...to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free....

09 February, 2012

the landing

At the intersection of two country roads 
at the place where Bunganuc stream flows into Maquoit Bay
(just about where Freeport and Brunswick touch borders),
you can see this lovely setting below as you drive around a curve
and cross a small bridge. 

An old friend lives in a house just to the right, out of the picture.
I called her the other day to ask her for permission
to wade through crusty snow in her back yard
to get a photo of this evocative scene.

She offered me something better--
the name and phone number of the owner of this property.
She was pretty sure I could get permission 
to go down the path to the shore 
and see it all up close.

I love small towns!  If you live in a small town long enough,
doors open to you just by association.
I called the owner, mentioned my friend, and she said, "Of course you may!"
(I don't like tramping around on private property without permission.)

I spent a delightful time there looking at things
from every perspective.
It was nice to get up close for the first time.
See the open water on the bay in the background?
Although there was ice on the stream,
the sound of running water through the culvert 
was very soothing.
Those blocks of ice are the result of ice forming on the stream and on the bay,
and then breaking up and moving as the tide
goes in and out.
The higher the tide, the farther up the stream they travel.
When the water retreats, the blocks are left on the shoreline.
There are only two high tides a month
that might reach the blocks of ice
heaved to the shore during the previous high tide.
The resulting irregular chunks
are part of the winter scenery on tidal rivers and streams
that in the summer are sanctuaries of gently moving water.

Want to know something interesting about this place?
Harriet Beecher Stowe,
author of Uncle Tom's Cabin,
first set foot on Maine soil at this very spot.
She came here around 1850 by boat,
because her husband acquired a job teaching at Bowdoin College.
Uncle Tom's Cabin was written in Brunswick
during the years that immediately followed.

As she was begining her novel, she wrote this to an editor friend:

"I feel now that the time is come 
when even a woman or a child who can speak a word for freedom and humanity 
is bound to speak... 
I hope every woman who can write will not be silent."

Good advice for all time.


  1. Reading this post was like taking a mini-vacation. Thank you!!

    1. I don't know about you, but I think everyone could use a vacation right about now! Thanks so much for stopping by, Christie. ( I feel similarly when I visit your blog!) ;o)

  2. Fascinating post and I really love the photo. Clapboard buildings seem so quintessentially American to this Briton.

    1. Thanks for that perspective, Perpetua. When you are surrounded by clapboard houses, you tend to think all houses have them. I know that's not true, but.... What are the houses in Great Britain sided with? Thanks for your comment.... ;o)

    2. Most houses in Britain are built of brick or stone, with only a very few areas having some clapboard houses. Sometimes houses are rendered or stuccoed, but it's common to see bare stone or brick walls, with the stone in some areas being very beautiful.

  3. nice place! and nice that you got permission for access to the property, too! nice bit of history with it...

    1. Thanks for the nice words, Theresa. I wasn't aware of the history myself until I started my quest for some photo-access. I love it that there is always something to learn if you just put yourself out there. ;o)

  4. Mike, I'm glad you're heeding Harriet's advice. I do enjoy reading your posts and looking at your images!

    1. Thank you, Robin. I hope you know that I look forward to your posts every day! I am inspired by your talent.... ;o)

  5. I always loved this scene and that small area of Brunswick. For many years I drove those back roads to work because day care and nursery school were along that route. Though it took a little longer, I loved seeing the sun along that coast and often felt lucky that I had such a beautiful and peaceful commute.

    1. I have those thoughts (about how lucky I am to be here and witness these places through the year) almost every day. This is a part of the world where one takes a different road, not to avoid traffic or even to save time, but rather to 'see'. ;o)

  6. Dear Mike,
    Like Robin, I am delighted that you are heeding Harriet's advice. I so enjoy learning new things and today you introduce me to this scene in Brunswick, Maine. I've never been there but I can feel the cold in the photograph and her the crush of ice. The information about Uncle Tom's Cabin and Stowe is also new to me. Thank you for this wonderfully interesting history and geography lesson.


    1. You are so very welcome, Dee--you who give us inspiration and history every post you create! ;o)

  7. What a wonderful post! I truly love this photo and how you got "up close and personal" with the house and the story of this spot. I so enjoyed the way you wrote this, Mike, taking us, Mike, taking us from the setting to your friend, to the house and back to the history of this very spot -and what lasting advice from Stowe.

    Thank you.

    1. Hey, Penny--Thanks so much for your kind words about this post. I am glad you enjoyed it, just the way I experienced it myself, step by step by step. ;o)

  8. Beautiful spot...you are one of the nice ones here to actually ask permission before you wander about. That is cool to learn as I knew Harriet Beecher Stowe also lived in Cincinnati for a while too (where we lived for many years). We found a very very old copy of her book near her former neighborhood one day while someone was throwing it away (it was in bad shape) but we asked if we could take it and yep we still have it! ~Lili

  9. Such a wonderful picture and post Mike! I've never seen this spot-can you see from the road? Will have to include a drive-by this summer when visiting down that way! I know what you mean by getting permission before going on someones land-I cant imagine how some people just barge right on someones property-I could never do that-I shake my head here......
    Love the history about Harriet-it's great there's history all around us. If you're ever up in Bangor-Brewer-we have a statue depicting the Underground railroad here-they found facts of it in an attic of a house they were tearing down yrs ago when "improving" the area. They could only continue removing the house if they put up a park and statue-it is a man coming up out of the underground passageway. It's overlooked by many....but I love that it's there....in fact I think I should get my camera and............