Category Archives: Wildlife

Seal (and Eagle) watching on Campobello Island

 Gray Seals

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DSCN0750-eagle landing

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Whale blowing (center between the boats).

Whale blowing (center between the boats).

East Wuoddy Head Light (Canada)

East Quoddy Head Light (Canada)

West Quoddy Head Light (Maine)

West Quoddy Head Light (Maine)

 A few last pictures before leaving for Quebec.

Artistic Scum on an inland pond

Artistic Scum on an inland pond

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

A plover and his friends (sandpipers)

A plover and his friends (sandpipers) (Click on this picture to get a larger view)

Preening Loon

Preening Loon

One last lazy paddle.

One last lazy paddle.


More Cobscook Bay Photos

Sculpture in Lubec, ME

DSCN0158-from Lubec to Campobello_edited-1During our stay at Coobscook Bay we took numerous day trips to Lubec, Machias, and Campobello Island

East Quoddy Head light at low tide

East Quoddy Head light at low tide

Very, VERY, Low Tide

Very, VERY, Low Tide

The bridge to Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada

The bridge to Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada

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Beach Stones

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Campobello Island Beach

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The rocks come alive with color when wet.

Back at the campsite for some kayaking.

Kayakers passing our campsite.

Kayakers passing our campsite.

Launching at low (lowish) tide.

Launching at low (lowish) tide.

A happy test pilot trying out Cheryl's kayak

A happy test pilot trying out Cheryl’s kayak

Another day - another eagle

Another day – another eagle

Cobscook Bay State Park, Maine

Hello from Downeast Maine.

Hello from Downeast Maine.

In the last post I discussed the term Downeast Maine.  Well, go as far downeast as you can and you reach the area where the Maine and New Brunswick coasts, along with Campobello Island, meet.  This is where you will find Cobscook Bay.  Cobscook Bay is an inland bay fed by the tides of Passamaquoddy Bay and the Bay of Fundy.  Unlike Passamaquoddy Bay (20-30 foot tide range) and the Bay of Fundy (30-40 foot range) this bay has a more moderate average tide range of 24 feet.

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Cobscook Bay.

From many of the sites in the state park you can launch a kayak at just about any tide, and even at low tide the bay is navigable except for some of the smaller inlets and channels.  That’s why we are here.  That, and the large populations of bald eagles, harbor and grey seals, and numerous birds.

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Our own little sunrise paradise

Blue Heron on takeoff.

Harbor Seal

Harbor Seal

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle on Birch Island


Immature Loon

The name Cobscook is the Passamaquoddy name for “Boiling Tide”.  An apt name when you visit Reversing Falls.  A short drive to near Eastport, reportedly the eastermost city in the U.S., and a short walk down a rocky trail, took us to the falls.

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Seals fishing in the current below Reversing Falls.

The falls are created when the incoming, or outgoing, tide passes over a band of rocks in a channel.  The channel is several hundred feet across, with a gap on the far side that creates a series of rapids as the water rushes around the falls.  The falls roar for hours as the bay either fills or empties, followed by a short period of eerie quiet at slack tide, then back to roaring in the other direction.  Suffice it to say that it is hard to describe, but wonderful to watch, and you should go see it if you ever get the chance.

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Reversing Falls – nearing high tide.

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Rapids in the sluice at Reversing Falls

Reversing Falls are about 3 miles, by kayak, from the campground.  We will look into the possibility of kayaking out there later in the week.  Being able to launch at just about any tide level, gave us the opportunity for some early morning paddling while the fog was still sitting in the bay.

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Foggy morning view from the campsite towards the Sisters (Islands).

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Waiting for the sun.

One of the marvelous things about kayaking on the ocean, or ocean bays, is that the sounds, light, and surface conditions change constantly and every day is a new adventure.

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Sunrise from the campsite.

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Sunrise Visitor – Kingfisher

One of the campers at Cobscook, builds rock art sculptures and this sculpture, we dubbed “The Sea Nymph”, was still standing when we left after two weeks.

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The Sea Nymph.

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Cheryl, Ted, and the Nymph at low tide.

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the Nymph gets her feet wet twice a day.

Each day’s paddle in Cobscook Bay brought new delights.  I mean, really, how often does one get to watch eagles fishing.

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Eagle fishing at slack tide near Reversing Falls.

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Exploring one of the many coves of Cobscook Bay.

The bay is relatively unihabited, (it’s mostly State owned land) so there are numerous places to land and explore this beautiful coast.


“Connemara” (Cheryl’s Kayak) at a rest stop.

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Our young loon visited every day.

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Across the bay from the campsite.

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Our campsite from the kayak.

Just up the road a piece from the State Park there is a rail trail that runs from Dennysville to Machais, about 20 miles.  The surface is a bit rough for biking (It is mainly used as a snowmobile corridor), but we figured it would be nice for a short ride.  We rode about 10 miles, 20 round trip.

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Rail Trail

The trail meanders through woods and meadows, with numerous stream crossings and ponds, and some great old bridges.

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Flora along the trail

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Stream crossing.

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American Bridge Company of New York. – 1902

There’s more to come from our two weeks at Cobscook Bay State Park.

