Skylands, my well-loved home in Maine, is a winter wonderland.
The recent nor’easter which covered my Bedford, New York farm with almost a foot of snow also hit the Seal Harbor area – residents there got 18 to 20 inches of powder. I don’t get to visit my home in Maine as much as I would like during the winter months, but fortunately, Cheryl DuLong, who helps me care for Skylands, is an avid photographer, and always keeps me updated by sending images of the property whenever she can. She sent me these images yesterday. And, just in time – temperatures in Maine are expected to be in the 40s over the next couple of days with lots of rain.
Enjoy these photos.
Skylands is beautiful in every season, but under winter’s glistening snow, it is even more magical. Here are some of the trees just off the main driveway with the morning sun casting shadows of the trees on the clean, white snow.
Many of the tree branches are laden with snow, but fortunately, this snow was light and did not weigh them down too much.
The Council Circle is a favorite summertime spot. My family enjoys gathering around the fire pit, roasting marshmallows, and recounting the day’s activities and adventures.
This photo was taken just to the right of the Council Circle. Beyond are those “Rockefeller teeth” – big granite stones set on the edge to prevent falls from the 30-foot wall.
This is the back door of the main house, where I love to hang Boston ferns during summer. Cheryl stopped to take this photo as she wondered how she would get the shovel through all the snow – look closely and you’ll see it.
Despite all the beauty, it’s a lot of snow to shovel around the house. Various snow drifts topped three feet. These steps run from the back to the front of the house – yes, there really are steps here.
This is a view of the main terrace from the dining room window – the “cracked ice” is completely covered. It is hard to tell the true snow accumulation from the drifts – there is just so much. The Living Hall entrance is under the clock.
Here is a view through the leaded window of my living room looking left of my circular front driveway. Can you see the reflections ahead? They are actually from the window behind Cheryl.
This is a view from the West Terrace looking out through the tall spruce trees to Seal Harbor. On this day, the skies over Skylands are a beautiful bright blue.
These kiwi vines growing on top of the pergola and on the posts are original to the house. All the kiwi vines have endured many snowfalls.
These icicles formed on the kiwi vines just outside the living room window. Icicles are so pretty. Some are a foot long. Icicles elongate by the growth of ice and the right mixture of air temperature, wind speed and the water feeding it. Cheryl, of course, broke off the icicles soon after this photo was taken, so the kiwi vines were not damaged.
This window is nearly all walled in with white.
Here’s another view of the terrace. The “Bedford Gray” colored boxes protect some of my outdoor urns.
Ice crystals formed on this window. These delicate crystals form when water vapor from the humid indoor air condenses on the very cold window glass.
Here is a look at the quiet woodland from the back porch. Notice how the snow fell and drifted just around the tree pits.
Footprints in the snow – I think a deer walked through here.
This is my greenhouse at Skylands. During the cold season, I am able to store a collection of tropical plants inside, but most of the beautiful specimens I keep on the terrace in summer go back to Bedford and winter there.
This shed holds all the pine needles we collect, spin, bag, and then drop along the footpaths in summertime.
This is the expansive garden lawn at Ox Ledge, a home I purchased near Skylands some years ago – the snow is still untouched.
These views are gorgeous. This is Seal Harbor and to the right, just on the other side of the road is a village green – the former site of the well-known Seaside Inn. The Seaside House was originally a private residence built in the 1800s. Over the years, the home went through a few transitions – in 1870, it was a 10-room boarding house. In 1882 a large annex was added. Then in 1891, Amos and James Clement hired Bar Harbor-based architect John E. Clark to redesign the house into a large hotel called the Seaside Inn, which remained until it was completely torn down in 1963. I am already looking forward to my next visit to Maine.
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