Postcard from Maine (10)

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Finally… as we approach the middle of June, everything around these parts begins to green up, and there’s a special little place in Acadia that I always love to visit this time of year. Bubble Pond, nestled between Cadillac and Pemetic, is a jewel of a landscape location, and as you can see from this image, it comes alive after the winter displaying an array of earthy colors that are pretty sweet to see. Made mid-morning, this photograph always reminds me that even though winter will be long around here, springtime will eventually arrive, and when it does, it will bring with it opportunities to enjoy colors that sparkle.

A quiet little pond in Acadia

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Bubble Pond remains a quiet oasis in the middle of a heavily traveled summer season in Acadia National Park. Perhaps it’s because the tiny little parking lot only holds no more than a dozen cars, or maybe it’s because people are in a hurry to get to a couple of classic park icons about a mile on either side… Jordan Pond to the south and Cadillac Mountain to the north. Whatever the reason, I’m OK with it – this jewel of tranquility can stay quiet forever as far as I’m concerned. In the first image, the setting sun bathes the lower part of the west face of Cadillac in golden light, and in the photograph below you get a simple view of Bubble Pond Bridge, one of the famous Acadia carriage road bridges. It’s August 1st already… where does the summer go?

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Top 10 places to shoot in Acadia redux

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*Based on the analytics produced by the WordPress blog stats, it would appear that lots of people are looking for help in finding good spots for landscape photography in Acadia at this time of year. With this in mind, here’s a re-post from a while ago about just that… some of my favorite places to spend time making photographs in Acadia.

I am sometimes asked by visiting photographers who only have a short period of time to spend in Acadia where the best places to shoot are. While I can certainly offer some specific location suggestions, it should be noted that there is beauty to be found all across Acadia, and this post merely outlines some of my own personal favorite places to shoot. Everyone knows about the familiar and iconic locations you see on picture postcards – and for good reason since they are strikingly beautiful – but there is so much more to Acadia than Otter Cliffs, Cadillac Mountain, and the Bass Harbor lighthouse. Acadia is an absolute jewel of a national park, and for those with time to explore, it is a landscape photographer’s paradise. Anyhoo… for the photographer with limited time to spend in the area, here are some ideas to get you started on the Mount Desert Island part of Acadia… icons and all.

1. Cadillac Mountain – Back home in Ireland we have the beautiful Mourne Mountains in County Down that sweep down to the sea, and at 1,532 feet, Cadillac Mountain too rises up from the ocean making it appear larger than it actually is. On this particular morning there were some hazy clouds on the eastern horizon which on the one hand obscured the sunrise, but on the other hand helped diffuse the light creating some wonderful pink and purple hues. I plopped myself down on the slope of Cadillac and enjoyed the show. I especially liked how the early colors from the sky were absorbed by the foreground rocks, though after a few minutes the more familiar golden light began to bathe the summit. Not a bad way to start the day.

2. Bubble Pond – Nestled between Pemetic Mountain (1,248 feet), and Cadillac Mountain (1,532 feet), Bubble Pond is a glaciated valley that is now home to a beautiful and pristine pond. Using a circular polarizer, I was able to eliminate reflections from the crystal clear pond water allowing views of the rocky bottom. The polarizer also removed the glare of the mid-morning light from the trees hugging the rugged shoreline, and it enhanced the definition in the clouds. The intermittent sunshine breaking through the clouds made the scene sparkle, and in the fall the foliage colors here come alive.

3. Jordan Pond Stream – I had looked at the weather forecast for the day, and it had predicted overcast skies and some light showers… perfect weather for shooting fall foliage and running water. Clouds provide softer, more diffused light which makes getting a good exposure easier, and any rainfall that came my way would certainly help saturate the already vibrant fall colors. Intermittent raindrops and relatively cool fall temperatures did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm as I stumbled upon scene after scene with rich and striking foliage colors complimenting the dynamic water rushing downhill toward Little Long Pond and the Atlantic Ocean. Fallen leaves were scattered everywhere, and the pockets of color and mini-landscapes that I encountered around just about every turn were amazing.

