Sea Blue Lens


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Scene & Story: June 2017

Summertime Fun

La Kermesse is a festival held near the end of June every year to celebrate our area’s Franco-Americaine heritage, and it always kicks off with a block party and fireworks. In case you didn’t know it, I’m a pretty extreme introvert. I don’t like crowds. I don’t like noise. I don’t like carnivals. But for some reason, I love the La Kermesse block party!

It’s early evening and the weather is perfect. People gather in the park to listen to music from live bands, line up to buy cotton candy and fried dough, shop for souvenirs, play carnival games, and ride carnival rides. As the evening progresses, several blocks of Main Street, where it crosses the river adjacent to the park, get blocked off. The flashing blue lights of the police cars at each end add to the festive atmosphere, and the street fills with people.

And what fascinating people! Amidst the “ordinary-looking” folks in casual clothing are Goth types all in black and spikes and tattoos. Muslim women looking cool and elegant in their long dresses and hijabs despite the heat. A girl with waist-length purple hair that exactly matches her ruffled camisole top. Babies in strollers and old ladies with walkers. Men with impressive facial hair, others with impressive muscles. Kids in t-shirts and shorts rolling down a grassy slope and running to the top to do it again.

I don’t know any of these people and never see them in my day-to-day life. I suspect that all these different “types” probably don’t normally see much of each other, either. But everyone gathered here seems happy. The crowd is in a good mood, polite, having fun, enjoying themselves. People smile at each other. I notice random acts of kindness. I chat with strangers.

The sun sets in a flare of copper-colored clouds and darkness descends, and we find a spot along the bridge to watch the fireworks. Anticipation grows until…finally…the first explosion and flash of color illuminates the night to appreciative “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd. For the next 20 minutes, everyone is focused on the show in the sky, climaxed by the grand finale, a riot of color and noise.

And then it’s time to join the people streaming up the middle of the street, on our way home, back to our everyday lives. Tomorrow Main Street will be filled with the usual traffic, and I will be back to my usual introverted self. Until next year, when I’ll see you at La Kermesse!

Summertime Play (with Impresso app)

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Click here for the Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

**Scene & Story is a collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. We’d love to have you join us! Just share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. 


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Scene & Story: May 2017

This was my May:

May has been such a grey, wet month this year that a Bangor Daily News blogger wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about it. The headline read:

‘Great Fiery Orb’ seen over Maine on Tuesday identified.

April showers bring May flowers, as the old saying goes, but when May just brings more rain day after day, it can be a little hard to remain bright and cheerful.

But . . . this was also my May:

In between the rains, there have been days of warm sunshine, soft breezes, and bird song. Spring bulbs, trees, and shrubs have exploded into bloom, their sweet fragrance filling the air and fallen petals carpeting the ground with bright color. And everywhere the new green leaves are growing, screening views and hiding nesting birds from prying eyes.

This May, I have thought to myself that perhaps spring has become my favorite season now. As long as I can remember, I have loved fall best. But this year the renewal of life after the cold, dark winter seems especially meaningful and precious to me in ways I can’t put into words.

So I can’t choose just one photograph for Scene & Story this month, because I need to tell both sides of the story. The dark, gloomy, wet days and the bright, sweet, flowering days are both essential to paint the scene. Each makes me grateful for the other, and I love them both in their turn.

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Click here to join our Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

**Scene & Story is a collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. I hope you’ll join us! Just share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. Please remember to visit the other story sharers and leave a little love everywhere you visit. It’s a wonderful way to find and build a community of kindred spirits.


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Scene & Story: April 2017

Robin Redbreast

April in Maine is known as mud season for good reason. We had snow. We had snowmelt. We had rain, lots of it, and more fog than I remember from previous springs. The water in the river rose a couple of feet. The photo above was taken on a day that was very typical of this year’s April.

Many years ago, I read in a newspaper advice column that you can tell if a rainstorm will be short or long by watching the birds in your yard. If all the birds disappear when the rain starts, it will only be a brief shower. If they ignore the rain and go about their usual business, you’ll know the rain is going to continue for some time. Birds need to eat often and can’t afford to take a day off from hunting and gathering food just to avoid getting wet.

I’ve found this bit of folklore to be pretty accurate. After all, our ancestors needed to use their experience and observations of nature to forecast the weather for themselves in the days before satellites and radar and 6:00 news broadcasts. On the day I took this photo, it had been raining for hours and the trees and brush at the river’s edge were busy with hopping and fluttering winged creatures.

Several robins left the trees for the grass below my window, exploring the newly thawed earth for tasty treats. This one perched on the picnic table for a good look around before strutting across it and joining his fellows on the ground. I could almost imagine him sighing and asking, “How much longer is this going to go on?”

Well, Mr. Robin, you tell me.

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Click here to join our Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

**Scene & Story is a collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. I hope you’ll join us! Just share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. Please remember to visit the other story sharers and leave a little love everywhere you visit. It’s a wonderful way to find and build a community of kindred spirits.


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Scene & Story: March 2017

Still Waiting

I didn’t take a lot of photos in March. The weather wasn’t very conducive to taking photo walks — it was actually worse overall than January and February. The photo above was taken on the official first day of spring, during a break in a series of snowstorms.

