Sea Blue Lens


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Autumn Musings and Summer Reflections

October Marsh

Well, I can no longer kid myself that there’s anything of summer left. October is definitely autumn, though it feels like fall has been slow to really take over. For the most part the weather has been quite warm and mostly clear. The leaves are slow to change color this year, and many trees seem to be letting go of their leaves without the usual spectacular display first.

Autumn Solitude

Today really does feel like fall, though. The morning was overcast and there’s been some rain, and I can see a few colorful branches among the green ones outside my window. A light wind is fluttering the leaves in the trees and scattering them like confetti on the ground.

Dawn Beach Patrol

With the new season I’m thinking about my blog again. It’s been a year since Sarah and I started our monthly Scene & Story posts, and since May that has been the only post I’ve published each month. Last year in September, I took Susannah Conway’s Blogging From the Heart course, thinking it would revitalize my blog. That didn’t exactly happen, but I still have hope — and tomorrow’s another day!

Noontime “Crowds” and Clouds

Today I looked through WordPress’s blog templates, thinking perhaps I’d select a new one to change things up a bit. While there, I learned that mine has been “retired.” I also learned that there’s none I like better, so I’ll be keeping it as long as they will let me! It’s clean and simple and it suits me. I can always change my header photo for a new look now and then (and in fact I just did).

Evening Falls

I have ideas for posts and a mass of photos to sort through! Though I haven’t been blogging much, I have been taking photographs nearly every day, mostly with my phone. I love my iPhone for its convenience, spontaneity, and ease of sharing. Lately I’m feeling drawn back to my Nikon for its creative control and photo quality, but now I almost have to learn how to use it all over again. I think that “A Year With My Camera” may be 2018’s project.

Lone Leaf

The photos in this post are a random sampling from summer and early fall. I am so glad to be able live in this amazing place.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!


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Scene & Story: August 2017

When I reviewed my photographs for the last month, I was surprised to come across the ones I took when I stayed at the beach for a few days in the second week of August. It was only three and a half weeks ago, but somehow it feels much longer. Perhaps it’s because being at that place seems so far removed from my normal daily life and routine. It’s like something in a dream, where time doesn’t really have any meaning. Was I really there?

Oh, yes I was! And I have my photos to remind myself, to remember what it was like to get up before the sun to walk on the deserted beach. Listening to the waves and the gulls as the sky lightens and a new day begins. Feeling the water on my bare feet and the breeze on my face. Not thinking. Just breathing. Just being.

August Sunrise

I’m grateful for this hobby of photography that helps me revisit the past, whether special moments like that August morning or just the small moments of my ordinary days.

And so I say goodbye to summer, and welcome autumn. Just breathing. Just being.

* * * * *

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

Scene & Story is a monthly 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! 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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Monday, Monday

What a week! It rained all day Tuesday and all day Thursday. Wednesday and Friday were solidly gray, overcast and damp. But Monday, oh lovely Monday, looked like this:

I’m participating in Susannah Conway’s April Love 2017 (there’s a photo prompt for each day during the month of April), and the prompt for Monday was “Noon.” How lucky was I that this one glorious day fell on Monday? I was tired and not feeling well as I headed out, but an hour of walking on the beach at midday, breathing in the salt air, feeling the sun on my face and the wind in my hair, renewed my body and spirit.

This is the collage I made and posted in the April Love group on Facebook. But after all my moaning about snow and winter lingering on forever, I thought you all might like to see it, too.

This . . . THIS is what I’ve been waiting for!


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Adventures in…Water

I grew up in a desert. As you might guess from the name of my blog, I have a “thing” for water, especially the ocean. When I was a girl, I dreamt of being a mermaid and half-believed it was true. Now that I can choose for myself, I live with water all around me. There’s a river right behind my apartment building, and the Atlantic Ocean is just a ten minute drive away.

So, when “water” came up as a topic in our Adventures in Seeing group, I knew I couldn’t just post one or two photos and feel satisfied. And so I set off to photograph water, on a day that began with rain and ended with fog.

Rainy Morning

Snowmelt

Peaceful Landing

Solitude

Rock, Ocean, Sky

Shore Lines

Then home again, to my river:

Flow

Total Immersion

 

If I did have to choose just one image of the day’s shooting to express the essential humility and grace of water, it would be this, my favorite photo of the day:

This one has no name.

 

 


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Springing into Summer

Not only is winter over, but I have completely skipped spring here on the blog. Well, not completely, since officially the first day of summer is still a couple of weeks away. But around here, Memorial Day weekend is the real beginning of summer regardless of what the calendar says.

My daughter and I took advantage of the last week before that holiday to take a day trip to Ogunquit, a popular vacation destination that’s packed with visitors during the summer months. It was one of those idyllic days that linger in the memory long afterward.

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Wouldn’t you love to stay at this beautiful inn? I always like to imagine what places like this were like when they were private homes.

We browsed in a few shops, then enjoyed lunch at a new restaurant: delicious clam chowder and a Maine crab melt sandwich with Old Bay fries, the sandwich grilled to tender, crispy perfection and the fries offering a spicy counterpoint to the delicate crab.

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After lunch we strolled along Marginal Way, a popular path overlooking the ocean. On a midsummer weekend, you would not be able to see the pavement for the people!

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The blue-green sea softly melded into the sky at the horizon.

