The Maine
An artful dialogue about the wonders of the state.

Everyone Loves The Beach

Overheard In Portland

Woman #1:
“I can’t believe that she even dated someone who doesn’t like the beach.”

Woman #2:
“Does she really like going to the beach?”

Woman #1:

Woman #2:
“He doesn’t.”

Woman #1:
“That’s my point–he is the exception.”

(Overheard by JR on Temple Street)

The Bluffs, Bar Harbor, Maine; November 18, 2014 (Beachcombing series No.85)

photographs and text by Jennifer Steen Booher

The Bluff, Bar Harbor, Maine; November 18, 2014

Polypropylene rope, sea glass, driftwood, beach stones (basalt, granite, schist?), Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis), crab claws (prob. Cancer borealis), Periwinkle (Littorina sp.), wire, Dog Whelk (Nucella lapillus), Waved Whelk (Buccinum undatum), Green Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus drobachiensis), Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus), Rockweed (Fucus vesiculosus), pottery fragment, rusted metal with Northern Rock Barnacle (Semibalanus balanoides)

It was 36ºF when I hit the beach around 1pm. The sky was overcast but every now and then the sun would peek through the clouds. Of course, every now and then a few stray snowflakes would fall, too, as if the weather were trying for an overall balance of some kind. This is one of my favorite beaches – I almost always find some interesting stones and a few good pieces of sea glass, in addition to the usual crab shells, dog whelks, and periwinkles. I also find a lot of trash mixed into the deep piles of seaweed on the high tide line. You can kind of see those piles at the far right of the photo below – there’s a section of paler stones high up on the shore (paler because they are fully dried), and that yellowish-brown strip is an accumulation of seaweed about a foot deep.


I use a grocery bag for beachcombing; after 2 hours on the beach it was about 1/4 full of my finds. The rest is garbage:


It was a very good day for sea glass:




and buoys (eventually I’ll try to return them to their owners.)


and rocks:


I think these are Rough Periwinkle (Littorina saxatilis), but I’m still kind of unclear on how to tell L. saxatilis and L. littorea apart. Every time I think I’ve got it, I find a shell with characteristics of both.



A couple of Herring Gulls were diving for crabs just off shore. Made me glad I brought my big camera with the big lens!




Photo Foul-Up As Forest Fire

photograph by John Ames

©John Ames

Hard Up

an excerpt from Maine Lingo: Boiled Owls, Billdads, & Wazzats by John Gould

HARD UP: To be up against it, but not quite a pauper. When you get so hard up you have to call on (for town aid), you no longer have your head above water. It also means a last-ditch conjecture: “I’d have to be awful hard up to make a pass at her!”

Making Holiday Candy with Felicia Buck in Aroostook County

text and photographs by Sharon Kitchens of Delicious Musings




Can you believe we are already one week into December?!  Time for Americans to consume a ridiculous amount of desserts. These are not your everyday convenience store bought treats, but rarer homemade ones like fruitcake made by your great-aunt and fudge by a friend from farming country way up in northern Maine.

Felicia Buck is married to Brent, a 2nd generation potato farmer who has run Buck Farms with his two brothers since 1998. They live in Mapleton in the heart of Maine’s potato country.  Growing up Felicia’s father hated Christmas. “He loved the music and cooking,” she said. “He hated giving gifts, decorating, shopping, and did not want to do Christmas cards. He grew up very poor, so they did not have a lot and Christmas didn’t mean the same when you could not give gifts.” Her mother loved Christmas, and because Felicia’s father liked the food part, Felicia said her mother always made sure there were all kinds of treats. “If there was a school thing we’d make the sugar cookies, the hard candy, go around caroling and deliver food to the neighbors,” she said. “Now a days people don’t do that as much.”

With the help of her friends Darcey, Kelly, Bethany, and Heather she has created a new holiday tradition making irresistible treats.  For the past five years, Felicia has opened up her home for a day of candy making.  Last year I joined the group’s sugariest and had a ball.

The following recipes from Felicia (Hubbard) Buck are meant for you to enjoy in private (that’s right!) or share with your co-workers or family. Fa la la la la, la la la la… sugar rush here we come!!!

Hard Candy – LorAnn Oils Regular Batch
**You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe.

2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
¾ cup water
1 tsp LorAnn Gourmet Flavoring (flavor selection here online and you might be able to find in a drug store or Walmart)
½ tsp liquid food coloring
Powdered sugar

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in 2-quart saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to a boil without stirring. When syrup temperature reaches 260, add color. Do not stir; boiling action will incorporate color into syrup. Remove from heat at 300 or when drops of syrup form hard, brittle threads in cold water. After boiling action ceases, stir in flavoring. Avoid rising steam when stirring. Pour syrup into lightly oiled candy molds or only greased cookie sheet and score with knife to form bite-size pieces. When cool, break into pieces and dust with powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Will keep a few months if stored in an airtight container with confectioners sugar.

Felicia’s notes:
• If you want to create purple try mixing blue and red, but for a real purple you will need to buy purple food coloring.
• The flavors are intense, and when added to the pot it turns into a strong enough vapor that you will probably want to open a window or two.
• Use old cookie sheets you don’t care about as they will get scratched up. Mark the bottom of each “candy” pan with an “x” or store with holiday decorations so they are easy to find.
• Really butter the sheets or the candy will stick to them.
• If you can, take the sheet or molds into the garage or onto the porch where cool air will help facilitate the cutting process by making the candy cool and thus harden faster.
• Use a pizza cutter, not a knife, when first scoring during the cooling process.
• Dip the pizza cutter in butter so it will not stick.
• Simplify the powdered sugar process by having a bowl of confectioners sugar ready to toss the broken pieces into.
• If gifting and/or just for your own purposes, separate the different flavored candy into Ziploc bags – otherwise one flavor might take on another flavor. If this is not an issue for you, disregard.


