Just stumbled in this afternoon from Hog Island, Maine, where I was privileged to attend Audubon Leadership Week. I was there as the representative from Audubon Adventures, the national education program for which I've served as illustrator, photo researcher, and a couple of times even as designer and writer, for the last nine (!) years. I felt a little out of my element giving presentations in this particular format, but really. Who could turn down a gig HERE?
No time for a big trip report... in another 48 hours I have to be ready to leave town again to present a teacher inservice in Santa Fe. Whoosh! But... some highlights:
The view back to the mainland across the harbor. Hog Island is in Muscongus Bay, near the charming village of Damariscotta. I didn't have a ton of time to draw (and when I did have time, I confess I was busy rooting around in tidepools), but here's a little sketch of some cairns on this particular point of the island.
And see? I wasn't the only one mucking around at low tide. I think this is Indian Cove, on Hog Island. We had a huge variety of weather: Sun, fog, rain, fog, RAIN, sun, fog, sun, fog, fog, sun, fog....
Oh, you get the idea.
One of the highlights of the week was a trip to Eastern Egg Rock to see Atlantic Puffins. It's getting late in the season, so we weren't too sure what we'd find... but WOOHOO! A goodly number of the cheeky little devils were still around. We also saw tons of black guillemots, double-crested and great cormorants (a life bird for me, I think), common eiders (a personal favorite), assorted gulls, and the vent end of a wandering juvenile gannet. (And harbor seals, of course.)
The trip was particularly meaningful to the campers, because on Monday evening we enjoyed a presentation by biologist Stephen Kress, who in 1973 began a project to re-establish this very puffin colony. More about the Puffin Project here.
The trip was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but we woke in the middle of the night to a downpour that continued all day. We shuffled the schedule around and sailed instead on Wednesday, which you can see was a stunningly beautiful day. We stopped at Harbor Island for lunch and hikes and the very popular Nap Workshop.
(The fellow with his back to us is biologist Ian Stenhouse, Senior Scientist for the Audubon IBA program and devisor of a cunning project to track Sabine's gulls from Greenland. And guess what? He does linocuts, too!)
In all a great week, full of informative workshops covering the many resources available to Audubon chapters across the country. There's plenty more to say, but for now just two more images.
The clever staff in the Hog Island kitchen have devised this charming napkin rack. One receives a cloth napkin at the first meal, and is directed to keep using it until it's too manky to deal with. To keep track of whose is which, they are affixed to the line with labeled clothespins. I spent the week as Dogwinkle. (The plaid one in the middle of the second row.)
And of course, no coastal report would be complete without a photo of muscle... errr.... mussel beach. I think I feel a new linocut coming on.