Learn About Yom Kippur

Most of us have heard of Yom Kippur, but if you didn’t grow up in the Jewish faith, you might not fully understand this important holiday. Yom Kippur is the second of the Jewish High Holidays and a time to focus on self improvement. The holiday begins in the evening of Tuesday, October 8 and ends in the evening of Wednesday, October 9. This time is traditionally observed with a full day of fasting and prayer, often spending much of the day in synagogue services. 

Yom Kippur is also known as the Day of Atonement. According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into a book, the Book of Life, on Rosh Hashanah, and waits until Yom Kippur to “seal” the verdict. During that time, you’re to gain introspection, change your behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs against God and other humans. The evening and day of Yom Kippur are set aside for public and private petitions and confessions of guilt. At the end of Yom Kippur, one hopes that they have been forgiven by God.

Large meals and festivities often mark the time just before and after Yom Kippur, with special food like challah. Challah is a special braided bread — click here for recipe to try making it at home.

According to Time magazine, “the best greeting to give to someone observing Yom Kippur in English is ‘have an easy fast.’ For those who are not fasting, but are observing the Yom Kippur, you can wish them a ‘Good Yuntif,’ or ‘Yom Tov’ which is Yiddish and Hebrew, respectively, for ‘Have a good holy day.’”

3 Ways to Celebrate Autumn

It’s always hard to say goodbye to summer, but fall foliage, cooler nights and less humidity do have their appeal. Here are 3 fun ways to celebrate autumn and enjoy all that mother nature has to give this time of year…

  1. Nature’s Bounty: From an abundance of beautiful fruit and veggies ripe and ready at nearby farmers’ markets to the farm stands and orchards full of produce and goodness, everywhere you turn there’s something delicious. Visit Orono’s amazing Farmers’ Market every Saturday in the Steam Plant Parking Lot (and at Asa Adams School after Thanksgiving). Click here for details. Or head to Treworgy Family Orchards in nearby Levant to pick apples, pumpkins, berries or test your navigational skills in the corn maze. Click here to learn more.
  2. The Colors of Fall: Be there to enjoy the show when Mother Nature puts on her colorful foliage display. The Maine Foliage Report suggests several spots for the best views in our area, including the drive to Dover-Foxcroft, taking a stroll along the Guilford Memorial River Walk, and a visit to Lowes Covered Bridge in Guilford. Check out the full report here.
  3. Spirt of the Season: Did you know our great state has both a Maine Wine Trail and a Maine Beer Trail? What better destination than a nearby vineyard or brewery while you’re out hunting foliage? Click here to learn about some of Acadia and Down East’s wineries. Or just head to nearby Bangor or Brewer’s waterfront, sit on the deck of the Sea Dog or Mason’s or any of the many nearby eateries or food trucks and enjoy a local brew and the water view.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy fall? Share in the comments below!

Have you signed up yet?

There’s still time! Team Dirigo Pines and Geaghan’s Brewing are teaming up to present the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Raffle Fundraiser! Buy a ticket for just $1 each and you’ll be entered to win lots of great prizes! Tickets are available at Geaghan’s Tasting Room in Brewer, at Dirigo Pines in Orono, or via email by contacting arsmith@dirigopines.com or tcomer@dirigopines.com.

Then plan to join us this Thursday, September 5 from 6-8 p.m. at Geaghan’s Tasting Room for prize drawings and specials on pints. Enjoy a select draft for just $3.50. Snacks will be available by donation. You can also purchase raffle tickets during the event.

All raffle and snack proceeds will benefit Team Dirigo Pines’ fundraising efforts for the 2019 Eastern Maine Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Cheers to a great cause!

Click here to discover more about this fun event!

The 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s is scheduled for October 19. To learn more about supporting this important cause, click here.

Win Prizes and Support a Great Cause!

Team Dirigo Pines and Geaghan’s Brewing present the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Raffle Fundraiser! Buy a ticket for just $1 each and you’ll be entered to win lots of great prizes! Tickets are available at Geaghan’s Tasting Room in Brewer, at Dirigo Pines in Orono, or via email by contacting arsmith@dirigopines.com or tcomer@dirigopines.com.

Then plan to join us Thursday, September 5 from 6-8 p.m. at Geaghan’s Tasting Room for prize drawings and specials on pints. Enjoy a select draft for just $3.50. Snacks will be available by donation.

All raffle and snack proceeds will benefit Team Dirigo Pines’ fundraising efforts for the 2019 Eastern Maine Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Click here to discover more about this fun event!