Felicia’s Turtles
12 ounces (or smaller bag) of unwrapped soft caramels, cut in half
6 oz (about 1.5 cups) toasted pecan halves
5 ounce bag Hershey Kisses

Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place pecan halves flat side down in rows. Place one (half) piece caramel on each. Cook six minutes at 350. Remove from oven and immediately place a Hershey Kiss on top of each. Let cool.

No Fail Chocolate Fudge from Felicia’s friend Heidi Currier who got it from a member of her church – Felicia’s daughters’ favorite holiday treat
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 Tbsp butter
1 2/3 cup sugar – Felicia prefers Domino vs. store brands
½ tsp salt
2 cups marshmallows
1 ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate bits
½ cup nuts

Mix evaporated milk, butter, sugar, and salt in sauce pan and let boil for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Take away from the heat and add marshmallows. Stir until melted and then add chocolate bits and add nuts. Pour into 8 inch greased pan.
Put in fridge to harden so you can cut up. Will keep 2-3 weeks covered in fridge.

And, while you’re at it…homemade peanut butter cups – because the only thing that might be as good as nuts/chocolate and whiskey is chocolate and nuts (ground or not). **Recipe on card in last picture.



Mail Art Gift Subscription

mail art designed and sent by Margaret Rizzio


Each month, a piece of original mail art will be sent to the person of your choice (think of it as buying someone a subscription to the mail). The Mail art will be created from a special collection of unique prints, vintage ephemera and other found materials, a piece will be sent out every week or every other week, for as many months as you like, depending on which option you choose:

Option #1
A piece of mail art sent every week for one month
4 pieces @ $30 per month including postage


Option #2
A piece of mail art sent every other week for one month
2 pieces @$18 per month including postage


If you are interested let me know the gender, approximate age, and address of the person receiving the mail. Also let me know what option you would like and for how long. Please email with any other questions.

Check out past mailings on The Maine.


Please Make Checks out to Margaret Rizzio and send them to:
Margaret Rizzio
12 Main St Apt #8
Camden, ME, 04843


What better present than a weekly visual treat in the mail!

Happy Holidays,

Coasta Maine

photo, text, and coffee by Dan Dishner

Coffee On The Porch

A sneak peak in the roasting drum at all the action.

Coffee On The Porch

Thank you all for patiently waiting and cheering us on. Enjoy the day. — D

A nice medium roast with a foundation of beans from Costa Rica. This is a smooth cup of coffee with just enough bite to make the cream and sugar lovers happy. Welcome to the Coasta Maine.

Spring Sailing 11/23

text and photographs by Bill Buchholtz

Editor’s note: Although originally posted by the Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club in late November, we felt today’s weather warranted a repost here on The Maine. Stay tuned for more updates from the CIBC as the ice thickens — we hope!

Lloyd Roberts can’t remember ever sailing this early in the season, nearly a week before Thanksgiving, and he has a looooong memory. The pond probably skimmed over last Wednesday, was discovered on Thursday, checked Friday and then sailed yesterday and today. And now it’s done. We barely got off with dry feet as the launch area was breaking up because of the concentrated weight of boats and people at the end of the day. The ice was still 2.5″, but was quickly going to pencils. It became so flexible that if two people were standing side by side it would begin to dish and fill with water.

Speaking of water, Jim Matthews found one of the holes we had marked yesterday.


Lloyd, dressed in his dry suit and still recovering from heart surgery, scootched in to get a line around the airborne runner. It took him a minute, just enough time for the ice to slowly stretch under his weight before breaking. We used his line to haul him out and he found that he was completely dry except for a couple of wet toes. As often happens, the wind prevented us from rolling the boat out of the hole, so we took down the rig and used the mast to lever the plank up and out. Here, Jim Gagnon hauls from the bow after Jim Matthews flipped the bow runner up over the edge.

Jim had been informed of the hazzard locations, but the lesson here is that once you’ve been told where the bad spots are, go out and find them. Plot them on your mental map of the lake and update your location relative to the hazzards continuously. Thankfully it was fifty degrees outside and there was no harm done. We saw this exercise more as a pre-season drill than a rescue operation. Thanks to Jim for providing us with an excellent learning opportunity. Two of the three boats that came to help were carrying throw lines. Is there one in your boat?


Bart Chapin had his maiden sail with Yellowbird, ditto with Jory’s new rig. The Icy/Whizz sailed beautifully, and combined with work Jory’s done on the steering and upholstery, ICW is a whole new boat. He’s got Red Herring in his sights! Bart was so excited to sail today that he left home at 5:30 for the two hour drive to Plymouth, arriving there first.


Lloyd continues his fascination with Cheapskate this year. We wonder if we’ll ever again see Cool Tool…


Doug Raymond arrived right after Bart and said that the runners ran absolutely silent until the ice began to soften at around 10:00. But even then the little zippering was only in the surface and we pushed our luck until about 1:00. Oddly enough the wind held all morning and was still blowing as Jory was wading out for the last of his gear.


Stand by for the next round of Black Ice! Commodore Fortier still wants to hold the Linc Davis Regatta while we’re still in 2014.


The Chickawaukee Ice Boat Club was founded in the early sixties by Warner St. Clair and Paul Wolter to promote the building, racing and cruising of iceboats by. Lloyd Roberts entered the scene in the eighties and has been a driving force in the club ever since, co-authoring with St. Clair the definitive DN manual “Think Ice”. Building and racing DN’s were originally what the club was about. We built our boats and trophies, organized regattas, and sent the best sailors to regional and nation races. We still run a few regattas each season, but cruising and touring have become the dominante activity. We offer prizes for one hundred miles sailed in one day, and for exceeding sixty miles per hour.