Tag Archives: Kelly McInnis

Mount Katahdin in the sky

Mount Katahdin can be seen in the distance. The photo was taken from Maine Route 163 near Haystack Mountain on the road between Ashland and Presque Isle, Maine. (According to Google Maps, the road is also known as the Presque Isle Road, Haystack Road, Main Street as it goes though Mapleton, Maine, and then the Mapleton Road as it nears Presque Isle.) Kelly McInnis, a classmate of mine from Ashland Community High School Class of (mumble, mumble), took the photo. It must have been an incredibly beautiful day when this photo was taken since Mount Katahdin, the tallest mountain in Maine and the official end of the Appalachian Trail, is more than 100 miles away as the crow flies. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Mount Katahdin can be seen in the distance. The photo was taken from Maine Route 163 near Haystack Mountain on the road between Ashland and Presque Isle, Maine. (According to Google Maps, the road is also known as the Presque Isle Road, Haystack Road, Main Street as it goes though Mapleton, Maine, and then the Mapleton Road as it nears Presque Isle.) Kelly McInnis, a classmate of mine from Ashland Community High School Class of (mumble, mumble), took the photo. It must have been an incredibly beautiful day when this photo was taken since Mount Katahdin, the tallest mountain in Maine and the official end of the Appalachian Trail, is more than 100 miles away as the crow flies. Photo by Kelly McInnis

[I found this story after I originally posted the photo.Frankly, I think these guys were nuts for going up Katahdin in those conditions. Crazy! There is video with the story, but the way. — KM]

Taking on Mount Katahdin in the winter | Bangor Daily News

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Fall in New England: Nature’s colorful mosaic

Fall in the North Woods of Maine turns the landscape into a colorful mosaic. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Fall in the North Woods of Maine turns the landscape into a colorful mosaic. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Thousands flock to New England this time of year to catch the changing colors at its peak. In the North Woods of Maine, the peak has already come.

Fortunately for me, a high school classmate, Kelly McInnis, shares her photography with her Facebook friends and then I often share them on “Letters From Away.”

I love the yellow leaves against the brilliant blue sky in the first photo. It’s wonderful.

This is Haystack Mountain in the fall. Photo by Kelly McInnis

This is Haystack Mountain in the fall. Photo by Kelly McInnis

The other three photos are a reminder of my youth. Haystack Mountain – not much of a climb, really – is located along the road from Ashland to Presque Isle. I lived in Portage, but went to middle and high school in Ashland. Presque Isle was the largest city in the area and the location of grocery stores, movie theaters, and other services, so we drove by Haystack Mountain a couple of times a month. And we usually climbed to the top every other year or so.

A high school teacher, Lynwood McHatten, told his students of a time when he was a teen and boys would go to the top of Haystack to set old tires on fire to give the impression that the long-dormant volcano was coming alive. It was good for a laugh.

Here's another view of Haystack Mountain along the road between Ashland and Presque Isle. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Here's another view of Haystack Mountain along the road between Ashland and Presque Isle. Photo by Kelly McInnis

This is the view heading toward Ashland from Haystack Mountain. Haystack is a great place from which to view the fall colors. Photo by Kelly McInnis

This is the view heading toward Ashland from Haystack Mountain. Haystack is a great place from which to view the fall colors. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Interest in Presque Isle balloon festival on the rise | Bangor Daily News

Balloons at the Crown of Maine Balloon Festival held this weekend. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Balloons at the Crown of Maine Balloon Festival held this weekend. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Here are photos and links to a Bangor Daily News story on the Crown of Maine Balloon Festival.

It was held this weekend, so plan for next year. While I would NEVER get into a balloon – I covered too many balloon mishaps in 23 years as a journalist – it does look like it was great fun. And there were other activities that went along with this year’s event.

I’ve also included a link to the festival’s website for those who are really interested.

And the photos come via Kelly McInnis, a high school classmate who still lives in The County. The photos are reprinted here with her permission.

Balloons at the Crown of Maine Balloon Festival held this weekend. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Balloons at the Crown of Maine Balloon Festival held this weekend. Photo by Kelly McInnis

A balloon at the Crown of Maine Balloon Festival held this weekend. Photo by Kelly McInnis

A balloon at the Crown of Maine Balloon Festival held this weekend. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Balloons at the Crown of Maine Balloon Festival held this weekend. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Balloons at the Crown of Maine Balloon Festival held this weekend. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Interest in Presque Isle balloon festival on the rise | Bangor Daily News

For information go to the Crown of Maine Balloon Fest website at http://www.crownofmaineballoonfest.org/ or call the Presque Isle Area Chamber of Commerce at (207) 764-6561.