10-14-11jordan pond stream2

4. Bass Harbor Light – Bass Harbor Light is quintessential Maine. Part of Acadia National Park, it is a classic New England-style lighthouse perched on jagged rocks overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is a place that I genuinely enjoy being at… whether I am fighting off the summer mosquitoes, listening to the fog-dampened sound of the buoy bell, or fumbling with cold fingers in the dead of winter. Regular readers of this blog will notice that I have been to this spot quite a few times, but seeing the ocean and the impressive beacon watching over it never gets old. This is a great place to shoot at either sunrise or sunset… both can provide spectacular views.

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5. Monument Cove – 
Monument Cove is a little piece of heaven tucked quietly away between Thunder Hole and Otter Cliffs in Acadia National Park. If you have ever walked the ocean path along the loop road you have probably stopped to enjoy the view from the small rock wall atop the 100 ft high cliff looking down into Monument Cove and further to Otter Cliffs. Most people settle for the view from above, justifiably marveling at the beauty below, but I like to get a little closer to the action. Not easy to get down into, this small cove is protected on three sides by steep rocky cliffs, and the Atlantic Ocean does it’s job protecting the fourth side. I love this place… even in summer there rarely is anyone there, and you are pretty much guaranteed to have it all to yourself if you visit first thing in the morning any time of year. Combined with some nice light, the knocking sounds from the round rocks being jostled by the waves makes this a pretty neat experience. As always, first light does a number on the Acadia granite shoreline, lighting it up to create a sight that only the earliest of risers will experience.

6. Boulder Beach – There are a myriad of classic compositions to be had in the area in the shadow of Otter Cliffs, and I have returned often in different seasons and at different times of day in search of light and conditions that help convey the beauty of this location. I feel as if I now “know” many of the elements better… individual rocks among the round boulders, the impressive granite cliffs rising up out of the Atlantic, and the usually hidden algae-covered rocks that become uncovered at low tide. Definitely a sunrise location, both high and low-tides offer many creative possibilities.

7. Otter Cliffs – As winter started to really grab hold of the season, I had been itching to get out with the camera so I decided to visit one of my favorite places and see if I could capture some snow blanketing the famous round rocks below Otter Cliffs. An early start that morning got me there about 45 minutes before the sun was scheduled to crest at 6:36am, and as always, I had the place completely to myself. Though the temperature was certainly chilly, there was little to no wind blowing, and since I was dressed in several layers, the 13 degrees Farenheit actually felt quite comfortable. An iconic view for sure, like much of the scenery along the Loop Road, Otter Cliffs are especially spectacular at first light. This view can be obtained by turning your tripod legs about 45 degrees clockwise from the scene above.

8. Thunder Hole and Loop Road – Anyone who visits Acadia National Park probably takes in the grand vista offered all along the stretch of blacktop known as The Loop Road. Surely one of America’s most picturesque roadways, visitors who choose this path weave their way from the park entrance through lush New England forest under the shadow of imposing granite mountains to the ragged and distinctive Maine shoreline that adorns many a picture postcard. Even in midday light, there are photographs to be made along this stretch of road, and on this day strong swell after swell would come crashing onshore, and though it was certainly an impressive sight, the sound and power of the ocean were the real stars of this show.

9. Little Long Pond – It was 23 25 years ago this July that Lori and I visited Acadia on our honeymoon. It was the first time we had been to Maine, and we both immediately fell in love with the park. We rented bicycles for part of our week there, cycling from inn to inn as we traversed across Mount Desert Island. I can recall how exciting and exhilarating cycling around the roads of Acadia was, with the anticipation and expectation of what we would see over the next hill or around the next bend always fueling our efforts. On one particularly stunning morning, we were freewheeling down Peabody Drive toward Bracy Cove when we were stopped in our tracks by an amazing view looking away from the ocean and toward Long Pond and Penobscot Mountain. Back in those days I was only carrying a disposable film camera with me, but I can remember getting a really nice photograph from this location, and the 4 x 6 print was one of the few images from the trip that I was quite proud of. Over the years that one image has unfortunately become displaced, but I can still vividly see that same scene in my mind’s eye. I have been back to this location many times since – in fact, any time I am driving along the shore road I can’t help but stop to see the view again. Each time I take my camera with me, and depending on the conditions, I guess have been trying to emulate that shot from 22 years ago. In this more recent photograph, the late afternoon sun dropped some nice light and shadow on the pond, and a circular polarizer helped reduce the glare on the water lillies, producing those same wonderful Acadia greens and blues… just like I remember.

