Sand Beach

acadia_sand_beachSand Beach is one of the most popular destinations in Acadia National Park. While Maine has a long coastline, most of it is rocky. In late October, the area is populated by a few dozen people (in summer, when the water temperature is no warmer than 55°F/13°C, huge crowds come to swim). The outlet for Beehive Lagoon cuts through the beach next to Great Head. Otter Cliffs and Baker Island can be seen on the horizon. Click on the image for a larger view.

Coastal Forests

acadia_coastal_forest_2The summit of Great Head in Acadia National Park is a testament of the resilience and diversity of life. Spruce/fir forests dominate the harsh coastal environment. Plants take any opportunity in every small patch of soil between the granite slabs. Late fall stratifies these colonists into a diverse palette of color. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Great Head

acadia_coastal_forestGreat Head in Acadia National Park is covered with a magical conifer forest. These trees seem to ignore the change of the season. Like the rock they have colonized, time has a different pace for them.

The peak called The Beehive can be seen in the distance. Click on the image for a larger view.

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The Oaks of Fall

acadia_oaks_of_fallThe oaks seem to be the last of the hardwoods to lose their leaves. Away from the coast, Acadia National Park has beautiful groves of oak trees. The rich, golden-brown canopy may not compete with aspen and maple for dazzling color, but now, without that competition, oak dominates the landscape. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Change

acadia_little_hunters_coveThe view of the fading day from Little Hunters Beach. Acadia National Park is often described as a timeless, unchanging landscape. Perhaps on a human scale, but the land is changing. Every rainfall, every tide takes a little away. The winter ice splits rock. And the colonizing biology leaves its mark. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Little Hunters Beach

acadia_little_hunters_beachLittle Hunters Beach is just down the coast from Otter Cliffs. It is a geologic junkyard. This detritus shows the metamorphosis of our planet through time. The colors mark events and transitions. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Bladder Wrack

acadia_bladder_wrackBladder wrack, Fucus vesiculosis, colonizing the faults in the rock of Otter Cliffs. Also known as rockweed, this seaweed carves out its life in the high intertidal zone. Click on the image for a larger view.

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A Sucker for Color

acadia_season_of_colorI am a sucker for color. This time of year, I simply get drunk on the stuff. There is a quiet section of road in Acadia National Park that has a stand of young quaking aspen. It is a delightful place at any time of the year, but, in the fall, it is magic. Click on the image for a larger view.