GRAND MANAN FIELD STUDIES IN WRITING
Days 4, 5, 6
There is nothing to do on Grand Manan. No mall, movie theater, no pub. Still we have been busier than bees in a clover field for the past few days exploring the place and getting to know people. Squid jigging at midnight at the fisherman’s wharf, hiking to Hay Point with the Monday Morning Hikers, sitting around a beach fire watching fireworks pop from several spots along the shore including our own, riding out with the pile driver to observe repairs on the Intruder weir and to Dark Harbour to watch the seining of that weir have all been part of the orientation for our visitors to island life.
We are so grateful for the great generosity of islanders who’ve been sharing their stories and educating us about the state of the fishery and concerns about its future.
Page and I took a walk at the Anchorage Park and into the Bog Trail where we found orchids and pitcher plants blooming, and tassels of wild cotton topping their stalks. We were up to our ankles in wet peat, but that was no price to pay for the strange beauty of the plants adapted to this habitat.
The Grand Manan students have been great ambassadors for the island, as they work on projects about the places that mean something to them and the stories that come out of those places: Dark Harbour, Cheney’s Passage, Stanley’s Beach, Eel Lake, Seal Cove, out on the water and more.
Today we all made a field trip to the Bowdoin College Scientific Station on Kent Island, thanks to Russell Ingalls who ran us over from Seal Cove through thick fog.
Damon Gannon, Director of the station, told us about research being done on the 40 -50,000 Leach’s Storm Petrels, oceanic birds that nest in forest burrows on this small island. Here’s the link to the Bowdoin College Kent Island Scientific Station:
Peter Cunningham took us to Fog Heaven where we learned about the work his father Robert Cunningham did here for 60 years or so studying fog. “A pure scientist,” Peter calls him, just as Peter is “a pure photographer,” both of them moved by a genuine curiosity to know. The weather station is gearing up to begin again sending out data, so this site will continue to make a contribution to understandings about climate change, building on decades of data already gathered.
Stay tuned for guest posts here from Jan, Page and Paco, along with some of their photographs from their travels. Harley Cary and Page Buono have also posted very poetic photos on their Facebook pages. Check them out!