Friday, July 31, 2009

6 a.m., The Nursing Home & Sittin' in Line

The first picture is one I snapped of the kitchen table (I took two) as the early morning light was cutting across. I love light. It does so much more than just reveal, it controls and accentuates aspects of life. Life is light.

The next is of a group of people in front of the nursing home where my mother-in-law lives. I desaturated the colors to give the image a sense of age. There are some great old people there, but along with that comes the inevitability of death. A lot of sorrow as the elderly pass on and new folks come in to replace them. Spirits are high in general and it's a good place for her as she is safe there. We really shouldn't question our mortality, but just accept it and appreciate what we can do with our lives.

Lastly, the roadwork east of the house... I found myself waiting on construction in a truck with my brother-in-law on the way back from a visit to Mom (above photo) and I realized that I have not been impatient with these sorts of things for a while. I simply pull up close to the vehicle ahead of me, shut my engine off and leave on some tunes. The piece of highway that they are working on has seen four deaths over the last few years and a couple of years ago I helped two out of three sisters from a vehicle (the third one needed jaws to open up the car) at the same site. I don't mind that they are doing a new passing lane at that spot because it has been needed for a long while. Life sometimes takes a while to catch up.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Similarities and Sunset

This first photo is an interesting one in that the driftwood and the stone look so much alike in color and texture. I think the background works well too, the negative space "eye" in the driftwood piece provides balance. My first shot of this (I put the piece of driftwood on the rock about 3 days ago) was too wide and included the top of the evergreen and some sky, so I stepped back and applied some zoom to bring the background closer and fill space. I think it worked.

I walked along the shore to the west as the sun was setting so that I might get a shot of it with no landscape, and I took a dozen or more pictures, some having roses in the foreground, but it was the zoom shot that I liked the best. The balance was good and the light in the boat windows was a good echo of the light of the sky in the background. That negative space bringing some color from another spot in the composition was in a sense similar to the driftwood photo. I also liked the red flare I got on this shot, and it was the only one that had that effect. Funny how our eyes work and what we look for in photos!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


OK, there was just the cleaning deal with the "new" mini power washer, but because it was a noontime appointment it involved taking the whole day to Bangor (doing some other errands - Jen did some grocery shopping for Matt) and not feeling like much was accomplished. I know, I know, it's all about attitude and for some reason mine doesn't seem so good today, but that will be sorely reflected in my blog post... sorry! How about this photo? I can't wonder why kids are so fascinated by "PhotoBooth"... me too!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Berries and Horses

The fruit of the plain is starting to ripen, and the berries are wonderful! I really don't know that our rainy summer has had a negative effect on the blueberries as they are over 50% ripe now.

After supper I went across the west field and through the growth on our boundary line to where there is a bunch of old cuttings from a maple that died and was sawed up. I figured to get a clear view of the sunset, but I didn't know what I would find... the raspberry patch of the year! I picked about quart of berries in 15 - 20 minutes and there is probably a couple more pickings when everything ripens. Yummy!

Even though I am looking out of the bedroom window at the half moon leaning to the right and shining on the water (beautiful with the windows open and the slight breeze blowing into the room) I am going to post the shot I got of our neighbor's horses on my bike ride this morning. I liked that shot because it was the last one I took and I had tried a couple of things, but the fast shutter (1/2000 sec.) and the position of the horses tails (yes, I waited for them to both be in the air) along with the tongue of the horse on the left made this a good picture. I post it also because the pose of the two horses was nice with them facing one another looking like old friends talking.

A lot of shovel work today as I'm moving a pile of gravel from one side of the house to the other and my back is a bit stiff. Weight training can take many forms, and there's nothing like a day of shovel work for the upper body, but sore and sleepy tonight.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Mood caused by weather? I'm really of the mind lately that the universe (at least my universe, and that of the people I'm close to) spins around my thoughts rather than the other way around. Collectively can we influence our own universe and is what I am experiencing really a general universal thing or is that only a partial aspect of it? I know, I know, all this rain we've been having this summer is an experience that is being felt by everyone, but is it ever in the same way? I don't know what all these questions are about, but I know some things have been striking me to cause reflection during the last couple of days. The article on schizophrenia on the front page of the BDN this morning saddened me as I wonder had we known the signs, might we have been able to better circumvent the process of developing psychosis? More questions, but few answers... so just try to appreciate what we have been given as positive and roll with those things. Rain is one of them.

