AS OF MARCH 24, 2020, ACADIA NATIONAL PARK IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Spring 2020

 

Many people who have summer homes on Mount Desert Island are opening their homes early apparently to escape the virus epidemic in their primary residences. The businesses on Mount Desert Island are not prepared for this early influx of summer residents resulting in shortages of commodities and services required to open their summer homes. It is likely that many of these summer residents may be infected by the virus without symptoms. Keep in mind that the Covid-19 is a coronavirus, that is, a cold virus albeit a very contagious cold virus that, like other cold viruses, can cause pneumonia or acute respiratory failure syndrome resulting in death. Summer residents from active virus areas should self-quarantine for two weeks upon arrival on Mount Desert Island as recommended by the federal Covid-19 task force. They should also order commodities from businesses that deliver during the quarantine period, be patient when requesting services and cooperate with the protective procedures established by those services. They should also try to bring necessities with  them. Simple things like toilet paper may not be available for purchase locally. If summer residents need medical care, telephone the hospital, clinic or emergency services for instructions before appearing at the service. Failure to do so may delay treatment. Everyone is welcome to Mount Desert Island but we all need to act responsibly.

The breeding pair of geese are once again on the pond.

 

A new report on the decade of pond observations is avaiable by clicking on the following link: French Hill Pond Decade Report.

 

Spring 2019

 

The Town of Bar Harbor has instituted paid/permit parking on all streets and public parking lots in the Village of Bar Harbor. This system is currently collecting about $10,000 per day. As of the time this notice was written, only five entities besides Bar Harbor use this system in the United States. European cities have used similar systems for years. Everyone, residents and visitors, must pay for parking where there are parking meters or parking kiosks. Residents of Bar Harbor and eligible non-residents must have a general  permit to park on streets where there are no parking meters or parking kiosks. Non-residents must pay for these general parking permits but they are free to residents. Non-residents are eligible for general parking permits under certain conditions too complicated to describe here. Check your eligibility with the town office or on the town website. The general parking permits must be obtained through the Internet site: www.thepermitportal.com. Before you access this site, ensure you have a photo or pdf file showing your current vehicle registration (not necessarily a Maine registration) because you will be asked to upload it. When the site first appears, it will ask you to select an agency. Select Bar Harbor. You will need to establish an account and then register your vehicle(s). The various options are too complex to list here. Once you register your vehicle(s), you will receive a permit registration number. However, your permit will not be effective until you receive an email telling you that your permit was accepted. Apparently, town officials review your application to determine eligibility. There is no need to display anything on your vehicle. Your license plate number is entered into a database. Parking enforcement officers have a device that scans license plate numbers. If you are in the general permit database, you can park in any legal space on any street that dose not have parking meters or is not covered by parking kiosks.

 

The parking meters, shown below, are the familiar meters located where a kiosk would impede foot traffic. However, they accept only quarters or credit cards.

 

Parking Meters

 

The parking kiosks, shown below, are used on streets where they won't impede foot traffic and, unlike European cities, are located on the property side of sidewalks as opposed to curbside.

 

Kiosk Locations

 

Pay close attention to the signage where you park and locate the nearest kiosk to pay for your parking. Public parking lots have kiosks where you pay for parking. The kiosk input panel is shown below. Ensure you have your license plate number when you use the kiosk.

 

Kiosk Panel

 

You will be asked to input your license plate number and pay using coin (quarters), credit card or cell phone application. Follow the instructions on the screen. The kiosk will produce a receipt. Open the small plastic door to remove the receipt and save it. The receipt need not be displayed on your vehicle but may be useful if you receive a parking summons and is a handy reminder when your parking time will expire. Currently, most parking slots cost $1.50 per hour except the parking near the ocean that is $2.00 per hour. Currently, paid parking is in effect from May through October during the day except on Sunday mornings.

 

This permit system is complex. Go to the Bar Harbor town website: www.barharbormaine.gov, or contact the town office at (207) 288-5096 for details.

 

The pair of geese who construct a nest on the French Hill Pond island each spring have done so again. The goslings have hatched and were feeding on the shore of the pond.

 

Geese 2019

 

The goose family in 2019 is shown in the photograph above. The parents are guarding a huddle of five goslings.

Summer 2018

 

The annual neighborhood barbeque was held on Saturday, August 4. The sky was cloudy but a good time was had by all.

 

Wide view of Frenchfest

 

Picnic table area

 

Spring 2018

 

The adult goose pair have arrived on French Hill Pond and established a nest on the island in the same location as last year. They produced half a dozen goslings that are happily feeding on the new grass around the pond.

 

Nesting Goose 2018

 

The winter was fatal to many trees in the Frenchman's Hill Subdivision. One large tamarack tree was blown down and currently looms over the south end of the pond. A recent power surge was caused by a tree limb in the subdivision that fell across a high-voltage power line. This power surge damaged numerous devices in the Town Hill area, tripped circuit breakers and tripped ground fault interrupt devices. Summer residents should reset their circuit breakers and ground fault devices as necessary. If in doubt, contact Emera Maine for assistance. If you have trees on your property threatening power lines, contact Emera Maine. They will assess the situation and remove trees that are a threat. The unusual number of trees damaged this winter has created a backlog of work for tree removers. Be patient with these professionals. DO NOT attempt to remove  large trees unless you have developed the necessary skills to do so and have the correct equipment.

