going up to maine
my parents came to pick me up at 9am today to go to maine. they traditionally go up to the kittery area where they get some seafood from the chauncey creek lobster pier then they lounge around on a nearby rocky beach. i had gone with them one other time before many years ago. seeing that i hadn't there in a while and with nothing else to do on the 4th of july, i decided to go. if nothing else, there'd be at least some photo ops. my sister and suhan also came along, everyone packed into my sister's landrover. i had a hard time on the drive up, i had an uncomfortable seat and i was starting to get mildly motion sick. traffic was okay until we hit a new hampshire toll, where all the cars bottlenecked. i forgot new hampshire doesn't require a helmet when you ride a motorcycle. having never gone on a motorcycle without a helmet, i can't imagine not wearing one. it's not really a freedom issue as it is a safety issue.

chauncey creek lobster pier

we decided to hit the food first before doing anything else. it was 11am, still early, so the place wasn't crowded yet. chauncey creek has a BYOB policy, and my parents brought along a cooler filled with supplemental food and drinks to go along with the seafood. we ordered our food in a room with a large floor tank filled with very alive lobsters and a sign warning you not to touch them. we had clam and seafood chowder, steamed mussels in a garlic wine sauce, cherrystones, and of course a few lobsters along with a lobster roll. the chowder was okay, standard good chowder. the mussels were good but they were really small. i didn't have any of the cherrystones because they were raw (and there was only 6 of them anyway). i stayed away from the lobster because i didn't want to get any of that lobster smell on me (plus i'm not a big lobster fan), but i did have some lobster tail heavily dipped in a home-brought ginger and vinegar sauce.
i think the whole business of eating lobsters is a nasty one. lobsters themselves look gross (they're nothing more than giant insects, really), and it's downright barbaric how they're cooked (boiled alive) and eaten (with a pair of cracking "grips" and special prongs to poke out the meats). the place quickly filled up and by the time we left, it was starting to get crowded.

rocky beach
next we went to the rocky beach nearby. that's not the name of the place but i don't know the real name anyway. as soon as we parked, i made a beeline to the shore, where there were some tidal pools between the rocks. the last time i visited some tidal pools was with renata back in april (030419) when we went to halibut point reservation in rockland/gloucester. back then the winter thaw was just about to be over, and there wasn't much life in the pools. this wasn't the case up here in maine, however the things growing in the pools were mostly seaweed dotted with periwrinkles and the occasional mussel wedged in a rock crevasse. further down the edge of the coast there were barnacles.

small flies swarmed on top of the salt water, but none of them were the biting kind, and they'd quickly scatter if you got close to them. i got some really funky results when i took some photos with the infrared filter. i knew it'd make the water and sky look black, but what i didn't realize was it turned all the seaweed white in the photos, so they looked like sea foam or maybe even frozen seawater.

tired of tidal pool action, i went a little inland to see if there was anything interesting. while taking photos of some daisies, i noticed a small white goldenrod spider camouflaged on one of the flowers, waiting for an unfortunate flying insect to pollinate for the very last time. i've seen yellow goldenrod spiders (on goldenrods, where else!) but i've never seen a white one before.

kittery factory outlet stores
>after the beach, we went shopping. i was surprised stores were still opened on the 4th of july. as a whole the area was deserted, but in a few of the more popular stores they were still crowded inside. i didn't find anything interesting browsing the crate & barrel, j.crew, and polo outlet stores, but i did buy a new all-purpose bag ($20) at eddie bauer to replace the one i'm currently using which is falling apart. after we had seen enough of uninspiringly stocked outlet stores, we went to bob's clam house to get some fried clams and ice cream.

while the others were eating, i explored some of the outlying areas, identifying these native wildflowers:

crown vetch

yellow indigo

st.john's wort

barbecue dinner in belmont
we left maine around 5pm, headed back to belmont. my parents went to go pick up my 2nd aunt, and then we had a barbecue. while waiting for the food to cook, i had time to spot a few things in the backyard:

daisy fleabane

long-legged fly


apple tree

immature apples


back in cambridge
after dinner, my mother gave me a quick haircut before i got a ride home from my father. the rest of the evening i spent in my lovely air conditioned living room watching adaptation and star trek: nemesis on PPV, the only thing keeping me company is one lovely female mosquito who won't leave me alone and whom i harbor some insecticidal thoughts concerning. around 10pm i heard the fireworks going off in boston, something i don't remember hearing back in belmont. at first i thought it was my upstairs neighbor making noises, before i realized where the sounds were from.

the sun is already out. i have to go to bed, i have another wedding to go to tomorrow.

beatles - (obladi, oblada) life goes on