Some fascinating images (at least to me) with a fast shutter (1/1000 sec.) this morning during the thunderstorm, and then I realize there is always something to learn. The movement of water that the human eye sees as a flow, when stopped, is an amazing and delicate distribution of liquid that wants to form into a sphere. Beautiful!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fog, Fog... Again

Just a very subtle shot of the sailboat in the fog. It looks like it's here to stay today with an occasional drizzle of real rain. It expresses my mood today very well, with the idea of "foggy" and maybe a bit of the blue thrown in there for good measure. Jen & I had a real crying spell about Matt this morning that has really left us both just sad I think, and somehow surroundings are a big part of all that... the fog fits today.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


... for the "hodge-podge" nature of yesterday's post number one and for the "nature" of today's post number two. I just got all wound up in the many photos from last week and couldn't settle on just a couple, and then I plastered them all over the place and the entry looked awful.
Riding the bike this morning, I came across another tragedy of the road. I don't remember having photographed any birds on my "Road Kill" website or since, but I came across a very small creature this morning and I turned around and went back to make this photo. I expect the porcupines and raccoons (I believe I posted a raccoon a month or two ago), but this little creature seemed so tiny and harmless I was moved by its appearance.

The fog was in and out this afternoon, not knowing whether it was coming or going, it seemed to have an almost human sense of indecision. It was a beautiful thing to behold here around the bay as it just touched on things, covering edges but not covering completely so that one had a feeling that was just touching, trying to feel its way onto the shore from the sea.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Too Many Pictures...

...can be a good thing! I just got very busy with both the still camera and video this week at Schoodic and I really am having trouble right now trying to sort out a few to post as I like too many. We worked on a video based on the subject of rain, and as I have already processed the idea in my head earlier this summer, so looking for and finding shots wasn't a great brain drain. I think the video we worked on this week came out great and I really learned a great deal about using iMovie and its peripherals.

I don't really have a great deal to say tonight as I'm tired (a long week) but will get back into the swing of things soon. The photos include my bike at sunset, and it's almost a commercial shot of the bike on the rocks at Schoodic, Mark Island from the west side of the point, a reflection of trees in a puddle, a shot of roots in one of the trails to the end of the point and a mushroom growing in one the plant pots here at home. Rainy days aren't the end of anything, really. Boy! What a mess this page is... I not prepared to go in and adjust div tags, so we'll see, I just need to get to bed...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rain and Sun Mix

The bike ride this morning was a wet one, but I really felt the need to get out on the road. Schoodic is so beautiful and the ride around the loop is about 10 miles, making it a good workout. This morning was not even a picture morning, but more of a concentration on speed and the pavement. One of my colleagues (Danielle Dubois) and I are doing a video for our CREST project on the effects that the rainy weather this summer may have had on people visiting the park. We interviewed a number of people and they overwhelmingly felt that the weather had little or no effect upon their enjoyment of the coast of Maine.

The photo is interesting to me because it is really three versions of my bike; first, the actual bike, second, the reflection of the bike in the puddle, and last, the shadow of the bike from the bright sun that is now out. The puddle itself is a remnant of the rain this morning. I enjoy the structure of the elements of this composition.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

3 Shots a Minute...

... well, maybe not a minute, but within 5 minutes anyway. I missed the blog yesterday because of time, lack of wi-fi access... well, those are just excuses, but they're all I've got right now. The pictures at the end of Schoodic Point during the waning day inspired me greatly. I grew up here and still after all these years have the sense of place in my soul. It is at a higher level very gratifying. Take the time, and I'm so lucky because I have it right now! The first was one shot of the waves near the shore that is one of several dozen. I didn't choose it for composition, but because I really enjoyed the little crest at the top of the wave.

