Do you know that there are more than 3,000 islands off the coast of Maine? If all were connected, I’m told they would extend all the way to Key West. Always the question is asked why are there so many islands? The simple answer is they were formed by a huge Ice Age melt more than 25,000 years ago.
At one time, about 250 of these islands were inhabited and residents earned a living primarily by working the quarries, fishing or shipbuilding. As time passed, people moved away from the islands for other opportunity, to educate their children or to live more comfortably. Today only 15 islands claim a year round population, however, effort is being made to lure families back to the islands.
Though it is not likely we will make it to all 3,000 islands we do a lot of island exploration, and I am continually amazed by their differences.
Some are craggy
while others have smoother terrain, are heavily forested or have rosa begosas blooming wildly.
Each island seems to have its own particular kind of rocks ranging from large blocks of granite to small veined stones.
Some rocks are so smooth that when warmed by the sun, they make a comfortable pallet that reminds of a hot rock massage.
Here and there salt water winds its way to the center of an island creating a pond warm enough to swim in. Kids are always happy with that discovery!
Some islands are owned by individuals and may have nothing more than a summer cabin on the land.
Others are property of the state and maintained by a trust and good spirited volunteers.
From time to time, you might be surprised to find a herd of wild goats or sheep grazing an island, and they let you know it is their space!
Once upon a time, many of the islands had working lighthouses and the only occupant may well have been the lighthouse keeper and his family. Today, most are not working as they have been replaced by more sophisticated warning systems.
There is so much more to see and explore when it comes to Maine’s islands, and I never tire of the discovery. Their wild natural beauty, the solitude take you to another time and place which is ever so calming.
Should you wish to know more about the islands, Islands in Time written by Philip Conklin with photographs by Peter Ralston is a wonderful book.
Here’s hoping you have special places of your own to explore and marvel over.
i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind