Sunday, June 22, 2008
Gisland Farm - Falmouth ME
Today, my mother and I took a lovely (if a little hazy) trip to Gilsland Farm, which is the headquarters for the Maine Audubon Society. I had no idea that it also has some lovely walking trails along the Presumpscot River estuary. We managed to hit it as the fog was rolling in (actually, the fog hit the second we arrived at the Route 1 bridge into Falmouth), and it was just about the perfect temperature for walking. They have a nice mix of woods and fields. I'm definitely interested in heading back in the Fall to see what kind of wild flowers are blooming in the field. As it was, there was plenty of wild phlox, vetch, wild rose, what appeared to be wild morning glory, buttercups and a number of various white flowers I can't put a name to. The smell was amazing.
Now, the main reason we went was to see the peonies. The farm was apparently a peony farm before it was donated to the Audubon. What were the peony fields are now partially covered by woods, but they've replanted a number of plants in a formal garden near the Environmental Center:
There's also a patch in the field not far from the center that's a bit more wild in setting. Between those two gardens are the woods where there are various peonies among the other undergrowth. It's a really cool sight, and the smell over in this area is also amazing.
Here's a sampling of the overabundance of pictures of the flowers I managed to take:
The farm also supports a community garden. Unlike the gardens in Portland (or so my mother tells me), they're allowed to plant perennials in these beds, so there are a number of flowers among the vegetables. The garden also looks out over the estuary (the third shot above in this entry), so it's a lovely place to wonder.
There were at least half a dozen woodchucks wondering around while we were there, happily within ten feet of people. They're clearly living in the lap of luxury.
We stopped for ice cream on the way home, at a stand that was recently remodeled, and now sells Smiling Hill Farm ice cream. As we were sitting there, the haze (which had crept into Portland by that time) thickened, and we heard thunder, just at the perfect time to not ruin the afternoon. It was quite the storm for a little while there. I'm actually still hearing a bit of thunder in the distance, but at 4:30, the sky is starting to lighten up a bit, and it no longer looks like dusk out there. I do love a good thunder storm, so it was a nice way to end up the weekend.