Thursday, August 24, 2017

Popham Beach, Once Again!

Hey guys! Today I went to Popham Beach again! What can I say? It's one of my favorite summer spots!
I started out my day by setting up camp in the hot, dry sand. I laid out my towel and put up my umbrella to shade my skin from the sun. (I also lathered on a generous amount of sunscreen--every sunburn you get increases your chances of getting skin cancer! No thanks!)

I also pulled out my book and did some reading.

And more reading.

After a while, I realized my eyes were moving across the pages, but I wasn't really reading the words. The sound of the ocean was so relaxing, and the breeze was so warm...

...I leaned back and closed my eyes, and before I knew it...

...I was asleep! I only rested there for a few minutes before my brother and Skye (my mom's friend, who my brother and I live with, for those who were wondering) woke me up by asking if I wanted to walk over to the island.

Of course I wanted to walk over to the island! You can only go out when it's low tide, and the last few times we've been this summer it's been really high tide. You can see it there in the background.

One of the first paths you get onto is surrounded by these tall grasses. Luckily, there's no poison ivy! 

In fact, most of the island has this vegetative growth. These grasses are really good, because their roots help hold the soil down so it doesn't erode away.

Look at all that grass! Isn't it pretty?

As the path progressed, we got to the small beach between some of the rocks.

I carefully climbed down this steep rocky face so I could go investigate the little hidden-away beach.

I jumped down from the rocks and landed in the cold, wet sand. There were lots of little caves all around in the rocks.

I decided to take a closer look inside this one! It looked like there was some water sitting in it. 

I was right! Though the water wasn't very deep, it was definitely filling the bottom part of the cave. And by the looks of it (and the smell...pee-ew!), it had been sitting there for a while!

I crawled down from the cave and looked through the thick seaweed for crabs. They love to hide in the dark, wet habitat the seaweed provides! I lifted up little pieces here and there, but didn't have much luck finding anything. 

I walked up the beach a little bit and then trekked to the top of the island. I had to climb a lot of rocks to get there! 

After climbing a couple rocks and scraping my knee a few times, I made it to the top! It was super windy and the air was salty, but I was glad to be there all the same.

I took a seat on some of the smoother rocks overlooking the water and watched the waves crash into the island. 

As I was walking back, I came across this neat little rock fort.

Of course, I had to sit under it! I felt like some sort of sea bear, and pretended that I had lived on the little island in the little fort for hundreds of years, running across the rocks at seagulls. My little brother joined in, too!

It was starting to get late and Skye told us we had to get going. We trekked back across the land bridge to the main land, but not without enjoying the scenery.

The sun was so bright on the water, I had to squint my eyes!

Aren't those rocks so cool? The waves crashed up against them and would spray you if you got too close!

My little brother and I fell asleep on the ride home, we were so tuckered out from all that climbing around on the island! I had a blast at Popham. It makes me sad to think that this will probably be one of my last trips there this season...but that means I get to look forward to next summer! And everything between now and then! And I have a feeling there is an awful lot to look forward to. How has your summer been? Have you ever walked to an island? Let me know in the comments!
This has been Dani, dabbling yet again at Popham Beach. Over and out!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Eclipse Day!

Hey guys! So, as I'm sure you all know, there was a solar eclipse this past Monday! There hasn't been a full solar eclipse in the United States in nearly 40 years, so the opportunity to see it was one I definitely wasn't gonna pass up.

Of course, looking directly at the sun is never a good idea, even if it is partially covered by the moon. To view the eclipse, you need either special glasses, or this neat apparatus I made out of a shoebox and some tinfoil!

First, I cut two holes in the side of the box--one for viewing, one for covering.

The one for covering I covered in tinfoil. I also put tape up around all the corners to make sure the inside was really dark!

Then, I poked a little hole in the foil with a pin.

And that was it! My eclipse viewer was complete. I brought it outside to test it out, though the eclipse had just begun.

I brought my eye to the viewing hole...

...and lo and behold, it worked! you can see the little chunk taken out of the sun by the moon projected on the inside. 

This was about as extreme as it ever got up in Maine--we weren't in the path of totality, so it didn't get too dark. 

It did get a little dark, though. The light turned sort of bluish, and it even felt a couple degrees cooler!

It's sort of hard to tell in this photo, but the lighting looked really weird. I felt like everything had a filter, or like I had just jumped out of a photograph from the 1970s! 

Seeing the eclipse, even though it was partial in our area, was super cool. The next solar eclipse to have a path over the United States will be in 2024--and the path of totality goes right over Maine! I just CAN'T miss that. I watched live videos online of the eclipse in places where coverage was 100%, and it was incredible! I want to witness that myself. Did you see any of the eclipse? Were you in the path of totality? Did you get special glasses? I'd love to know!
This has been Dani, dabbling in solar events. Over and out!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Popham Beach!