The second photo is the sunset, but the rocks were the key to making this image, and the flash provided some lighting in the foreground to define the large stones. The mountain in the background is Cadillac of course and the light is sooo right at this time of year with the position of the sun. I also got a couple of shots of student silhouettes on the edge of the rocks, but won't include those here.

Lastly, the injured seagull... I saw a student carrying an injured gull up the rocks onto the relative safety of the woods (I guess, the intention was a good one) and I shot a series as he straddled the rocks moving up the shore, but it was the final closeup of the bird nestled in his hands that I found the most satisfying. The bird's feathers were beaten, eyes wide, and he was obviously in an injured state. Beauty and tragedy within a few minutes.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Blueberries and Bananas...

...are not actually the topic of the day, although they could be! They are definitely the highlight, although today was busy cutting stakes for tomatoes, mowing lawns, moving rocks and general yard cleanup. I got too much sun, as I'm not conscientious about sunscreen or remembering to wear a hat and when I'm working on stuff the time escapes me, soooo.... too much sun, although the tingle in the face feels good and I hope it's not too too bad for me. So we had some burgers on the grill for supper and I had this urge (whoa! I hope I'm not pregnant!) for a dessert of some kind, and that's where the photo comes from... I could have done a beautiful end of the day sunset or the long shadows as the sun declined in the west, or even the facing sunlight on the tree this morning, but instead I decided upon... food! Yep, blueberries, some cut bananas and a few nuts with some light whipped topping. I'm thinking I don't really photograph enough food, and there's an idea, photograph everything one eats! You can't eat it if you don't photograph it first. Maybe I'll try that just for one day... everything that goes into my tummy, starting with the cups of coffee in the morning and ending with the bedtime breath mint right after ritual toothbrushing. Hmmm, think I'll end with that thought.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Screen Printing!

My brother's daughters (nieces to me) came to the house this morning to do some work with me in the studio. I only expected one of them as we had talked months ago about doing a lobster design for her daughter's Girl Scout Troop. They are going on a camping trip and they are known as the "Blue Lobsters", so the plan was to print up a bunch of t-shirts. Well, her sister showed up right after she got here and we had a wonderful day designing and cutting stencils (just went with the wax paper stencil) of lobsters and owls. Mom was an avid owl collector and so is the younger sister, so we printed a design that I cut out for her on a bunch of purple fabric she brought. She is producing handbags and thought the design would be a great focus for her work. She is the creative one with a lot of sewing going on, having a commercial heavy duty machine and skills she learned at Hinckley's Boat Yard working on cushions and such.

It really feels good to have a studio space that benefits others and gives me a chance to share. My nieces are so appreciative and they really are great people. Nothing fancy with pictures here, just a couple of images of the completed work, including a t-shirt that I had dyed a while ago and was looking for some blue to complete the primary triad.
I love the rain, maybe a ride in it later.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Wet Ride

The fog was really thick this morning and it almost felt like rain. I haven't taken the bike out in wet weather because I was worried about oxidation on critical surfaces, but I really enjoyed the wetness and the feel of the tiny mist on my skin. I even got a kick out of using my finger as an eyeglasses wiper so I could actually see. The photo of the bike was taken inside the mechanics garage with a 40 watt compact fluorescent providing highlighting.

I've been working with fabric lately and have been doing some interesting things with clothing, t-shirts mostly, but discovering the range of possibilities with a variety of fabrics. I'm learning some new things too, like the advantages of using a "ball point" needle to sew heavy nylon fabric. I made a couple of covers for things and I am using an old hunting vest (day-glo orange) for highlight color in some of the stuff. My "bike shirt" has some of that bright orange to help drivers see me on the road, and I'm thinking it's very cool.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pea Pods and Sutures...

