Sitting on the Dock of the Pond

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Camping has been on our mind all winter, and we were thrilled to finally bring out the tent for some spring camping this past week. Only a handful of campgrounds in Maine are open in early May, but we found a great one that opened May 1st on the Pemaquid Peninsula. We pulled into Duck Puddle Campground in Nobleboro around noon on Wednesday and had our pick of sites.

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We couldn’t pass on a site right on the edge of Pemaquid Pond with its own dock, and after unpacking we soon took to the water. Five of Hearts and Five Ball were a bit under the weather, but they found the energy to splash and play for quite a while before crashing.

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After some quality rest and relaxation, we dragged the reluctant kids into town for groceries and then to the Damariscotta Fish Ladder to try to spot the annual migration of alewives upstream to spawn. We were in luck and spotted hundreds of fish making their way up the fish ladder that was constructed after the Damariscotta River was dammed for a hydroelectric project.

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The rest of our time was mostly spent exploring the campground (the playground especially) and relaxing. Five Spice spotted a caddisfly case around our dock, which we had read about but never actually seen before. These cases that the caddisfly larva make are pretty amazing. The larva use silk to bind together pebbles, twigs, and bits of plants to make a protective case which is open at both ends to allow water to flow through and pass over the larva’s gills. When ready to change into an adult, it seals off the ends of the case, and after the transformation is complete it cuts through and flies away.

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We ended our time on the Pemaquid Peninsula with trip down to Pemaquid Point. The winds were howling, and only High Five braved the elements to explore the rocky shore below the famous lighthouse. The gusts proved to be too strong though, and for every step forward he was blown back two. After a few pictures we were thoroughly chilled and soon retreated to the car, glad to head back to the campsite for our final campfire. That evening as we fell asleep to the sound of geese, loons, and barred owls, we were already making plans for our next spring camping excursion.

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