Postcard from Maine (7)

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4-22-14 Lupine 4

Coming soon! I always love when spring finally really springs and the landscape begins to green up. Though it take it’s sweet time to get here, the fresh breath of post-winter life that eventually washes over the landscape is well worth the wait. The greens can be electric, and the smells and sound of new growth are intoxicating. By early June we have an additional bonus where swathes of purple and pink begin to dot the landscape, and I have to admit, it’s a favorite time of mine. If you’re in Acadia looking for Lupine, you’ll of course find it scattered randomly in places all over Mount Desert Island, but there are also several cool places – that I know of – where you can find it in abundance.

There’s a lush and full field of Lupine that grows wild in the heart of Bar Island, just offshore from Bar Harbor. The good news… at low tide you can access this treasure by walking across an uncovered spit of land. Be careful though, the ocean waits for no-one and you need to pay attention to the time and tide. Tread with care and make nice photographs.

Another beautiful example of Acadia Lupine can be found along the Beech Hill Cliffs Road. When coming onto the island, travel south through the quaint village of Somesville and look for a right turn toward Beech Hill. After about quarter of a mile make a left and follow the road toward Beech Hill… at the end of this dead-end route there are some wonderful views from above Echo Lake on some very pretty quiet side trails that also offer ocean views to the south of Acadia – and along the way you’ll see two large fields that will be overflowing with colorful Lupine in June. Enjoy!

One of my angels…

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4-13-14 Cadillac debbie3 Cancer is a bad thing. It has obviously struck our family out of the blue, and as it did so, make no mistake that it has rocked our foundation to the core. We’re asking questions and looking for answers… answers that we’re learning aren’t necessarily there for us just yet. Our friends and family are asking questions too, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the desire of others to provide us with help and support. It’s hard… what do you say to help someone who has just been diagnosed with cancer? It’s a frustrating situation for all involved… everyone wants to help, but there’s only so much one can do. Tremendously frustrating for all involved.

4-13-14 cadillac debbie2People want to help, and we want people to know that their encouraging words and support are indeed helping. How do we let our friends and community know how much their support is appreciated… that’s hard too. Hopefully by posting on the blog I’m able to – even in some small way – pass along our gratitude? I mean it when I say that we feed off of that positive energy every day, and we are truly and eternally grateful for the generous outpouring of love we are experiencing every day. In addition to the incredible support our entire local community is nurturing us with, as we navigate this sometimes unpredictable journey, we’ve been especially blessed with the additional and remarkable support of certain individuals.

4-13-14 cadilac debbie1 Here’s one such individual… Debbie. Debbie is one of my angels. Debbie and Jeff have the most beautiful family of three wonderful boys and a gorgeous, black standard poodle named Sidney. I have had the very good fortune to coach one of their boys on my high school soccer team, and in doing so, I have also had the even better fortune of getting to know this wonderful family just a little bit better.

Debbie is a nurse –  wow, that’s such a short word that in no way describes the role that Debbie has helped play in my dealing with this situation – she has meant so, so much more to our family. I’ve had a few hiccups (literally and figuratively) along the way, and as one of the angel nurses on the sixth floor of the Eastern Maine Medical Center who has been trusted with my care on more than one occasion since the diagnosis, I feel as though Debbie has indisputably influenced my very existence.

So… how to thank someone for giving so much? Impossible. But when I’m able to reproduce an image of mine that means a lot to me – this canvas of an early summer morning sunrise from the summit of Cadillac in Acadia National Park – and see Debbie so happy to receive it as a small token of thanks and hang it in her home… that makes me proud, honored and very humble. One of my angels… Debbie. Thank you.

The fleet at rest…

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So… I had grand plans to do some landscape photography while spending time in Acadia, but so far the weather has been somewhat uncooperative. It seems like on any day the weather is decent, the clouds roll in right on cue to deny any good evening light, and as for the early mornings… well, let’s just say my camera isn’t entirely waterproof, and with the rain comes far from ideal light. The end result… slim pickings so far, but the weather over the next couple of days is supposed to brighten up.

