Maine lakes have more rocks, due to low water levels and no rain for too long a stretch of dry, hot summer weather.
Farmers are concerned, harvest has started and the yield is smaller sized crops. The Maine rivers on a starvation of water diet along with COVID19 social distancing rules have not helped raft guides either. It’s like someone turned off the spigot and gravel river beds and scratched bedrock are exposed around the corners of Maine. It makes you wonder how the fish travel up or down streams when the liquid highway is dry as a bone. They must lace up sneakers for the hike or die stranded in increasingly shrinking water pools.
On a Maine lake where I live, more bird perches rise up as water levels drop.
Rock reefs with new stones where you never saw them due to Maine lake low water levels. That’s Maine today! Like bones poking out of a lake thirsty for water. Low water translates to more seating options for the otters, the water foul the result and more obvious boat hazards.
You would not think of white sea gulls flapping their wings to get up to Northern Maine either.
But they are. In the early morning as the sun rises and steam from the lake water being warmer than the air temperatures of late September you hear them. Crying, communicating like they are bickering or complaining to anyone who will listen. Not as pretty a song as the haunting ones sung on the open water in the evenings by Maine lake loons.
Seagulls in Maine. You expect them at the day at the Maine beach with the kids looking for a quick snatch.
Panhandling the sun worshipers and like beach bums. But seagulls in Northern Maine and many hours away from the craggy rock bound coast of Vacationland. Maybe it’s the french fries from the local McDonalds that draws them in. They sit in a line on a rock reef that acts as a breakwater off the little and big lake. Drews Lake, where I spend the majority of the year these days up in Maine.
Lots of other folks have the same notion due to COVID19 and especially if they can get long and strong Internet broadband connections for working remotely online in Maine.
When the fish are jumping, the seagulls hop to it and soar up, then dive down to steal the fish dinner away from other birds. Wildlife are a big part of the entertainment on a Maine lake viewed from shore or out in a boat. Around the 4th of July, more fireworks happen too when summer days turn into night. The echo of thundering booms and bright lights of all kinds exploding in the Maine lake reflection makes you reflect on another year in Maine that pass too quickly.
Lake loons, ducks, blue herons, cormorants, bald eagles along with all the other robins, sparrows, blue jays and woodpeckers.
All entertain with sight and sound out front Maine lake camps. Canadian geese practice sorties overhead as the older experienced birds train the younger ones before the long flight south for the winter. Makes your arms tired thinking about it and how they maintain the flying “V” formation and one drill sergeant honking orders to stay tight, tuck it in goose cadet number sixteen.
Boat owners have to be more careful where they travel around Maine lakes due to the drought.
Lower units of inboard and outboard motors don’t take kindly to sudden impact with big rocks. When met in places where they never were when lake water levels are at normal levels and covered up with water padding to float your boat.
Normal with COVID19 and the whipped up winds of an election year storming around your daily life. We’re getting there and Mainers have better coping skills when isolation stress is used to our advantage.
In Maine, entertaining yourself and lots of time spent on your own or in small groups on the trails is relished greatly. We know we are lucky to live in Maine.
Lawns in Maine have not needed as many passes to mow the grass. Many are looking pretty scruffy with large burned out patches from sheer lack of moisture.
We never had to think about watering the lawns or adding to what Mother Nature applied on her own. Well driller rigs in Maine busier these days driving new deeper taps down into the Earth searching for water due to the drought not COVID19.
So much is blamed on the coronovirus in life as we know it but low water levels, fires out west, election year rhetoric and rancor.
Those situations on top of the hard to forget virus news bombarding us. Every new twist adjustment in our day to day approach to living is simply case of do your part. In Maine, you surround yourself at a safe distance with folks not frozen in fear. Who respect the virus, others around you and do your part with hand washing, masks, distancing and education. But retreat from large gatherings or multiple trips to crowded areas to reduce the risk of catching or sharing it is just applying common sense.
If you have a lake retainer wall or shoreline needing riparian repair, this is the year to tackle those sensitive tasks too.
The water levels have receded away from the structures designed to contain the moisture and avoid soil erosion. So silt fences and artificial barriers to surround the shoreline work area are free of water. Like a dam given time off from the job. The call and paperwork on my list as fall marches on in Maine. You can repair a retainer wall on a Maine lake if the work being done is not on more than 50% of the containment structure.
Get your permit by rule, pay your $250 fee to the Maine DEP. Retainer walls are not an option for new construction options. Not used for protecting the soil and keeping it on land instead of dumped in the precious Maine lake shore natural resource.
Planting vegetation and encouraging natural barriers that look anything but man made.
Rip rap rock of all sizes are the go to erosion control that looks more natural too. But heating up the water if dark colored all plays into the best solution from natural resource lake lovers.