Take a Stroll Around the Orono Bog Walk

Summer in Maine is best enjoyed outdoors! Very nearby Dirigo Pines is the Orono Bog Walk — a popular destination for walking, as well as running and biking on the connected trails of the Bangor City Forest (click here for more about the City Forest).

The Orono Bog Walk is a 1-mile boardwalk loop that begins at the forested wetland edge in the Bangor City Forest, and after 800 feet crosses the Orono town line into the portion of the Orono Bog owned by the University of Maine. Along the way, the boardwalk passes through a wide range of changing vegetation and environments on its way to the open, peat moss carpeted center of the Orono Bog.

It’s a fascinating and educational walk, allowing visitors to observe the colorful bog, its tranquil beauty and the amazing plants and animals that call the bog home. Signs with illustrations help visitors spot interesting plant and animal life along the way. 

Hours through Labor Day are 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The boardwalk is a wheelchair-friendly facility, and benches for rest and contemplation are provided at least every 200 feet. Please note that dogs are not permitted on the Bog Walk.

Nature walks are scheduled throughout the summer, guided by experts in their respective fields that provide insights into the ecology and natural history of the flora and fauna found along the boardwalk. Learn more and find a calendar by clicking here.

On Saturday, August 31, Allie Gardner, University of Maine Assistant Professor of Arthropod Vector Biology, School of Biology and Ecology will lead a tick and mosquito walk at the Boardwalk. Meet at the cabin at the start of the Boardwalk at 9 a.m.

Test Your Knowledge: Summer in Maine

Summer in Maine is full of endless opportunities for travel and staycationing at its finest. Summon your knowledge of Maine day-trips within a short drive of Dirigo Pines, and take the quiz — or better yet, quiz your friends on the way to your summer destination.

  1. Maine’s famed Acadia National Park is only about an hour from Dirigo Pines.

    John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donated more than 10,000 acres of land to the park, and helped designed the road system that runs through the park. Name that road system: 

    1. Acadia Avenues
    2. Island Explorer Trails
    3. Carriage Roads
  2. A visit to Portland (just 2 hours from Dirigo Pines) isn’t complete without a visit to the state’s oldest lighthouse. Name that lighthouse:
    1. Portland Head Light
    2. Bug Light
    3. Spring Point Ledge
  3. Ogunquit (about 2.5 hours from Dirigo Pines) offers tourists miles of sandy beaches and the famed Marginal Way walking path. In Algonquin, “Ogunquit” means:
    1. Beautiful Place By The Sea
    2. Many Will Visit Here
    3. Excellent Fishing
  4. Just an hour and a half from Dirigo Pines, you’ll find Moosehead Lake and the town of Greenville. Visitors can tour the lake on a steamboat built in 1914 that was once used to tow logs. Name that boat:
    1. The Big Moose
    2. The Katahdin
    3. The Lily Bay

Bonus Question: The Maine Lobster Festival (www.mainelobsterfestival.com) is being held this week in Rockland (only 1.5 hours away), another popular tourist destination. Maine is the world leader in lobster. Last year, how many millions of pounds of lobsters were caught in Maine?

Answers:

  1. C. The Carriage Roads and stone bridges in Acadia National Park were constructed between 1913 and 1940 for hikers, bikers, horseback riders and carriages.
  2. A. Portland Head Light is in nearby Cape Elizabeth and was commissioned by George Washington.
  3. A. Ogunquit’s Marginal Way connects the center of town to Perkins Cove, a small fishing village.
  4. B. The boat is known as the Kate around town and was built at Bath Iron Works.

Bonus: In 2018, the Maine Lobster catch was 119 million pounds, over $484 million worth.

Try a Geocaching “Treasure” Hunt

Summer in Maine is great time to get outside and explore. All around Dirigo Pines are amazing spots to hike, walk and enjoy the great outdoors. One fun way to explore is geocaching — finding small treasures hidden all around you along common hiking and walking trails.

There are lots of geocaches to discover around Dirigo Pines. Using your phone or GPS device, download a geocaching app, and you’ll can find hundreds of local “treasures” — usually a small waterproof container containing a logbook. The app on your phone will provide precise coordinates — usually just to the side of a trail, often semi-hidden under a unique rock formation or interesting tree root.

Searching and discovering a cache or two or three is a fun way to spend a sunny afternoon with friends or family. After signing the logbook, the cache must be placed back exactly where you found it. Larger containers can also contain items for trading, such as toys or trinkets — bring a tiny treasure with you to trade!

