UMaine Extension 2020 “Stay-Cation” Photo Contest Entries
Announcing the Winners!
We are pleased to announce that we had twenty-one entries in the UMaine Extension 2020 Stay-Cation Photo Contest. Photographs were submitted by UMaine Extension staff, statewide, of their favorite stay-cation locations all around the state of Maine. (Google Map of UMaine Extension Stay-Cation Locations)
The judge’s only criterion: “Would this picture make me want to go there on my Maine Stay-Cation?”
The judge’s top photo choice wins a gift certificate for UMaine Extension merchandise/bling. Second and Third runners-up will get UMaine Extension mugs.
Judge’s Top Choices:
(Click on photo to enlarge both photo and caption.)
Seeboomook Wilderness Campground
We have taken many Staycations so far this summer. It was difficult to choose just one. This photo is from Seeboomook Wilderness Campground on Seeboomook Lake. We stayed there for three days in late June. This is the second time visiting this campground. Our family really loves this place, part of the fun is the ride in — logging roads and big trucks! But also we tend to see Moose and other wildlife too. It’s amazing what you can see at 5 to 10 mph. We love swimming, fishing, kayaking and riding our bikes, it is a great place for families. You can bring your camper, tent or rent a cabin.
— Photo by Kristy Ouellette
SECOND PLACE (tie)
Reid State Park, Georgetown
This image is from a day-trip to one of my favorite beaches, Reid State Park in Georgetown, Maine. I have gone there every summer since I was a toddler, either with my family, my extended family (including a dozen cousins, plus aunts, uncles, and grandparents), with my husband, or just by myself. I love the familiarity of it, but also that it looks a little bit different every time, too. On this particular day, a hurricane was passing by out to sea, creating amazing waves and clouds. As the golden hour approached, the light became magical on the breaking waves. I will absolutely be going again, and highly recommend it to anyone who likes walking on the beach, swimming, body surfing, or exploring rocks and tide pools. There is a great lagoon there as well, perfect for younger kids or anyone not interested in braving the surf.
Photo by Tori Jackson
SECOND PLACE (tie)
Big Indian Lake, St. Albans
There’s a saying that goes, “If you’re lucky enough to live near the water, you’re lucky enough.” For 26 years, I’ve been fortunate to call Big Indian Lake in St. Albans my home and it’s my favorite spot for a stay-cation. This year was no exception. If you enjoy kayaking, fishing, or birdwatching, I highly recommend putting your boat in at the town landing on the lake’s eastern shore and spending the day exploring. Canoes and kayaks can fit through a culvert that runs under Ripley Road and connects to Little Indian Pond. Big Indian Lake is about 5 miles long with plenty of quiet coves, islands, and shallow wetlands full of native plants and wildlife. Be sure to bring your camera or binoculars. This sunrise photo is just one of the hundreds I’ve taken over the years from my shore. What a spectacular way to start each day!
— Photo by Cindy Eves-Thomas
Took the ‘fam’ to Monhegan Island for three days and nights in June. It was my third time on the island, but none of us had been there since June of 2016, and this was also our first time there during a global pandemic, which made the experience this time all the more unique, memorable, and restorative. We were there at the tail end of the ‘off-season’ rates, and the rates were also reduced by 20% for Maine residents (due to COVID-19), but even with higher prices, I would strongly recommend spending at least two full days and nights out there at least once in your lifetime. I often describe Monhegan as everything that’s great about Maine, compacted down into one little quiet island of perfect tranquility!
— Photo by Charlie Armstrong
Other 2020 UMaine Extension Stay-Cation Photo Entries
(Click on photo to enlarge both photo and caption.)
Northern Pond Nature Area, Monroe
This photo was taken this spring at the Northern Pond Nature Area near Monroe, Maine. Maine has many uncrowded little oases like this within an easy driving distance of our home in Hampden. We have been exploring and enjoying these little family-friendly areas for years but this year, they have been a balm for the soul during these stressful and uncertain times. If you are looking for an easy afternoon walk, this is an excellent little location for a nature adventure.
— Photo by Ann Bryant
“Middle of Nowhere”
Since age 9 my summers have been spent hopping from one agricultural fair to another with my show string of cows. While the cancellation of the fairs has been difficult, I have been putting the newly freed up time to good use. I have been able to partake in summer activities that I typically miss out on: like camping!
This photo was taken in the middle of nowhere, quite literally. I was on a camping trip on a remote pond in Maine, sitting in my canoe admiring the sunset. This was certainly not my first camping adventure, but it had been at least 10 years since the last time I went camping anywhere other than my backyard.
