Maine certainly has a large population of moose, the Maine State Animal, especially in northern and western parts of the state. Although they are elusive, they can be seen all over the state.  In fact, recently there have been sightings of a moose right here on Route 96 in Boothbay.  Some years ago a moose actually swam out to Negro Island off Ocean Point Inn.  The moose was finally driven off the island by blowing fog horns.

Looking for moose in their natural environment is a popular activity.  It is so popular that Maine outfitters offer moose safari trips and personal moose guides. You can do this by paddling in canoes, riding in vans or walking through the woods.    These safaris are a great experience.moose 3  I went on one out of Bingham, Maine, a few years ago and we saw several moose, in Bingham early in the day!  It’s lots of fun and a great photo opportunity!

Brake for MooseMoose Crossing signs should be taken seriously.  There are many fatal accidents  involving moose in Maine each year.  Especially at night,  it is not easy to spot these  enormous, very dark, animals when they step into the road. May, June, September, October and December are the best months to see moose.  September and October are best if you are looking for a fully antlered bull.  Early morning and late day are the best times as they are feeding then.

Moose live for 15-25 years.  Male moose weigh about 1200-1500 pounds and females weigh about 900 pounds.  Calves are about 30 pounds at birth and weigh 300-400 pounds by the first winter.  The young stay with the mother for at least a year.  After their first birth, cows often give birth to twins but rarely to triplets. Moose have very poor eyesight but excellent senses of hearing and smell. Color can range from brown to a dusty black.moose 4  Calves are a light rust color.  The flap of skin that hangs below their throat is called a bell.

Mature males shed their antlers in November and December.  In the spring they get new antlers which are covered in velvet.  The velvet gets scraped off and the antlers become mineralized dead matter.  The primary function of the antlers is for display during mating season and to show dominance in the herd.moose2 Moose are most active at dawn and dusk.

They are not usually aggressive but can be if they are hungry, tired or harassed.  People should be warned that moose are wild unpredictable dangerous animals. The bulls are more aggressive toward people during mating season.  The females are more aggressive when they are pregnant or have calves with them.  If a moose is going to attack, it raises the long hairs on its hump, puts its ears back and licks its lips!!!

When I was a  a child visiting in Canada, local men made horns out of birch bark to call moose.moose  At dusk and into the evening the moose would congregate in the river about a half mile away.  It was really neat to blow into the horn and then wait for the moose to call back!

Check out some of the roads where you are most likely to see moose in Maine.  It is worth the search!!

Copyright & Photos property of  Ocean Point Inn 2015.

 

I once heard Maine Humorist, Tim Sample, say that tourists come to Maine for three things…lobsters, lighthouses and moose.  The Blog has covered most of the local lighthouses and the history of lobsters.  Today I am going to give you a chance to test yourself on your knowledge of Maine lobsters.  A future Ocean Point Inn Blog will discuss moose and how to see them!            lobster

When is a lobster a chicken?…..when it weighs about one pound.

When is a lobster a pistol?….when it has no claws.

Why shouldn’t a lobster walk in the kitchen?….it’s the first chamber of a lobster trap.lobster buoys

What do you call a female lobster?….a hen.

How large is a lobster’s brain?….about the size of a grasshopper’s brain.

How old do lobsters get?….about 120 years old.

How many lobsters equal a pound of lobster meet?….5 – 6 six soft shelled lobsters.

How large do lobsters get?….45 pounds

What is a berried female lobster?….a lobster with eggs.

What do lobster eat?….fish, mollusks and algae.

lobster boat

How developed are their senses?….very poor vision but very good taste and smell.

Why are the claws banded?….because they are cannibalistic.

8dining_viewFor the best Maine lobster, served hot and fresh – see our Ocean Point Inn menu… after all – Maine lobster is best served with a view of the sea!

Copyright & Photos property of  Ocean Point Inn 2015.

fair ridesIt is the season for Maine State, County and Town Fairs that are full of interesting events and foods.  All ages will find lots  to enjoy. Animal pulling, harness racing, flowerFair cow shows, demolition derbies, livestock exhibits, produce competitions, midway rides, entertainment, crafts, milking competitions, food booths, pony rides, truck pulls, pig scrambles, and MUCH MUCH MORE!!!

