth Reservoir through the pines.

IMG_5818

A heavenly, panoramic shot of Horsetooth Reservoir.

IMG_5879

Zooming in along the red rock ridges next to the Reservoir.

IMG_5898

We walked all the way down to the water where we found picnickers, partiers and a few people out fishing.

IMG_5828

Although we spent most of an afternoon at Lory State Park, we saw but a fraction of it. Above, looking Southward, it appears to stretch on and on.

IMG_6026

Our second park is the Colorado Chautauqua in Boulder. Part of the historical Chautauqua adult education movement, it is the only one west of the Mississippi River still operating today.

IMG_5940

We went primarily to see the Flatirons, a dramatic, pointy mountain range.

IMG_5949

Our view as we made our way upwards.

IMG_5990

Luckily, blue skies were more abundant than at Lory State Park.

IMG_5968

Entering the serene Enchanted Mesa.

IMG_6009

A typical view while hiking through the park.

IMG_6008

After leaving the Enchanted Mesa, we arrived at a scenic overlay of Greater Boulder.

IMG_6032

As I said, the Chautauqua is still pretty active, as you can see in this spiffy Dining Hall.

IMG_6429

Our third and final park is Garden Of The Gods near Colorado Springs. Above, a wide-angle view of it with Pikes Peak in the distance.

IMG_6445

Essentially a set of red rock formations, Garden of the Gods is visually stunning, fairly contained (you can walk the central part of it in less than an hour) and free to the public (so expect hordes of fellow tourists depending on when you go).

IMG_6460

This gives you a sense of scale re: rocks vs. everything else.

IMG_6464

This teeny tiny hiker probably provides an even better sense of scale.

IMG_6542

You can make out this formation’s “kissing camels” at the center.

IMG_6564

Two tiny birds rest on a typically twisty formation.

IMG_6486

The “Cathedral Spires”: they remind me a bit of peanut brittle.

IMG_6459

Not all the rock formations are red; this whitish-gray stuff even boasts a few trees on top.

IMG_6507

One of the central garden trails, to illustrate what walking around the park is like.

IMG_6483

Postcard-perfect views of Pikes Peak await behind the red rocks: a sight worth even driving to Colorado Springs for.

Denver Botanic Gardens

IMG_6326

We drove down from Fort Collins to Denver on a Wednesday morning. Before checking in to our hotel, we walked around the Denver Botanic Gardens.

IMG_6317

A 23-acre urban oasis located in the Cheeseman Park neighborhood, the Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street aren’t as expansive as the Boerner or as gorgeous as Boothbay’s or unique as Toronto’s (on the other hand, they’re a heck of a lot better than Key West’s); thus, I was pleasantly surprised when looking over the pix I took there to find a lot of gems. Above, in the background sits the aptly-named Science Pyramid.

IMG_6421

Actually, sections of the Gardens felt a little dated in appearance, like this severely shaped open space, designated as the UMB Bank Amphitheatre.

IMG_2596

Apparently, we just missed the Dale Chihuly exhibit, although he left behind this vibrant piece.

IMG_6391

The most distinct (and arguably visually striking) section of the park? The Water Gardens.

IMG_6395

I took numerous shots of lily pads, but managed not to capture any frogs.

IMG_6290

And now, on to the flora. I don’t think I’ve ever seen these peculiar-shaped purple-and-pink ones before.

IMG_6304

A vast selection of irises on display, including basic white…

IMG_6310

…and this striped purple hybrid.

IMG_6333

Early June is a great time of year for roses.

IMG_6334

A peach of a rose.

IMG_6347

We also managed to find a few remaining lilacs; if we visited two weeks later, I doubt we would have seen these.

IMG_6349

I made sure to document this peony’s unlikely name. When you think of peonies, think of Ohio’s third largest city.

IMG_6365

I wish I had recorded the name of this sunny, daisy-like flower, though I’m glad I got the bee in the shot without getting stung.

IMG_6366

More lovely, sun-like flowers.

IMG_6369

Since Colorado is technically in the American Southwest, it follows that the Gardens should be full of succulents.

IMG_6384

These little flaming red flowers are duly protected by the sharp cacti engulfing them.

IMG_6301

A cornucopia of succulents framed against a glass-and-steel conservatory.

IMG_6397

These flowers caught my eye for their bleeding pink splotches.

IMG_6407

I wouldn’t mind having this display on my little deck back home.

IMG_6412

Admittedly a beautiful tableau, but frankly it also looks like the stuff of man-eating plant nightmares.

IMG_6413

I’m always drawn to hydrangeas for their soothing violet/blue hues.

IMG_6426

More potentially nightmare-inducing flora: I’m attracted to the ones that have bloomed but also a little weary of all those bulbous pods.

IMG_6382

At least these violets are safe, protected by a rock perimeter that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. I suspect they’ll remain if I ever make a return visit.