10. Manset and Seawall – I have always looked forward to mid-June when the Lupine in Maine come to life. Serious gardeners often disparage this hardy perennial for its ability to overwhelm a planned garden space. Me… I love the swaths of deep color that appear along the roadside at this time of year, and I have long searched for a nice composition that includes these beautiful flowers. During one of our many family camping trips to Acadia we spent a really nice evening, free from the already increasing crowds in Bar Harbor, along the quiet shore at Seawall. As we made our way past Southwest Harbor and through Manset, this pretty little scene presented itself. Needless to say I started drooling, stopped the car, and enjoyed the view with my camera. The road along the shore between Southwest Harbor and Bass Harbor is home to some quiet, less-frequented places with family-friendly trails like Wonderland and Ship Harbor to enjoy… well worth a visit.

Southwest Harbor, Seawall, Somesville, Northeast Harbor, Sand Beach, Eagle Lake, Pick-a-mountain trail, Asticou Gardens, Bar Harbor, Jordan Pond, Wild Gardens of Acadia, Seal Harbor, carriage roads and bridges, Schoodic, and Isle-au-Haut… you get the idea… there is SO MUCH MORE to see in what is a small but surprisingly stunning national park, and for those interested in spending some time photographing the landscape, you really can’t go wrong!

Do you have a favorite place to photograph in Acadia? I’d love to hear about it…

* I’m updating this post to include a quieter part of Acadia, Schoodic. Just recently I have had the pleasure of exploring this part of the world, and I have to admit, I have totally fallen in love.

There’s a photograph to be found here…

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One of my favorite places in Acadia National Park is this little glacial pond tucked in between Cadillac and Pemetic Mountains. I find the water of Bubble Pond to be incredibly tranquil and beautiful at any time of the day and in any season, but I especially love visiting here early on a spring morning. The new greens that surround this pond on the steep slopes of Pemetic and Cadillac are incredibly vibrant and lush at this time of year, and when that clear, sparkling water is still, the reflections are striking.

Large (and small) half-submerged rocks are scattered all along the northern shore of the pond, offering many opportunities for including interesting foreground compositional elements. The grouping of rocks in the photograph below has always intrigued me, and this isn’t the first time I have tried to include them in a composition. On this particular morning I arrived at about 5:30 a.m., and in addition to trying to find a photograph, I was more than happy to soak in the scene and simply appreciate the beauty that lay before me.

One of the most enjoyable parts of landscape photography for me is trying to arrange the elements of a scene into a harmonious and pleasing composition. I’ll move the camera right a little, left a little, up a little, down a little… toward the scene a little, away from the scene a little… making fine adjustments to what appears within the viewfinder – all in the name of finding a composition I like. At times I am more successful than others, and although I’m not convinced that I have been entirely successful at this location yet, I do know that there’s a photograph to be found here…

Googly+ and inspiration

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I never really “got” the whole Facebook thing. I opened an account a long time ago, but I haven’t ever updated anything, and the handful of friend requests I got (from people I know in real life) are still sitting there unanswered. Just lately though, I have started investing a little bit of time in a similar social media platform – Google+ – and I admit to being quite intrigued by this new world.

The Google+ community seems to be a fertile landscape for photographers, and I’ve recently connected with several people whose work I admire (many of whom you can find in the “Photographers I admire” links on the right hand side of the blog). As always, people are very willing to share their experiences, ideas and expertise, so for anyone interested in learning from top notch landscape photographers, it is definitely a cool place to be. Actually, I find it somewhat incredible to be connected and conversing with such accomplished photographers – from all over the country and even the world – isn’t technology amazing?

To date, I’ve been able to get much of my social media fix from right here on the blog – thanks to y’all – but I think I’m also going to give Google+ a chance to see if it is an online community I can both contribute to and learn from. I’m still going to share right here on the blog as I always have, and of course I’ll bring the inspirations I get from Google+ back here.

