Sea Blue Lens

A Hike on the Heath


I woke up early Saturday morning, too early. I got back into bed and closed my eyes, hoping for another hour or so of sleep. There was really no reason to get up. Except…there’s a place I’ve been thinking about visiting, and I had a sudden urge to do it NOW. So I got up again, got dressed, grabbed a jacket and my camera, and headed out the door.

A few minutes later, I was alone in the small dirt parking lot at Saco Heath — but not for long. Another vehicle pulled in as I was getting out of my car and a man got out, a large coffee in a disposable cup in his hand. We walked along the woodland trail together for a short way, chatting about the beautiful morning. Then he excused himself to “set a pace,” and took off down the path with long strides, leaving me and my camera in happy solitude.

dsc_0708Ferns glowed in the dim woods.

dsc_0711Sunlight brushed just the treetops.

dsc_0721A graceful fungus thoughtfully placed itself exactly at my eye level.

The heath is a unique geographic feature that is interesting and beautiful any time of year. And as I emerged from the woods onto the boardwalk at the edge of the heath, the sight took my breath away.

dsc_0737The heath glowed in the rising sun and ground fog lingered among the trees.

dsc_0728Every web, twig, and blade of grass was covered in silvery dew, backlit by the sun.

dsc_0750I’ve never seen the cottongrass in such abundance before.

dsc_0766The farther I went, the more magical the light became. It was like wandering into a fairyland.

dsc_0788At the opposite side of the heath, the path enters another wood. It was brighter now.

dsc_0774Two tiny strands of web at the tip of a pine needle were beaded with the minutest drops of water.

dsc_0810Streaks of sunlight picked out details on the ground.

dsc_0816A stray beam spotlighted a branch of golden leaves.

The walk back under full sun had a very different look and feel.

dsc_0840The bordering woods displayed a wall of bright color.

dsc_0847But the path through them still looked dark and mysterious.

dsc_0848Leaves sprinkled the boardwalk like confetti.

img_4083And the ferns in their festive autumn garb gently waved goodbye.

I didn’t miss that extra hour of sleep one little bit.


29 thoughts on “A Hike on the Heath

  1. Gorgeous shots! Thank heavens I can sleep in while you do all the work for me. 😉

  2. Your photos are just amazing!!!

  3. These are just so beautiful…glad I looked at them on a big screen….I’m going to send this post to my 89 year old mom….she will love them too. The ferns are amazing. Each photo has so much to look at.

  4. Such and enchanting place! What a great reason to lose sleep over. You captured it so well too.

  5. Wonderful set of pictures- you must be so glad you went ahead with your walk

  6. WOW great photos, love to lose sleep over this. thank you

  7. What a magical spot and your images are wonderful..

  8. Great pictures of the peat bog! One of our favorite places to walk. We met you there a year os ago.

  9. Oh my! You have once again opened my eyes to the world right in front of me. I was taking a workshop last spring and many of the people kept talking about walking through The Heath. Despite the fact I’ve been here 14 years, I had no idea what they were talking about. I, too, have always wanted to go. I, however, am more successful at rolling over and going back to sleep. Thank you for taking me on that beautiful walk at just the right time of day. Each photo is more stunning than the one before! What a special morning ~ and what an extra special treat for all of us who got to go with you!!! Thank you.

    • Carol, if you ever want to go for real, I’d love to take you. The walk is an easy one now that the boardwalk has all been replaced, and the path through the woods is smooth and dry now, too. There’s nothing like being there…the camera can’t capture the birdsong, the scent of the woods, and the feel of the breeze.

  10. Lovely post of fall images. Love the one of the cottongrass.

  11. Amazing post, beautiful photos!Wow!!Reading your post I felt a sense of calm and peace. Lovely moment. Thank you.

  12. These are gorgeous. They look like a magical fairyland. I’m with Jen on the getting up early part, and very appreciative that you did! 🙂

  13. Wow! I’m so glad you followed that urge to get out and go early in the day. These images are just stunning, and I enjoyed each one.

  14. As I scrolled, read, and took in your gorgeous photos my heart beat faster and faster. This was an absolutely magical post. I’m very glad you went with your instincts and saw this amazing early morning!

  15. Well gosh no, it was so worth losing an hour of sleep. Those ones with the stream, the cottongrass, the fog and the openness – OH MY GOSH! To die for! I want to visit there. Stunning photos!

  16. Oh Lee, what a beautiful post!! This is so much better than staying in bed an hour longer. You saw magic that morning, and I’m so glad that you share your gorgeous photos with us. I hope that you will remember this hike for a long time.

  17. You have done what you said you wanted to do in previous post, Scene and Story. And what a luscious, beautiful, gentle, serene story you have painted with your camera. SO GLAD you heeded your promptings !! SO GLAD, you spoke with gentleman but he went on his own way. SO GLAD you had solitude, a wandering spirit and the time to REALLY LOOK that is evidenced by your beautiful close up shots…simply lovely. The Heath is a magical place. Would love to wander it myself. To capture the feeling of light and mist is a gift of the eye. Well done. I look forward to your next prompting and wandering. smiles: Sharon

  18. Hi Lee! I really thought that I had made a comment here, but don’t see it so here I am again. Such a great thing that you got up early to get these amazing shots. Sometimes it is hard to get out of bed, but I find it is always worth it, especially when you are going to enjoy some amazing scenery and lighting that you got here. Your shots are gorgeous, and love those paths in to the woods.

  19. My goodness, Lee, it looks like you are having an amazing Fall!
    These photographs are just beautiful.
    We are just about at peak color here in Central NY, and the daytime temperatures have been amazing, so we’ve been able to get out there and enjoy it.

    Have a wonderful week ahead, my friend. xo.

  20. Wow! These are breathtaking. We’re not quite as far along in our autumn yet – still all quite green – but you have inspired me to capture it when we get there. Beautiful shots.

  21. What a beautiful forest. And gorgeous images!

  22. Beautiful! I’m not sure which is my favorite – the sparkly light coming through the leaves, water drops on pine needles, sun streaming through the trees, and colorful foliage! I’m not much of a morning person – but when I do manage to get out early, I never regret it (you’d think I would learn…)

  23. oh my word! what an amazing place!!! your beautiful photos every bit of the wonder and magic of the area!!

  24. Oh, Leon….in some ways this reminds me of West Virginia! There are areas that are in high altitude where the habitat is more like that of Canada with tons of cotton grass, fog, and frost. Catching the sunrise at Bear Rocks, driving an hour on a backroad in the dark, changed my attitude about getting up before the sunrise to capture the amazing light!!!! LOVELY POST!

  25. Such beauty seen through your lens. The early-morning light is incredible. There is such a glow and a depth to your photos. That winding boardwalk beckons. I’ve been reading backwards through your posts and decided to comment here. Thank you for sharing the magic.

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