This was, however, my first time camping in this spot. It certainly did not disappoint!
I am sure that when things return to “normal” I will go back to fair hopping in the summer, but it was nice to have a change of scenery, even though I am starting to miss the bright lights of carnival rides and the smell of fryer oil.
— Photo by Sadee Mehuren
We went to my grandparents’ camp on the northern end of Moosehead Lake. We frequently take all the boats pictured to the lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers in the area. We love paddling the west branch of the Penobscot to view the many birds, moose, and other creatures that frequent the area. This picture was taken last summer. We go for 10 days over the 4th of July holiday each year. The Moosehead Lake region is like no other place in the world… just remember your bug spray!
— Photo by Chris Howard
Portland Head Light
Cathy Bartlett Gray
I started a Maine Lighthouse tour this summer and have visited three so far. The photo of Portland Head Light was taken on May 16, 2020, during a day trip to South Portland. Though I have visited this spot a number of times in my life, this time was particularly special because there were very few visitors at the lighthouse due to COVID-19 restrictions, which made it very peaceful and quiet. I will definitely visit again and hope to add a mail-boat cruise which will provide views from the water, as well. As Portland Head Light is the most photographed lighthouse in the world, it is a must-see when visiting Maine!
— Photo by Cathy Bartlett Gray
Late morning view from Chebeague Island. A 15-minute ferry ride yet feels like escaping the chaos of everyday life! Nothing like a little island time to recharge and refresh.
— Photo by Mary Wicklund
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay
I went on my yearly visit to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens not long after they reopened in June. They did a great job implementing safety precautions and you reserve a ticket so only a limited number of people get to go at a time, it felt very safe. I would highly recommend it and I may make a second visit this summer, I’ve never gone later in the year.
— Photo by Rebecca Long
Quoddy Head State Park, Lubec
Described as “the nation’s most eastern point”, this picture was taken at the end of May on the Coast Guard Trail at the Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec, Maine. We went in the late morning for a one-mile loop hike that led to unique views of the Quoddy Head Lighthouse, the channel from the cliffs, and the town of Lubec itself. This was my first time visiting this part of Maine and it was beautiful with the fog rolling in and out over the water. Since the initial visit, Lubec is one of my favorite spots to visit. There are many beautiful spots to see from a boardwalk through wild roses ending at Mowry Beach to a woodland hike that opens up to views of Cobscook Bay. I would highly recommend the Quoddy Head State Park, as well as a trip to Lubec. Did I mention there is a locally owned chocolate shop that you can get lost in for quite some time? My family is already planning to return next spring to hike the Bog trail in hopes of seeing carnivorous pitcher plants.
— Photo by Brittany Foster
Deboullie Pond, Northern Maine
We stayed at a campsite on Deboullie Pond in northern Maine, summer 2008. Access is by boat only. It took us two trips in the boat to get all of our supplies, firewood, and of course the dog! We stayed for four nights. It was my first time to the Deboullie region but my husband fishes that pond every spring. If you like remote, off-grid camping you may enjoy this area. There is a nice sand beach, and you can hike Deboullie Mountain.
— Photo by Tracey Ferwerda
Baxter State Park, Debsconeag Wilderness
During the weekend of July 17-20, I traveled to Baxter State Park and the Debsconeag Wilderness! I’ve never been to this part of the state before, it was incredible to see such a pristine part of the state. We tent camped at Big Eddy Campground, which I’d recommend to anyone interested in visiting that area. We hiked the 6-mile Rainbow Loop Trail and 2-mile Ice Caves trail in the Debsconeag Wilderness. We also hiked to the Sandy Stream Pond caught a beautiful angle of Mt Katahdin at sunset over the pond. One of my favorite parts of this trip was looking at all of the vegetation – the Spruce dominated forest with Hobble Bush, Bunchberry, Red Elderberry, and Ferns below. I look forward to visiting Baxter State Park again, but next time, summiting Mt Katahdin. Photo of Mt. Katahdin’s reflection in Upper Tongue Pond.
— Photo by Pamela Hargest
Jasper Beach, Machiasport
Staying right at home, we were able to access a number of trails and beaches along the beautiful coast of Downeast Maine for day trips. Jasper Beach, with hundreds of thousands of rocks that have been tumbled smooth by the ocean, is one of our all-time favorite places to go. Baxter, our almost 15-year-old Golden Retriever has been going there with us since he was a pup- one of his most favorite places to visit as well.