The pea pods are delicious and they are edible, so when young (as they now are) they can be devoured without shelling. Peas are really tricky as they can seem pretty full and ready to pick and shell and then there are a lot of them that aren't ready so you have to keep a close eye on them, perhaps even checking them every day. I'm sure I could get "the perfect" shot of one of these opened pea pods if I let them grow a while and look for one that's pretty full, but these seemed so tender and moist I had to get a shot of them. Jen has done the lion's share of getting the garden back to looking like a garden the last couple of days, while Lynne helped some yesterday and I tilled the garden yesterday morning and mowed the west field today. Things look like someone actually is taking care of things here in the garden and fields now.

My in-patient surgery went fine yesterday. I had a cyst that has been bothering me near my left elbow removed by my physician and it was kind of an interesting experience. I got to watch as he made a primary incision and squeezed out the most of the material that made up the cyst. It looked a good deal like cottage cheese, and as I understand it was comprised of oils and such from the skin surface that somehow become buried in a sack just below the surface. After the initial expulsion of the majority of cyst material, he then worked the sack free from under the skin layer and off the top of the muscle to remove it as well. There were a few places where it had attached itself fairly well and took some convincing to remove. Anyway, it was a success, I got to keep my arm, and now, 24 hours later, I just have a band-aid covering the sutured incision. Life is good.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Getting Blue & the Hay of It

Yeah, went out into the field on my way up to the garden and there were those pesky images I've been looking for all week. Still in landscape mode, but there is something about mother nature and her miracles that intrigues me no end. A friend mentioned the blueberry harvest today and the image I got from the field describes the "ripeness" as about 20% there, counting all the berries in the photo and figuring in the blue ones, but my heart is telling me "there's blue, there's blue", and I just need to start picking a few here and there to get the feeling that good old "Mom Nature" is at it again. Imagine these things just grow wild!

Another shot was the cut hay and the tapestry-like feeling that it had. The color range is narrow and that's good in this case as you can see the green underneath it all. The sense of life represented by the green as continually coming through even the old, drying mature stems is gratifying at a level not unlike revelations of the miracle of life and inception of life altering events.

I feel a slight left arm glow after the surgery this afternoon, but I took only a couple of ibuprofen to keep down swelling and such. It was weird to watch, but interesting. I will post some photos after the pressure bandage comes off tomorrow. It was a beautiful day, thank you!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Coming Rain & the Resulting Rainbow

Some intense thundershowers in Bangor today, and they traveled Down East to Ellsworth and finally around 6 p.m. got to Sullivan. It rained pretty hard for a few minutes, but they didn't last. As I was working in the studio, I saw the rainbow outside and got this photo of it. What was cool with this was that there was kind of an echo below of the violet repeating itself into the trees.

There is something magical about a rainbow, no wonder there are so many tales and superstitions around it. I can't remember when I saw one last, and I can't help but wonder what the significance of this outside my studio tonight. It was a reasonably good day with Matt... but I'm feeling kind of uninspired with the blog lately and think I may take a couple of days to recoup and look for some meaning to things

Monday, July 13, 2009

Long Time, No See...

... but everything on Deer Isle seemed the same as it always has. Matt and I went over to Stonington to pick up my niece Morgan from Isle Au Haut and it was a gorgeous day! Everything went well although all the traffic and construction on the bridge slowed our arrival time so we ended up being 30 minutes late getting there. Oh well, it was a nice day to be outside and she had some friends there to talk to while she was waiting, sooo... all is well.
I got the tractor mower going this afternoon after I got home and mowed half the field, which really needed it. It would be good to mow it a couple of times a year just to get all the "junk" stuff in it cut off and get the whole thing back to just grass. The tractor is fun (I'll post a picture one of these days, it's a Farmall Cub and was Jennifer's dad's - it allows brother Vern to take care of it now), and a few hours go by quickly when working with it. Again, tired... time to sleep.

Black Mountain...

