Lately I haven’t been making many landscape photographs, and certainly not many I have felt worthy of adding to my portfolio. My portfolio is a collection of photographs that I personally like… and while I enjoy sharing my favorites, I realize that not everyone will like what I like. Anyhoo… here’s the latest addition to my online portfolio. This scene is from the Wonderland Trail in Acadia National Park, Maine. On this particular morning the area was socked in with heavy fog, and I can remember soaking in the cool, wet air on what was a pretty peaceful and tranquil morning. I was drawn to the jagged rocks of all shapes and sizes that had obviously been tossed and broken by the force of the Atlantic Ocean, and although you can’t hear it in this photograph, the fog-muffled sound of the incoming tide breaking just beyond these rocks was quite something.
…sort of. Maybe “ship” isn’t the right terminology to use… maybe it should be boat? Either way, this was a classic Maine summer morning spent on the Ship Harbor Trail in Acadia National Park. After a short walk through an oceanside forest, this trail opens up to the Atlantic, offering incredible views of the Ship Harbor coastline and islands laying offshore in the Blue Hill Bay. Just as we arrived, the lobstermen began pulling their pots, so we chilled for a while watching them work. Sitting on the rocks and enjoying the view, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a better way to start the day.
I’ve blogged about this little trail on the quiet side of Acadia National Park before, and for good reason. It’s a short trail – one that is very family friendly – and it’s a place we got in the habit of visiting with Oliver during our recent summer vacation in Bass Harbor. Oliver rises early… usually he’s stirring and gently letting us know he’s awake by about 5:30am. Every morning we would load him up in the car and drive the mile or so to the Wonderland trailhead, and more often than not, the parking lot would be empty and we’d have this little gem of a trail all to ourselves. We were so confident about the solitude, we had no worries letting him off the leash – this is actually where Oliver first learned to swim. Although we encountered foggy conditions on most of our visits, this one particular morning gave us the bluest of blue skies and the warm summer sun felt good on our faces. After what seemed like weeks of cloudy weather, I was happy to finally see the sun and excitedly spent a few minutes scampering over the rocks in search of an interesting foreground… it’s amazing how a wide-angle lens will exaggerate the perspective, and as you can see, I was even photo-bombed by Oliver!
A while back I asked for some help in finding “new” places to find inspiration and photograph within Acadia National Park. You guys came up with some great ideas, and despite the not-so-good weather during our vacation, I had a fun time following up on many of your suggestions. I promised if I was able to photograph the location you mentioned, that I’d make you a print. I sincerely do appreciate the advice you all gave me, and I enjoyed the challenge of photographing new – or at least less familiar – Acadia landscapes. Now it’s time for me to pay up. If you were one of the people who helped me with a location suggestion, and if you would like a print from that location, drop me a line via email with your address and mention the location you suggested – I’ll have something nice printed up and mailed to you. If you like anything specific from my “real” site, holler and I can print from there too. I can be reached at pattersond at roadrunner.com
… a black and white candy store! These are all from the same foggy morning spent at Wonderland. I didn’t bring a tripod with me, so I was able to be pretty carefree and nimble as I wandered over the rocks and beach looking for interesting compositions. Oliver had just finished his morning swim in the ocean, and he was incredibly patient as I flitted around the rocks looking for something worth photoographing. I couldn’t resist how the fog enveloped the jagged landscape like a heavy, grey blanket, and I especially liked how it made the classic Maine pine trees almost disappear in a shroud of gooey greyness.
I cannot imagine how angry and powerful the ocean must have been to arrange these broken, jagged rocks the way it did. Some of these slabs of granite are the size of a kitchen table, yet it looks as though they have been tossed around like little pebbles. Strewn all across the landscape known as Wonderland, I knew when I first set eyes on these rocks that I would want to present the scene as black and white. I hope you like it as much as I do.
Excuse the formatting as I am making this blog post on my phone. Big news… Oliver is a swimmer!
Every morning while we’re on vacation in Acadia, we’ve been taking him for an early morning walk to the ocean at either Ship Harbor Trail or the Wonderland Trail. We usually don’t see anyone until we begin our walk back to the parking lot, so with the solitude and quiet, we feel pretty comfortable letting him off the leash. The first couple of mornings he would merely dip his toes into the water, but he has very quickly become right at home in the ocean. Now he bounds right in after his ball, and we’ve learned that he’s an awesome swimmer!
Happy dog… lately I’d been worrying that he might have been getting a little chubby, but when you see him soaking wet, it’s pretty obvious that he’s doing just fine. Oliver… our swimming dog.
Wonderland is probably one of the most accessible and easy to navigate trails in Acadia National Park. Located on the quiet side of Mount Desert Island, this short hike offers great value in terms of scenery as it gently slopes down along a beautiful forest path toward the ocean shore. If interested in a more peaceful time, and if you feel like leaving the crowds from the Loop Road behind, then this might be the trail for you. Neighboring the similarly picturesque Ship Harbor Trail, the Wonderland Trail parking lot has room for maybe a dozen cars, though in the unlikely event that you get there and it is full, there is room to park along the road.
The trailhead starts out wandering through some typical Maine coastal woodland, though as you emerge from the early forested part of the trail, you quickly get a glimpse of the rugged granite rocks and deep blue ocean. Meandering along the circular loop, there are many opportunities to leave the trail and explore the classically Maine rocky shoreline. Low tide opens a whole new world, with views of the mountains of Acadia to the east and tide pools galore exposed – a true wonderland of nature to enjoy.