Speaking of inspiration… lately I have been engrossed in admiring the black and white work of some fellow Google+ photographers. Some of you will remember my recent dabblings with this medium, and after spending a little time exploring the work of people like Nate Parker and Moe Chen, I finally pulled the trigger and printed a series of my own Acadia landscapes. I’m very much at the beginning stage of learning how to really appreciate and understand the nuances of black and white photography, but I am eager to learn. For this grouping I settled on 11 x 14 sized prints on paper with a metallic finish, and can’t wait to have them in hand. Here are the photographs I included in my mini-series to be printed, framed and hung on a wall at home…

Soaring high above Acadia

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Last summer Jack and I went up for what was a spectacular aerial tour of Mount Desert Island in an Acadia Air Tours biplane, and we enjoyed it so much that we decided a gift certificate would be the perfect present for Grandpa. The weather on our vacation has been amazing so far, and as you can see from the the photographs in this post, we had perfect conditions to enjoy the flight. I think it’s safe to say that Grandpa got a kick out of this adventure, and oh yeah… the “official” family photographer just had to go along for the ride too 🙂

Still water on Bubble Pond

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This little pond has become one of my favorite places to visit, and after spending the pre-dawn at Otter Cliffs, I shared it with my photographer friend Josh. Nestled between Pemetic Mountain (1,248 feet), and Cadillac Mountain (1,532 feet), Bubble Pond is a glaciated valley that is now home to a beautiful and pristine pond. Using a circular polarizer, I was able to eliminate some – but not all – of the reflections from the crystal clear pond water allowing views of the rocky bottom. The polarizer also removed the glare of the early-morning light from the trees hugging the rugged shoreline, and it enhanced the definition in the clouds. The intermittent sunshine breaking through the clouds made the scene come alive, and I was really attracted to how still the water was. Isn’t this place gorgeous?

Top 10 places to shoot in Acadia

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I am sometimes asked by visiting photographers who only have a short period of time to spend in Acadia where the best places to shoot are. While I can certainly offer some specific location suggestions, it should be noted that there is beauty to be found all across Acadia, and this post merely outlines some of my own personal favorite places to shoot. Everyone knows about the familiar and iconic locations you see on picture postcards – and for good reason since they are strikingly beautiful – but there is so much more to Acadia than Otter Cliffs, Cadillac Mountain, and the Bass Harbor lighthouse. Acadia is an absolute jewel of a national park, and for those with time to explore, it is a landscape photographer’s paradise. Anyhoo… for the photographer with limited time to spend in the area, here are some ideas to get you started on the Mount Desert Island part of Acadia… icons and all. If interested in purchasing prints, go to my “real” site at: http://www.acadiaandbeyond.com

1. Cadillac Mountain – Back home in Ireland we have the beautiful Mourne Mountains in County Down that sweep down to the sea, and at 1,532 feet, Cadillac Mountain too rises up from the ocean making it appear larger than it actually is. On this particular morning there were some hazy clouds on the eastern horizon which on the one hand obscured the sunrise, but on the other hand helped diffuse the light creating some wonderful pink and purple hues. I plopped myself down on the slope of Cadillac and enjoyed the show. I especially liked how the early colors from the sky were absorbed by the foreground rocks, though after a few minutes the more familiar golden light began to bathe the summit. Not a bad way to start the day.

2. Bubble Pond – Nestled between Pemetic Mountain (1,248 feet), and Cadillac Mountain (1,532 feet), Bubble Pond is a glaciated valley that is now home to a beautiful and pristine pond. Using a circular polarizer, I was able to eliminate reflections from the crystal clear pond water allowing views of the rocky bottom. The polarizer also removed the glare of the mid-morning light from the trees hugging the rugged shoreline, and it enhanced the definition in the clouds. The intermittent sunshine breaking through the clouds made the scene sparkle, and in the fall the foliage colors here come alive.

3. Jordan Pond Stream – I had looked at the weather forecast for the day, and it had predicted overcast skies and some light showers… perfect weather for shooting fall foliage and running water. Clouds provide softer, more diffused light which makes getting a good exposure easier, and any rainfall that came my way would certainly help saturate the already vibrant fall colors. Intermittent raindrops and relatively cool fall temperatures did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm as I stumbled upon scene after scene with rich and striking foliage colors complimenting the dynamic water rushing downhill toward Little Long Pond and the Atlantic Ocean. Fallen leaves were scattered everywhere, and the pockets of color and mini-landscapes that I encountered around just about every turn were amazing.

