Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Lobster Ladies of South Harpswell

I believe there are two kinds of farming. The first are the farmers who work the terra firma. Then there are the farmers who harvest from the sea. The Lobster Ladies of South Harpswell are the latter. They sell lobster directly from the boat to you. At $3.69 it's a relatively inexpensive source of protein and there's no middle man. Support your local farmers!

The Lobster Ladies of South Harpswell, waiting on eager customers. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nobleboro Historical Society Applefest

A fun and eye-catching succession of signs (along Route One) promoting Nobleboro Historical Society's Applefest. Slated for this Saturday, (Oct. 3rd) from 10 to 2, on the Society grounds and next door at the Nobleboro Central School, they've scheduled a silent auction, crafts, and music. Of course they'll have apple goodness of all shapes and sizes too!

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's not junk... it's inventory!

I love it when I see an opportunity to find a new use for something, when all someone else might see is junk. I caught sight of this chair serving as a house number sign in Brunswick. I guess I'm not the only one who subscribes to the, "It's not junk," philosophy. What's in your "inventory?"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Keep Maine Scenic

We ran by this sign on the side of a tractor-trailor up in the Perry area along Route One this past August during our annual camping trip Downeast. A message that we can all take to heart, but the delivery had something to be desired. Left in what appeared to be a deserted, dirt business lot, it simply struck us as an oxymoron.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sweden is west of China

This is one famous sign in Maine! Located at the junction of Route 35 and 5 in Lynchville, our trip to the western mountains just wouldn't be complete without a chance to add this one to the blog. Read an interesting and humorous news story about Maine place names from the New York Time here. Enjoy!

West Paris and the clothes pin industry

On a road trip earlier this summer we decided to cruise through West Paris... Maine that is. West Paris is where Ali's childhood home is located and she suggested that we check out the old Penley Clothes Pin Factory. The factory closed down around 2003, which is a shame since the area could really use an economic boost. You can read about Penley's history here.

Of course, I couldn't resist taking this photo of a sign for Lewis H. Mann & Son that is, one... giant... clothes pin. Bet that won't roll of the porch when you're hangin' laundry!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lubec, Maine

Lubec is the easternmost town in the U.S. and a fabulous area to visit. Ali and I spent two weeks tent camping in August (no rain...) at a nearby state park. It's our third year doing so and if you think it will be our last, you are sadly mistaken. This area of Downeast Maine is simply magnificent. Although a somewhat depressed region economically, there is spectacular beauty, wonderful people to meet, social events, and a pace of life that can only be described as satisfying to the soul. We very much look forward to next year's visit. And the year after that, and the year after that...

Blueberry Capital of the World

Forgive me, but how did Cherryfield, Maine become Blueberry Capital of the World?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

No Kidding

A while back we were meandering through West Gardiner to where, I don't recall, but we came across this vacancy sign. Was this a couples only resort?

No, we discovered... it was a horse motel (OK... OK... a stable...) with accommodations by the month.

Then this white-bearded guy came out to greet us. His name was Jerry.

"Please," he pleaded (or was that bleated?), "won't you feed my kids?"

So we dropped a few coins in the revamped vending machine. Anything for Jerry's kids.

Monday, August 24, 2009

No, your other left...

Caught this one in Richmond along Route 201 heading south. It seems that daylilies always know which way to point. Towards the sun of course. If you want to buy any from this seller, well... there are times when you just have to take your chances.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Youth and Community Garden

I snapped this photo on our way to Popham Beach one day a few weeks back. It couldn't have been July or June because of ALL THE RAIN!!!! Located on a fairly busy road, this large garden is happily identified with a pleasing and colorful sign. Kudos to the Bath area schools for growing a "shovel ready" project, to stimulate a connection to the community.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Honey, let's get married!

Ali and I just returned from a fabulous 12 day vacation spent tent camping at Cobscook State Park in Edmunds Township near Lubec in Washington County. Our 8th wedding anniversary coincided with the trip. Our August 2001 wedding took place in our back yard with family and friends. It was a memorable day and all the planning and preparation was well worth the effort.

This sign, located on Route One in Northport, would have provided a Plan B.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Conundrum: A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Successive Signing

These successive signs (one following the other) are located at Crystal Spring Farm in Brunswick on Pleasant Hill Road. They remind me how very important farms are to a community. Any community. No farms, no food. It's that simple.

Rainy weather and late blight are effecting crops started by backyard gardens and small growers in New England. Support your local farmers, now and in the future, by purchasing food from a farmers' market or local farm stand.

Search for a local Maine Farmers' Market near you by visiting Get Real. Get Maine. Looking for a local farmstand, orchard, CSA farm, or a farm where you can buy local meat? Look no further than Maine Food and Farms.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Because you can...

We took a little road trip up to the Bethel/Newry area last week. Just outside of Bethel heading toward Newry, we drove by a ski shop that caused us to do a double-take. Actually the shop was closed for the season, but the owner was there and was in the process of taking down the sign out front because they were in fact, closing permanently. I wanted a photo, but with the front sign gone, he pointed to the retired ambulance/equipment van sitting next to the building as the next best thing. I asked him if the name of the shop had any significance.

