Monday, 29 September 2014

Enjoying The Mushroom Festival In Varena, Lithuania

Lithuania is famous for mushrooms and now is the height of the season. To commemorate the bounty, the town of Varena holds an annual celebration. The surrounding area is rich with the fungus and it's a good excuse to hold a town fair. Bring on the mushrooms!

Ready for some grybai?

Somehow, this traditional-looking presentation used the Motown tune, "Dancing In The Streets" as its theme music. The weaving techniques may also have been traditional, but the punk hairstyle is modern. Weave it and rock it.

At one booth, you could learn from where mushrooms come.

Traditional food, traditional clothes, traditional kids. A fall figure, a few stacked bails of hay, other flora and a head wrap. Nice apple necklace!
What to do with mushrooms? Traditionally, served with herring.

Churning butter and making rugs. A little harlequin dancing.

Untraditional mushroom usage? Lose the mushrooms, recreate them in dough, deep fry and sprinkle with powdered sugar. A funnel cake in disguise.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Kisma Preserve, Mount Desert, Maine

There's a lovely little animal preserve in Maine on the way to Mount Desert Island and Bar Harbor. You can stop nearby for lunch at one of the many lobster shacks and then take a tour to see a few interesting critters. Most animals have been rescued from dire situations and now live a bucolic existence in rural Maine.

Barn at the entrance.

Wandering the grounds. Exotic bird.


Wolves. Some sort of biggish cat among the tall grass.

Llamas, best to keep out of spitting range (not a problem with the many layers of chain link fence).

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Dock Jumping On Monhegan Island

Everybody into the pool! There's a great tradition on Monhegan. When a family member or friend departs the island, the rest of the clan heads down to the dock to see him or her off. A simple kiss or casual wave won't do. You need to don your bathing suit, perch on the dock edge and, once the ferry clears, throw yourself in. An emotional goodbye of diving madness.

Lining up.

Sizing up the distance to the water. The ferry is clear, time to leap!

Like bison over a cliff, they keep going.

Hitting the water.

A happy diver.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Living On Monhegan Island

Despite its funky style, architecturally Monhegan leans classic New England cedar shake. When it comes to housing, traditions seem to endure.

Cedar shake, bunting and a view, ingredients for a long-term style.

An Ivy league pedigree and a library. On closer inspection, a strange collection of dated pulp paperbacks. How does Auschwitz become just another subject within the pile of Hitchcock books?

The view. Lawn, flowers and the Atlantic beyond.

House details: china cabinet, wood staircase and a collection of blue glass in a kitchen.

You haven't completed your decorating if lobster buoys aren't present.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Let's Eat On Monhegan Island

Time to see the seafood on Monhegan and the place has a couple of good spots, whether you're eating out or in.

First stop, a marooned food truck called Hot Fat. Mmmm, let the name attract, not repel you. Bring it.

Beer and a simple menu, easy options.

Ordering and waiting.

Fish sandwich, fish tacos and some chicken for the land lubber, all good. Next stop: buying fish to take home. The ladies line up.

The men show their catch.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Mighty Lobster At The Monhegan Quadricentennial Parade

James went to Monhegan to visit a friend and his family and to check out the big parade.  It turns out, the family brought their parade game and aced the thing with a champion lobster float/interactive/free-for-all exhibition.

The Big Red One. Wait'll you see it move.

Portrait of a lobster holder.

The details were superb, right down to the rubber bands around the claws. Who was impressed? How about the honorable Maine Senator, Susan Collins.

Line up, get that lobster moving! (All those multicolored strips are water)

And move it did, beyond a regular march into some sort of jiggling dance mayhem. Rock lobster, rock!

Post parade family photo. Fun!

Monday, 15 September 2014

The Monhegan Island Quadricentennial Parade

Four hundred years is a looong time in America and certainly worthy of a blow out parade. Monhegan recently marked the anniversary with its take on the tradition and a little sprinkling of the homemade, arts vibe that defines the small island. Let's get started.

The retro and the future, parading along.

Captain John Smith? He's the reason for the parade. Nothing happens in Maine without lobster references.

Some firemen participated, others witnessed.

Arts were definitely featured: painting and music.

The area for speechmaking, all ready to go.