Summer House

roots, rock, snow and icicles

This post is part of a series contributed by DRA Trustee Barnaby Porter. Read the previous post here. Note from Barnaby: This is a letter I wrote in 1986, 33 years ago, to my friend, Bill Tyne, who spends summers on Merry Island. Dear Bill, I haven’t written in some time, which might give some indication of what sort of winter we’ve been having – it’s been deep. If this is what they mean by “the depths of winter,” I can tell you it takes no small amount of shoveling. I will let that stand as my excuse. It’s been

DRA and PWA move forward toward unification

construction tour at DRA's Round Top Farm

It all begins on February 11! On that date, the two governing boards of DRA and PWA will meet as a single board for the first time, marking the start of joint operations for the new organization. Like DRA, PWA is focused on land and water conservation and education. The two organizations have a history of working closely together in the Damariscotta-Pemaquid region that dates back to 1991, when the DRA and PWA pooled resources to share office space in downtown Damariscotta. This past September, our respective memberships voted overwhelmingly in favor of unification with a start date of February

The Night the River Froze

lobster buoys in a snowstorm

This post is part of a series contributed by DRA Trustee Barnaby Porter. Read the previous post here. Last week it came off cold. Up until then, things had been pretty tame as winters go. The Damariscotta remained completely open, the tide whispering and roiling as always, keeping the old ice-maker at bay. Boat traffic had been regular, for January anyhow, mostly clam diggers and oystermen, and the steady trading of ducks, the swift drifting of ice cakes and the grinding of shell ice around the point all served, if anything, to heighten my awareness of the river’s deep-running power.

Your name here?

DRA plus PWA equals what?

We need your help. DRA and PWA are joining together as a single organization in February, and we need a new name. We are an accredited land trust, and also so much more. We are looking for a name that reflects our commitment to land conservation and stewardship, water quality, trails and outdoor recreation, and educational programs for all ages. Our geographic focus is on the Damariscotta River estuary and surrounding lands, the Pemaquid River watershed and greater Pemaquid Peninsula, and Johns Bay (see map). Our new name should be catchy, memorable, and fresh, and ideally not too much of

Shell Ice

new ice on the Damariscotta River

This post is part of a series contributed by DRA Trustee Barnaby Porter. Read the previous post here. The hoarse whisper of things to come . . . I was eating breakfast. Out the kitchen window, stillness prevailed in the clear dawn except for the titmice and chickadees at the feeder. The river was placid, a coasting sheet of glass reflecting the far shore in the golden glow of first light. The tide had turned in the last hour, the boat on its mooring now headed upriver. The thermometer read eighteen degrees. Three buffleheads beat around the point and wheeled

Whistler

sunset clouds reflected in water

This post is part of a series contributed by DRA Trustee Barnaby Porter. Read the previous post here. As the late fall afternoon wore on, it grew chilly and still, and the river settled into its evening mood. As often happens at that time of day, I looked up from what I was doing to see what the sky had to offer in the way of a sunset over the hills on the far shore. And what I saw was utter perfection – a clear, uncluttered horizon of continuous, unbroken silhouettes of dark pines and oaks on the ridges, backlit

The Parade of Boats

lobster boat at sunset

This post is part of a series contributed by DRA Trustee Barnaby Porter. Read the previous post here. Everyone loves a parade, they say, but then it isn’t always so. I watch this same parade each autumn and come to the same conclusion each time, that the long, stretched-out procession of boats making its way upriver these several weeks is a sad and reluctant affair. They’re headed up to the boatyard of course, to be hauled out and cradled and made ready for winter… to hibernate through wind and cold and enveloping snow, frozen hard and still, swinging on their

New preserve and accessible River Trail at Round Top Farm

people walking on the new accessible trail

With a snip of the scissors and an enthusiastic round of applause, a new preserve on the banks of the Damariscotta River was dedicated in memory of longtime DRA mentor and supporter Pete Noyes this past Saturday. Members of the Noyes family as well as DRA members and friends were among those gathered to celebrate the preserve and the construction of the new accessible trail across it. The purchases of the Pete Noyes Preserve and another adjacent property to the south, made possible by donors to DRA’s recent capital campaign, effectively doubled the size of the existing Round Top Farm

Blue Mists

misty shades of blue on the river

This post is part of a series contributed by DRA Trustee Barnaby Porter. Read the previous post here. A blissful swoon of timelessness I never count the days as summer wanes. The living’s too good, too easy, to allow for that way of passing time. No, counting summer days is not something people should do, when it’s much more soothing to forget what day it is altogether, to slip into that blissful swoon of timelessness measured only by sweeping oars and buttered ears of corn. Instead, I count the layered hills that rest behind blue mists, and even then I’m

It Waits for No Man

low tide in Seal Cove

This post is part of a series contributed by DRA Trustee Barnaby Porter. Read the previous post here. Down on the mudflats at low water, I am prone to contemplate the hugeness of the tide. The muck sucking at my boots squishes and squirms, acre upon acre of it, the primordial soup, loading the air to saturation with the black, organic smells of trillions of little lives beginning and ending in each moment. I am actually standing on the bottom of the river. In six hours, this spot will be under ten feet of water. The black line on the