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Offering viewers a sneak peek of autumn: Dry summer gives some trees early start on foliage season | Portland Press Herald

Here’s a photo I posted a few days ago showing the early change in color of foliage. This photo was taken not long ago near Jo-Mary Lake Campground in the shadow of Mount Katahdin. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Here’s a photo I posted a few days ago showing the early change in color of foliage. This photo was taken not long ago near Jo-Mary Lake Campground in the shadow of Mount Katahdin. Photo by Kelly McInnis

The fall foliage season has started, at least for some trees.

Some species are turning yellow and shedding their foliage earlier than normal because of the dry summer. But forestry experts do not expect conditions to affect the prime leaf-peeping season.

“We have noticed it especially with paper and yellow birch,” said Bill Ostrofsky, a tree pathologist with the Maine Forest Service.

Touches of red and gold always appear on some trees in the Maine landscape in late August. But the dry conditions have led to more color this year. Until this week, no significant rain had fallen over much of the state since June.

The lack of water caused leaves to droop, then drop, on bushes and trees where the soil was especially dry.

Click for the rest of the story by Beth Quimby in the Portland Press Herald.

Camping in Maine in the shadow of Mount Katahdin

Every so often I am reminded that I know some pretty talented people and some of them I’ve known a very long time.

Kelly McInnis was a high school classmate of mine at Ashland Community High School, MSAD No. 32. It was a consolidated high school with students coming from several different area communities. Portage Lake, where I grew up, was one of those communities.

Kelly, who still lives and works in The County, has a practiced eye when it comes to shooting photos. I seem to recall a photo of her from our high school yearbook, her red hair tied back and her wearing a baseball undershirt, the kind with the black three-quarter sleeves. In the photo, if I recall this correctly, she’s holding a 35-mm camera with which many of the other photos in the yearbook were shot.

But that was … holy, cow, about 30 years ago, so my memory may have faded a bit.

Anyway, Kelly shares here photos on Facebook and he graciously allows me to post them on “Letters From Away.”

Here’s Kelly McInnis’ campsite at Jo-Mary Lake Campground in the shadow of Mount Katahdin, the official end of the Appalachian Trail and the highest point in Maine. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Here’s Kelly McInnis’ campsite at Jo-Mary Lake Campground in the shadow of Mount Katahdin, the official end of the Appalachian Trail and the highest point in Maine. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Kelly was camping recently at Jo-Mary Lake Campground. The North Maine Woods Inc. at www.northmainewoods.org describes the amenities of the campground like this:

70 campsites along the shore of Jo-Mary Lake accommodate tents or camper trailers and most have a view of Mt. Katahdin. Boat launch, showers, flush toilets, dumping station, Laundromat, ice, fire wood and propane available. Sand beach provides excellent swimming. Five mile long Jo-Mary Lake provides fishing for landlocked salmon, brook trout, white perch and lake trout.

Sounds pretty plush for camping, but Kelly swears she roughed it by sleeping in a tent.

And there is Mount Katahdin, about 50 miles north of the Jo-Mary Lake Campground, according to the North Maine Woods Inc. website. Photo by Kelly McInnis

And there is Mount Katahdin, about 50 miles north of the Jo-Mary Lake Campground, according to the North Maine Woods Inc. website. Photo by Kelly McInnis

The campground is within the KI Jo-Mary Multiple Use Forest within 5 miles of the Appalachian Trial, with Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin, the highest point in Maine, just 50 miles to the north. I don’t recall ever going to this campground, but I would now if I had a chance. It appears to be a wonderful spot.

By the way, I believe Mount Katahdin is still considered the official northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, even though as a youth I heard Mars Hill was considered by some to be the end of the trail, as it were.

But earlier this summer I read a wire story about how a portion of the Appalachian Mountains actually may have been left behind on the European continent when the tectonic plates shifted.

Anyway, a couple of Kelly’s photos show Mount Katahdin in the background.

Here’s another shot of Mount Katahdin in the background and rock piles in the foreground. Kelly wasn’t sure who might have made the rock piles, perhaps bored children, she said. I think aliens from another planet may have had a hand – if they had hands, that is – in the creation of what I like to call Ancient Rock Towers of Maine’s North Woods. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Here’s another shot of Mount Katahdin in the background and rock piles in the foreground. Kelly wasn’t sure who might have made the rock piles, perhaps bored children, she said. I think aliens from another planet may have had a hand – if they had hands, that is – in the creation of what I like to call Ancient Rock Towers of Maine’s North Woods. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Kelly didn’t know what the piled rocks were in some of the photos. Perhaps they are the product of a bored pack of children? Perhaps something more natural and mystical, such as the work of local native people? Perhaps something more mysterious still, such as the work of aliens from another planet? I think I’ll just call them the Ancient Rock Towers of Maine’s North Woods. I’m sure that will start showing up in search engines any day now.

