Saturday, July 2, 2011

Swans Island, June 3, 2011

Swans Island, June 3, 2011 (Available here)
At the end of each school year, all the fourth-graders on Mount Desert Island (about 70 kids) ride the ferry to visit the fourth graders on Swan's Island (all 4 of them).  There's an adult chaperone for every 3 kids, plus all the teachers, so it's a pretty big group. I missed it the year my son was in fourth grade, but this year I chaperoned my daughter's class. (I won't be posting photos of the kids as that doesn't seem right, but I thought this one might be OK since you can't see any faces.)
It was a pretty morning, sunny with a few clouds and a stiff breeze. Wind may be chilly in early June, but it keeps the mosquitoes and blackflies away, so it is a good thing. We broke up into groups once we got to the school, and went off for activities. One activity was exploring the graveyard:
The kids had a list of questions like "Which is the oldest grave?" "Which is the youngest person?" "Find a really unusual gravestone" and so forth.
The oldest grave was 1800, I think, and the youngest person was one day old.
The most unusual gravestones were modern, so I won't post them as it seems a bit disrespectful, but my favorite had a picture of the Starship Enterprise with the epitaph "May you boldly go to that final frontier."
Early June here is still spring, and the island felt like a wild garden with pink-and-white apple blossoms and dark purple lilacs in full bloom, fields of yellow buttercups and pale-blue bluets, lavender-pink creeping phlox, and tiny bright blue forget-me-nots.
By the time we had lunch on the beach the stiff breeze had turned into a loud wind, and the clouds were massing over the bay. It was dramatic and a bit chilly.
We just put on our windbreakers, let the kids run wild on the school playground, and watched the sun play hide-and-seek behind the clouds until we got safely home, windblown and a little sunburnt.

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