A highlight to Maine fairs are the food vendors offering all the traditional fair food like fried dough, sausage sandwiches, bloomin’ onions, cotton candy, candied apples and corn dogs.  Put the diet aside for the day and have a gastronomical excursion. Fairs are often for multiple days.  Google a specific fair and find  events and Fair Foodtimes for a given day. Many of the fairs are an easy day trip from  Ocean Point Inn.

The following fairs are coming up.  Enjoy!!

August 13 – 22  Skowhegan State Fair in Skowhegan, Maine

August 17 – 18  Maine Farm Days in Clinton, Maine

August 22 – 29  Union Fair in Union, Maine

August 27 – 30  Acton Fair in Acton, Maine

August 30 – September 7  Windsor Fair in Windsor, Maine

September 4 – 7  Harmony Free Fair in Harmony, Maine

September 20 – 26 Farmington Fair in Farmington, Maine

September 25 – 27 Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine

October 4 – 11 Fryeburg Fair in Fryeburg, Maine

Copyright & Photos property of  Ocean Point Inn 2015.

clamsAs guests come to Ocean Point Inn, they bring questions about “Maine Food.”  They want to know “what the locals eat!”  The questions have me thinking about what foods are traditional Maine foods??

Of course, everyone thinks of Maine lobster – steamed, baked stuffed – like our house recipe for Linekin Bay Lobster, lobster rolls, lobster stew, lobster salad and more.  Steamed clams and mussels are often served  with the lobster. lobster-bloody-steak2 Folks also look for a good fish chowder, commonly made with haddock in this area, and served with chowder crackers and sweet pickles.  Our Ocean Point Inn Crab Cakes can’t be beat – made with fresh Maine crabmeat.  Oysters, farmed right here on the Damariscotta River, are great raw on the half shell, stewed or fried.

The most common dessert with a Lobster Dinner is Blueberry Pie, the Maine State Dessert, made with wild Maine blueberries.  Our Ocean Point Inn pies have people coming back for more! An older blueberry dessert blueberriesthat I love is Blueberry Dumplings.  You boil the wild blueberries with sugar and drop the dumpling batter into the berries to cook – delish with homemade vanilla ice cream.  Blueberry Cobbler, Crisp and Grunt are wonderful.  Do you know the differences among them?  Grunts, Pandowdy and Slumps are varieties of the Cobbler.  Bettys and Buckles are made with a batter similar to cake batter.  These desserts are served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  The names sound unusual but, trust me, they are needhamsall delicious.

Needhams, which were first made in Portland, Maine, in 1872 by Reverend Needham, are a wonderful candy treat.  Believe it or not, they are made with mashed potato.  You would never know it to eat one!  The coconut and chocolate are the flavors that you taste.

 

whoopie pieWhoopie Pies have always been an old Maine favorite but are now popular in more of the country.  Williams Sonoma even sells a pan for whoopee pies!  Chocolate with a white crème filling is traditional but pumpkin with a cream cheese filling is yummy in the fall.

 

boston-brown-bread-aIn addition to beautiful foliage, fall in Maine brings Baked Bean Church Suppers.  Some bake the beans in the ground.  They are traditionally served with “brown bread” which was originally a very dark bread with raisins that was baked in a coffee can.  As a child, the round bread showing the rings from the can was fascinating to me.

Venison, deer meat, shows up on many Maine tables during the fall hunting season.  There are sometimes fundraisers offering a “Wild Game Dinner” which boiled dinnerincludes venison and more exotic meats like moose, bear and raccoon.

New England Boiled Dinner is popular in the fall as the root vegetables are harvested from the garden.  Cabbage, carrots, turnip, beets and potatoes are cooked with corned beef.  The flavors blend together for a delicious meal.

20090406-sugaronsnow4As the temperatures rise in March, the maple sap starts to run and maple syrup season is underway.  “Sugar on Snow,” hot maple syrup poured over the frozen snow makes a sweet sticky candy that is served with doughnuts and dill pickles.   Hard to tell how that combination got started!

dandelionOnce the grass is growing, the dandelions pop up.  Many Mainers love to pick the early dandelion greens before they flower.  The greens are traditionally cooked with salt pork and served with vinegar.

fiddlehead-fernFiddleheads, a member of the fern family, are also popular.
These days they are readily available in the grocery stores.  They are fun to pick and pickled with dill they make a very tasty appetizer.

How many of these traditional Maine foods have you eaten?  Look for them on your next trip to Maine, staying with us at Ocean Point Inn!