Visit to Deer Isle and Clam Dining
Jun 19, 2011
|June 19 – Visit to Deer Isle and Dining on Clams
It was a beautiful day today – bright blue sky, 70F temperature but with a very brisk breeze from the northeast.
We traveled to Deer Isle, an hour west, and the location of our wedding ceremony 7-years ago. This weekend was the Deer Isle annual Lupine Loop Festival. There were several large areas with lupines growing along the road that loops the island.
We visited the former Goose Cove B&B on the northwest side of the island where we were married along with the pastry chef and inn owner, our witnesses, and the notary who performed the service. The property now includes a Portuguese restaurant. The cabins are not yet open for the season.
I enjoyed taking photos of the seascape and flowers. The tide was ‘out’ so there was a gravely beach on which to walk and to kneel to take photos of rocks. The tide is about 5’ in height so I had a lot of rock subjects to use.
We then drove to the southern tip of the island to have lunch at the Fisherman’s Friend Restaurant. I remembered that their clam chowder was very good so I ordered a cupful. When my order of clam/plankton chowder arrived, I tasted the delicious white broth and then dove with my spoon deep into the cup to find the clams.
Caution Notice: Those of you who are squeamish about the inner workings of bivalves should skip this next paragraph. That probably includes you Mela, Ed and maybe cousin Betty. :)
What my troll gained was one very large specimen. I learned from our waitress, Kelly, that their clam chowder was ‘whole’ clam chowder. I proved this by pulling up from the cup bottom a very large specimen which consisted of an inlet organ, neck/siphon and stomach. Apparently, the subject clam had a very large breakfast and/or lunch of plankton. See photo.
OK, Mela and Ed, you can start reading again.
Clams do not have mouths or teeth. They are called filter feeders and eat plankton. Clams have no eyes, ears or noses, so they cannot see, hear, or smell. But they do have a large number of feelers, or tiny hairy projections on their gills. By pumping water through their bodies, the mollusks strain the microscopic organisms through their gills, which act as sieves.
When the clam’s shell is open, these hairs fan the water, which is rich in small organisms, into the clam’s small mouth. From there, the food is digested in the stomach. Water and particles the clam cannot use flow out through the siphon, or neck.
“Happy as a clam” seems to assume that the mollusk is indeed happy. This notion was probably inspired by the observation that if a clam is held sideways and looked at straight on it appears to be smiling. However, the expression is incomplete. It began as “happy as a clam at high tide.” High tide is, of course, the time when clams can feed. High tide is also a time when clams are safe from clam diggers which, obviously, would make them very happy.
Finally, the word clam is derived from the same Scottish word that means “vise” or “clamp.”
We returned to our RV via the Ellsworth LL Bean Outlet Store where we picked out a light pullover sweater for me that I can use early in the morning on the work crews.
At the RV, Kathleen enjoyed the warm sun and blue sky while I processed the trip photos using the panorama and high dynamic range photo software.
On Monday, we are going to attend a ranger program at the top of Cadillac Mountain.
Have a great week.