Maine outdoors begins right off our doorsteps

Posted Dec. 04, 2012, at 9:43 a.m.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Winter!

What a great week it’s been. Several photo outings went well, meaning a few subjects were found, a little exploring done, and a large measure of the great Maine outdoors consumed.

An outing to Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge offered a few really nice opportunities. The alder catkins were lit just right to add to my library. I’ve been trying to capture a tree sparrow image for nearly two years. Sparrows are tough to identify … especially with my eyes! I settled for picturing every sparrow that I saw, then working on the identification issue upon upload to my big screen. The yellow lower mandible is the key identification feature. I finally got my tree sparrow picture displaying the yellow lower mandible prominently.

After a mile and a half hike out to one of the marsh overlooks, I suddenly realized that a dark image across the brook was a large bull moose. I get focused at times like this. There was another large antler just barely visible above the sedge. As I began shooting with the Canon, I became aware that there was a third moose.

What a spectacular sighting of such a majestic animal. I’ve been a lot closer to moose and obtained clearer and sharper images, but these have captured a special memory for me.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is a magical place.”

I-95 in Hampden offered the red-tailed hawk photo … my first of this proud bird. The pine grosbeaks have been visiting the cherry trees at the Lyle Littlefield Ornamental Garden at the University of Maine campus in Orono They are a lot of fun to watch.

On the Penobscot River just below Costigan I found a raft of goldeneye ducks. I’m always happy to see them arrive.

Right in my own backyard, this gray squirrel provided lots of entertainment trying to extract seeds from this pumpkin. I cut a two-inch hole in the pumpkin’s side, then watched as the squirrels chewed a larger hole, then started entering to get the seeds.

The wonderful Maine outdoors begins right off our doorsteps.


Checkout this special Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge gallery on my website.