March, for me, is the month of waiting. Spring doesn’t really come to Maine in March, no matter what the calendar says about the Spring Equinox. It’s not unusual to have cold weather and new snow even into early April. I love the snow and the stark beauty of bare branches in winter. But by the end of March, I’m more than ready for Spring to show her pretty face!

Last year, I took a photo of myself on April 1, standing by the open gate at the entrance to this covered footbridge. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and I was grinning with delight because the park had been opened for the first time since the previous November. Inside the park, the grass was greening up and bulbs and perennials were already sprouting.

This year . . . it’s going to be a while before that gate gets unlocked. As I write this, it’s April 1 again — about 9 p.m. — and I haven’t even been out of the house today. Snow began falling about dinnertime yesterday, and by this morning the world was rendered in black and white again. We’ve got about 10 inches and it’s still falling lightly.

So I’m still waiting. Waiting for the ground to thaw, the rain to fall, the grass and leaves and flowers to grow. I’m eager to go outside without a coat, scarf, and gloves. I’m hungry for the smell of spring, and most of all, for color!

And I’m waiting for my little park to be open again. I’m sure it won’t be long!

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Click here to join our Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

**Scene & Story is a collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. We’d love for you to join us. Just share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. Please remember to visit the other story sharers and leave a little love everywhere you visit. It’s a wonderful way to find and build a community of kindred spirits.


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Scene & Story: February 2017

My favorite photographs are often the most serendipitous ones, the unexpected subjects that catch my eye and take me by surprise. I took a lot of photos in February, most of them outdoors: landscapes, seascapes, and snowy nature shots. Maybe that’s why this one stood out when I reviewed my photos for this month’s Scene & Story.

LightMagicA Trick of the Light

One morning in early February, I got up at a ridiculous pre-dawn hour to meet a friend for breakfast. (I’m not much of a pre-dawn sort of person, but she’s worth it.) Now, my apartment’s windows all face west. Therefore, I never get morning sun in my home, and it was still dark as I got out of bed and quickly got ready to go.

The sky was brightening by the time I came downstairs, but the living room was still dim and shadowy. Imagine my surprise when I turned toward the door to leave and discovered this beautiful golden light and shadow there. It must be some kind of magic!

In reality, I quickly realized it was just ordinary…what?…physics, I guess. The rising sun was striking the windows of a building across the river, and the angle was just right for the light to reflect into my west-facing windows and shine all the way across the room to illuminate the door on the opposite wall.

But you know what? I’ve never seen it before in the two and a half years I’ve lived here. There are probably only a couple of days a year when everything lines up perfectly, and I just happened to be there at that exact moment. It felt like a gift, and I left the house with a smile on my face and a skip in my step.

Serendipity. That’s magic enough for me.

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Click here to join our Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

**Scene & Story is a collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. We’d love for you to join us. Just share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. Please remember to visit the other story sharers and leave a little love everywhere you visit. It’s a wonderful way to find and build a community of kindred spirits.


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Scene & Story: January 2017

river ripplesRenewal

It’s not much of a scene. Not much of a story, either, really. My heart hurts more with every day that passes. I need to stay informed, to push back against the tide of hate and anger and fear that seems to be rising all around. How to do that without becoming overwhelmed with anger and hate myself? Or simply drowning in the sorrow of it all?

So I run away, to sit on a granite block at the river’s edge until I’m numb with cold, until I stop thinking, until the flowing water instills a bit of peace within me again. The water that began as raindrops falling on a forest in the mountains many miles away, and that will reach the ocean in just a few miles more. In the ocean it will mix with waters from other mountains, other forests, other rivers. Eventually it will return to the sky, to clouds that will rain down again on still other mountains and forests, forming other rivers. Giving life to other people in other places.

Somehow it comforts me to remember this endless cycle, to watch the river flowing by, its dark waters reflecting a clear blue sky as the lowering sun glints off the ripples. Is there a message here, a metaphor, a reassurance that goodness will ultimately prevail? I don’t know; I only know that it calms me, and a tiny seed of hope begins to grow again.

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Click HERE to join our Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

**Scene & Story is a collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. We’d love for you to join us. Just share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. Please remember to visit the other story sharers and leave a little love everywhere you visit. It’s a wonderful way to find and build a community of kindred spirits.


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Scene & Story: December 2016

dsc_1153Balance

There she stands, that little squirrel, poised and ready to leap. Focused, concentrated, intent upon her destination, the next branch, the next tasty bud. I wonder if she enjoys the leap, that brief moment of flying through the air. I wonder if her tiny heart beats a little faster in anticipation of the launch.

I’d like to be as focused on my next move and as sure of my goals as this little creature, but human lives tend to be more complicated. What do I want to accomplish this year? What do I want to learn, do, create? What do I want to be? To become?

I ponder these questions as I stand poised on the edge of the unknown, at the start of a new year, another new beginning. My heart beats faster in anticipation of the launch. And I hope for moments that will feel like flying.

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It’s official, we have a linkup!
You can find it at Sarah’s Paisley Rain Boots blog.

**Scene & Story is a collaborative effort between myself and Sarah of Paisley Rain Boots. We encourage you to share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. Please remember to visit the other story sharers and leave a little love everywhere you visit.