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!

Celebrating Grandparents Day!

What’s more grand than getting to watch children grow and bloom. Being a grandparent is a special gift in itself — and celebrating Grandparents Day this Sunday, Sept. 8 with young ones makes it all the more fun. Here are a few ideas for spending some time together this weekend — or any time of the year!

Take a Hike

People of all ages can appreciate spending time in nature, spotting wildlife, listening to the birds and enjoying some sunshine together. Dirigo Pines offers beautiful nature trails to enjoy with family (click here for more information), and nearby you’ll find more perfect spots for a stroll or hike. Just minutes away is the Orono Bog Walk — the perfect length of a leisurely walk and full of natural fun and surprises (click here for more info). Or head to Fields Pond Audubon Center, just 20 minutes away, to do a little hiking, bird watching or paddle the lake (click here for details).

Share a Family Recipe

It’s not secret that grandmas already have the best cookies and treats — but sometimes their recipes are. Share your secret recipe for ginger snaps, coffee cake or whatever your speciality dish might be. Getting messy in the kitchen with little ones creates lasting memories for everyone.

Growing Together

Not a baker, but maybe you have a green thumb? Sharing your gardening know-how — kids are always willing to dig in the dirt or help harvest ripe fruits and veggies. Planting seeds, watching them grow and reaping the rewards is all part of the fun.

Get Crafty

Share your love of knitting, sowing, painting or creating with your grandkids. Creating something beautiful and useful from simple supplies can have a lasting effect. You find lots of ideas online as well to help you find the perfect craft based on the child’s age and skill level.

Sharing and spending time together this Grandparents Day is the perfect way to create new memories and a lasting bond.

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!

Fashion for a Cause!

Check out all the latest styles and support the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Dirigo Pines’ Fashion Show coming August 22 from 1-3:30.

Christopher Banks and Valentine Footwear will be showcasing beautiful designs with Dirigo residents and staff serving as the fashion models!

Christopher Banks will also be offering 40% off items that they will have available at the show for purchase, and raffling off a complete outfit to one lucky winner! Enjoy other prizes, along with free refreshments!

All proceeds will be donated to the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Katie Luce, Community Events Manager for the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter will be in attendance!

RSVP by August 10 to lcates@dirigopines.com or call 866-3400!

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.

Fun and Fashion!

Enjoy fun and fashion for a great cause on Thursday, August 22 from 1-3:30 at Dirigo Pines.

In partnership with Christopher Banks and Valentine Footwear, Dirigo Pines is sponsoring a fashion show featuring all the latest styles and fashions.

Christopher Banks will also be offering 40% off items that they will have available at the show for purchase. Please join us for what is sure to be a great time for all. Residents and Staff of Dirigo Pines will serve as our fashion models!

Christopher and Banks will also be raffling off a complete outfit to one lucky winner and there will be other prizes, along with free refreshments!

All proceeds will be donated to the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Katie Luce, Community Events Manager for the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter will be in attendance!

RSVP by August 10 to lcates@dirigopines.com or call 866-3400!

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:

Test Your Knowledge: Happy 4th!

The 4th of July is a time to celebrate America — let’s see how much you know about the history and traditions of this special holiday. Quiz yourself or quiz your friends and test your Independence Day knowledge…

  1. Independence Day first became a federal holiday in:
    1. 1776
    2. 1870
    3. 1920
  2. The Declaration of Independence was signed by how many men from the 13 original colonies?
    1. 13
    2. 39
    3. 56
  3. Who was the oldest person to sign the Declaration of Independence?
    1. Benjamin Franklin
    2. Thomas Jefferson
    3. John Hancock
  4. Only 2 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence went on to become president. Name them.
  5. Three of the first five U.S. presidents died on July 4. Name all 3. 

Bonus Question: Name the 13 original colonies. 1 point per colony!

Answers:

  1. B. 1870. In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.
  2. C. 56
  3. A. Benjamin Franklin — he was 70 years old. Thomas Lynch, Jr (27) was the youngest.
  4. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Elbridge Gerry also signed and later served as vice president under James Madison. He was also known for dividing electoral districts for political gain — now known as “gerrymandering.”
  5. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Adams and Jefferson (who both signed the Declaration) died on the same day within hours of each other in 1826.

Bonus: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.