Postcard from Maine (3)

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There’s more to Maine than Acadia. Geography lesson: if you were to take a pair of scissors to a paper map of New England and cut out the state of Maine, you could actually overlay all of New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. So, relatively speaking – though nothing like the immense size of some of the vast western US states – Maine is a relatively big state.

So, while you could certainly spend a lifetime exploring the coastline of Maine, there’s so much more to see, including the impressive and rugged Mount Katahdin and Baxter State Park. in fact:

The coastline of the state of Maine is only about 370 kilometers (230 miles) from one end to another. However, when measured taking into consideration its irregularities such as inlets and offshore islands, its length increases to more than 5,542 kilometers (3,450 miles)! – Google.

This image was made on a chilly October morning from the Abol Bridge area on the Golden Road just outside the Baxter State Park boundary. To reach this location at first light it takes me about two hours of early driving, and on this occasion I can remember arriving in a hurry and frantically scrambling to find a foreground that might hopefully do justice to the magnificent sight of the sun hitting the roof of Katahdin. Luckily, a carpet of remarkably colorful fall foliage was hiding just around a bend in the river – I plopped my tripod down and worked fast to include the reflection of the mountain in the mid-ground, along with the fast-moving clouds breezing over the summit.

Needless to say this was a pretty tranquil and solitary scene… there aren’t many people this far north in Maine, and there certainly weren’t too many of them up and about at this time of day. I find that solitude often makes for a more powerful and engaging experience. Again… though I came away with a photograph that I like, I’m just as happy with the memory of being there in person to explore what was an almost spiritual scene.

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Ocean Boy

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Oliver recently had his first real dip in the ocean. I say “real” dip, cos a few months back he tippy-toed into the water at Sand Beach, but that didn’t really count. I can hardly blame him for being so wary of the water that time… the February ocean temperature had to be pretty frigid, and the decent sized waves weren’t something he was familiar with. This time though, he marched right in and lay down on about 6 inches of clear, still, and sparkling water.

We visited the Holbrook Island Sanctuary State Park down past Brooksville and Penobscot, and on the day we explored the grounds, we had it all to ourselves. The sign said that dogs had to be on their leash at all times, but after wandering the beach for about half an hour and seeing literally no-one, we figured what they hey, and we let him loose. He never goes far when we do let him off, and besides, he had his new found paddling pool to play in and keep his attention, so we had nothing to worry about.

We’ve heard stories of how Golden Retrievers are natural swimmers, and although we’ve yet to see him actually swim, there’s no doubt that he loves being in the water. Still a baby – he turned 9 months on June 24 – he would wade out just far enough to have the water come up to his belly, but he wasn’t that keen on going much further. We would throw his tennis ball and he’d gladly retrieve it so the process could be repeated, but that one last throw which went a little further requiring him to swim to fetch it… well, that meant the tennis ball was lost to the receding tide. He had a grand time prancing around in the shallow water, watching Jack do some crab-fishing, and staying cool on what was another gorgeous summer day in Maine.

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The Bagaduce River

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The pretty little village of Penobscot lies quietly on the edge of Northern Bay along the Bagaduce River in Maine. On a recent visit to the Holbrook Island Sanctuary State Park we stopped off here to walk in the local park and enjoy the vibrant display of freshly bloomed Lupine and Beach Rose that lined the shore. June in Maine is a wonderful time of the year… the temporary crowds haven’t quite arrived yet, but summer and all of the goodness that it brings is here for us to enjoy.

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Man-made landscape

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I recently headed north to Aroostook County for a work-related event, and on the way back home I slowly meandered through the local landscape looking for opportunities to break out the camera. I had been hoping to photograph the mighty and still snow-capped Mount Katahdin, but the gloomy weather and low clouds put an end to that idea.

Just outside the town of Millinocket, I stumbled on this old but still active structure bridging the Penobscot River. The track and bridge looked to be in decent shape, and as I straddled the lines to make this photograph, I couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like if a working engine were to pass by.

The leading lines in this scene are obviously what caught my attention, and even at the time I pressed the shutter, I was eager to see how this one would appear in black and white.

The Mighty Penobscot

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The 350 mile long Penobscot River flows under the shadow of Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park, Maine. This image is taken about a mile or so from the Abol Falls Bridge along the Golden Road. I had to climb over several large boulders to get to a place where I could see both snow-capped Katahdin in the background, and have an unobstructed view of the flowing water. I really liked the blaze of color that the fall foliage offered on the nearest river bank to the left. To slow the water and get the misty effect in the foreground, I used a 6-stop neutral density filter that allowed the shutter to be open for 15 seconds.

Technical data: f22, 15 seconds, iso 100, 17-40mm at 20mm with a 6-stop ND filter.