CREDITS: I would like to thank Jeremy D'Entremont for providing much of the history one can find on this site. He is a speaker, author, historian, and tour guide who is widely recognized as the foremost authority on the lighthouses of New England. For a story on Jeremy or to visit his site (New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide), use the corresponding link in the right hand information bar under "Related Links".

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I have set up this site as a means to share my photographs of lighthouses. Since retiring and finding more time to study photography, my interests have expanded a little. For some of my work other than lighthouses please enjoy my Facebook page at, John Shaw Photography. Come visit, enjoy, and 'LIKE' if you wish.

Also, for your enjoyment, I have provided a slideshow of our journey. To view it please use the link on the right under 'Site Navigation Tools'.

I sincerely hope you enjoy my efforts and use my site not only for information and education but also to provide directions for many enjoyable, inspirational visits to the beacons along our beautiful coas.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


     This evening when we went outside to eat dinner we noticed some sort of droppings on our picnic table.  After we finished we cranked the umbrella part way up only to find a bat hanging on the inside.  Maybe he/she is the reason we have not had many mosquitoes pestering us.  Below are a few shots I took of the little guy.


Bats are the only mammals capable of true flight. With extremely elongated fingers and a wing membrane stretched between, the bat’s wing anatomically resembles the human hand,Almost 1,000 bat species can be found worldwide. In fact, bats make up a quarter of all mammal species on earth!
Fast Facts
Size: Bats are divided into two suborders: Megachiroptera, meaning large bat, and Microchiroptera, meaning small bat. The largest bats have a 6 foot wingspan. The bodies of the smallest bats are no more than an inch long.
Lifespan: Most bats live longer than most mammals of their size. The longest known lifespan of a bat in the wild is 30 years for a little brown bat.

Did You Know?
A single little brown bat can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes in a single hour, and is one of the world's longest-lived mammals for its size, with life spans of almost 40 years.

70% of bats consume insects, sharing a large part of natural pest control. There are also fruit-eating bats; nectar-eating bats; carnivorous bats that prey on small mammals, birds, lizards and frogs; fish-eating bats, and perhaps most famously, the blood-sucking vampire bats of South America.

Click for:

            Brown Bat Video

     What Sounds do Bats Make?

                  Bat Sounds

Friday, July 22, 2011

Marshall Point Lighthouse

     Port Clyde, one of the villages that comprise the town of St. George, became a busy port in the 1800s with granite quarries, tide mills for sawing timber, shipbuilding facilities, and fish canning businesses. The area later became a magnet for writers and artists. Sara Orne Jewett's popular book The Country of the Pointed Firs was written in St. George.

     The Marshall Point light is 31 feet tall and was built in 1857. It marks the entrance of Port Clyde Harbor and at least one other light has been in this location. The light is rather unusual in that the bottom half is made of granite from the local quarries but the top half is brick. It originally had a 5th order Fresnel Lens but of course that is long gone. The first keeper's house was thwacked by lighting long ago and a new one was built in the some location.

     The light was converted to electricity in 1935. When the light was automated in 1971, the Fresnel lens was removed and replaced by a modern plastic lens equipped with backup battery power. Also in 1971, a LORAN station was located in the keeper's house. This station sent a 128,000 watt signal over a range of 14,000 square miles. In 1980 the equipment was outdated and the house was boarded up.

     In 1986, the St. George Historical Society undertook the restoration of the house. A committee raised money and the restoration was completed in 1990. The first floor now houses the Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum. The exhibits highlight area history as well as life at Marshall Point.
    Port Clyde is actually a small fishing village in the larger, but still small town of St. George. The whole area around the lighthouse is a beautiful place all year long with views of Port Clyde Harbor and the surrounding hills. A great place to yak, hike, ski or bike..

     Or perhaps run.

     In fact this is the lighthouse where Tom Hanks finished up his run across country in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump. That's why some of the local people around Port Clyde call this lighthouse Gump Light.  A picture of Hanks at the lighthouse hangs in the museum.

                                      Click to see video of Forrest Gump’s Run

     The Marshal Point Lighthouse is one of my favorites.  I have literally taken hundreds of photos of it.  Since it would be very cumbersome to post even a selection of them here,  I have chosen to include a slide show found in the right information bar.  Please chick on it and enjoy a quick view of just twenty-two of my favorites.  I sincerely hope you enjoy them.

     Directions From U.S. Route 1 in Thomaston, take ME 131 south through St. George and Tenant’s Harbor to Port Clyde.  Turn Left at the “Marshall Point Museum” sign (Dick Cliff Road).  Continue up the hill, passing another sigh for the museum, and turn right onto Marshall Point Road.  Pass the “Dead End” sign and two stone pillars on either side of the narrowing road.  The road ends at the lighthouse parking area.

