Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Long and Short of it in Maine

Maine is a rural agricultural state and no tour would be complete without me showing you the animals we saw visiting the DIL's farmer relatives.  These chickens were a bantam breed, ie. small and I thought they were very beautiful.

The same chickens next to a Buff Orphington Hen who is normal sized so you can see just how small they are.

Highlander cattle are a scottish breed and a good many of the farms seemed to have them.  I suspect because the Maine winters were much easier for the Highlanders to thrive in.

This little mini foal was only four  weeks old.  She had been rejected by her momma and was being bottle-raised.  DIL's brother would put her in his pickup and pack her around so he could bottle feed her every four hours.  He hadn't named her yet and we all suggested it could be nothing else but Minnie!

A black Highlander calf with a bell

The view from where the Highlander cattle's pasture was located.  I think the Red tree is a sugar maple.

A Highlander family - Bull, calf and cow.

A duck - I have no idea what breed but certainly something we don't find in Wyoming.

A pair of ponies with some ducks.  Neither of these were Minnie's parents. Both of the ponies were broke to drive.
The ducks and chickens with two dwarf goats in the back.

A regular sized dairy goat.  I was quite smitten with her and could have taken her home but I suspect Delta airlines would have objected to the new passenger.

A 1800's Maine farmhouse.  These were all over Maine and they are one long continuous building, house, wood shed, tool shed, and barn.  This one is unusual in that it still has the silo standing.

The front of the same Maine Farmhouse

The right side of the same Maine Farmhouse.  These were built so they could go milk their cows and feed livestock without having to go out in the Maine winter.  They told me they used to get snow up to the 2nd story of the homes but they don't get that much anymore.  Can you imagine snow that deep?

The silo and the back of the barn of the same Maine farmhouse/barn.  Note the iron bands holding the silo together.  Some of the bands were getting loose and slipping down.  It did not look like it was used anymore and I bet will probably be taken down in a few years.  I am glad I have the photos of it.

In town also, the attached concept was used in the 1800's.  Here is a typical set-up you would see in town, a home with an attached carriage house/barn for the horse(s) of the family.  Usually the barn and house were all painted the same color but in this home it looked like the carriage barn was in disrepair and not being used at all. Or perhaps they were renovating a home and just have not gotten that far yet.
Sometimes the barns/or homes would catch fire from mouldering hay or maybe the wood stove.  Then they would lose all their buildings and homes in one fire. They started to build separate units sometime in the 20th century.  I found all them very interesting, don't you?

Next post will be Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Maine's Fall Foliage and the Rangely Lakes Area

Height of the Land

 Isn't this just gorgeous?  We were up on a mountainside called Height of the Land if I recall correctly and the body of water is one of the Rangely Lakes.  We ate our lunch at a quaint restaurant just on the other side of this Lake.
Rangley Lake - Height of the Land

Sumac Berries, these were very common

Ira's Mountain.  An interesting place where someone (apparently Ira) had dug down into the base of the hill and then piled rocks into a round configuration with 2 benches in the middle.  The purpose of this all this tremendous effort I couldn't figure out.

Red Leaves in the Maine Woods

View from the top of Ira's Mountain

This was 'Small Falls'.  I didn't think they were so small and were in fact quite impressive.  While I was standing there 2 kayakers came down the falls from the top!  Wow, the tips of the kayaks pointed down like lawn darts!  They got out of the river here and in fact were parked next to us in the parking lot.  They said they wouldn't recommend just anyone try riding down the falls.  I bet! that was a WISE recommendation.

Close up of Small Falls

Another view of Small Falls

The Restaurant where we ate lunch in the Rangely area.  I think the town's name was pronounced Awh-qwas-sock.
It was a great 'loop' we drove that day and some really pretty country.  Maine is a very wooded state and also very rural.  Only small towns and not many even larger towns.   Next post will be Maine Maple Sugaring and some Maine animals.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fort Knox and Penobscot River

The day after we went to the Fryeberg Fair we went to visit Fort Knox near Bucksport, Maine.  It was pouring rain intermittently that day so it was a pretty damp visit!

View of Bucksport from above one of the cannon placements.

Bucksport, Maine

Cannon placements on the wall facing the Pencobscot River.   
#1 son looking at one of the cannon ports from the outside that shows the metal doors being partially shut.  Each port was designed to have a metal door shut between shots to the 'rammer' could ram the ball in place and not be shot by a sniper.

#1 Son looking at a cannon from inside the cannon placements on the wall.  The cannon could swing on the metal plates on the floor to aim it.  After firing, it was slid back on the base,  and a man had to ram in the powder and the cannon ball from in front of the cannon.  After loading, the metal plates were opened again, the cannon slid forward through the port and re-aimed, and then fired. 
Parade ground inside the fort.

Each arch had a room, the cannon rooms were the largest arches.  This was room about the size of the enlisted men's barracks.  The officer's each had a separate room this size with a fireplace.  The enlisted men had no fireplaces.  Apparently they did not deserve the luxury of heat.

Fort Knox Amory.  Today it serves as the Visitor Center.

Civil War era ambulance.  I cannot imagine the agony of having to lay in this thing and be transported while wounded.  I'm sure more than one probably begged to be left to die.

Entrance into the Fort from the outside

Please take a close look at the ceiling of the arch in this photo and note it is made of brick. 

Fort Knox (HERE to read more) was built in 1844 to protect the Penobscot River Narrows.  Bucksport had been previously occupied by the British twice.  Once during the Revolutionary War and again during the War of 1812.  It was one of several built during this time period, all built from the same plans in a pentagon shape.  They were known as the Third System Forts.  By the time they were built, they were obsolete as by 1861 they had developed cannons powerful enough to break through the masonry arches that served as the 'roof' for the fort.  Remember the roof I wanted you to note?

Fort Sumpter in North Carolina was a Third System Fort.  That means during the bombardment that began the Civil War, those men were being exposed to cannon fire raining down on their positions and in their living quarters.  I find it amazing they managed to hold out for several days before surrendering the fort.

Fort Knox has never fired a shot but I don't believe the British ever wanted it again. :)   It was interesting to visit and I'm glad we got to see it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Fryeberg Fair in Maine

Back from Maine and what a memorable wonderful trip it was to a very beautiful state.  Many many thanks to the daughter in law's family and friends for welcoming us and making sure it was so memorable!

The first thing we did was go to the Fryberg Fair

Freyberg Fair Main Gate         


 Daughter In Law had picked Monday to go to the fair because it was "Lumberjack" day where the lumbermen compete in various contests like log-rolling.  Now as much as Hubby & I would have liked to have seen that; we spent our whole day at another arena where our true interests lay....the pulling arena.  The very same arena shown on RFD-TV!
Horse Team at Fryeber

Ox Team

Ox Team waiting for their turn to pull.  See the white line?  There was one at the other end also.  That one they started from and pulled to this one; turned around the stone boat and then pulled as far as they could get towards the other end.  Half-way back was about the farthest any of the teams could pull.

Ox with blunted horn on the drover's side so he could not accidentally hook/gore the drover.  DIL said there have been drovers killed when accidentally gored by their ox.

To be continued