Eight Days of December Storms, Chill and Christmas Spirit

Eight Days of December Storms, Chill and Christmas Spirit

 

Camden Harbor

The season's first snowfall along the Midcoast transformed Camden Harbor into a snow globe (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

During a span of eight days from December 6th to the 14th, there was plenty of cold and stormy weather to contend with, but thankfully, there was also ample Christmas cheer to ward off any images that threatened to dampen one’s spirits for too long. 

Midcoast Maine received its first snowfall of the season on December 6th and what a sight it was in a charming seaside town like Camden, Maine. The snow added a magical Christmas touch to the festively decorated storefronts downtown, while Camden Harbor, though mostly dormant at this time of year, conveyed a sense of serenity as the snow fell about the waterfront. 

For a two day stretch on the 8th and 9th, the temperatures plunged to single digits at night, with wind chills falling below zero. The frigid air felt more like late January than early December, which helped to preserve most of the three inches of snow the Midcoast received a few days earlier. 

Marshall Point

Within the hour of a storm warning going into effect on December 12, 2010, gusty winds began kicking up the seas at Marshall Point Light (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

By December 12th, things took a dramatic turn upwards temperature-wise, but there would be no sun to bask in as temps reached into the mid-50s. Instead, the National Weather Service issued a storm warning for the Midcoast starting at 3:00 pm on that afternoon. 

The southeast storm would deliver its most powerful punch under the cover of darkness as winds gusting as high as 55-knots buffeted the coast and up to four inches of rain, along with melting snow, caused the National Weather Service to issue a flood watch. 

At first light on the morning of the 13th, the storm was already moving off the coast, but in its wake, it dealt snow buffs a cruel blow as every last bit of the white stuff was washed away by the heavy rainfall and unseasonably warm temperatures. 

Suddenly, Midcoast Maine was without a blanket of white about its landscape to accent the approaching Christmas holiday, but such a loss could not douse the merry spirit of Christmas that burns bright all along coastal Maine. 

Star fish

A tiny star fish in the snow was a delightful sight on an otherwise gray day in Rockport Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

This eight day period was capped by a winter-feeling sunset that splashed pastel oranges and pinks on the outer edges of a cloud bank that seemed to “lower the ceiling” over Penobscot Bay and Rockland Harbor and forewarn of more unpredictable weather in the offing just around the corner. 

Looking back, the sight of holiday lobster buoys against a gray seascape and a tiny starfish atop the snow in Rockport Harbor – both very simple things, brought a smile to my face and reminded me of a secret. 

For every bit of gray and cold that may surround our daily lives like the weather, there are also vibrant cups of life’s cheer to be found – if we only take a moment to look for them shining bright all around us! 

Snapshots of eight days in December from Camden to York, Maine… 

Curtis Island Lighthouse

Curtis Island Lighthouse stands against a backdrop of low visibility along West Penobscot Bay during December's first snowfall (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Camden Harbor

A sure sign of winter in Camden Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Camden Harbor

Memories of summer past found themselves buried under a blanket of snow (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Camden Harbor

Camden Harbor's majestic schooners are "under wraps" for winter (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Camden Harbor

Camden Harbor's maritime heritage may be mostly silent during winter, but it remains as stout as ever (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Lobster boat

Lobstering remains an active part of the Camden waterfront (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Camden Harbor

A duck has the right idea of "bundling up" and staying warm along Camden Harbor during the snowstorm (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Camden Harbor

A colorful character parades along water's edge despite the snowstorm falling around him (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Camden, Maine

Downtown Camden, Maine, was full of Christmas spirit for shoppers during the snowstorm (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

York Beach

The presence of the sun could do little to combat the bitter cold temperatures along York Beach during December 8th and 9th (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Sohier Park, York, Maine

A lobster trap tree in Sohier Park points to a proud maritime heritage along York Beach, Maine (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Marshall Point Light

Storm seas roll in at Marshall Point Light on December 12, 2010 (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Rockland Harbor

A part of Rockland Harbor's fishing fleet remains moored up behind the safe refuge of the Rockland Breakwater as the December 12th storm warning goes into effect (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Rockport Harbor

Too bad a photo cannot convey the fresh, ripe smell of these lobster traps (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Rockport Harbor

Tools of the lobstering trade (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Rockport Harbor

Inside Rockport Marine, the sounds of workers at their trade echoed about the festive looking building (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Rockport Harbor

A look of being settled down for a long, cold winter (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Rockport Harbor

A pine tree along Rockport Harbor is adorned with a string of lights and a handful of lobster buoys for the Christmas holiday (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Rockport Harbor

A retired warrior of the sea stands along Rockport Harbor - its bell forever quiet (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Rockport Harbor

A snowman adorns a lobster buoy on the decorated tree in Rockport Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Rockport Harbor

Vestiges of Rockport Harbor's one-time lime industry are silent reminders of the past (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Rockport Harbor

A festive lobster is appropriate artwork for a lobster buoy hanging on a tree decorated for Christmas (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Rockport Harbor

The grounds about Rockport Harbor were covered in snow on December 12th (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Rockport Harbor

First light on December 13th revealed the fact that heavy rains and mild temps had washed away every last bit of snow along Rockport Harbor -- less than 24 hours later (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Owls Head Light

Storm or no storm, Owls Head Light continues to shine bright (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Owls Head

Rains and a gray backdrop cannot douse the inviting warmth of Owls Head General Store (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Rockland Harbor

The orange glow of sunset accents a cloud bank that hovers over West Penobscot Bay and Rockland Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Rockland Harbor

A few minutes later, oranges give way to pinks along the edge of a cloud bank that seems to have "lowered the ceiling" over West Penobscot Bay (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)