Sea Blue Lens


Photo-Heart Connection: May


This photo is of a small park on a tiny island near my former apartment building in Maine. The park is reached by walking through a small covered bridge, and actually, the whole island is the park. It’s been a favorite spot since the first time I saw it.

I used to work only a block away and would sometimes take my lunch there to enjoy the beauty of the trees, flowers, and river. When I got my first digital camera, I headed there on my lunch hour to try it out. I took my shoes off and dabbled my feet in the water — that photo is still a favorite.

The island, the bridge, the park have been the location for many photos taken for the classes I took in the Find Your Eye series, and many others taken for pure pleasure. So, of course, I had to pay a last visit as I was preparing for my big move.  It was a misty, grey day, and when rain began to sprinkle, I hurried home with my jacket over my camera . . . but not without pausing in the shelter of the covered bridge for one last look.

As I reviewed my photographs from May, this is the one that caught my eye. The cool, foggy atmosphere and perhaps the mood I was in made this familiar place feel a bit mysterious and mystical on this particular day, and the photo brings that back to me. But more than that, this image speaks to me of the divergent paths and the choices life presents.

Some years ago I chose to leave my home on the west coast and move east. Now I’ve chosen the opposite, and have moved from the east coast back to the west. That wasn’t something I ever expected to do, but now it seems right.

Life is strange sometimes and doesn’t always play out the way we expect. I envy people who have lived all their lives in one place, and have friends they’ve known from childhood. I really do. Yet, faced with the choice to stay or go, I most often seem to choose Go. I think this photograph represents my divided heart, that wants to travel down both paths and be in two places at the same time. Perhaps in some parallel universe I can.


Linking with Kat Sloma’s Photo-Heart Connection for May. Thanks, Kat!


(Almost) Photoless Photo Walk

So I took my camera-less photo walk for Kat’s class this afternoon. And let me admit, right up front, that I cheated. Just a tiny little bit.

Sorry, I had to do it.

I did NOT take my camera with me. I saw so many wonderful photo opportunities that, weather permitting, I’m going back tomorrow, with camera. But this sky was so strange! I knew it wouldn’t keep, so I grabbed it with my cell phone while I had the chance. Please forgive me — I couldn’t help myself.

Let me back up and start from the beginning. It was gray most of the day today. I didn’t want to drive anywhere. There’s a river walk that starts off pretty near my home. I’d heard that a local trails organization had done some work on the path, and I’ve been wanting to check it out. So I headed out this afternoon, thinking it would be a good opportunity to explore without getting sidetracked by stopping to take pictures every few steps.

I wasn’t expecting that much, honestly, because I’ve covered the area pretty thoroughly in the past. But the improvements to the trail were great! It used to be a scary scramble down a steep dirt path and over rocks, where it petered out a short distance later on a granite outcrop by the river. Now there are safe steps and handrails, lookout points, and the path continues on to join another farther up the road.

Some of the things I saw:

  • At the beginning of the trail is a small hydroelectric dam that I’d like to try to shoot. There’s also a wall there absolutely covered in graffiti that might make for some interesting photos.
  • A flash of vivid red leaves — just a few — caught my eye in a clump of otherwise drab foliage.
  • Berries of many varieties and colors, from pale yellow to orange to fiery red to navy blue and black.
  • A few remaining wildflowers.
  • Some nice views of the town on the other side of the river.
  • A boatyard with a number of vessels already shrink-wrapped and stored for the season.
  • A variety of grasses and seed heads waving in the breeze.
  • One beautiful golden mushroom. I regretted not having my camera for that, because I doubt it will look the same tomorrow.
  • Remnants of old granite slab walls on the riverbank.
  • A cormorant perched on a buoy, silhouetted against the sunstruck ripples of the river.

The path then left the river’s edge and joined a road that parallels the water. A sign informed me that it was a dead-end street, but much to my delight, though the street ended, the path continued. And that’s where it started to get really good!

I came upon a small, covered observation deck with a bench, where I sat for a time. The shrubs and trees were filled with the flittings and chirpings of small birds, something warbler-like. My son-in-law could have identified them, I’m sure, but all I know is that they were entrancing and made me smile.

And the view! I can’t wait to go back and try to capture and keep it. I already have it saved in my mind and heart, but I want to be able to share it.

On my way home, I stopped in my favorite local deli/wine shop on Main Street and picked up some homemade turkey stew for my dinner. While I was waiting, I looked around and thought that would be a great place to take some photographs, too. I plan to go back and ask if they’d mind if I try.

Overall, I have to say this was a much more satisfying experience than I expected it to be. I don’t think I’d have gotten as far or seen as much if I’d had my camera with me. And now I have the pleasure of having discovered new territory just a pleasant walk away from my front door, and the happy anticipation of exploring it all over again with camera in hand. That’s a win-win, for sure.



On Our Walk

My daughter and I are in the middle of a week-long vacation. Last night it rained. This morning the wet earth and trees smelled like I imagine Heaven will. The mountains were wrapped in tendrils of fog and clouds.

By late morning, the overcast grey skies had transformed into deep blue scattered with shining white drifts of cloud. We set out for a walk.

We passed through this gate…

and came upon a pond.

As we walked around it, these are some of the things we found:

Some interesting trees to identify later

A beaver lodge (missing from the picture: the great blue heron that flew away as we approached)

Black-Eyed Susans everywhere

The tiniest frog EVER

A beautiful feather, downy and soft

My favorite view of the pond

The circle complete, we went back to our temporary home away from home for lunch and a well-earned nap.