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4. Bass Harbor Light – Bass Harbor Light is quintessential Maine. Part of Acadia National Park, it is a classic New England-style lighthouse perched on jagged rocks overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is a place that I genuinely enjoy being at… whether I am fighting off the summer mosquitoes, listening to the fog-dampened sound of the buoy bell, or fumbling with cold fingers in the dead of winter. Regular readers of this blog will notice that I have been to this spot quite a few times, but seeing the ocean and the impressive beacon watching over it never gets old. This is a great place to shoot at either sunrise or sunset… both can provide spectacular views.

bassharborlighthouse(11**)
5. Monument Cove – 
Monument Cove is a little piece of heaven tucked quietly away between Thunder Hole and Otter Cliffs in Acadia National Park. If you have ever walked the ocean path along the loop road you have probably stopped to enjoy the view from the small rock wall atop the 100 ft high cliff looking down into Monument Cove and further to Otter Cliffs. Most people settle for the view from above, justifiably marveling at the beauty below, but I like to get a little closer to the action. Not easy to get down into, this small cove is protected on three sides by steep rocky cliffs, and the Atlantic Ocean does it’s job protecting the fourth side. I love this place… even in summer there rarely is anyone there, and you are pretty much guaranteed to have it all to yourself if you visit first thing in the morning any time of year. Combined with some nice light, the knocking sounds from the round rocks being jostled by the waves makes this a pretty neat experience. As always, first light does a number on the Acadia granite shoreline, lighting it up to create a sight that only the earliest of risers will experience.

6. Boulder Beach – There are a myriad of classic compositions to be had in the area in the shadow of Otter Cliffs, and I have returned often in different seasons and at different times of day in search of light and conditions that help convey the beauty of this location. I feel as if I now “know” many of the elements better… individual rocks among the round boulders, the impressive granite cliffs rising up out of the Atlantic, and the usually hidden algae-covered rocks that become uncovered at low tide. Definitely a sunrise location, both high and low-tides offer many creative possibilities.

7. Otter Cliffs – As winter started to really grab hold of the season, I had been itching to get out with the camera so I decided to visit one of my favorite places and see if I could capture some snow blanketing the famous round rocks below Otter Cliffs. An early start that morning got me there about 45 minutes before the sun was scheduled to crest at 6:36am, and as always, I had the place completely to myself. Though the temperature was certainly chilly, there was little to no wind blowing, and since I was dressed in several layers, the 13 degrees Farenheit actually felt quite comfortable. An iconic view for sure, like much of the scenery along the Loop Road, Otter Cliffs are especially spectacular at first light. This view can be obtained by turning your tripod legs about 45 degrees clockwise from the scene above.

8. Thunder Hole and Loop Road – Anyone who visits Acadia National Park probably takes in the grand vista offered all along the stretch of blacktop known as The Loop Road. Surely one of America’s most picturesque roadways, visitors who choose this path weave their way from the park entrance through lush New England forest under the shadow of imposing granite mountains to the ragged and distinctive Maine shoreline that adorns many a picture postcard. Even in midday light, there are photographs to be made along this stretch of road, and on this day strong swell after swell would come crashing onshore, and though it was certainly an impressive sight, the sound and power of the ocean were the real stars of this show.

9. Little Long Pond – It was 23 25 years ago this July that Lori and I visited Acadia on our honeymoon. It was the first time we had been to Maine, and we both immediately fell in love with the park. We rented bicycles for part of our week there, cycling from inn to inn as we traversed across Mount Desert Island. I can recall how exciting and exhilarating cycling around the roads of Acadia was, with the anticipation and expectation of what we would see over the next hill or around the next bend always fueling our efforts. On one particularly stunning morning, we were freewheeling down Peabody Drive toward Bracy Cove when we were stopped in our tracks by an amazing view looking away from the ocean and toward Long Pond and Penobscot Mountain. Back in those days I was only carrying a disposable film camera with me, but I can remember getting a really nice photograph from this location, and the 4 x 6 print was one of the few images from the trip that I was quite proud of. Over the years that one image has unfortunately become displaced, but I can still vividly see that same scene in my mind’s eye. I have been back to this location many times since – in fact, any time I am driving along the shore road I can’t help but stop to see the view again. Each time I take my camera with me, and depending on the conditions, I guess have been trying to emulate that shot from 22 years ago. In this more recent photograph, the late afternoon sun dropped some nice light and shadow on the pond, and a circular polarizer helped reduce the glare on the water lillies, producing those same wonderful Acadia greens and blues… just like I remember.