— Photo by Jen Lobley
Wells Beach Jetty, Wells
This photo is of the Well’s beach jetty, taken early in the morning at the end of May. I visit that beach at least twice a year, usually a bit off-season. I’ve been going there since I was a few days old and I used to fish off the jetty for mackerel and stripers with my grandfather. It’s my favorite place in the world, so I intend to go back! I would definitely recommend it! —
Photo by Kerry Bernard
A photo from an earlier summer, 2011, when I had a small raspberry patch in my little back yard. Because what can be better than making raspberry freezer jam on a hot July afternoon? With a side of sunflowers, of course.
— Photo by Dana Rickman
A quiet paddle on Pierce Pond in Penobscot, July 2020.
— Photo by Carla Scocchi
At our quiet anchorage in Mosquito Cove, Winter Harbor. July 2020.
— Photo by Carla Scocchi
Compass Harbor Trail,
A spring hike in 2020 on Compass Harbor Trail 3 miles south of Bar Harbor leads to the remains of the former home and grounds of the Dorr estate, George B. Dorr was known as the father of Acadia National Park. The trail continues to the dramatic rocky coast. This is a part of the park that is not frequented by tourists but is well known to the local population. This short hike is a perfect place for a picnic by the sea.
— Photo Courtesy of Michele Lodgek
My stay-cation this year was on Deer Isle. My families roots are on the island and every summer, I usually stay at my sister’s camp, with her, on weekends and especially for the week of the 4th of July (a big deal with my family which used to involve participation in the annual parade). This year, it being very different circumstances, and since I wasn’t able to take a trip out of state this spring, and to treat myself for my birthday on July 1, I booked a cottage on Deer Isle, on Long Cove, through AirBnB. The host had just started accepting bookings from Maine residents with all proper safety protocols in place.
It was a wonderful stay, very relaxing! Most mornings were foggy but I was able to enjoy breakfast on the deck of the cottage a few mornings.
I played “tourist”: visiting Nervous Nellie’s Jams and Jellies and “Nellieville” (so much more than jam, a must-see should you come to the island), a low-tide hike to Sheep Island, the Stonington Farmers Market on Friday, strolling around downtown Stonington, dining at Harbor Cafe.
I hosted my sister, one evening, outside on the cottage deck to a dinner made from items bought at the Farmer’s Market and then streamed “Hamilton” on my laptop, right there on the deck! Fun! “Dinner and a show!”
Had nice outdoor visits, with the family, for the 4th of July with a barbecue on the deck at my sister’s camp. Was good to see other family members, in person, after months of texts and Zoom sessions. We even had a chance to get to Sylvester’s Cove beach for the afternoon, an annual tradition. The weather was pleasantly cool – the past few years have been unbearably warm and humid during the week of the 4th.
I often joke that I only read books during my summer visits/overnights on Deer Isle (being as it’ very “low tech” at my sister’s camp) and am pleased to say I did finish a book, “We Are All Welcome Here” by Elizabeth Berg, while staying at the cottage and I even got a start on a collage – something I haven’t done in awhile – felt very inspired!
I highly recommend a visit to, or a stay on Deer Isle… “island time” is just the best!
— Photo by Michelle Snowden
“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination, and brings eternal joy to the soul.” — Robert Wylan
My love for the ocean and all its creatures is about as large as the ocean itself! I took this photo of a Finback whale, the second largest creature on Earth, on a whale watch off Eastport in 2010. I’ve been fortunate to go on several of these adventures over the years. During these trips, sights of whales (including Humpbacks, Minkes, and Finback), seals, porpoises and seabirds are always exciting and bring joy. When the whale watch ends, Eastport and nearby Lubec are nice towns to explore. In Eastport, the shops on Water Street feature artists, antiques, and sweets! Raye’s Mustard Mill has been operating since 1900 and is a favorite attraction. In Lubec, visit the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, the easternmost point in the United States. Nearby hiking trails in the state park will showcase the Maine coast! If you want to find sea glass, visit Mowry Beach, a part of the Downeast Coastal Conservancy. Local restaurants have amazing seafood and you can find lobster fresh off the boat! Come visit Washington County if you are looking for a quiet, relaxing vacation by the ocean with beautiful scenery and wildlife!
— Photo by Tara Wood
Oh, the Places UMaine Extension Staff Have Been!
- Fran Sulinski is an Assistant Director of Extension who lives in the greater Bangor area.
- Liz Stanley is a Horticulture CEA, professional photographer/artist, and gardener who lives on the Mid-Coast.
- Suzanne Madore is a Media professional with Ethos Marketing and a professional photographer who lives in Southern Maine.