Articles by Robert F. Bukaty

A chipping sparrow gathering nest building materials tugs on loose threads from strips of clothing hung on a garden pole in Freeport, Maine.

Freeport backyard a bird watcher’s paradise

By Robert F. Bukaty on July 12, 2013, at 5:34 a.m.
It seems every time I go out into my backyard I come across another songbird nest. The first to move in were the robins, the subject of a Maine Frame photo essay a few weeks ago. They built a nest under the roof of my shed. Apparently …
Christy Gardner practices shooting a hockey puck in her driveway as her service dog, Moxie, looks on Thursday, June 13, 2013, in Lewiston, Maine.

Lewiston veteran earns USA Hockey’s Disabled Athlete of the Year award after doctors said she’d never play sports again

By Robert F. Bukaty on June 28, 2013, at 5:23 a.m.
Army veteran Christy Gardner was recently named by USA Hockey as 2013 Disabled Athlete of the Year. Gardner, 31, plays for the U.S. Women’s Sled Hockey Team and also for the USA Warriors, a team made up of mostly male amputees. Gardner, 31, of Lewiston, suffered a …
Dan Seymour, of Standish, and his son, Daniel, 11, pose in traditional Indian dress at the Metis of Maine annual pow-wow, Saturday, June 8, 2013, in Dayton.

Mixed blood pow wow in Dayton celebrates native American heritage

By Robert F. Bukaty on June 18, 2013, at 6:11 a.m.
The Métis Eastern Tribal Indian Society of Maine gathered last weekend for their annual pow-wow on the society’s land in York County. The mixed-blood group, which formed in 2003, has roughly 400 members who have at least a trace of native American ancestry. The pow-wow was a …
Lester Noyes travels down Route 88 in his 1929 Model A Ford station wagon, commonly known as a Woody, Sunday, June 2, 2013, in Falmouth, Maine. Noyes is part of a group of antique car enthusiasts who assemble for outings most Sundays, leaving Skillins Nursery in Falmouth, at 8 a.m.

Sunday drive with antique car lovers and a Model T reunion

By Robert F. Bukaty on June 11, 2013, at 5:38 a.m.
FALMOUTH | Back in 1952, when Nathan Brackett was just a sophomore in high school, he bought a run-down 1920 Ford Model T. He paid $60. Then he set about restoring the automobile with his father. Most of the work was done to keep the car looking like its …
A robin prepares to feed its chicks in Freeport, Maine.

Making friends with the robins in my backyard

By Robert F. Bukaty on June 07, 2013, at 5:38 a.m.
FREEPORT | Each spring, robins were my grandfather’s constant companion. He would toss worms to them while working in his garden. The birds would pick up his offering and fly back to their nest above the neighbor’s porch.  He’d swear it was the same couple that was there the …
Veteran deckhand Jenny Baxter, 24, waits for the signal to start lowering a sailing on the schooner Mary Day, off the coast of Rockport, Maine.

Schooner Mary Day sports all-female crew

By Robert F. Bukaty on May 31, 2013, at 5:49 a.m.
ON PENOBSCOT BAY | Wendi Liebl always dreamed about living on a sailboat, but after two long days of hoisting sails and stacking heavy anchor chain in spats of foul weather, she admitted it could be tough. “I kept thinking, I wanted to work outside, closer to nature,” she …
Racers trudge through "Got Mud," one of more than 20 obstacles in the Into The Mud Challenge, Sunday, April 28, 2013, in Gorham, Maine.

Into The Mud Challenge good, dirty fun for racers

By Robert F. Bukaty on May 03, 2013, at 5:29 a.m.
GORHAM | Lots of people enter road races — and most even have a good time running on pavement — but if you really want to have fun racing, consider entering a mud race. More than 1,000 people did just that on Sunday, competing in the third annual Into …
Tony Ricciardi, of Yarmouth, Maine, dressed as a Yeti, skims successfully across the pond to win the annual pond skimming competition, Sunday, April 7, 2013, at the Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, Maine.

Thrills, spills and chills at Sunday River

By Robert F. Bukaty on April 09, 2013, at 5:30 a.m.
NEWRY | The announcer joked that they had filled the pond with warm water, but the truth was that it was so cold on Sunday morning they had to clear a layer of ice before they could kick off the pond-skimming competition, an annual end-of-the-season crowd-pleaser at the Sunday …
Rock Coast Roller Erin Darnell, aka "Iron Orchid," of Rockland, wears war paint for a bout against the Port Authorities, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland. "I wear it because it gives me strength and power when I need it most," she said.

Hell on eight wheels: Roller derby bout combines endurance, balance and mayhem

By Robert F. Bukaty on March 15, 2013, at 5:41 a.m.
PORTLAND | Hundreds of fans packed the Happy Wheels roller rink last Saturday to watch a flat track roller derby bout between the Port Authorities of Portland and the Rock Coast Rollers of Rockland. The sport is a combination of high-speed skating and tactical moves with a lot of …
Emil Husson of the Stratton Mountain School of Vermont slams a gate in the Eastern Cup Super G, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2012, at Sugarloaf.

Steep, fast and long — Sugarloaf’s Narrow Gauge putting Olympic hopeful skiers to the test

By Robert F. Bukaty on Feb. 08, 2013, at 5:28 a.m.
CARRABASSETT VALLEY | In the Northeast there’s only one ski trail steep enough, fast enough and long enough to be sanctioned as an official downhill venue: Sugarloaf’s fabled Narrow Gauge. Last week, 100 of the East’s hottest young skiers put the trail to the test in a series of …
The tip jar at Market House in Portland.