Lilies Galore

We have two garden beds filled with lilies here at our humble homestead.  Below are but a few of the beautiful blossoms.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tenants Harbor Lighthouse

     Tenants Harbor, one of the villages that makes up the town of St. George, grew up around a sheltered harbor on the east side of the St. George peninsula, at the southwest end of Penobscot Bay. With fishing and granite quarrying flourishing in the area, Congress appropriated $4,500 for a lighthouse on 22-acre Southern Island, at the entrance to the harbor, in August 1854.
     The dwelling was originally painted brown and the tower was painted white, and the roof of the lantern and the ventilator ball were painted red. The tower is connected to the wooden keeper's dwelling by a small workroom. Later additions to the station included a boathouse in 1880, a storage shed in 1895, and an oil house in 1906. A small shed was built next to the kitchen wing of the dwelling in 1887. For some years, the light station had a hand-operated fog bell. A wooden pyramidal bell tower with automatic striking machinery was later added.
     In 1934, Tenants Harbor Light was one of a group of Maine lighthouses discontinued by the government and sold at auction. The lighthouse was bought by a Rockland resident. The island passed through several hands until artist Andrew Wyeth and his wife, Betsy James Wyeth, bought it in 1978. The Wyeths spent a number of summers on Southern Island. Betsy Wyeth told Architectural Digest in 1986, "I love everything about this house. Just walking into it refreshes me. It's like being on a ship-the brass polished, everything swept clean. I love the patterns of our life here."
     Andrew Wyeth, a history buff, designed a studio inside the base of the old 30-foot-tall bell tower. The room is a scaled-down version of Lord Nelson's quarters on the Victory. Since 1990, Betsy and Andrew's son, artist Jamie Wyeth, and his wife, Phyllis Mills Wyeth, have lived on the island. "It's like living in an Andrew Wyeth painting," Jamie Wyeth told National Geographic.
     In March 1993, Jamie Wyeth weathered a blizzard on Southern Island. He spent much of the storm in the lighthouse. "It was fantastic," he said. "It really blew a gale. There are vents in the lighthouse tower, and when the wind came screaming through it sounded like fifty metroliners."
     Tenants Harbor Light has appeared in a number of paintings by Andrew and Jamie Wyeth, including Andrew Wyeth's "Signal Flags" and "Iris at Sea," painted by Jamie Wyeth to raise funds for the Island Institute of Rockland.

     Directions:  Although the buildings can be seen distantly from the public landing a Tenants Harbor, trees often obscure any view of the light house.  The best views can be had by taking a lighthouse cruise out of Port Clyde.  Morning light is probably best for photography.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Whale Watching Off The Maine Coast

     A couple of days ago my wife and I took a whale watching cruise out of Boothbay Harbor, ME.  A number of years ago we took one out of Bar Harbor, Me.  Below are some of the photograph I took of humpback whales while on those trips.  Enjoy!
     The humpback whale is a Baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 12–16 metres (40–50 ft) and weigh approximately 79,000 lbs. The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with unusually long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is an acrobatic animal, often breaching and slapping the water. Males produce a complex whale song, which lasts for 10 to 20 minutes and is repeated for hours at a time. The purpose of the song is not yet clear, although it appears to have a role in mating.

     Found in oceans and seas around the world, humpback whales typically migrate up to 25,000 kilometres each year. Humpbacks feed only in summer, in polar waters, and migrate to tropical or sub-tropical waters to breed and give birth in the winter. During the winter, humpbacks fast and live off their fat reserves. The species' diet consists mostly of krill and small fish. Humpbacks have a diverse repertoire of feeding methods, including the bubble net feeding technique.

     Like other large whales, the humpback was and is a target for the whaling industry. Due to over-hunting, its population fell by an estimated 90% before a whaling moratorium was introduced in 1966. Stocks of the species have since partially recovered; however, entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships, and noise pollution also remain concerns. There are at least 80,000 humpback whales worldwide. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, humpbacks are now sought out by whale-watchers, particularly off parts of Australia and the United States.

        Click for Humpback Video

Following are two photos I snapped of a basking shark.  It was about 25 to 30 feet long.

     The basking shark is the second largest fish in the world, second only to another filter feeder, the whale shark. This animal can attain lengths of at least 10 meters (33 feet), but the average size is 7-9 meters. They can weigh up to 4 tons. The shape of its snout is conical and the gill slits extend around the top and bottom of its head. Associated with the gills are structures called gill rakers. These gill rakers are dark and bristle like and are used to catch plankton as water filters through the mouth and over the gills. The basking shark is usually grayish-brown in colour and often seems to have a mottled appearance. The caudal (tail) fin has a strong lateral keel and a crescent shape. The teeth in the basking shark are very small and numerous and often number one hundred per row. The teeth themselves have a single conical cusp, are curved backwards and are the same on both the upper and lower jaws.
     Basking sharks are a migrating species and are believed to overwinter in deep waters. They may occur in either small schools or alone. Small schools in the Bay of Fundy have been seen swimming nose to tail in circles in what may be a form of mating behavior. Basking sharks are not aggressive and generally harmless to people. The number of basking sharks is unknown, but may be decreasing since the basking shark is hunted for its meat, fins and oil.
                                        Click for basking shark video

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Boothbay Harbor, ME. Street Flowers

When one wanders the streets and docks of the seacoast town of Boothbay Harbor they find a plethora of shrubs and flower boxes.  Following is but a sample of those.  Please enjoy!