Discover summer fun and health with a hike to hunt for hidden treasure — try these nearby spots for lots of geocaching fun:

Living in Vacationland – July 2019

Welcome to summer in Vacationland! Tourists travel hundreds of miles to visit Maine and experience what we’ve got right in our own backyard. July is a great time to take advantage of living in Maine — here are just a few of the fun activities going on within a short drive of Dirigo Pines.

  • Moxie Festival: Celebrate a uniquely Maine soda with fireworks, block party, parade, petting zoo, 5K run, concerts and more! Whether you’re a fan or just trying Moxie for the first time, this event is all about having fun. July 12-14 in Lisbon (about 1.5 hours from Dirigo Pines). Click here for more info.
  • Maine International Film Festival: Showcasing 100 premier releases of American independent and international cinema, classic revivals, inspiring performances, exhibitions, and community workshops. July 12-21 in Waterville (about 1 hour from Dirigo Pines). Click here to learn more.
  • Bucksport Bay Festival: The Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to celebrate “Small Town Americana“ at this year’s 22nd Annual Bucksport Bay Festival, a three-day event on the Bucksport Waterfront and Main Street. The waterfront will play host to fireworks, dinghy races, food vendors, local craftsmen, and a full slate of local musicians on the Town Dock Stage with featured performances by Motor Booty Affair and more!  July 19-21 in Bucksport (about 30 minutes from Dirigo Pines). Click here to learn more.
  • Maine Lobster Festival: What’s more Maine than lobster? The Maine Lobster Festival is five days of fun and feasting on the fabulous coast of Maine! July 31-August 4 in Rockland (about 1 hour and 40 minutes from Dirigo Pines. Click here for details.

What’s your favorite Maine summer festival? Comment below!

Take a Hike: Fields Pond Audubon Center

Happy First Day of Summer! The weather is finally starting to cooperate, and it’s time to get outside and enjoy it. There are dozens of amazing hiking trails all around Dirigo Pines, perfect for exploring, relaxing, and taking in some nature.

Nearby at Fields Pond Audubon Center (about 20 minutes away — click here for driving directions) in Holden, you’ll find the perfect escape whether you want to hike, bird watch or just enjoy a nice picnic. The 192-acre property offers a gorgeous hiking trails in Ravine Trail, just off the parking lot, that features rock stairways and stepping stones across a small stream. The Lakeshore Trail travels over a 300-foot cedar boardwalk and offers views of Fields Pond.

If you’re a bird watcher or nature lover, you’re in luck. More than 20 varieties of butterflies have been recorded at the sanctuary, along with 130 bird species. The Maine Audubon Nature Store offers books, bird feeders, binoculars and more, as well as trail maps.

Learn more by clicking here, and visit the center for yourself this summer! The center offers fun events throughout the year, including guided nature walks, bird talks, and moonlight paddles on the pond.

Give Dad the Gift of Experience with these Fun June Events

There are lots of fun ways to celebrate Father’s Day that don’t involve a new tie. Think outside the box and give the gift of experience this year. There are lots of fun happenings all around Dirigo Pines this month — take Dad and the whole family for an outing they won’t forget.

Waterfront Concerts

Just 15 minutes from Dirigo Pines, you’ll find some of the biggest names in music (and comedy and more) performing at the Bangor Waterfront. The concert season kicks into high gear in June, featuring the Outlaw Music Festival on June 14 with Willie Nelson, Phil Lesh, Alison Krause and more. Visit waterfrontconcerts.com for tickets and more shows!

Best of the North Fest 

Beer, food and music might be the perfect trio for Dad’s gift this year. Check out this all day celebration of Maine breweries, food trucks, and fun musical tribute acts on the Bangor Waterfront. Coming June 22. Click visitbangormaine.com for details.

Whoopie Pie Festival

Speaking of great food, what’s a more “Maine” way to spend time with Dad than at the Whoopie Pie Festival in Dover-Foxcroft (less than an hour from Dirigo Pines) on June 22. Taste-test, dance, and have an all around good time with the whole family. mainewhoopiepiefestival.com

Portland Sea Dogs Game

Catch a ballgame with Dad at Portland’s Hadlock Field (2 hours from Dirigo Pines) and watch Maine’s own minor league baseball team. Sea Dogs games are fun for everyone with affordable tickets and concessions and plenty of action. For a full schedule, click here.