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Fingers crossed I can get out with the camera a bit more, but in the meantime, here are a couple from a foggy evening spent in Bar Harbor. If you’ve ever been to Bar Harbor, you will know how strong the draw of the oceanfront is as you walk down the hill toward Agamont Park and the harbor. On this particular evening, the pull was even stronger. The fishing fleet was anchored and resting for the night, and there was a remarkable misty calm laying over the water like a soft and soothing blanket.

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An ocean view, Acadia National Park

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4-9-13 Gull Rock Acadia

The Ocean Path runs along the Acadia coast from Sand Beach to Otter Cliffs, and anyone who’s ever wandered this way will probably recognize this view. The sun comes up pretty early in these parts during the summer, and to prove that point, this image was made at 5:26:36 am on July 7, 2011 – my guess is that the sunrise on this particular morning was scheduled for something earlier than 5:00am! At this time of year along this part of the rugged and spectacular coast, the sun takes its time climbing up and over Great Head, but when it does eventually succeed in pushing the shadows away, that Acadia granite really starts to glow! A sheer drop of more than 60 feet down to the ocean from where I was perched left me feeling a little uncomfortable, but despite that, I can’t think of a better way to greet the day.

Canvas

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I used to think that photographs presented on canvas were kinda kitschy. I didn’t get the allure of printing onto a medium I initially believed would not be able to hold the detail and sharpness that I had spent so much effort to obtain in the first place. That all changed last summer though when we spent a weekend in the newly opened West Street Hotel in Bar Harbor. When I first walked into the lobby, I was blown away by several large, square, canvas prints of Acadia landscapes that were hanging on the walls. I literally walked over to admire each of what must have been 40×40 pieces, and I was in awe of the detail and the depth that the canvas exuded. I vowed there and then to give canvas prints a try.

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Fast forward to this week, and a couple of my favorite Maine and Acadia landscapes printed on canvas just arrived. I ordered a black and white 16×24 of a moody morning spent at Otter Cliffs, and I also ordered a 20×30 of a wonderfully colorful sunrise from Bass Harbor Light. Any concerns I had about losing detail when on canvas were dispelled the instant I opened them up. The texture of the surface seems to hold the detail beautifully, and there appears to be a depth to this type of presentation that isn’t always evident in many traditional paper prints. As you can see, the color of the walls in our house aren’t exactly neutral, but trust me, despite the bold contrasts, these pieces are very impressive when hung. Here are the two images as originally presented on the web…

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5-23-12 Otter Cliffs 5 BW(sm)

A brief glimpse of the sun

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On a recent visit to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, the sun briefly peeked out from behind a rather dense cloud bank that was hugging the horizon. The warm light raked across the mountain summit for only a few minutes, before hurriedly diving back behind some more persistent clouds. Before the grey returned to envelope the scene, the rich colors of this majestic fall landscape were momentarily illuminated and highlighted. It might be tough to fully see the detail in these web-sized images, but there are two rather large cruise ships anchored in the vicinity of Bar Harbor. Perhaps you can see why I adore this mountain top and this jewel of a national park so much, and I’m not surprised that Bar Harbor and Acadia have become such chic fall cruise ship destinations, are you?

Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

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I love to be on top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia during the fall. The summit is ablaze with color – the low growing bushes turn bright shades of yellow – and the distinctive red ground cover makes for a very striking scene. Thick clouds rolled over the mountain top on what was a cool and breezy morning, and I was totally mesmerized by the distant views of the Porcupine Islands in Frenchman Bay. The expansive view was perfectly showcased by the rugged and weathered granite slopes of Cadillac, and I had a grand time composing photographs. A fast moving storm front had just swept over the mountain, and although first light was seriously dampened by the leftover clouds, a saturated and lush autumn early morning landscape was left behind… absolutely perfect!