Tip jars: Message in the bottle

By Robert F. Bukaty on Feb. 01, 2013, at 5:38 a.m.
PORTLAND | They make a lot of coffee and they make a lot of sandwiches, but the folks behind the counter probably aren’t making a lot of money. One sign of “counter intelligence” is an interesting tip jar. A humorous note attached to the jar almost always tips the …
Josh Turner uses the tip of his chain saw to add detail to a bear sculpted from a pine log Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, in Topsham.

Topsham artist carves out his living — with a chain saw

By Robert F. Bukaty on Jan. 22, 2013, at 6:26 a.m.
Josh Turner was still in elementary school when he first created art from a log. “For a sixth grade school project, I had my dad run the saw down a pine log and I turned it into a canoe.  That was my first carving,” said Turner, 31, …
Lil Stewart's excited sled dogs are restrained from taking off early as the team moves into position at the start of a race held by the New England Sled Dog Club at Sunset Ridge Golf Course in Westbrook on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013.

Sled dog season kicks off with howling start in Westbrook

By Robert F. Bukaty on Jan. 08, 2013, at 9:32 a.m.
The sound of the howling hounds made it seem like the Sunset Ridge Golf Club was hosting a fox hunt, not sled dogs races. Where were the thick-furred Alaskan huskies? It turns out mushers who compete in sprint races have learned long ago that by breeding the …
Iman Lizarazu — a world-class entertainer, juggler, physical comedian and visual artist — performs during a Phyzkidz show, on Thursday, Dec. 27. 2012, at Space Gallery in Portland.

For Phyzgig Vaudeville, the show must go on

By Robert F. Bukaty on Dec. 30, 2012, at 7:34 p.m.
PORTLAND  — A fierce winter storm forced the cancellation of almost everything yesterday – but not Phyzgig. The Vaudeville festival after all is show business, where the motto is: “The show must go on!” About two-dozen people braved the weather to catch the first show, Phyzkidz, a performance geared toward …
Marty the Pint-Sized Party goes airborne just as the Bronx Thug rolls safely out of the way during a match Saturday, Dec. 15, at Club Texas in Auburn.

30 years later, ‘still having fun’ as midget wrestling referee

By Robert F. Bukaty on Dec. 22, 2012, at 11:18 a.m.
AUBURN | Thirty years ago somebody asked Joe Goin if he would like to be a wrestler. “I was 18 years old and a senior in high school when I started. I had seen midget wrestling on TV, and being in a small town [in North Carolina] I didn’t …

Commune with nature at Robinson Woods preserve

By Robert F. Bukaty on Dec. 06, 2012, at 6:06 a.m.
CAPE ELIZABETH | Looking for a place to commune with nature? Check out Robinson Woods, a 145-acre preserve located on Shore Road, just a few miles from downtown Portland. The nature preserve, which features many trees that have been around longer than the United States, nearly doubled in size …
At Longfellow Square a tree wrapped in blue lights frames a statue of the poet Thursday morning, Nov. 29, 2012, in Portland.

Stop and look at the Christmas lights in Portland

By Robert F. Bukaty on Nov. 30, 2012, at 6:10 a.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — It’s hard not be a distracted driver in Portland these days, now that the city’s dazzling holiday lights are on display. In fact, there are so many illuminated ornaments hanging along Congress Street that it can be easy for a motorist to miss the traffic signals. The …
Eighth-graders (from left) Kiana Letourneau, Emma King and Cassidy Quint cheer the Bulldogs at the state championship game Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

School spirit strong at state championship football game

By Robert F. Bukaty on Nov. 19, 2012, at 7:17 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — There is nothing like a state championship football game to bring out the school spirit and nowhere was that more evident than on the sunny side of Fitzpatrick Stadium on Saturday afternoon. That’s where the fans of the undefeated Lawrence Bulldogs packed the bleachers. They were on …
Brian Adams, 42, stands on the corner of State Street and Park Avenue. Adams, who lives with his fiancee and their three children on Munjoy Hill, lost his job as mason. "I went and filled out all the applications that I could everywhere [for work] and it's just to the point now where everything is off the bus line, so I have to supplement my searching for a job with actually bringing in some money, so this is the only way that I could do it without feeling like I'€™m hurting anybody or violating anybody's space. I choose the non-aggressive approach. I like to stand here, just asking for Christian help. No where on my sign does it say give me money, it just says 'need help' and it's up to that individual person on whether they want to stop and give me any money or not. So as far as that goes I believe I'€™m covered under my civil rights because I'€™m not aggressively hurting anybody, going at anybody in any way. I'm just standing here asking for help which is the free speech through the written word."

Asking for help on a street corner

By Robert F. Bukaty on Nov. 08, 2012, at 3:08 p.m.
PORTLAND | Asking for help is never easy, but for Brian Adams, it beats the alternative. “You know when people have tough times people will go out and take things that don’t belong to them,” said Adams, 42, an unemployed mason who lives on Munjoy Hill with his fiancee …
A full moon rises over a house of jack-o'-lanterns glowing during the Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Festival on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 in Freeport. Organizers had set a goal of 10,000 jack-o'-lanterns to raise money for Camp Sunshine, a retreat in Casco for kids with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Freeport illuminated with light from thousands of jack-o’-lanterns

By Robert F. Bukaty on Oct. 29, 2012, at 11:51 a.m.
Thousands of jack-o’-lanterns lined Main Street and covered a small building during the 10th annual Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Festival on Saturday night at L.L.Bean. Each of the pumpkins were sponsored for $10, in an effort to raise $100,000 for the retreat in Casco for children with life-threatening …