"No, nothing in particular. Just that I knew it would cause people to pay more attention to us," he replied.

Ya' think?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Got Backbone?

This would make a great name for an assertiveness training center.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Welding Tattoos

One stop shopping takes on new meaning with this sign. Need something welded? Get a tattoo while you wait! Certainly an odd combination of endeavors in one location.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hope Jazz Festival

Wow! You cannot miss this sign and I instantly fell in love with it! Resting comfortably on Route One in Camden just over the Rockport line sits this instant eye-catcher promoting the Hope Jazz Festival. The festival is scheduled for Noon, Saturday, July 25th, at True Park in Hope.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Augusta's sign project

Need a reason to stretch your legs and learn something new at the same time? The city of Augusta, with the help of the Augusta Historic Preservation Commission, has just unveiled its Museum in the Streets signs this week. The signs are placed throughout the capitol city downtown to guide folks on a walking tour. Follow the numbered signs and you'll learn about the city's faces, places, historic events, and cherished buildings. See you there!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Time to take it down

This sign is on busy U.S. Route 1 in the Belfast area, located just south of the old Armory. The photo was taken on July 9th. The date on the sign is August 11th. This sign has been up for almost a year! I wonder if they ever found the canoe?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Open for business

My favorite signs are those made by hand, out of wood, and call attention to local folks carving out a niche for themselves. Whether it's fresh bread from a brick oven or lumber from a local owner-operated mill, we try to buy as much as possible from our local area. Buying locally is one of the most powerful things we, as consumers, can do to help our struggling economy. Signs like this one remind us that local entrepreneurs can ably satisfy our wants and needs.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Travel game for the car

My wife and I have driven by this street sign dozens of times. As we were driving by one day I said kiddingly, "Is it a lane or a road?" We chuckled together and continued on our way.

A few miles down the road I said, "Maple Lane Road Avenue." 

Without missing a beat she replied, "Maple Lane Road Avenue Boulevard."

My response was, "Maple Lane Road Avenue Boulevard Highway."

A new game was born.

Back and forth we went for quite a while, parroting what was already used, in the correct order, while trying to add a different one not already in play. We laughed and complimented one another for coming up with "a good one," when we both thought we had exhausted the possibilities. Give it a try and see what you come up with!

Missed Messages?

When we saw these signs my wife and I just couldn't stop laughing. Exactly what was the intended message? To be honest, great advertising campaigns are sometimes based, not on the product itself per se, but on the ads... think Mr. Whipple. It's possible that these signs were a clever attempt to have us keep the name of the business in our heads and a smile on our faces, but... I doubt it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Natural resources

Maine is, in of itself, a collection of natural resources. For some, the resources can be defined as what can found below, above, and around us. Still others identify Maine's natural resources as the individuals who demonstrate skill and resiliency in some way, shape, or form. These signs are indicative of people who recognize (and act...) on the value of both.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Personal Messages

There is no doubt that signs are powerful means of communication. While most provide us with the means to navigate roads or for advertising purposes; some signs are very personal. This sign has been up in Sabattus since 2001, the year Dale Earnhardt was killed in a wreck, racing in the Daytona 500. The flip side of the sign paid homage to the victims of 9/11 in patriotic tribute. Alas, the 9/11 message was removed after a few years and returned to letting drivers know that it was time to buy more canning supplies.  It's anyone's guess if the "DALE EARNHARDT HIS LEGEND LIVES ON," message will ever come down.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Turtle Sign Update

The Portland Press-Herald has an interesting article about vehicles taking their toll on migrating turtles. Signs are part of raising awareness and drivers are making the difference. You can find the article here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Making a living in Maine

Making a living in Maine is sometimes (wait... often times) a matter of doing more than one particular thing. Judging from the sign, this person is planning on doing more than selling blood worms and eggs to get by. Blood worms, if you aren't aware, are great bait for fishing. But, you have to be careful of the little buggars as they have a nasty bite. Blood worms are found in the tidal flats of local rivers and digging for them (akin to digging clams) is back-breaking work.

I'll be documenting more signs of how Mainers make ends meet in future posts. Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Berry Pickin' Time!

Strawberries! There is nothing like picking your own. It's work, but worth every single berry!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Turtle Crossing

This sign is an annual, early summer bloomer. The stretch of narrow road, next to a tidal river, is a perennial egg laying locale for female turtles. It's great that the folks living at one end of the nesting grounds have taken it upon themselves to warn local drivers. If you know of any such tenuous turtle territory, maybe your sign could make a difference as I suspect this sign has.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

You can't beat FREE...

Upon closer inspection of this particular item located at the end of someone's driveway I realized that the engine and all associative parts were no longer attached to the chassis. But hey, the wheels could be used on some future project at home, the throttle cable might be good, and who knows what other parts might still be useful. I didn't take the mower, but it's the first FREE sign I stumbled across since beginning Signs of Maine. I hope to post more as a testament to the spirit of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Maybe a fourth R should be added... Reposition... at the end of the driveway... with a big FREE sign!