Here’s another shot of the Ancient Rock Towers of Maine’s North Woods. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Here’s another shot of the Ancient Rock Towers of Maine’s North Woods. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Another photo appears to be shot at the edge of a stream or other water source and shows the beginning of foliage changing. It has been a rather dry summer in Maine and some of the leaves are changing sooner than they normally would, as documented by Kelly’s photos and, well, my Mom. She said the same thing when I called her Sunday.

Kelly took this shot to show the beginning of the changing foliage. Maine has gone through a very dry summer and some of the leaves are changing sooner than they might have otherwise. It also shows a pretty typical opening in Maine’s North Woods – slightly boggy and surrounded by thick woods. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Kelly took this shot to show the beginning of the changing foliage. Maine has gone through a very dry summer and some of the leaves are changing sooner than they might have otherwise. It also shows a pretty typical opening in Maine’s North Woods – slightly boggy and surrounded by thick woods. Photo by Kelly McInnis

And there is a whimsical shot of a dedicated Maine fisherman.

Hey, buddy, whatcha usin’ for bait. Kelly’s response to that he was using the worm from the tequila bottle. Actually, the creation of the fisherman and the shooting of it with the camera both show a bit of dry Maine whimsy. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Hey, buddy, whatcha usin’ for bait. Kelly’s response to that he was using the worm from the tequila bottle. Actually, the creation of the fisherman and the shooting of it with the camera both show a bit of dry Maine whimsy. Photo by Kelly McInnis

These photos were printed with Kelly’s permission.

Potato blossoms are out early in Maine

 

A tractor and hay roll sit in a field in Aroostook County, Maine. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Potatoes are big in Maine, especially in Aroostook County where I grew up.

And when I say big, I mean BIG. After all, they even have a Potato Blossom Festival and there’s a festival queen and everything, so it has to be pretty big.

Potatoes are big for the economy and the cultural experience of Maine. For some farming families and communities, potatoes are king.

A fellow member of the Ashland Community High School Class of 1980 Kelly McInnis takes photos that I’ve shared here before. Here are two of potato blossoms and a nice rural image of a tractor and hay. The photos were taken Wednesday in record temperatures for Aroostook County — 93 degrees.

“The potato fields are in Mapleton just as you hit that turn headed to Ashland, Willard Doyen’s Farm,” Kelly wrote of the photos. “I just wanted to get a shot because the blossoms are beautiful. They are a few weeks early this year due to the mild winter and (farmers’) ability to plant early.”

“The tractor was out … somewhere,” Kelly added. “My boyfriend is a photographer and likes to just ride and see what he may come across, so I tag along and bring my camera, too.

“I’ve always had an interest in photography, but it really takes a commitment to get anything good. I’m getting back into it.”

The photos are shared here with Kelly’s permission. Enjoy!

Potato blossoms were out early this year. Here is a field near Mapleton, Maine, in Aroostook County. Photos by Kelly McInnis

Here's another shot of the potato blossoms.

 

Tilting at windmills

Windmill farm near Mars Hill, Maine. Photo by Kelly McInnis.

Past readers know that I very much like the use of alternative energy – solar, wind, wave.

Wind energy – from both onshore and offshore wind farms – has received a big push in Maine the past couple of years. There is plenty of wind to go around in Maine, especially along the coast, and harnessing that wind will greatly ease this nation’s addiction to foreign petroleum.

But some communities in Maine are concerned with issues associated with wind farms, namely the noise the huge turbines cause. And I’m sure more than a few Mainers are upset with the interruption in viewscape.

Here in California, wind farms have become part of the landscape mostly because of the clean energy they provide.

It is my hope that power companies and government officials will find a way to mitigate the problems so that wind farms can provide clean, sustainable energy for a very long time to come.

Here are a couple of photos Kelly McInnis shot last week at the wind farm near Mars Hill, Maine. They are published here with her permission.

Windmill farm near Mars Hill, Maine. Photo by Kelly McInnis.

Baggage claim is located on the grass next to the terminal

"Mars Hill Regional Airport" taken by Kelly McInnis. Reprinted with permission.

Here’s a photo shot by Kelly McInnis taken in Mars Hill, Maine. She slugged it “Mars Hill Regional Airport” because of the windsock and what appeared to be a grassy runway nearby. She says it might have been used for crop dusters and such.

Kelly, with whom I graduated from Ashland Community High School in 1980, gave me permission to publish the photo and I thank her very much. I wanted to share it to show off the incredibly blue sky and lush green grass of northern Maine.

Oh, and Kelly’s Maine wit, too. 🙂