Lubec, Maine

Many of Lubec’s residents are dependent on fishing which is pretty common all along coastal Maine. But fishing is endangered as fish stocks dwindle due to over-fishing and the warming of the Gulf of Maine waters (warming at the fastest rate in the world).

Johnson Bay, Lubec, ME

I planned to travel to Lubec to photograph the environment back in 2020, but the pandemic quashed that. My friend and I finally had the opportunity to make the five-hour journey “up” the coast, then Down East (also, Downeast), earlier this spring. The term Downeast comes from sailors in the 18th century leaving Boston or Portland for the Canadian Maritime provinces. During the warm months, the winds typically blow from the southwest along the New England coast. This facilitated ships sailing downwind to the east since Maine’s coast has a relatively sharp bend to the east. Downeast succinctly describes this.

Many of Lubec’s residents are dependent on fishing which is pretty common all along coastal Maine. But fishing is endangered as fish stocks dwindle due to over-fishing and the warming of Gulf of Maine waters (warming at the fastest rate in the world). Fishermen are also facing revised regulations designed to protect Right whales from getting entangled in fishing gear (mostly lobster pots). These regulations will require break-away lines should a whale swim into them, and place several areas off-limits to fishing, depending on the season.

Ship strikes are also contributing to the Right whales’ population decline. To minimize this, lower speed limits have been implemented. Ocean-going ships are required to have transponders so they can be monitored by satellites; such monitoring includes their speed. There are only about 350 Right whales left with less than 70 females breeding.

Besides becoming warmer, the oceans are becoming more acidic, thus changing the world’s underwater ecosystem. Ocean warming has been known for a long time. Rachel Carson mentioned this in her 1951 book, The Sea Around Us. Some marine animals can migrate, assuming there is the appropriate food for them in the new waters, but much marine flora and fauna cannot adapt due to their immobility or physical constitution. The coral reefs are a good example of marine life not able to move, and vulnerable to increasing temperatures and acidity.

The land and waters in the following photographs took millions of years to evolve into what they are today. Yet, in a blink of an eye, we are destroying this environment. As individuals and governments, we pay lip service to protecting the environment, but when there is a conflict between the environment and maintaining our post-industrial lives, we sacrifice the environment. Click on the following links to find some coastal black-and-white (first 8 photos), and infrared (first 2 photos) scenes around Lubec.

Unfortunately, the infrared photographs are not as dramatic as they might be. High, thin clouds reduced the infrared light. A clear, blue sky would have rendered black in infrared.

Black-and-white photography emphasizes form and texture; however, color often distracts from this emphasis. Sometimes, though, color better tells the story as you can see in these early morning and evening color scenes (first 5 photos).

I look forward to hearing your thoughts about living in or visiting Lubec.

Stormy Morning at Kettle Cove

The surf was up with the approach of a PM southeaster. I went to a few beaches but, alas, no surfers. I guess gusts to 50 MPH deterred them. There were, nevertheless, a couple of people and a group of hunkered-down gulls.

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

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