The timing for our three week vacation in Maine was fortuitous as we hit the peak of autumn color while pursuing lobsters along the coast, and visiting our daughter and family in Brunswick.

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The great wave of fall foliage color, so loved by calendar photographers of quaint New England villages, has its beginning usually in the far northeast corner of Maine and sweeps, over a month’s time, southward to Washington DC and beyond. Once freezing temperatures hit, it isn’t long before the leaves drop and the peeping season is over. Our days were generally warm and sunny so our cameras were busy recording the dazzle that so impressed us.

But let’s back up a bit because our intent really was to hang out along the Atlantic coast and laze around for a while before exploring the far eastern reaches of the state. Then we planned to drive along the eastern border with Canada up to the very north part of Maine. This land was partly settled by French speaking Acadians, expelled centuries ago from eastern Canadian provinces by the British.

After an overnight red-eye flight from SanFrancisco to Portland, we had some hours with our daughter and her family before settling right away into our seaside cottage in the diffuse hamlet of Harpswell, on a neck of land south of Brunswick.

Christina, Michael and Aiden

Christina, Michael and Aiden

Here’s a look around the “center” of Harpswell.

City limits of Harpswell, founded in 1758

City limits of Harpswell, founded in 1758

"Downtown" Harpswell

“Downtown” Harpswell

The church

The church

The cemetery

The cemetery

Here we stayed for a week. Eva was in heaven. You can see why from the setting of our cottage.

Our cottage for a week which overlooks Middle Bay, south of Brunswick

Our cottage for a week which overlooks Middle Bay, south of Brunswick

Front view

Front view

We both couldn’t resist sitting on the Adirondack chairs as the sun set over the bay, and daily watching the ebb and flow of the strong tides.

Eva in a state of bliss

Eva in a state of bliss

Bob messing with his iPad

Bob messing with his iPad

Because we were so remotely located and far from restaurants we fixed most of our meals in this rustic kitchen.

The rustic kitchen

The rustic kitchen

Eva had vacationed in these parts the past two summers and wanted to show me some of her favorite places.

One morning we went hiking in the forest, always on the alert for dangerous moose. Because of very thin soil in these parts, tree roots have little place to grow except over and around each other. This makes hiking a bit of a challenge.

A park trail

A park trail

One day we met our friends, Nancy and Mac, for a seafood lunch right at the water’s edge.

Post office and tiny restaurant

Post office and tiny restaurant

Then we got a look at where lobsters are brought in and held in tanks of seawater until shipped away to market.

Lobster tank with flowing seawater. Lobsters are in plastic boxes fresh from a boat.

Lobster tank with flowing seawater. Lobsters are in plastic boxes fresh from a boat.

Here’s a big rather unhappy fellow.

A feisty one

A feisty one

Also haddock fish, frozen on board ship are thawed in seawater and shipped right away to wholesalers and stores.

Haddock frozen on board the fishing boat are thawed and sent right away to local markets.

Haddock frozen on board the fishing boat are thawed and sent right away to local markets.

All this prepared us for a visit to a traditional Maine ice cream parlor.

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So many choices.

Maine ice cream is the best.

Maine ice cream is the best.

We sat on the dock licking our cones while watching boats come and go.

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Later that day Nancy and Mac took us on a ride around Boothbay Harbor in their boat.

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Nancy in command

Nancy in command

We pass a Friendship sloop,  a typical New England design.

We pass a Friendship sloop, a typical New England design.

Then it was home again to our cottage to watch the sunset before we move on next day up the coast to Castine on the Penobscot River.

Our daily sunset bids us farewell.

Our daily sunset bids us farewell.

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