10. Manset and Seawall – I have always looked forward to mid-June when the Lupine in Maine come to life. Serious gardeners often disparage this hardy perennial for its ability to overwhelm a planned garden space. Me… I love the swaths of deep color that appear along the roadside at this time of year, and I have long searched for a nice composition that includes these beautiful flowers. During one of our many family camping trips to Acadia we spent a really nice evening, free from the already increasing crowds in Bar Harbor, along the quiet shore at Seawall. As we made our way past Southwest Harbor and through Manset, this pretty little scene presented itself. Needless to say I started drooling, stopped the car, and enjoyed the view with my camera. The road along the shore between Southwest Harbor and Bass Harbor is home to some quiet, less-frequented places with family-friendly trails like Wonderland and Ship Harbor to enjoy… well worth a visit.

Southwest Harbor, Seawall, Somesville, Northeast Harbor, Sand Beach, Eagle Lake, Pick-a-mountain trail, Asticou Gardens, Bar Harbor, Jordan Pond, Wild Gardens of Acadia, Seal Harbor, carriage roads and bridges, Schoodic, and Isle-au-Haut… you get the idea… there is SO MUCH MORE to see in what is a small but surprisingly stunning national park, and for those interested in spending some time photographing the landscape, you really can’t go wrong!

Do you have a favorite place to photograph in Acadia? I’d love to hear about it…

* I’m updating this post to include a quieter part of Acadia, Schoodic. Just recently I have had the pleasure of exploring this part of the world, and I have to admit, I have totally fallen in love.

If interested in purchasing prints, go to my “real” site at: http://www.acadiaandbeyond.com

Jordan Pond Stream, Acadia National Park

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After leaving the top of Cadillac Mountain where I had been socked in with fog, I made a quick stop at Bubble Pond where the colors were already past their peak, before heading off to my planned destination… the Jordan Pond Stream.

I had looked at the weather forecast for the day, and it had predicted overcast skies and some light showers… perfect weather for shooting fall foliage and running water. Clouds provide softer, more diffused light that makes getting a good exposure easier, and any rainfall that came my way would certainly help saturate the already vibrant fall colors. We had a Nor’easter blow through these parts last weekend, so I was optimistic that the heavy rains which doused the area might translate into a decent amount of water flowing in the stream. I have been here many times in the past when there has been barely a trickle, but this time I wasn’t disappointed.

Once I reached the first wooden bridge along the gravel path, I made a right turn to follow the rough trail hugging the stream as it meanders toward the Cobblestone Bridge. Intermittent raindrops and relatively cool fall temperatures did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm as I stumbled upon scene after scene with rich and striking foliage colors complimenting the dynamic water rushing downhill toward Long Pond and the Atlantic Ocean. Fallen leaves were scattered everywhere, and the pockets of color and mini-landscapes that I encountered around just about every turn were amazing – and once again, I had this jewel of a place all to myself.

Based on the available light, I experimented with several different lengths of shutter, each impacting the degree to which the water was either “frozen” or “smoothed” as seen in the images I ended up preferring. Our eyes cannot freeze time like a camera can, neither can they allow us to see movement beyond what exists momentarily and in a very linear way… part of what intrigues me about photography.

After getting home and editing I find that I choose – as I usually do – way more vertical compositions than landscape images… not sure why I tend to like portrait oriented photographs so much? Here is a sample from my VERY enjoyable morning spent exploring the Jordan Pond Stream.

Bubble Pond Twilight

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From the hike Sam and I made up the Cadillac West Face Trail and down the Pond Trail, this shot from the far end of Bubble Pond was made near the tail end of our journey. The twilight reflecting from the sky onto the pond was quite special, but since I hadn’t brought my tripod with me, I just let the land go to black to accentuate the silhouettes and the colors. I was drawn to the symmetry created by the reflections, and the random rocks in the foreground did nothing to take away from the wonderful scene.

