Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How Bar Harbor got its name

First full day in "Bah Hahbah"... some drizzle, fog and mist - yum!

One goal for the day was to cross to Bar Island.  This island is actually connected to Bar Harbor during low tide periods.  A sand bar is exposed for up to two hours before and after minimum tide.  Four hours is ample time to cross, hike to the peak of Bar Island, and return to the mainland without fear of being stranded for ten hours.

Shells abound on the bar.  I watched a gull come in for a landing and wondered what it had spotted.

Here's the answer to that question:

At the edge of Bar Island, a lot of people were poking around, exploring, and occasionally adding to the rock cairns.

This pair was impressive.

Next came the hike to the peak.  It was very enjoyable, but not particularly photogenic.  At the top, though, I found lovely scenes of the harbor and distant islets.

Here's a "secret" spy's eye view of Bar Harbor, with Cadillac Mountain in the background.

Returning to sea level, I made a panorama of the area to show you how the bar connects things, about an hour before it gets covered by the rising tide.

On the return crossing, I focused more on the evanescent landscape of the sand bar.

Walking back to lodgings on the other side of town, I felt a sense of wonder that quite a bit of wild, unspoiled, fascinating nature can be reached on foot from a place as citified as Bar Harbor.

Easing my emotional return to civilization, I looked for odd things to possibly photograph.  I found a candidate in a building apparently slated for demolition.  To circle back to the cemetery door from two days earlier, here is a door on that building.



  1. At what time were you out there? Your pictures are reminiscent of Monet's Seine at Giverny ( and Waterloo Bridge, Gray Day (

    1. I walked to Bar Island August 6, and the photos I've posted here were done between shortly before 11am and not long past noon. The mistiness gave it something of an early morning feeling out there at times. Low tide that day was around 1pm, so I should make a correction: it was still rising when I got back to the harbor. It wouldn't submerge until a few hours later. I returned to the scene that afternoon and watched the flooding, but forgot about the time in between until you reminded me. It was a quicker hike than I realized!

      Monet was, of course, a genius. I have boundless admiration for the few people who have the ability to see and imagine at that level. The rest of us can try to learn from him, and if we have no abilities with media like paint, even working with the eye of the camera can bring some satisfaction to people like me. Thank you for the links.

  2. Just gorgeous, Jess. Makes me want to hop in the car for a long road trip. :-)

    1. Thanks, Barb. I wish I had the wherewithal to hop in a plane and fly there periodically. Skipping the congestion of the Eastern Seaboard corridor would leave more time and energy (and sanity!) for exploring the good places.


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