"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

October 23, 2019

Fall Foliage

"And all at once, summer collapsed into fall..." -Oscar Wilde
The fall colors are taking over in upstate New York and Pennsylvania. It truly is a beautiful time of year. Our trees in Texas change color, but we don't get the colors you find further north. Do you know why? Here is an explanation...Although temperature and rainfall influence the colors, the onset of longer nights is the most important factor in leaf color change. The day light hours in the south stay more consistent so we have less color.
So why do leave change color? Changes in leaves' pigments plants have three primary pigments that are important for the color changes we see during autumn: chlorophyll, carotenoids and anthocyanins.
Chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants their green color, is necessary for photosynthesizing light and creating sugars that feed the plant. Carotenoids assist in photosynthesis and are responsible for the oranges and yellows color. Anthocyanins, acts as a protective “sunscreen” for leaves; they produce the red colors we see in leaves. Anthocyanins are produced only during the fall when chlorophyll levels start to drop.
During the growing season, chlorophyll takes center stage as it's repeatedly produced and broken down again, making the leaves appear green. As the days become shorter, there is less available sunlight for photosynthesis. This slows chlorophyll production until none remains. The carotenoids and the anthocyanins are then left allowing the leafs to bare their brilliant colors.
Temperature and moisture are the main drivers of the amount and brilliance of the colors. Warm, sunny days with cool (but not freezing) nights allow for lots of sugars to be produced during the day, which are then trapped in the leaves as the cool nights close the leaves’ veins. This extra sugar leads to the production of more anthocyanins, boosting the reds, crimsons and purples in the leaves.
In most parts of the temperate world, 15% of tree species will turn yellow and only 10% will turn red. In certain regions, however, like New England, 30% of the woody species will turn yellow and an incredible 70% will turn red. You’ll find some of the most brilliant color changes in trees such as maple, dogwood, sumac, oak, poplars, birch and elm.

My friend Julia took this picture of the marina right after we left...thanks for the wonderful picture.
These pictures were taken by a local photographer in upstate New York. His name is John Kucko. Just out his Facebook page.
Fall isn't all about the foliage...there are plenty of pumpkins, Indian corn, mums and gords too.

October 3, 2019

Road Trip Lighthouses

“He who returns from a journey is not the same as he who left.” – Chinese proverb

New Brunswick is one of Canada's Maritime provinces, we had hoped to visit the other two, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, on our trip this fall, but circumstances kept us in New Brunswick. The three Maritime provinces are full of lighthouses...almost 300 and most look very similar. We enjoy finding lighthouses on our travels, we seldom go too far out of our way to find them, but we do visit and take pictures when we we find them. This trip we found 18 and I'm sure we would have seen many more if we could have gotten to Nova Scotia. Click the following links to see our lighthouse map and lighthouse photos.

Quaca Head Lighthouse stands on a scenic point with an excellent view of St. Martins' beach and the Fundy Trail coastline. This light was established in 1855 was replaced in 1966 and altered a decade later with a concrete structure. The Quaco Museum has several lighthouse artifacts, including the Fresnel lens from the old structure. 
New Brunswick being a maritime province of Canada, means everything doing with the sea is very important. It seemed like every town we visited had a lighthouse...not a true/active light but a lighthouse just the same. This one in St. Martins was used as the visitors center.   
Cape Enrage Lighthouse is one of the oldest on New Brunswick’s Fundy coastline. The original light was built about 1840 it was replaced with this one in 1870 and is still used as a light station and fog alarm. It offers one of the most spectacular views of the Bay of Fundy from its towering cliffs. 
Dixon Point Front Range Lighthouse & Dixon Point Range Rear Lighthouse were originally built in 1881 and replaced in 1919 with an attractive salt-shaker-style design. The front range is still active. 
Dixon Point Range Rear Lighthouse  
Pointau Jerome Front Lighthouse was established in 1883 and altered in 1987. It is still an active aim to navigation. All three of these lighthouses are located near Bouctouche.  
Richibucto Head Lighthouse was established in 1865 in Richibucto, NB. In the early 1800s, Richibucto was the third largest shipping port in New Brunswick and many shipbuilding sites sprung up along the Richibucto River. Richibucto, a Mi'kmaq word meaning river of fire. 
Pointe Sapin Range Rear Lighthouse was established in 1903 and is located on the Acadian Coastal Drive, 5 miles north of Kouchibouguac National Park of Canada. It's still in operation as an active aid to navigation. 
Ritchie Wharf Lighthouse is located in Ritchie Wharf Park. I'm not sure if it's a real lighthouse or not, it sits on the waterfront that was once a thriving shipbuilding industry.  
The Lighthouse on the Green is a replica built in Fredericton in 1989 for a boat tour business. It now serves as a restaurant and observation deck to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Saint John River.  
Pendlebury or St. Andrews Lighthouse was constructed in 1833, it's the oldest remaining mainland lighthouse in New Brunswick, but not the oldest lighthouse in NB. It was de-commissioned in 1938 and sits in a small pocket park at the end of Patrick Street in St. Andrews.  
The Green’s Point Lighthouse was established in 1879 and altered in 1903. It has museum on site and gives fantastic views of the Letete Passage. 
Deer Island Lighthouse is a modern navigation aid and not considered a lighthouse by many. I couldn't even find a date for when it went into serve. 
Cherry Island Lighthouse was established as a fog bell in 1903, to assist mariners in locating the entrance to the St. Croix River. In 1969, a directional light was placed atop the truncated fog tower, which was later replaced by the current cylindrical tower. 
Head Harbour Lighthouse was built in 1829 as a means of helping ships in the area navigate the famous Bay of Fundy fog, high tides, and the treacherous rocks surrounding Campobello Island. To visit this light house you have to come at low tide, it's only accessible by foot from the mainland. The original octagonal, wooden tower is still in use, and although the light still shines into the bay, it's no longer staffed. 
The Mulholland Point Lighthouse was built in 1885. It's This is the only lighthouse shared by Canada and the United States. The original octagonal, wooden structure is located within Roosevelt Campobello International Park on Campobello Island.
Fort Point Light Station is located in Stockton Springs, Maine and has served as an active aid to navigation since 1835. The present lighthouse was built in 1857 and automated in 1988. 
Lubec Channel Light is a sparkplug lighthouse located in Lubec, Maine, it  was established in 1890. It's one of three surviving sparkplug lights in Maine, and served as an important aid to navigation on the route from the Bay of Fundy to Eastport, Maine and the St. Croix River.  
West Quoddy Head Lighthouse was originally built in 1808, and replaced by the current tower in 1858. The light sits on the easternmost point of land in the contiguous USA. The red and white tower is the only "candy striped" tower in the United States. The light was fully automated in 1988 and is now maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.