Water clarity and keeping the Maine lake free of milfoil.
Reminding ice fisherman to pull in wood fire debris, tackle lines along with the shack set up in shanty formation in the winter months. That’s important to remind it’s always carry in, carry out when you are in Maine.
Folks who’s life mission is to protect the water quality and everything that lives in and around the Maine lake. Or to keep out contaminants you don’t want in that Maine lake carried by rushing water that needs to be filtered clean before landing out front your home, camp, cottage.
It’s like holding tanks around Maine lakes for your camp or cottage waste.
This solution for gray and black water sewerage is only as a last resort when an existing system fails and no other option. Holding tanks not for brand new applications around the Maine shore front. Just those waving white flags when the old 55 gallon drum or whatever containment for waste fails completely.
Maine lakes are more popular than ever and waterfront real estate listings are in tight supply.
That means protection of them needs to step it up a notch. A few sellers of Maine waterfront not in the market to let go of properties have listed to cash in on a hot lake shore market. Some of these properties with an extra $100,000 or more added on for wiggle room. Low water levels on Maine lakes but higher price tags hanging off the ones for sale is what’s happening now in Vacationland. My advice for waterfront property buyers? Do not rule out lake lots in Maine. Just the land and build slowly. Way cheaper to build in Maine than the big city landscape and where the cost of living is much higher. Welcome to Maine where living here costs less in so many ways.
The carrot to entice these waterfront owners to sell is a hot Maine real estate market. Along with often the owners admitting the properties just are not used like they once were. When the kids were younger and close by or before your parents, their parents passed away.
For many, repairs is all we do during less frequent visits up to the Maine lake camp.
And like many families, some members are little red hens. Other just want to eat the finish bread product. You find the loudest critics on selling and letting go of waterfront property are not opening their wallets for real estate taxes, maintenance expenses. They are not feeling the same financial strain or pitching in to spring open up or tear down for the winter months.
Waterfront in Maine is rarely in large supply.
This year’s shortage like the water levels out front is in bigger demand from folks fleeing cities. Because Maine is sparsely populated and everyone is socially distanced, if Internet broadband is available to telecommute, why not relocate to work remotely on the Maine waterfront?
The country is pretty divided and highly vocal on why. With the polarization in Washington DC increasing, the news makers and talking head rip and reading delivering it give people headaches. Numbness, apathy and a longing for something better to improve the quality of life. Heading for the hills from urban areas to Maine to work online at existing jobs, finding new ones or retiring altogether is happening.
Small farms, waterfront cottages that can be tweaked to be more than seasonal and year round.
It is hard to be alone in a large population center. The work from home has helped folks weigh the pros and cons because things no one thought would happen have. Democracy is on the run, compromisers are deemed weak or loners. The cornovirus pandemic has shoot things up and their is a silver lining. We have to work together and not be at war with our fellow Americans. Political leaders need to take some risks and listen to the other side. But how do you come together as a country if those governing it don’t know each other or care as much as they should?
At a recent Rotary Zoom meeting at my local Maine club, Maine’s independent junior US senator Angus King explained what it’s like in Washington, DC today.
The elected arrive and get down to work Monday afternoon. Then leave three days later on Thursday afternoon at the same time of day to head back to the folks who elected them. King says the elected don’t have enough time to get to know each other outside of the law and policy making machine. You can work better together when you know and respect each other and hammer out broader legislation from many players. Instead of whoever enjoys the majority leaders position who is the gatekeeper of what bills do or do not heard and possibly passed.
Maine schools are open, the sport programs with shorter schedules and lots of protections strictly adhered to and underway.
Each sport player’s parents are the only ones on the outdoor bleachers. The soccer coach, whoever is streaming the game for other fans to watch and the refs the only folks running the show. Less applause, not so much hooting and hollering for the home team. It’s like old fashioned high school sports where no divisional title, not regional playoffs and abbreviated season but still something to suit up and take to the field.
Maine is mostly small towns so the adjustment is much easier to keep it spaced and only so many on the bleachers for spectators.
n the handful of Maine’s cities, every task to space the players and fans there are way more logistics work arounds taking place to create saver pods of people.
The Maine leaf colors of all green worn the bulk of the year until the fall explosion and falling to the ground.
That foliage color is just starting and leaf shedding has not begun. Future blog posts on living in Maine ahead to cover those colorful developments. Fall in Maine is here and gardens are being gleaned, tilled under. Local Maine agricultural markets are having a hay day with the bounty of farm to table. More firewood for the next heating season is being hauled in for processing slowly in back yards of homes that are heated with the renewable resource. Maine is after all ninety one percent wooded. Thank you for following our Me In Maine posts and imagery!