MyCollage

The sun-warmed breeze was sweet with the scent of lilacs and wildflowers.

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Did you know that Mallard ducks will visit the ocean to bathe and feed? I had thought they were strictly freshwater birds. I was very surprised to see them paddling around in this tide pool.

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The sound of the waves mingled with birdsong and the quiet conversation and laughter of others out enjoying the day.

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There was even music!

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Who could ask for more?

We drove home tired but happy. It had been a perfect day. It was just a few hours, spent less than an hour’s drive from home, but it truly felt like a vacation. It reminded me of how little it takes to break out of my routine for a refreshing change, and how good it feels when I do. Here’s to more “Daycations”! *

* Credit goes to my friend Cathy H at Gramma’s Little Corner for introducing me to this delightful word.


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Out and About

I don’t like cold weather. I often think about going out, but when the thermometer registers below zero Fahrenheit, it’s really hard to get motivated to get outside and play. Nevertheless, inspired by Sarah’s Wanderlust Wednesdays post yesterday, I bundled up and ventured out to my favorite beach.

Oh, the difference a few months makes! In June, July, and August, the sand is covered with beach umbrellas, blankets, chairs, towels, and (of course) people. Hundreds of them. The only thing on the sand yesterday were shells left behind by the last high tide. I only saw one other person walking on the beach. The little village center was a veritable ghost town.

IMG_6945Dessert, Deserted

IMG_6941Apparition

IMG_6937Closed for the Season

IMG_6836Bright Spot

IMG_6837Summer Dreams

IMG_6866My Rocks

IMG_6859Goosefare Brook, High Tide

IMG_6862Where Waters Meet

When I got to this point, where the brook empties into the Atlantic, instead of turning back and retracing my steps along the beach as I usually do, I followed a path around the little bluff below to circle back along the road to my car.

IMG_6869Windswept

IMG_6870Future Sea Glass?

Beyond Wabi-sabiBeyond Wabi-sabi

Along the way I made a most surprising discovery! I found a short trail that led to a tiny, hidden beach I never knew existed.

IMG_6897Tucked Away

IMG_6899A Secret Place

IMG_6906Tranquility

I sat here in the quiet, feeling thankful for having found this beautiful place, until my hands and feet turned numb with cold.

IMG_6915Frozen

And then I went home . . .

DSC_6393Home Comforts

. . . thankful for this place, too, but so glad I went out. I plan to do it a lot more often.


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Hunting and Gathering

Inspired by this week’s Be Still – 52 lesson, I took a couple of nature walks to gather materials for creating some still life photographs. My first impression, as I thought of “gather – drop – place and prop,” was that Mother Nature does such a fine job of gathering and dropping that she doesn’t need any help from me. All I needed to do was “place” my own two “props” and snap away:

IMG_5376 Fall FeetMagic Carpet

However much fun that was, it didn’t really satisfy the requirements of the lesson, so I set off to collect some autumnal miscellany around the neighborhood. There can be hazards to this kind of still life photography. Did you know that if you bring certain dried wildflowers into your house, you will soon have seeds of said wildflowers everywhere? The Queen Anne’s Lace was so messy that I didn’t use it after all, in spite of its fascinating structure. I’m still vacuuming up prickly little seeds. My basket of goodies also contained other unintended “organic matter” that was inclined to make itself at home in my home, but don’t worry, I put the little spiders safely back outside.

Anyway, after gathering a basketful of colorful leaves, berries, seeds and twigs, more than enough for a dozen still-life photo shoots, I came home to arrange and photograph them. I’m still working on where and how to set up still lifes in this apartment — finding space, light, and clean backgrounds is a challenge. My workspace for this project was an antique folding sewing table set up by the living room window.

DSC_6941 work spaceMy Garden and Reflecting Pool

DSC_6942 fallen leaf pondFallen Leaf

DSC_6926Autumn Joy

This was my final composition, taken from above and processed with Kim’s moodswing Lightroom preset. Okay, assignment done, I thought.

But then . . . Sunday I woke up in a melancholy mood. Thinking it might be interesting to try the assignment with odds and ends I could find at the beach, I headed to one of my favorite places, the Audubon Walk at Biddeford Pool. Five minutes of sea breeze and sunshine, and I was a new person. It works every time. I must remember this!

P1040477 Wood Island LightWood Island Light

I took my usual path, which was more overgrown than I’ve ever seen it before, probably due to the very rainy July we had this year. The only birds I saw were sea gulls and chickadees, but there were lots of butterflies and bees on the wild asters.

P1040389 butterfly-bee-asterAutumn Feasts for Tiny Beasts

I came home with over 100 photos in my camera and a much lighter heart. Oh, and a few bits of this and that in my pockets.

DSC_6961 beach treasures_aboveA Day at the Beach

Some granite eggs, a few shells, a bit of old brick and scrap of wood, seaweed, three hearts (I only asked the Universe for one!), and two tiny bits of sea glass. I was amazed at how many red-berried trees and bushes I saw. These were only one of at least a half-dozen different kinds of red berries I discovered. The yellow ones are bittersweet berries. There are tons of it out there, but it’s not quite “ready” yet — the outer casings haven’t yet opened to show the orange berries inside.

DSC_6971 beach still lifeBe Still, My Heart

Lesson learned from this week’s still-life photo assignment? I must get out more. Literally out: outside, into nature. I need it as much as I need food, water, sleep, and air to breathe.