Summer 2017

Goose Family June 2017

 

The photograph above shows the Goose family on June 26, 2017. The goslings have matured taking on the markings of adult birds. Note there was one gosling casualty. By early August, the geese had left the pond.

The next photograph shows the "Frenchfest" celebration on August 6, 2017.

Frenchfest 2017

Spring 2017

On June 4, 2017, the goose family went for a swim in the pond as shown in the photograph below. Note how much bigger the goslings are compared to their sizes at the beginning of May. It won't be long before this family is ready to move on.

Geese and Goslings June 4, 2017

During the week of May 9, the pair of geese produced four goslings shown in the photograph below. The goslings are to the right of center.

Geese and Goslings 2017

The next photograph shows one of the geese and three of the goslings on the pond. The fourth gosling is behind the adult. Note that the goslings are yellow and gray.

Goose and Goslings 2017

Mallards April 2017

Spring 2017 has arrived with a pair of Mallard Ducks, shown above, and the return of a pair of Canada Geese nesting on the island in French Hill Pond. The next photograph shows one of the goose pair nesting on the island in French Hill Pond. This photograph was taken with a Nikon D500 camera with a 500mm telephoto lens having an effective 35mm focal length of 750mm. Therefore, the photograph was taken at a considerable distance from the nest. Yet, the goose is keeping a watchful eye on the photographer and trying to keep as low a profile as possible.

Nesting Canada Goose 2017

The extreme resolution of the D500 sensor allows enlarging portions of the photograph without losing detail. The next photograph is a close-up of the nesting goose. The pair of geese has returned to this same nesting spot for several years.

Nesting Canada Goose 2017 Closeup

The other goose attempted to attract the photographer away from the nest by swimming to the south end of the pond.

Decoy Goose 2017

New in the year 2017 is a duck box about midway on the east shore of the pond. This box is intended for Wood Ducks but may be occupied by other birds. When this photograph was taken, no birds had taken up residence in the box as yet.

Duck Box 2017

The property on the east side of the pond has numerous bird boxes like the chickadee box shown in the next photograph.

Chickadee Box 2017

In addition to bird boxes, the property on the east shore of the pond has bat boxes. The bird and bat boxes attract animals that control the insect population over a significant area east of French Hill Pond, no need for insecticides there.

Bat Box 2017

 

Spring 2016

South of Pond April 26, 2016

The winter of 2015 to 2016 was relatively mild but the spring of 2016 is cooler than normal. Never-the-less, trees are beginning to bud and animals have become more active, The photograph above showing the south end of the pond was taken with a telephoto lens on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 just after a light snowfall. The deciduous trees are just beginning to bud. Some of the trees around French Hill Pond are odd-looking deciduous trees because they are deciduous conifers called Tamaracks in the Pine family. An example of such a tree is to the left of center in the photograph. Not all conifers are evergreens and some evergreens are broadleaves.

A fire on the Russell Farm Road in Bar Harbor on April 15, 2016 required the use of water from French Hill Pond. A Maine Forestry Service helicopter scooped water from French Hill Pond to help extinguish the fire. About four acres burned before the fire was extinguished. The activity of the helicopter startled a pair of geese nesting on the island. The following photograph shows one of the geese on the nest. Note the nesting material of straw and goose down.

Goose on Nest April 26, 2016

The other goose stood guard on the shore and fed on the new shoots of grass.

Goose Feeding on Shore April 26, 2016

Not far away was a robin.

Robin April 26, 2016

All the above photographs were taken on April 26, 2016 with a telephoto lens at French Hill Pond. The photographs were taken at a considerable distance from the subjects and the animals were only mildly curious.

Geese Family 2016

The above photograph was taken with a telephoto lens on May 11, 2016 after six goslings hatched. Note that one of the adult geese feeds with the goslings while the other adult stays alert for predators. When the feeding adult is sated, it will stand guard while the other feeds. If threat approaches, the guarding adult will squawk and the goslings will come together as a tight group between the adults. These geese are Canada Geese.

SUMMER 2016

The annual "Frenchfest" was held on August 13, 2016 at the north end of French Hill Pond.

Frenchfest at the north end of the pond.

A potluck supper in addition to grilled hamburgers and hot dogs provided ample food for residents of the Frenchman's Hill development and their guests.

Food service

Conversations enabled neighbors to catch up on events of the past year.

Conversation

The traditional campfire warmed people in the chill of the evening.

Campfire

An infrequent visitor during the summer of 2016 was a Great Blue Heron seen in the photograph below sitting on a rock on the north edge of French Hill Pond. 

Great Blue Heron

 

 


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