Sea Blue Lens


Scene & Story: November 2017

Ghost Trestle

So there I was, out for a walk around the neighborhood on a dull grey day in Maine, while chatting on my cell phone with my sister in California. I left the house with no expectations of taking photographs. (Stop laughing!)

I also had no expectations of adventure or discovery as I set off down the familiar street. But for some reason, when I reached the old, disused railroad tracks a mile or so from home, I turned down them to the left for the very first time. Now, to the right, the way I usually go, the tracks run between two neighborhoods, and all you can see there are glimpses of houses and back yards. But to the left — things began to get interesting.

There was a vacant field surrounded by brush and trees, their limbs mostly bare already. There were stacks of old railroad ties, weathered silvery grey. The ground sloped steeply down on both sides of the tracks, lined with trees, an occasional bough still festooned with bright-colored leaves. Water pooled in the low ground on both sides, reflecting sky and branches. There were scattered leaves of scarlet and gold along the tracks at my feet.

Photos needed to be taken! I was still talking to my sister via my bluetooth earpiece, and I began using my phone to take photos at the same time. Then…surprise!…I came around the corner, out of the trees, and saw the scene above. That’s my river, the one that runs behind my apartment building! That’s the oh-so-distant trestle that I’ve seen many times from the road. I had no idea it was so accessible, and within walking distance!

I kept walking, chatting away and blissfully snapping photos of all this newly revealed scenery, when suddenly — my phone died. No warning at all, it just shut itself off. That was the end of my walk, my talk, and my picture taking. I headed home as quickly as possible so I could plug in the phone and call my poor sister back to explain. Fortunately she loves me and is very forgiving.

There’s a moral to this story, and it’s this: Expect the unexpected!

There are other lessons to be learned, too. Notes to self:

  1. Get out more.
  2. Take the unfamiliar turn more often.
  3. Always take a camera . . .
  4. AND a backup power source!

I should know by now that I’m inevitably going to spot something I want to photograph. Whether I carry a camera and backup battery, or just a pocket charger for my phone, I want to be ready next time.

* * * * *

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

NOTE: December’s Scene & Story on Sunday, January 7, will be our last “official” linkup. Sarah and I have enjoyed hosting the linkup for the past year. It’s been a fun practice and I’ve loved the rhythm of this monthly post, but it’s time to move on to new adventures and projects in the new year. A heartfelt Thank you to those who have joined in over the past year. It’s been a joy to share the first Sunday of each month with you!



A Winter Album

Last Tuesday evening, the weather forecaster told us we could expect perhaps an inch of snow overnight. It only took a quick peek out the window Wednesday morning to see he’d been a bit off the mark. The world had been rendered in black and white.

from my window

Six inches of lovely, wet snow fell during the night and continued softly all the next day, settling delicately on every branch and twig. I kept going out to see what new delights I could discover.

picnic is cancelledNo Picnic Today

snowy arcsArcs



treeTree at the River’s Edge


bridge from upstreamSecret

Everyone photographs this covered footbridge from the other side — the street side. But this is my favorite view, hidden away behind my building and challenging to reach.

solitary firSentinel Fir

The little island, Jubilee Park, is locked up and inaccessible during the winter, but I still enjoy looking into it from the sidewalk and taking photographs of the trees, water, and changing weather conditions.

reflectionsWinter Reflection

mallardsResident Mallards

Apparently they missed the memo about flying south for the winter.

lamppostLamp Post


island ducksIsland’s End

fence-bridgeThe Street Side


snowy branchesBowing Low

hiding placeHiding Place



warming upHome Again

Time to thaw out my fingers with a cup of tea, snuggle under a warm throw, and spend some time with a favorite book. Thanks for coming along to play in the snow with me!



Seeing the (New) Light

Summer’s End

My next assignment in finding my eye was to do a photo shoot in a lighting situation that is different from what I normally use. As usual, the assignment asks that we notice our reactions throughout the experience.

I decided to take my photos at the end of the day as the sun was getting lower in the sky. Now, I actually do use that sort of light fairly often, since I love to head for the beach at the end of my work day. But since I’m on the East Coast, that means when I’m looking out to sea, the setting sun is behind me. This time I decided to stick close to home, and take photos along the narrow strip of riverbank behind my building. That put the sun in front of me and to my right, perfect, I hoped, for some nice backlight and sidelight effects.

I think the only ones who really enjoyed my “new light” photo shoot were the mosquitoes. (Has this been an unusually bad year for them, or is it just me? I can’t step outside without getting nailed!) I just wasn’t finding subject matter I was inspired by, and the light wasn’t all that interesting, either. I love sunset photography, when there are clouds to fill the sky and reflect colored light back to the ground. Sometimes, even when there are no clouds, the atmosphere at the horizon fills with beautiful, soft color. But on this occasion the sky was very clear and there was little atmospheric effect to be found.

Despite all that, I did get a few shots that pleased me. The photos below are not necessarily my best work, but they do show the effects of the low slanting sunlight.

The evening did have one final surprise in store. When I walked back around to the front of the building to go inside, I discovered this unexpected light effect. I love the contrast of the cool gray shadowed building and the last warm rays of the sun painting the tower.