I recently had the good fortune of spending some time on Pitcher Pond in Lincolnville, Maine. Friends of ours invited me, my wife and our dog to spend a weekend at their “cabin” along the pond’s western shore and although the weather wasn’t spectacular, the time spent there certainly was.
Nearby Camden State Park offers hiking trails overlooking larger Lake Megunticook as pictured during a recent hike
About 2.5 miles long by half a mile at its widest, Pitcher Pond is as pristine as it gets and quiet as the proverbial church mouse. Just a short drive from the Camden Hills region and even closer to the seacoast town of Belfast, this area offers some wildlife viewing opportunities that rival Maine’s more isolated locations.
With few powerboats and jet-skis, the pond is a kayaker’s paradise so long as the wind isn’t kicking up a fuss and disturbing the peaceful waters. Depending on the water level of the pond, the adjacent smaller Knight Pond is accessible by kayak or canoe via a narrow connector channel.
Our first kayaking excursion was in the direction of Knight Pond where I was told that herons are frequently spotted. Having once lost a camera in a capsized canoe fiasco, I was a bit gun shy of taking my “good” gear with me in the kayak. Replacing the submerged point and shoot camera several years ago wasn’t too painful; having to buy a new digital SLR and high quality lens, ouch!!! I made the decision to leave the camera in the cabin and it was a BIG mistake. A great blue heron put on a spectacular show for us – envision a giant cargo plane practicing flawless take-offs and landings – and I didn’t even have a cell phone camera to capture it. The next day I compromised and brought the camera along but outfitted it with a less costly consumer grade lens.
Most of Saturday was overcast and the sky didn’t begin to clear until just before sunset. Meteor showers were forecasted for the overnight hours and several shooting stars were spotted in between breaks in the clouds. Shortly before 11:00 pm the near full moon rose above the tree line – its fiery red glow partially obscured by some clouds – and provided an illusion of the sunset we missed while out to dinner in Lincolnville Beach.
The evening sky offered promise for an epic sunrise the following morning but it didn’t materialize. Rather, daybreak greeted those of us awake at that early hour with some low hanging fog, the enchanting sounds of loons crying, and a bald eagle perched across the pond within reach of my telephoto lens. The stillness of the morning was only interrupted by the occasional splashing of some ducks and could best be summed up by the words: “Tranquility Base, the Eagle has landed”.
Following breakfast, we set off on a kayak mission to one of several known bald eagle nests intricately erected along the shoreline. No one was home when we arrived at the nest but Mr. (or Mrs.) eagle was spotted joy-riding and putting on an air show (think Blue Angels) for us.
Oh, and did I mention that our dog, Emmie, swam and swam and swam some more? She rated the weekend a solid “10” on the happy meter. So did mom and dad!