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Morning at Cobscook Bay.

Spring Visitors in NH

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sun-edged clouds

You can click on any of the pictures for a larger view.

the Whitehouse

It’s still cool enough for the woodstove, but Spring is definitely arriving.

The coming of spring brings blue skies, warming temperatures, and a transition from white to green.  The first to arrive are the birds.

Tom Turkey.  He's been around all winter, but looks dazzling in his spring finery

Tom Turkey. He’s been around all winter, but looks dazzling in his spring finery

Coopers Hawk - Hunting Doves and preparing a nest nearby.

Coopers Hawk – Hunting doves and preparing a nest nearby.

Indigo Bunting.  The first one we have seen in years.

Indigo Bunting. The first one we have seen in years.

The small critters show up next.  They have been denned up for the winter and
the warm weather brings them out.


Diving in for a Drink

Diving in for a Drink





Last of all come the Hibernators. (Amphibian and Mammalian).

Snapping Turtle in a local pond.

Snapping Turtle in a local pond.

Spring, and Thoughts of Love.

Spring, and Thoughts of Love.

We have taken down the winter birdfeeders, but the hungry bears still need to check to make sure.  This female showed up with her three yearling cubs.

Mamma Bear

Mamma Bear

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The cubs are very curious, but Mom is on the constantly alert

Did there used to be a birdfeeder here?

Did there used to be a birdfeeder here?

These cubs have been with their mother since late last winter and are just about ready to go out on their own.  Mom will soon shoo them out of her territory and be ready to mate again.  That’s probably why this male has been hanging around.  The female will not tolerate him around the cubs, but he usually shows up sniffing around an hour or so after the female and the cubs.

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First Visit.

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The male does not stick around long.

Second Visit.

Second Visit.

The Catwalk – Gila National Forest, New Mexico

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Catwalk gila sign

Whitewater Canyon, carved over millions of years by Whitewater Creek is now the home of the Catwalk National Recreation Trail.  In the 1880’s the mining town of Graham stood at the mouth of the canyon.  The mill required electricity and a 4″ pipeline was constructed through the canyon around 1883, often clinging to the canyon walls 20 feet above the creek, to provide water for the town and an electric generator.  A larger pipeline was constructed in 1887, but today’s Catwalk Trail follows the route of the original 4″ pipeline. The town only survived for 10 years, but many of the mines up the canyon were worked into the 1940s. The CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) first built the Catwalk Trail in the 1930 and it was improved by the Forest Service in 1960 and has been repaired after flooding several times. The Catwalk was designated an National Recreation Trail in 1978.

Entrance sign to catwalkIt is doubtful that any of the original ironwork is used in the current trail, but evidence, including rusted bolts, hangars, and supports carved into the rock, is easy to find.  CatwalkThe first half mile of the trail consists of evenly graded pathways and the wide steel grating with waist high walls that is universally accessible. The second half is more rugged and several bridges, one made of the old 18″ pipe, and one a swaying suspension bridge, cross the canyon.

Hanging out at the river

Catwalk again

Things are lookin up

Things are lookin’ up

It’s a fun place to hike and I loved seeing the creative ways the catwalk is supported on the widely varying rock walls of the canyon.  We reached the end of the trail and found that Trail # 207 continued up Whitewater CreeK.  Of course we did that.

Some gila hikes

Trail #207 is a pretty hike alternating from expansive views up the canyon to lush forest along the creek bed.  I’m sure it’s only several hundred feet of elevation gain total, but if you add up all the ups and downs it’s a hefty hike of a couple of miles.

The canyon wall

Above the catwalk

Farther along the trail

There was not much to see for wildlife on the hike…only this guy.

A big beauty

Nose to toes to tail
Desert Spiny Lizard, one of the largest we have ever seen. (7″ – 8″ long)


Blacktailed rattlesnake edited 2Black Tailed Rattlesnake.

Another view of blacktail

The markings

Cheryl, leading on the trail, came uncomfortably close to the snake; close enough that he gave her a verbal warning as he slithered off the trail into a small bush.  We (humans, that is) are very lucky that rattlesnakes prefer not to be in human company and are much better at sensing our presence than we are of theirs.  The snake did not slither under the bush, it actually climbed up into the bush. We figure the snake was about 30″ long.  Note the wide head which is characteristic of Pit Viper venomous snakes, and the muscular body.  It was a beautiful and surprisingly tough looking critter.  Unfortunately we could not get a good picture of the rattles, we’ll go looking for another one…Right!

Ted on bridge

Suspension Bridge

The name, Catwalk, comes from the miners that had to walk along the 4″ suspended pipeline to perform the near constant maintenance it required.  They also used it for easier access from Graham to the up canyon mines.

More walkway

If you’re ever in the area of Glenwood, NM  I recommend you go see the Catwalk, even if you think you might not be interested in walking it.  It’s a fascinating structure to see and you might surprise yourself as the first part is pretty tame.


art therapy in India

Winter in the Desert, Summer in the Mtns

Sharing our love of America's Natural Wonders


Sharing our love of America's Natural Wonders