Last week I went to another one of those small coastal reserves and shot these photos with my macro lens. Although it was only around 3:00 PM, the sun had already disappeared below a nearby hill to the west. Winter is soon to encroach upon us.
I particularly like the ephemeral leaf on the “eternal” rock. The former inhabitants of the mollusk shells were likely eaten by those hungry sea birds. Then again, mollusks are tasty. Nature is a tough neighborhood–eat or be eaten.
The definition goes like this: An eastern North American storm that usually develops between the Georgia and New Jersey latitudes, progressing northeastward and typified by potentially violent northeast winds: most frequent and intense from September through April; nor’easters can develop within a hundred miles of the east coast and commonly bring heavy rain or snow and coastal damage. We’re looking at 30 – 40 MPH winds and maybe two inches of rain, tomorrow. This storm was fed by the jet stream that brought the remnants from that big Pacific storm that dumped up to a foot of rain in some parts of California.
Since winds today were already about 25 MPH off Cape Elizabeth I decided to go to Crescent Beach and photograph the waves during the incoming tide. Wave heights today were about 4 -5 feet. The water temperature was about 57 F. If that seems too cold for swimming just wait awhile. The Gulf of Maine is heating at 5 times the rate of the oceans due to changes in currents, precipitated by climate change. As a result, sharks are moving in and lobsters are moving out.
Tomorrow I plan to venture out around noon when wave heights are expected to be around 11 feet. In the meantime here are a few shots from today.
Located near the famous LL Bean campus in Freeport, Maine, Wolfe’s Neck State Park has great trails and some coast line. It’s also home to nesting Osprey. I decided to venture out with my camera to get some exercise (keeping my social distance) and check things out. It wasn’t the best time for wildlife, as I didn’t get there until early afternoon. But it was a really nice day, so what the heck. As the weather warms up I’m planning to shoot the second season of Insectorama, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, here’s a few images from my outing (click to enlarge).
After getting up at 5 AM to get to the 6 AM senior roundup at the market, it was good to actually go out the door for a second time in one day. Wow! It was still a bit on the crisp side at 50°F, but I took the bike into the Old Port area (Once the shelter in place restrictions are lifted I’ll start traveling to the various environmental vistas around Maine.). The streets, of course, are still pretty empty, making cycling safer. I took a photo on one of the piers. Unfortunately, I set the camera’s ISO to automatic. Most of the time this works fine at 1/125 @ f/8, but today I was set at 1/60 and the ISO couldn’t go low enough to compensate. The clouds blew out as a result (looks kind of interesting though).
I still have a long way to go to reach last year’s conditioning. My goal is to enter Casco Bay Cycling Club’s century ride in September. I do intense aerobic work on these city rides, but I need the anaerobic, endurance workouts. But these will have to wait for the club’s group rides to restart.
If you’re a cyclist training for an event, let me know what you’re doing for training.
I am not back on the water, just thinking about it. Some of the best water in my opinion is off the Maine coast, as we see here with a sailboat sailing into a fog bank in Portland harbor. Living on the North Coast (i.e., Lake Ontario) is nice but it just cannot compare to the salt water coasts. The tides, the salty air, and, oh yeah, those “back door” cold fronts that so often create widespread fog. Ahh, “when that fog horn blows . . . .”
There is nothing like a storm breaking waves over the rocks. The sound of the
crashing waves is relaxing. Actually, nice weather or stormy weather (hurricanes aside) by the sea affect most people quite pleasantly, which is why coastal property is so expensive. Here is a brief take of one stormy day on Peaks Island in the photograph to the right.
Something went horribly wrong in this next photograph on the left. It looks like the film was scratched. None of the other frames on the roll have these scratches so I am a bit perplexed. Seeing these, I decided to process the photo with a somewhat austere look, hoping to bring some new aesthetic to the photo. I am not sure it worked.
Late one afternoon, as cumulus clouds were building, I took this last shot as a small boat was on its way back from, well, who knows where?
I will be back at Peaks next year for more of these great Down East* scenes.
*The phrase derives from sailing terminology: sailors from western ports (e.g., Boston) sailed downwind (summer prevailing winds are from the southwest) toward the east to reach Maine and the Maritime provinces.
Whereas I see Massachusetts’ coast as gentile, Maine’s coast can only be characterized as rugged. In addition to my usual landscape work, I am experimenting more with fine art and abstract work, with some of these meager attempts included here.
I might also add that this film set represents my first time doing my own film development, after which I scan the negatives and import them into Lightroom for post-processing. I took a course on developing black & white film two years ago, but it wasn’t until I returned from this trip that a friend of mine (a former Kodak chemist) gave me a refresher and loaned me his equipment. Unfortunately, I lost about 25 images due to improperly winding the unexposed film on the developing reel (that, of course, needs to be done in the darkroom).
I’m delighted to say that my book, Exploring Maine’s Coast, has been selected for the Monroe County Library’s Self-published Book Festival to be held at the main library in downtown Rochester on November 7 (11:30 – 4:30) and 8 (1:30 – 4:30). Only one out of three submissions were accepted into the festival so you should see some pretty good indie works. Stop by my table and I’ll answer any “behind the scenes” questions you might have. You can preview the book by clicking on the Blurb icon located on the left sidebar. I’ll have several copies with me that will be available at the festival price of $69.99 (regularly $81.53 though Blurb.com). For more information on this event Click here. Hope to see you, there!
As any writer or other artist would say, “It was a labor of love.” I had multiple stories to tell and photographing the wide variety of scenes was just a wonderful life opportunity. You can preview Exploring Maine’s Coast by clicking on its hyperlink. I organized the photos starting at the north end of the Midcoast, then southward. I think you will find this a unique perspective of coastal Maine.
I would be happy to receive comments, criticism, or questions you might have.
Unfortunately, the digital version won’t be available until sometime within the next year.