Back To Nature!! – Thursday – June 20, 2013

Bill and I have spent the last four days driving the interstate highways to get to Maine and we're in desperate need of a major nature fix!!  We found what we needed without driving more than 9 miles total today:o))

Our plan -  to visit The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve which includes Laudholm Farm an amazing public/private volunteer preservation project. 

Our campground is located in the lower left of this map, The Wells Reserve is in the center and Rachel Carson NWR is located in the upper right.  Yep, it was only 4.5 miles from the campground to the NWR…our kind of driving day;o))
00 - Map of Day
To get this day off to a special start, we decided to get a REAL breakfast!!
If you look very closely at the map, right where Rt 1 and Rt 9 split,
there is a local diner which was featured on the TV show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives;o))
01a - Maine Diner - Sign 01c - Maine Diner - Diners Drive-ins and Dives 01b - Maine Diner - Building
Bill had the omelet and potato breakfast and I had to get Blueberry Pancakes… We’re in MAINE!!
01d - Maine Diner - Inside small 01e - Maine Diner - Bills' food 01f - Maine Diner - Nancy's food
Once we were totally stuffed, it was time to walk it off!!
Our first stop,
The refuge is made up of many separate divisions, all marked in brown. 
We visited the Upper Wells Division which is the headquarters.
(click on any photo to enlarge)
02b - Rachel Carson - photo
“Rachel Carson was a world-renowned marine biologist, author and environmentalist who served as an aquatic biologist and editor-in-chief for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. She has been credited with launching the contemporary environmental movement and awakening the concern of Americans for the environment.”
We spent some time in the small visitor center learning about Rachel Louise Carson.
02b2 - Rachel Carson Bio
  02c - Rachel Carson - Silent Spring
02d - Rachel Carson - contribution
Be sure to click on the website link above or click HERE
to find out more about this amazing woman.
Next we walked the 1 mile Nature Trail.
02a - Rachel Carson NatureTrail Map
It is a beautiful, well-maintained trail with 11 descriptive stations along the way.
02e2b - Rachel Carson Nature Trail
About midway along the trail,
 there is a plaque which marks the spot the dedication program took place.
“…all the life of the planet is interrelated …each species has its own ties to others, AND …all are related to the earth.  This is the theme of ‘The Sea Around Us’ and the other sea books and it is also the message of ‘Silent Spring.’”
This is the view from the dedication spot.02e4 - Rachel Carson Nature Trail
It was a wonderful walk!!
02e6 - Rachel Carson Thank you
 I wish I could say “Thank you” to Rachel Carson :o)

Our next stop,

(click on any photo to enlarge)
03a2 - The Wells Reserve why it is important
03b1 - The Wells Reserve and Landholm Farms description03b2 - The Wells Reserve and Landholm Farms description03b3 - The Wells Reserve and Landholm Farms description

The old farmhouse has been restored and is maintained mainly by volunteers!!

It serves as the visitor center for The Wells Reserve.03d - The Farmhouse outside

Each downstairs room has wonderful displays about the farm and the estuaries.03e - The Farmhouse inside education displays

Be sure to click on the link above or click HERE to learn more about the Reserve and the Farm.

I just love old screen doors that bang when they close:o))
03f - The Farmhouse inside screen door
Next it was time to get outside again and enjoy this beautiful day!!
There are seven miles of hiking trails on the property.03c - The Trails
It was suggested that we walk the Knight Trail up the hill to the highest view on the property.  Then continue to the Barrier Beach Trail and walked along the beach to the inlet where endangered Piping Plovers have built a nest.  Then we would back-track and walk the Laird-Norton Trail, a boardwalk trail, which connects with the Cart Path returning us to the Barn and Outbuildings.

So off we went, through the fields and up the hill… 
 03g - Knight Trail - up the hill
Yes, this is Bill’s tribute to The Sound of Music;o))

I’m not sure the hills were alive with the sound of music, but they were alive with flowers!!
03g1 - Knight Trail - flowers03g2 - Knight Trail - flowers03g4 - Knight Trail - flowers03g3 - Knight Trail - flowers03g5 - Knight Trail - flowers03g6 - Knight Trail - flowers

At the top of the hill there is 'Mary's Bench'
which is a memorial to Mary Lord Kline who lived most of her life on this farm.
03h - Knight Trail - top of hill Mary's Bench