... may have to be my next hike. I downloaded a manual for the GPS I borrowed from school, so I need to become familiar with settings and getting around with it. I will probably use the compass feature as much as anything, but the neat thing is that you can set it to take automatic way points and create a record of where you traveled, the speed, the various altitudes and such. I have a list of chores to accomplish today, but I wanted to post the picture of Black Mountain over the house that I took from the bay the other day. I need a really powerful telephoto!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Frog and The Turtle

I took a bunch of shots of the stone wall we've been working on this weekend, but this picture of a couple of the garden sculptures was my favorite. The stones look real nice, but I am dragging with many overworked muscles and so I'm checking on the Yankees score and then off to bed. No sailing today, but will post a photo of Black Mountain over the house from in the bay.


... it was such an easy game to play. Actually it felt a lot like the semi-ideal summer day. I started the day by driving down to Winter Harbor and taking my bike around the Schoodic Park loop. I stopped a few times for pictures (more later - it's early now and I don't want to wake others going upstairs to get my other camera). Missed a great shot of 2 deer stepping into the road in Prospect because I had my camera slung behind my back and they bolted when they saw me reach over my shoulder to swing my camera around. Maybe more on the bike ride later.

David and I worked on the stone wall in front of the East patio yesterday. A couple of trips to the "rock pile" and we got some really good stones. It was odd to go there on a sunny day, the other times we went it was always raining. I really want to do some things with stone, the carvers for the sculpture symposium will be at Schoodic Point (SERC) soon, and I'm looking forward to going down to see that. I think I need some info on how to work with stone and what tools to use, it's in my blood I think as I grew up on the granite coast.
I will post more later today about the bike ride and the sail David and I took. Too bad Vern couldn't go (chores) as it is his boat.

Friday, July 10, 2009

High on Baker Hill

I just kept going on the ride today, decided that I would climb the hill that David usually does for his walks and I ended up at the top taking a bunch of pictures and then bicycling to the end of the Punkin'ville Road and back. It was around noon and a great day for it. Today has been a bit weird, but no worse than usual I guess. I did some sewing this morning as I wanted to finish the banner for last year's Fiber Arts class before school started (boy! I'm way ahead on that one) and I am using my Mom's old sewing machine, so that all has a nice feeling to it, after all it was her who gave me the art gene. I guess I got my workout in and then some today as mowing the lawn and the climb up Baker were add-ons. Getting in some sun at the same time is just another benefit. The Baker hill photos are one of a cruise ship in at Bar Harbor and another of Blue Hill over the Taunton River.
The mountain I really want to get up soon is Schoodic Mountain (bottom photo). It's been a long while since I've been up there and I'm really looking forward to doing it again. It would be really cool to spend the night up there!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pony and Chickens

Morning bike ride brought an image of a miniature horse and a salt and pepper chicken combo. Strange bedfellows, but probably do well to keep each other company at some level. I took a GPS unit with me today to discover that I hit speeds of 30 mph and average more than 14 mph overall. I have noticed that I am doing a couple of the hills in higher gears than I was when I started, I think I would like to try some new territory to ride on, you know, just for the sake of a change. Back to the strange bedfellows... we humans certainly have enough problems with company and getting along with each other and whatever, and I think maybe sometimes it's that we talk too much and don't just try to feel and understand. We use language almost like a crutch and it subdues our ability to be insightful and perceptive at times. The animals don't really use language much, but they sense the basic things that even we of a supposedly "higher order" do not. Connections should be about sensing and touching and feeling, and we would be better served using language for communicating information, but establishing a sense of the mood and place of the person we are speaking to before we speak.
Weird thing... when there are nothing but clouds overhead I hardly ever watch them (boring?), but when there is some blue sky to serve as a background (counterpoint - as blue sky by itself is as boring as 100% clouds) the clouds take on a life that is full of shapes and forms and objects and stories... this one looks like a confrontation!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rain... Again? Cool!

