Sea Blue Lens


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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.

 


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Scavenger Hunting

This week’s Scavenger Hunt Sunday items really appealed to me for some reason, and I had fun looking for ways to fulfill them all week. They were Forest, Morning Light, Touch, Newspaper, and Coffee or Tea.

Forest:

Into the Wood

OK, I know this isn’t really a forest. There are forests around, but I haven’t had a chance to visit any yet. On Friday, my sister and I drove over to the coast and spent a fun day exploring Ventura. This pretty little garden had been freshly mulched with bark chips, and I wish I could have captured the scent with my camera. It may not look like a forest, but it sure smelled like one!

Morning Light:

Clear Day

I’m not sure whether morning or evening is my favorite time here. Both are beautiful. The house is on a hill overlooking a valley to the mountains beyond. But we are also surrounded by higher hills, which means that we are in shadow at sunrise and sunset while the mountains around us are being painted with light and shadow. It was hard to choose between the front view and the back. I decided on this one because I liked all the birds lined up on the wires to greet the day.

Touch:

Paired Off

I don’t know any of these folks, but I enjoyed watching them play on the beach on Friday. I was using my point & shoot, which has quite a shutter lag, so I was surprised to discover this sweet, brief moment when I reviewed my photos.

Newspaper:

All the News That Fits…

This is a small town, and our local paper is a weekly called the Country Journal. I like the format — it’s the size and shape of a magazine, which makes it easy to handle, and the content is good, too. There’s always something interesting to digest with a cup of tea.

Coffee or Tea:

Coffee Love

Speaking of tea…. When my daughter told she was going to get me a Keurig for Christmas a couple of years ago, I said No thanks. I didn’t want one. I drink tea most of the time, and figured if I ever wanted a coffee I could go out for it. She said, “Well, tough. You’re getting one anyway.” Guess what? I fell in love with my little Keurig the minute I took it out of the box. Look at that gorgeous red! And it’s absolutely perfect for someone who only drinks a couple of cups of coffee a week. Thanks again, Kids!

By the way, the pastry, grapes, and peaches are from our farmers’ market and the green apples are from my own tree. I may not have a forest at my doorstep, but there are other compensations!

Linking up with Scavenger Hunt Sunday. Click on over and check out this week’s other interpretations.


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Laudholm Lessons

Laudholm Morning

Last weekend I went on a photo walk with my friend Susan. We visited the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, a historic saltwater farm on the coast of southern Maine. It’s a beautiful property that, shortly after sunrise on a Sunday morning, we had all to ourselves. Light frost covered the ground and lingered in the shade, but soon vanished wherever the sun touched.

Cold Clover

At first, I found myself so caught up in just being there that I kept forgetting to take photographs. I just walked around, looking, breathing, occasionally snapping the shutter.

We “worked” the old farmhouse and barn, a field full of weeds, and a frost-covered rail fence.

The Yellow House

Big Tree, Little Tree

Barn

Boundary

We followed a path that skirted a marsh and led to the beach.

Blue Marsh

Relics

Relics

On the way back, we detoured along a boardwalk that passed through a wood, trees winter-bare against the sky.

Standing Out in the Crowd

Surrounded

It was fun to be out with a friend on a beautiful day, companionably each doing our own thing. I think we both learned things about our own photography. It was interesting to observe how we could stand practically side-by-side yet be photographing very different subjects. Or be photographing the same subject, but in very different ways. Susan was captivated by things I didn’t even notice, and vice versa.

Susan, illuminated

It was a great day! Then…I went home and downloaded my pictures. And I didn’t like them. Any of them. At all. I had a sense of “been there, done that” too many times before. It might have been a new place, but they felt like the same old images.

Several days later, the immediacy of the experience having passed, I was able to review them again, weed out the obvious mistakes, pick out a few favorites, and edit them to some satisfaction. The lesson learned from that is to cut myself some slack, wait a bit, and don’t make too-hasty judgements.

Still . . . I really do want to figure out a fresh approach to my old familiar subjects. I love grasses, trees, flowers, vistas, water. I will continue to photograph them, but I want to seek out new angles and perspectives, something to make them special. Something that better captures what I felt that drew me to the subject in the first place.

To do that, I need to get out more. Shoot more. Get more comfortable with my camera. Practice, practice, practice! Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? I’m looking forward to it.

Treeline

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