Monday, October 18, 2010

Wells National Estuarine Reserve from the Eyes of Alan Ilagan

I enjoy seeing Ogunquit and souther Maine throught the eyes of my guests at Ogunquit Beach Inn.
Blogger/writer Alan Ilagan hiked throught the Wells National Esturine Reserve at Laudholm Farm recently.

Fall in Ogunquit – (Or The Day Alan Went on a Hike)

There’s a lot wrong with the title of this post. The word “hike” is not really part of my vocabulary, and the act itself is certainly not part of my repertoire. Of course it is being used lightly here (to me, a hike involves a mountain of some sort, and we were nowhere near as crazy as all that). In this instance it was more of a leisurely walk, though it covered a decent distance and several varied terrains.

The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve sits a few miles up the coast from Ogunquit, so Andy and I took a drive there on our last full day (Sunday). It’s a glorious sanctuary of natural beauty, with everything from forests to marshes to the seashore.

It was late in the season, and the ferns had turned this ghostly color of the palest yellow. Mosses were one of the only vestiges of bright green left, lushly coating the fallen tree limbs and the tops of buried stones.

Chipmunks tussled all around us, as did a small red squirrel, but our most exciting brush with wildlife was when we stood beneath a canopy of tall pine trees and listened to the hooting and slight purring of an owl, sight unseen, but felt and heard, followed by the discovery of a regurgitated meal – possibly the gray fur of a mouse and the pit of a fruit.
We walk the Saw-whet Owl Trail through forests of maple, birch, and pine – and only meet a few other people along the way. For the most part it is just my husband and I, walking through the woods together, and if ever I go searching for the sublime, I’ll know where it can be found.

That kind of quiet is missing from most of my life, but I’ll see if I can recapture a bit of it here, letting the images supply the narrative for the rest of this post.
All photos, and text by Alan Ilagan. For more postings about Ogunquit and other things visit

For more information about the Wells National Esturine Reserve at Laudhom Farm please visit The Wells Reserve is a beautiful nature preserve located less than 6 miles from Ogunquit Beach Inn

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