As the plaque says, I sat on the bench and could see the 3 houses where Mary lived:o) 03h2 - Knight Trail - view froml Mary's Bench

We continued along Knight Trail and hung a right on Barrier Beach Trail.03j - Barrier Beach Trail - sign

We passed through the Salt Marsh to the beach access.
03i - Knight Trail - past the salt marsh 03j - Barrier Beach Trail - Beach Access

So this is what they mean by the Rocky Coast of Maine!!
Looking South                                         Looking North
03k - Barrier Beach Trail - rocky coast south 03l - Barrier Beach Trail - rocky coast north

(click on any photo to enlarge)

The Dunes are very different from the Sand Dunes we are familiar with.03m - Barrier Beach Trail - rocky dunes

We continued north along the beach to the inlet,
 searching for the Piping Plover nest.
03n - Barrier Beach Trail - inlet - endangered piping plover area

We never found the nest,
but we did see a Piping Plover:o))
03o - Barrier Beach Trail - endangered piping plover

Next, we back-tracked on the Barrier Beach Trail to connect with the Laird-Norton Trail
which is a boardwalk trail through different habitats.03p - Laird-Norton BoardwalkTrail -

It was a beautiful stroll back to the farm.
03q - Laird-Norton BoardwalkTrail - ferns03t - Laird-Norton BoardwalkTrail - large tree fungus03s - Laird-Norton BoardwalkTrail - iris03r - Laird-Norton BoardwalkTrail - geese

The Barn
03v - Laird-Norton BoardwalkTrail - barn

Water Tower and Storage Buildings
03w - Laird-Norton BoardwalkTrail - water tower and out buildings

Another perfect hike to reconnect with nature!!03x - a wonderful place to visit

It was mid-afternoon by the time we got back to the campground. 

We just chilled until after dinner when Bill decided he wanted ice cream;o)

So we walked into town to an ice cream shop we had passed on our way home.

Along the way, we found some interesting things…
Never heard of a “Self Dog Wash” ?!?!
04a - After Dinner walk - dog sign

We passed this unique shop.
04b - After Dinner walk - copper weathervanes

The copper just glistened in the sun!!
04b2 - After Dinner walk - copper weathervanes

As we walked, we could hear a bagpipe in the distance. 

We knew we were walking towards the sound.

Then we saw a man walking through this old graveyard
playing Amazing Grace on his bagpipe.

04b3 - After Dinner walk - bagpiper in cemetary

Finally, we got to the Seaberry Ice Cream Shop.04b4 - After Dinner walk - Seaberry Ice Cream

At first, we didn’t think is was open.

There were no cars in the parking lot and no customers inside;o(

We tried the door and walked in to find a group of young people waiting to help us:o))
04b5 - After Dinner walk - Seaberry Ice Cream
Turns out, this is a brand new shop… Yep, you could still smell the fresh paint;o))

They had just opened for the first time an hour earlier.

We were their FIRST customers!!!

Unfortunately, my camera battery died just as we got our ice cream.

We promise…

It was the perfect ending to a wonderful day:o)))


  1. What a great tour! Maine is definitely on our list..just don't know when :)

  2. Blueberry pancakes? No, no NO! You're in Maine, you're supposed to eat Lobster (Lobstah) pancakes!!!

    So nice to see you're having a wonderful time out in nature and not having to worry about running into gators... :cD

  3. Looks like a beautiful day to enjoy the outdoors! Mmmmm blueberry pancakes are my favorite!

  4. Thank you so much for the great information here about both these places. The Rachel Carson NWR is high on my list but I didn't know about the Wells Reserve. Now how to find a reasonably priced campground so I can go check on kayaking there. You didn't mention the ice cream flavors. :-(( The shop looks terrific. Love the colors! You just had my kind of day. Thanks for taking me a long. Rachel Carson has been a heroine of mine since I was in High School and her book first came out.

  5. You've found great breakfasts and I've cream already! Next up: lobstah :)
    Loved following your day. Stay safe.

  6. Darn spell check! That should be Ice cream.

  7. What a great day! I love your pictures!

  8. As usual, you two really know how to get the most joy out of each day. Thanks for sharing. See you soon!

  9. All I can say is WoW, what a fabulous day. You guys find the best places to go. Our bucket list just continues to grow..........

  10. We hope to take the motor home to Maine some day. We will probably use your posts as a guide when we do. Thanks for the preview!