Thursday, December 29, 2011

Taking Care of Ice Fishing Gear

Read one ice fisherman's story on how he failed to take care of his ice fishing equipment at the end of the season last year.  See "Digging out neglected ice fishing gear leads to moldy discovery", Bangor Daily News, December 14, 2011.  (Originally published in the Grand Forks Herald).  Click here to learn more about ice fishing in Maine.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Historic Photos of Portland, Maine

A recent news article provides information on a three-year project to digitize historical photos of over 10,000 Portland, Maine buildings.  The project will be finished in the summer of 2012. Some of the photos are already online and can be found at the following website:

The photos were taken in 1924 for tax purposes.  The collection provides a good look at how Portland, Maine appeared in the 1920s.  Read more about this story in "Picturing Portland in the digital age", The Portland Press Herald, December 28, 2011.

Best Maine Ice Fishing Shack Contest (Nov 2011)

Back in November (2011) the Associated Builders and Contractors of Maine put on the "Best Ice Fishing Shack" contest as a way to showcase the work of some of its members.  The builders were given six hours to construct an ice fishing shack.  Read more (and see the video) in "Construction industry takes on the Super Shack", WCSH 6 News, November 18, 2011. The judges selected the construction firm Cianbro as the winner - see "This perfect ice shack could be yours!",, December 5, 2011.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Celebrate New Year's Day in Maine with "First Day Hike"

"AUGUSTA, Maine – New Year’s revelers will get the chance this year to welcome in 2012 in a new way, with four guided “First Day Hikes” sponsored by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL), under the Maine Department of Conservation. Maine state parks are joining a nationwide initiative among all 50 states to offer “First Day Hikes” as way for individuals and families to connect with great outdoor fun and to create special, holiday memories. The Jan. 1 hikes mark the first time all U.S. state park systems have joined together to sponsor the event. As part of the initiative, four easy and fun “First Day Hikes,” led by park staff at four different Maine state parks, will take place on Sunday, Jan. 1. All the hikes are free – in fact, no admission will be charged at any open Maine state park on New Year’s Day."
  Read the rest of the article in "Maine State Parks Offer New Year's Fun with Four First Day Hikes",, December 22, 2011. Learn more about hiking in Maine.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Clamming in Maine in December (Brrrrrrrr)

There is lots to enjoy in Maine in the winter - this includes activities usually done in warmer weather.  Read an article about one man's enjoyment in Maine's state parks while he collects steamers in the winter.  See "State parks offer events for season", Kennebec Journal, December 11, 2011.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Maine Snowmobilers Prepare for Winter Season

Maine snowmobilers are preparing for the winter season.  Read more in "Warm December might imperil snowmobiling season"Maine Outdoors Bangor Daily News, December 19, 2011.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Listing of Maine Ice Fishing Derbies for 2012

A recent article on has listed scheduled ice fishing derbies in the state of Maine.  See "February will be ice fishing heaven, we hope",, December 19, 2011.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Hardwater" - a film about Ice Fishing in Maine

A couple of guys have made a film called "Hardwater".  The film is about ice fishing in Maine. It is a feature-length documentary film about Maine's tribal, oft-misunderstood ice fishing sub-culture. The two filmmakers spent three winters visiting ten Maine counties compiling a documentary about the joys and frustrations of ice fishing.  Learn more at the two links below:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Maine Snowmobile Clubs Get Ready for the Winter Sled Season

Despite the lack of December snow Maine snowmobile clubs are readying for the upcoming snowmobile season.  Read more in "Club gatherings bring good cheer, with or without snow", The Portland Press Herald, December 17, 2011.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ice Fishing - Pond and Lake Ice Strength Chart

If you are getting ready for some winter ice fishing in Maine you may want to get familiar with how much ice thickness is safe.  There are a couple of sources of information for this info.  One is an "Estimated Lake and Pond Ice Strength Chart" offered by Maine Nature News.  Another is a "Blue-ice strength chart" provided by The US Army Corps of Engineers has their chart and an explanation of ice thickness at "Ice Thickness and Strength for Various Loading Conditions".  The wikiHow website provides an article on "How to Know When Ice is Safe".

At the far end of the ice fishing season you have the "ice out" dates. So what is an "ice out" date?  According to the Maine Department of Conservation an "ice out" date is ". . . when you can navigate unimpeded from one end of the water body to the other.  There may still be ice in coves or along the shoreline but when a person can traverse the entire water body without being stopped by ice flows . . ." the ice is considered to be "out".  The Maine Department of Conservation provides charts depicting "Historic Lake Ice Out Data" on their website.