Cadillac Mountain West Face Trail

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Phew! It doesn’t take that long to get to the top of Cadillac Mountain when you hike this route, and it also doesn’t take long for you to realize that you are going to get a decent workout! As with most things of any value though, there is a give and take… this time in return for the effort expended going up so sharply, the early views from the trail across Eagle Lake and off toward Blue Hill were breathtaking.

With Lori and Jack enjoying Storyland and Santa’s Village in New Hampshire with the cousins Chloe and Isaiah, Sam and I decided to pull on the hiking shoes once again and head down to Acadia. We wanted to hike, but we also wanted Rosalie’s Pizza… nuff said. I gave Sam the task of deciding where we would hike… my only stipulations were that it had to be a loop hike where we don’t come back the way we went, and that we get to see something new.

He chose to create his own little loop where we started at the Bubble Pond parking lot going up – and I mean up – the Cadillac West Face Trail until we met the South Ridge Trail. From there we made a left turn and proceeded the rest of the way to the top of Cadillac – it took us about an hour total from the parking lot at Bubble Pond to the top of Cadillac. We stayed only a few minutes atop Cadillac before retracing our steps down part of the South Ridge Trail toward the Featherbed, a pretty little mountain pond tucked into a small dip on Cadillac. After stopping to recharge the batteries and water the horses one last time, we made a right turn just before the Featherbed and descended off the mountain via the also steep – and tricky – (Jordan) Pond Trail.

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed this hike. There is something about being on top of one of the long mountain ridges in Acadia. I am always fascinated by the glacial erratics strewn all over the place, the combination of warm summer sun and cool breezes is refreshing, and of course, the views are to die for. The South Ridge Trail of Cadillac is fast becoming one of my all-time favorites. It is relatively long for Acadia, but the gentle sloping granite ridge that winds its way to the summit has so much to offer.

As we came down the Pond Trail toward Bubble Pond, the evening had already begun the transition to twilight. Never having been to the far end of Bubble Pond, we stopped along the shore to soak in the view. Rosalie’s was the usual source of pizza extraordinaire – our favorite delicious thin crust, New York style pizza in Bar Harbor, Maine… a great way to round off the day.

Bubble Pond Sunset, Acadia NP

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On our way down to Bar Harbor from the summit of Cadillac, we made a short detour to Bubble Pond. I had visited here a few weeks ago in the late morning, and was curious to see how it looked at the end of the day. Lori, Sam and Jack hadn’t been to this pond before, so I wanted to show them one of the more peaceful scenes available right off route 233.

As we made our way from the parking lot to the edge of the pond, we could see spectacular highlights reflecting off the water through the trees. We hurried down to the water’s edge, and we were treated to this beautifully tranquil scene. As the setting sun bathed the opposite hillside in an incredible golden glow, the shadow of Pemetic Mountain to our right slowly reached across the pond. This image was made at about 7:00pm, and we had the place to ourselves… a nice part of the world to share.

Bubble Pond Bridge, Acadia National Park

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This will be my last post for a while with “Bubble” in the title 😉

Built in 1928, the Bubble Pond Bridge is classic Acadia. Part of the network of carriage trails and bridges financed by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and designed by Welles Bosworth and Charles Stoughton, this bridge is a remarkable example of local elements being combined in architectural design.

Though beautiful and incredibly detailed in their construction, each of the bridges of Acadia National Park blends so well into the surroundings that one might be forgiven for not even noticing them. There are 17 bridges scattered throughout the 45 miles of auto-free carriage trails on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island, and they stand as a reminder of why the Rockefellers gifted much of this land for preservation and trust.

Bubble Pond, Acadia National Park

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Nestled between Pemetic Mountain (1,248 feet), and Cadillac Mountain (1,532 feet), Bubble Pond is a glaciated valley that is now home to a beautiful and pristine pond. Using a circular polarizer, I was able to eliminate reflections from the crystal clear pond water allowing views of the rocky bottom. The polarizer also removed the glare of the mid-morning light from the trees hugging the rugged shoreline, and it enhanced the definition in the clouds. The intermittent sunshine breaking through the clouds made the scene come alive. A very peaceful spot, I definitely plan on returning here in the fall to take advantage of the changing foliage colors.