I went outside right after lunch (I really should be in the studio as it's a perfect studio day - no sunshine to "draw" me outside) to do some rain photos and on about the 10th one I got one I knew I would like as it kind of brings the rain right up in your face. It's of the metal chairs off the west patio with the pile of stones for the retaining wall in the middle ground and the bay in the background. I really like the lines of the chair and how the water drops space out in an uneven rhythm under them. The rain is under us after all, it is intended to fall to the ground and we may interrupt that path but can't actually change it. Rain is rain and it does seem to be the topic of choice for most people lately, but I am a true believer in Karma and I think things balance out. If we reach the point where we absolutely need sunshine, then we will get it. I may try for some more pics later, but need to get some work done right now.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An Empty Seat

Today was one of those that was short and long at the same time. I know that sounds like a contradiction and using the words "long and short" and "time" in the same sentence may seem "punny", but I am sure not much of a punster. I sort of see the pun as a form of humor as similar to the empty seat - there is something missing. Of course the connection and humor of the pun is "getting it", that silent connection that happens when a person understands the verbal and subjective connection to the original word or context and can appreciate the leap of insight that led to the new word or usage by another.
There's nothing at all funny to me about the empty seat, because for my "getting it" with that photo is a sense of emptiness and something (no, someone) missing. The impressions of the wrinkles in the seat cover, the pocket where a person recently sat and the colorless gray of the interior all lead me to imagine a great deal about the simple shot. Of course there could be a positive interpretation, such as someone just left that seat to go and receive a great reward or have something otherwise pleasant, but I really don't see enough color in the image to suggest that to me. So, I guess I just find what I find... there really wasn't an intent at the time I took the photo, just Matt's temporary absence from the truck when he went into the store to get a drink. I remember when I made the image that what went through my head was that yes, there is a sense of absence and that it really didn't seem that much of a picture. It's funny how something can grow on you after you take some time with it. The lesson for me is to take some time with things and let them grow on me a bit.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Vixen on the Shore

The most striking part of my day I am sure will be the view of our little vixen crossing in front of the house on the tide line. She had something in her mouth, but I couldn't tell what it was, although it might be that she has at least one kit in her den over on the other side of spruce point. She has been there for a couple of winters now and seems to be doing pretty well. I don't think she has a steady partner as I've never seen her with another. I've seen her crossing the field behind the house and going across just in front of the house, but most of the time she crosses down at the edge of the water. She was a symbol/metaphor for me this morning as she was trotting along, for her apparent purposeful gait caused me to reflect on my recent occasional feelings of confusion and dislocation. Almost as if I am cut off from my surroundings, at times I catch myself daydreaming in a mysterious location, and while temporarily befuddled, I let too much time slip by without purpose, not even artistic dreaming, which to me is very often serving a purpose. The vixen seemed purposeful this morning.

OK, lobsters... "Happy Fifth of July"! We had our picnic for the fourth yesterday and it went pretty well. The lobsters got moved from the fridge to the pot (I had started a mini bonfire earlier in the day) which was boiling in pretty good shape, and it didn't really take very long to cook the "buggers". Cole slaw, potato salad, biscuits and pie rounded out the picnic meal and we picked up the girl's Mom and brought her over too. The weather broke after an "iffy" morning and it turned out to be a beautiful day.
Today has been nice as well, the fox being in the shadow of spruce point, but my morning bike ride starting out sunny, then clouding over. By 10 a.m. the sun was back out and I worked on pot holes in the driveway and then moved a bunch of rocks shoring up the bank in front of the picnic area at the shore.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day (The Fourth of July)

I had to set my guitar aside to jot a couple of notes here... s'been a good day with the early morning trip to Winter Harbor for lobsters (as it turns out they're in the 'fridge for tomorrow, everyone chickened out on having a picnic today) for the celebratory 4th... then deciding for some reason that I finally needed to take care of my brakes on the Red Ranger. You'd think the 4th would be a holiday and nobody would be working, but that wasn't the case... we went into the parts store in Ellsworth (the city that never closes) and I got rear brake shoes and drums along with a bunch of other parts and oil (needed changing too), brought those home and spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning and greasing the fronts and rebuilding the rear brakes on the truck... they're better now than they have been for a while.

Independence Day sure creates a lot of nationalism in this country as I guess it should, but I tend towards melacholy when I think of all the things that have gone down in the name of "freedom".........