Maine Sports in January

A Maine sportswriter writes about ice fishing, snowmobiling and other winter sports activities in January.  Read "January Is Dark All Right", The Maine Sportsman, December 13, 2011.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pineland Farms in Maine Making Snow for Cross Country Skiers

Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine is not waiting for mother nature to put snow on the ground for cross country skiers.  The Nordic ski area is making its own snow.  See "Making snow for cross country skiers", WLBZ Bangor, December 18, 2011.

Ice Fishing Season to Start Soon in Maine

The ice fishing season will open in Maine on January 1st; however, there isn't much ice forming right now so the season will have a slow start.  Read more in "Lack of ice on Maine waters hurting bait and tackle sellers", Sun Journal, December 18, 2011.  Learn more about ice fishing in Maine.

Origins of the Civic Christmas Tree

For a little history about the display of community Christmas trees read the following article.  "The secret origins of the civic Christmas tree", The Boston Globe, December 18, 2011.

Who Has the Best Lobster Christmas Tree?

Seacoast towns in Maine construct Christmas trees made of lobster traps and buoys.  Read more in "New England Asks: Who Has Fairest Lobster Trap Tree of All?", The New York Times, December 17, 2011.

The Snow Queen at the Portland Stage (Maine) until December 24, 2011

The Portland Stage is providing a production of The Snow Queen - a fairy tale in the land of winter with magical characters.  This is a story that warms the hearts of children and adults.  Playing December 2 to December 24, 2011.  A story for the young at heart.  Learn more at the Portland Stage website for this event.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Amtrak's Downeaster Now 10 Years Old

"PORTLAND, Maine–Amtrak's Downeaster is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this week, capping off a year in which annual ridership surpassed half a million passengers, Amtrak launched its eTicketing pilot program and workers made progress on an expansion of service north to Freeport and Brunswick that's to begin in the new year."
Read more in the news posting below:

"Amtrak's Downeaster celebrates 10-year anniversary", USA Today Travel, December 17, 2011.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Shawnee Peak Ski Resort in Bridgton, Maine Opens December 17, 2011

The Shawnee Peak Ski Resort located in Bridgton, Maine opens today on December 17, 2011.  Read more about the opening in "Shawnee Peak Ski Resort Opens December 17; Celebrating 74 Years in Operation", Digital Journal, December 17, 2011.  Click here for more information on Maine Alpine Skiing.

Holidays Past in Maine

The December issue of Down East magazine has a delightful article on what people remember about Christmas in Maine.  Certainly heartwarming to know that people have such rich holiday memories.  Read "Flavors of Holidays Past", Down East, December 2011.

Lobstering in Stonington, Maine

A superb article on the life of lobstermen in Maine has been published in the Virginia Quarterly Review.  It was posted on the website of the VQR in the summer of 2011.  The author of the article, entitled Consider the Lobstermen, is Jesse Dukes.  A good read that reveals how lobstermen live, how hard their work is, and the outside influences that threaten their livelihood and way of life.  To read the article click on the link below.  To learn more about Maine lobsters and lobstermen click on the second link.

Consider the Lobstermen

Lobsters in Maine

Friday, December 16, 2011

Penobscot Marine Museum Photo Collection Online

The Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine has placed thousands of its photographs in a virtual museum online for viewing. A recent news article in the Bangor Daily News entitled "Penobscot Marine Museum's new virtual museum places collections online" (Dec 16, 2011) alerted me to this online museum. The museum has over 100,000 photos and at this time there are about 30,000 viewable online. Some of the photos currently online include images from the Atlantic Fisherman (a New England-based publication), photos taken by the families of shop captains, and photos from a variety of sources about maritime Maine. To visit the online marine museum click on the link below"

Click here for a listing of Maine Museums.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

How to Care for Your Christmas Tree

The Maine Christmas Tree Association offers advice and tips on how to care for your Christmas tree.  It also provides information on how the growing of Christmas trees has a favorable effect on the environment and provides a comparison of natural and artificial Christmas trees.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bangor, Maine Selected as 7th Top Winter City

Bangor, Maine has been selected as one of the Top 10 Winter Cities by In fact, it ranked as number 7 of the top ten. The website considers the natural beauty of Maine to include the mountains and coastline, the thriving downtown, the annual snowfall, and abundance of winter sports. Learn more about Bangor at the link below:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Maine Christmas Tree Association

Looking for a Maine Christmas tree? The Maine Christmas Tree Association can help you find one. You can search for a Christmas tree farm by name or town on their website. Visit the Maine Christmas Tree Association website at the link below.