Nubble Light

Nubble Light sits on a giant rock, about 200 feet offshore. I’m not sure what it is about lighthouses but people flock to them, me included. Perhaps it’s because they look so majestic against the sea or one of the Great Lakes. They were certainly part of a green system of transportation. With just a compass, sextant, ship’s clock, and lighthouses to mark the coasts mariners were able to sail (that is, with only wind-power) all around the world. Global trade is roughly 600 years old. How time flies.

I discovered this lighthouse recently on one of my club cycling rides. About a dozen of us stopped by on a beautiful Sunday. The place was packed! Then, the tour bus arrived–super packed! Of course, everyone had their ever-present cell phone cameras out, taking pictures. I wasn’t among them doing this. However, I thought this lighthouse would make an excellent subject. Now, typically, the best light is during the morning or evening golden hours when the shadows are long. But this is of somewhat less importance when shooting in black and white, particularly if you have something other than a clear blue sky. So I returned a few days later under a threatening forecast with my 35mm film camera. Although the overcast lacked clear cloud definition, with a bit of post-processing I was able to get an austere sky, shot using Kodak T-Max 100 film.

Nubble Light

As many of you now know, sometimes during this time of Covid-19 our perceptions of reality can become a little distorted, one might say, even wonky.

I’m open to receiving any of your own wonky observations.

Full Moon Tide

A number of us were out on the Presumpscot watershed this morning to photograph the high water level as part of Portland’s the environmental impact studies. Today’s height was 11.8 feet, compared with 2008’s maximum November height of 11.5 feet–3.6 inches higher in just 12 years. And sea levels are accelerating as the polar ice and snows recede, thus reflecting less of the sun’s heat. As you can see in two of the photos, there are no beach areas left at high tide. I’ll continue taking photos at these spots location during the highest tides of each month.


Sunday Cycle Ride Loop From Biddeford, ME

Click here to view the ride.

Well, it’s been just beautiful these past several days in Maine. I’ve ridden about 85 miles. I’m not sure how much longer it’s going to last before I have to put the bike way and bring out the snowshoes. This ride took us past Walker’s Point, home of the late GHW Bush. Sorry, I didn’t take the photo.

People were still swimming here in November. If that’s not proof positive of global warming I don’t know what is! Perhaps palm trees here in the near future (hey,they grow on England’s southwest coast).

The Mt. Cutler Hike and Climb

Topographical Map via Google Earth

After nearly a year in Maine I finally made it into the mountains. Slowed by the pandemic, I joined the Maine Outdoor Adventure Club (MOAC) last week. It’s been nearly two years since I’ve done any rugged hiking. This was a short trip, only 4.9 miles but it took us about 31/2 hours, including several stops. We started at the green marker on the map, above, and hiked the trails counter clock, looping back to the trailhead. See that diagonal dark stretch? It’s steep and you need all fours to cross portions of it going up (you can learn about contour lines here); sometimes we had to walk along a ledge with a 10 to 15 foot drop. Walking poles came in really handy. Well, it was a bit more than I was planning for on my first hike, but I made it!

We had some steady rain the day before, but today the weather was beautiful and the scenes grand. As you might know, Maine has come off one of its hottest summers and most of the state has been in moderate to extreme drought. Unfortunately (for all of us), there are lots of changes in store for both flora and fauna here in Maine and elsewhere as the sixth extinction continues.

I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors. It’s not only good for keeping me physically fit, but mentally fit as well. It’s even more important now that we’re in the middle of this pandemic.

Let me know what being outdoors does for you.

Frogs of Evergreen Cemetery

I went to the duck pond this morning to photograph insects but I couldn’t find any. However, I did find dozens of young adult (teen?) frogs. Like most young species they let me get pretty close. Hmm, I wonder if these guys know anything about the missing insects (they are carnivores, after all). You can see some of them at my online Gallery.

Graze in Peace: A Rescue Farm


Last Thanksgiving I went to a vegan dinner fundraiser for this farm. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to tour it and take photographs. Fortunately, it was cloudy most of the time, eliminating those  harsh shadows and high contrast scenes so detrimental to most photography.

Animals are like people in that some are more shy while others are more social. Consequently, I saw the extroverts on this tour.

Factory farms, like slavery, are inhumane. But not raising animals on factory farms goes well beyond animal cruelty. Raising farm animals takes up more land, water, and feed resources than is returned in process meat. Furthermore, factory farming produces large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane, the latter of which produces twenty to eighty-six times the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide (why does the greenhouse effect of methane vary?).  As I have reported in a recent post, factory farming has a greater impact on climate change than all forms of fossil fuel transportation combined.

You can find more of the animals I photographed at my online gallery.

To learn more about Graze in Peace, go to http://grazeinpeace.com

Silky Fluid Meets Rigid Rocks

Peaks Island, ME (Google Earth photo)


The waves beat against the unyielding rocks. Yet, given enough time, the water wins.

Maine’s coastal rocks are the result of plate tectonics and glaciation. They formed from layers of underground silt subjected to heat and pressure. When the North Atlantic plate rammed the North American plate these rocks were pushed to the surface. Glaciers then added their finishing touches.

Long Island, from Wharf Cove, Peaks Island

Cycling Around Portland During COVID-19

I’ve been going out to walk more as the weather begins to improve. Like so many people around the world who are staying mostly at home these days I’ve been going a little stir crazy. Today, as the temperature approached 50º F I

was feeling a bit lethargic–should I go out on the bike? Absolutely, so I suited up and rode to the Old Port (downtown Portland) section. You can see the route I took with the screenshot taken from my Ride with GPS account. The sky was blue, the wind slight. Traffic was light along Washington Avenue. However, once I approached the park areas toward the Back Cove, it was like a Sunday afternoon. Navigating my way on the cycle/pedestrian path was challenging so as not to hit anyone.

Aside from couples or families with kids, it looked like everyone was keeping

their six foot distances. This was my first foray into the city with all the emergency protocols in place. My first stop was the state pier and the Casco Bay Lines ferry terminal; its service to the islands now cut back.

From there I rode down

Commercial Street and up to the Market/Exchange Street intersection. This is normally a highly congested area with traffic and pedestrians. As you can see, there wasn’t much going on (and holy cow, the Holy Donut Shop was closed!); I pretty much had the streets to myself. From there I rode

Holy Donut Closed

up to the next block to Post Office Park on Middle Street. It was pretty empty there, too.

With that I turned around and headed back to the cycle path and, stopping at the Cutter Street Parking lot. There, while eating my power bar, two of Plante’s ferries were offloading and loading construction trucks, from Peaks Island. The entire area was crowded with people, like me, just happy to get out of the house.

After that, a couple of swigs of water and I was off. By the time I got home, I was breathing deeply and my lethargy gone!

Are you getting out? If so, what are you doing?