Life on a small Maine Island — July

A tranquil Maine harbor in summer. Photo (c) Nathaniel Hammond
A tranquil Maine harbor in summer. Photo (c) Nathaniel Hammond
July at last. It has always been my favorite month. The world seems to have come into its own with trees finally turned green, flowers in bloom, and birds singing from dawn to dusk. Very hot weather is rare in Maine, so even the occasional scorching day seems like a treat…especially after last year’s brutal winter.
Perhaps this summer you’ll travel to midcoast Maine and visit some of the islands that attract so many writers and artists. Monhegan, “the artists’ island” is perhaps the best known, with seasonal ferry service from Boothbay Harbor, New Harbor, and Port Clyde (in winter, there’s only service out of Port Clyde). But there are other wonderful islands to explore, including Isle au Haut, Matinicus, and several islands in Casco Bay, off Portland. Don’t expect big-city amenities, but do expect comfortable lodgings, New England comfort food, and a chance to see a part of Maine that many visitors miss. If you plan to stay overnight, do make advance reservations since hotel or B&B rooms are limited.
If islands are not your thing, try a drive along the midcoast region and explore some of the fishing villages like New Harbor and Tenants Harbor for a look at a traditional Maine way of life.
From my office on my own little island I’m looking out at glass-calm seas, with sailboats scooting along and lobster boats starting to come into port with the day’s catch. The little village is bustling — at least compared to winter when there are only 100 of us out here — and it’s nice to see summer residents and visitors in town again. By September most will be gone and the island will fold back into itself. Life ebbs and flows on my small Maine island, much like the tides that surround us.
I hope everyone is having a great summer thus far and one that will include a trip to this lovely part of the country. Enjoy!