Hi guys! I hope you're all doing well. I don't have much summer vacation left, so I'm trying to get to all my favorite spots before I have to go back to school! Today I went to Popham Beach.

Popham has such nice sandy beaches, it's perfect for lounging around, swimming or just beach combing.

I always like to start my beach trips by walking through the sand and looking for cool beach stuff, like shells and driftwood and feathers.
This trip started no differently! I looked through the woody debris that lined certain areas of the sand, hoping to find some treasure. Popham is such a popular beach, though, that most of the really cool stuff has already been picked up by someone else. It's still fun to look, though!

After a little more walking, I found this HUGE feather! It was so neat I just had to pick it up.

As I reached down, I remembered the age-old adage Skye had told me since I was little--bird feathers are covered in germs and will make you sick! My fingers hesitated above the big feather, and I decided maybe it was best if I left this one behind. I don't know if that saying has any truth, but I decided it was best not to risk it. Not today, at least.

It was really really windy the whole time we were there. Sand blew up into people's chairs, powered kites, and turned umbrellas inside out! Just look at how crazy my hair is in this picture!

After a good while of beach combing, I scouted out a good place to set up my towel and bags before I went swimming. 

I settled on a nice, clean area that didn't feel too crowded. 

I lifted up the edges of the towel and let it billow out into the wind. This is the best way to set up a towel so it doesn't get too sandy!

After that, I went swimming! The waves were enormous! I would jump over them and dive through them and let them carry me back to shore. The water was so cold, I couldn't feel my toes after a while! I stayed in as long as I could though, trying to enjoy as much of it as I could. When I came back in, I lay down on my towel in the sun to dry off. The ocean is probably one of my favorite places to spend time. Where's your favorite place? What do you like to do when you're at the beach? Have you ever been to the ocean? I'd love to know!
This has been Dani, dabbling her toes in the sand at Popham Beach. Over and out!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Dog Days at Peacock Beach!

Hey everyone! Summer is coming to a close fast, and one of my favorite places to lounge around in August is Peacock Beach. Since it's a pond, the water gets really warm, especially after heating up in the sun all summer long.

My dog Saturn got to come along, too! He's an Australian Shepherd, and he's FULL of energy, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to let him run around and do dog stuff outside. 

I picked up a stick and waved it in the air a little, trying to get his attention.

"Saaaaatuuuuurn!" I called as I whistled to him. 

He stopped his sniffing and picked up his head, his eyes suddenly intent.

I lifted the stick higher in the air and wiggled it around. Saturn sat completely still, his ears raised up in anticipation.

I quickly heaved the stick across the grass. The moment it left my hand, Saturn bolted after it, leaping into the air to catch it. 

After playing fetch for a while, I walked around and explored a bit. I looked up into the canopy and found a really good climbing tree!
I jumped up and grabbed a branch, digging my toes into the bark on the trunk to lift me up.

I shimmied up the tree a little more, reaching my arms up to the next branch.

Finally, I found a nice branch that was pretty high up. I leaned my back against the trunk and looked out through the leaves across the water. It was so sunny and glisten-y! I thought it was about time to go down and check it out.

Saturn and I climbed down onto the rocks by the water. 

I wiggled my toes in my sandals. The pond lapped the rocks and splashed my legs every so often.

I glanced over to another rock and saw what I thought was a strange looking rock. I went closer to inspect, and I realized it was clay! I had forgotten that the sand at Peacock Beach was full of clay.

I took off my shoes and shirt and hopped into the water to look for clay. Saturn had to hop in too, of course!

I put my face to the surface of the water, closely scanning the sand for grey ripples.

The closer I looked, the more I saw! I reached down and sunk my hand into the pocket of clay...

...And pulled out a fistful! 

It was SO mushy and squishy between my fingers! I could even feel some between my toes, too. 

Soon, I had a little pile going. I mushed and molded this pile into little pots and bowls and plates, but finally decided to put it back into the water and go for a swim. 

After all my climbing and running and splashing and swimming around, I was pooped! I wrapped my towel around my shoulders and went to sit on the grass and dry off. Saturn came and sat next to me, and started licking the clay and water off my arms and feet. Saturn is a really smart dog, but sometimes he does the weirdest stuff! 

I had a great day at Peacock Beach! I'm sure Saturn did, too--he slept almost the entire ride home! I'm sad that summer is almost over, though. I'm gonna miss busy days at the beach and playing outside in the sun! I like all the seasons, but I think summer is my favorite. What have you been up to this summer? What's your favorite thing to do outside? Leave a comment below--I'd love to know!
This has been Dani, dabbling in matters most "fowl" at Peacock Beach! Over and out!