When you’re up early, you see things most people don’t get to see. The scene above presented itself at 5:40am as Oliver and I started out on our pre-dawn walk. Most of the time, this is just another stand of trees trying to green up for the summer, but on this particular morning, it was transformed into a fog-shrouded and magical landscape with trunks and limbs intertwined and seemingly stretching forever. In fact, the morning fog was so thick, that as we continued our walk, the sun never did win the battle to break through and make an appearance, but the soft light generated made for some unusual views of usual places.
Here he is… the awesomest dog on the planet! We just had part of our back yard fenced in so Oliver can have the freedom to roam a little while still staying safe. Up until this point, anytime he went outside it was always on the leash, and unfortunately for him, there was always a human on the other end dictating where he went. Like most families, we spend a lot of time in the back yard, especially in the summer months, and we weren’t comfortable letting Oliver loose back there without any way of keeping tabs on his whereabouts. We don’t intend to leave him out there on his own… but we wanted him to be able to wander around back there when we’re out too – within reason. So, we invested in a 4 ft high, pretty, wooden picket fence, and now we can all spend time in the back yard again sans leashes or worries about someone running off to greet a neighbor. We also had a gate with a tightly wound spring installed… that way if anyone forgets to close the gate – or leaves it open momentarily – it will automatically close and keep Oliver safely protected in the confines of the back yard. These photographs of course aren’t from our back yard… they’re from this spring and another early morning spent wandering the local golf course.
Actually, this one should be titled Morning Fog. Acting on Tony’s suggestion to return to this location in different seasons and different conditions, I took a look at the tree I photographed previously on a frosty morning. This time the grass is already greener, some of the leaves have bloomed, there’s a beautiful foggy backdrop, and if you look closely, you’ll see a good friend of mine doing his thing and enjoying the wet grass.
I walk past this tree every morning as Oliver and I make our way around the local golf course in the pre-dawn light. On this particular morning the warm sunrise colors helped silhouette the stark branches which are about to burst back into life after what has been an especially long winter, and I figured maybe I should make a photograph. Though we are now into the month of May, our mornings are still cold here in Maine, and the overnight frost leaves a beautiful carpet of sparkling ice draped all across the landscape. Oliver loves to run with his nose pressed right up against the white-tipped and frosted blades of grass, and I love to watch as he so gleefully soaks up his surroundings.
Oliver just turned 7 months of age, so I figured it was time to provide a little update on his progress. These are from a recent late April frosty morning walk on the golf course. Now that the snow is gone, we have to get out before the golfers get going, so most of our visits begin even before the sun comes up. Gone are the days of riding to the course in the car… now we walk there like a big boy, and he just loves when I unclip his leash and let him run. He’s a solid 60 lbs now, and he’s a stocky little thing. I’m not sure how tall he is going to get, but that’s OK… we love him just how he is. He looks redder in these photographs than he really is… the early light did a number on the color of his coat, but he’s more of a lighter, blonde color in reality. By now the familiar snow cover is long gone, and we’re enjoying exploring all the fresh and wonderfully wet smells of spring. He does a super job of coming when called, and when it comes to walking beside me on the leash… he’s a champ. He walks ever so politely, and is an absolute joy to spend time with. I use the Nike app on my iPhone to track our walks, and we’re routinely knocking out walks of 3+ miles twice per day. He and I walk together in the morning, and we’ve been doing family walks in the evening. As an added bonus, I call him my diet dog
PS. May the fourth be with you!
I’m waiting for things to green up around here… Duck Brook Bridge and the stream that runs under it (not surprisingly called Duck Brook!) is a great place to spend some time in the fall. It’s one of those elusive spots in Acadia National Park where the foliage color really pops, and almost as a bonus, there’s a pretty cool waterfall that adds another element to the scene. Not on the more popular tourist trail within Acadia, this location is literally only minutes from the hustle and bustle of Bar Harbor. I was attracted to the classic Acadia carriage road sign that pointed toward the bridge, and although the colors were nice in the late morning sun, I opted to once again present the scene as a black and white. From another time, below are some of the awesome fall colors that can be found along the the brook.
From this past autumn… the trail that hugs the Jordan Pond Stream is one of my all-time favorite walks in Acadia… especially in the fall. Depending on how much rain we have had recently, the stream itself could be either a raging torrent or a quiet trickle. No matter the force of the water though, there’s always something interesting to enjoy along this hushed and tranquil trail leading from the Jordan Pond House to one of Acadia’s jewels… the Cobblestone Bridge.