Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its seventh year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

February 16, 2020

TIMMMMBERRRRRR!

... an enterprising beaver had gnawed a tree alongside john's camp to the point that it was in danger of falling, so john asked me to tag along on a little forestry expedition ... a most charming location, perhaps made a bit more so by the fact that environmental protection laws require that new camps cannot ever again be located this close to the water's edge ...
   

... before beginning the festivities we took a little stroll out onto the frozen surface of the pond ... these two were on a trek to visit the ice fishers at near the far shore ...
    
    
... after getting his chain saw to work (not good to leave a 2-cycle engine unused for months), and cleaning up the lower limbs and tangle of brush at the base of the tree, john began to cut ... as he did so a group came over to enjoy the entertainment ...
   
    
... the beaver had done an efficient job, so after only a tiny bit of notching the tree came down ...
   
    
... one of the nice things about living in maine, neighbors came over to help john reduce the trunk to firewood ...
   
    
... delighted with the assistance, john happily allowed them the cut wood for their camp's fire pit ...
   
   
... after we wandered up to skowhegan to see the giant rotating "ice disk" spinning in the swirling waters where the water pours from the same narrow gorge that benedict arnold negotiated his troop through on their "ill-fated" march to quebec ... by the way, notice the suspended "widow maker," hopefully a town maintenance crew will remove it before it earns its name ...
    
 
... on a different note, this afternoon i completed the preparation of our model construction area ... i could have bought a really fancy paint booth for a few hundred dollars—right, as if—instead i built one from a heavy-duty cardboard box ... works perfect, using enamel paint there wasn't a hint of odor ... with the acrylic we're using, which is water based, i'll put a filter in front of the fan and we should be able to paint indoors ...
   
    
... construction begins ... !!! ... on the right is an untouched set of the pieces necessary to put together one of the car's wire wheels ... on the left is a bag containing a set that is fully prepped and ready for assembly and painting ... removing the pieces from the tree, trimming off excess plastic and mold marks, carefully drilling out the two deformed screw holes, sanding, and, finally, detergent scrubbing the parts with hot water, it took me almost an hour start to finish ... what fun ...
   
    
... danny and walker spent the night with me ... we had pizza, watched a movie, enjoyed pancakes and eggs and bacon for breakfast, then took a sunday morning drive to august for a wanderabout and lunch inside of sams club ... here's the kennebec river in augusta ... still open water, a sign of the relatively mild winter we've experienced so far this year ...
   

... so odd, that at one point in maine's history cutting and shipping that ice to places as far away as india was the most important segment of the state's economy (coming in second was the sawdust used to insulate the ice) ...
   

February 11, 2020

THE FUN BEGINS

... several years ago jon, roger, erik and i shared a nice wanderabout of new brunswick, nova scotia, and quebec on our motorcycles ... using my little point-and-shoot olympus, this is a snapshot i took at the fortress of louisbourg ... i decided to revisit it and find out if my skills in photoshop have improved ...
    

... many, many years ago i bought a pocher alfa romeo model ... the company went out of business years ago, so the highly detailed kits are in great demand both by builders and collectors ... i'd put my acquisition away as a "future project," and this winter i decided to make that so ... as i examined the model i decided that i had no great desire to do such things as assemble the internal workings of the engine, pistons, rings, crankshaft, etc. ... there was a time that i would have considered it a great challenge to work on such intricate details even if they would never be visible once the model was completed, but—well, i'll just say that my approach to this hobby is a bit more mature than it was as a teenager, so i sold the pocher on ebay ...

... roger decided to join me in the fun ... we spent a month selecting our models, while at the same time we set up and equipped a nice work area ...

... so many things've changed over the years—"acrylic" paint that cleans up with water and dries in a few hours, "super" glue that does away with the overnight waiting patience ordeal—yet, as i practiced on an old p-51 model, it seems my hands have fantastic skill memories ...

... roger's going to work on a tamiya model of a 1966 rc166 racing bike, a beautifully detailed kit of this 6-cylinder 250cc 18,000 rpm (!) screamer of a machine ... mine is a model that is equivalent to the pocher, minus the internal workings of the engine, an italeri model of a fiat 806 ... 

... both models are the same scale, 1/12, and that will add to the fun as we work on them side-by-side ...


... a zillion pieces, this ain't your aurora "snap-together" mustang kit ...
   

... beautiful plating, too bad it will have to be completely refinished ...
   

... upon examination i decided that in some ways the italeri kit is even more detailed than the pocher ...
   

... right, to paraphrase the bard, "here's the rub" ... the italeri kit is a plastic model formed using molds from a now-defunct company that had used them to pour white-metal models ... thus, well, you can see what i'm talking bout ... for this one piece, the body shell, just fixing the mold errors and flaws is going to require several hours of painstaking filling, filing, sanding, and buffing ...
   

... a few days ago jon had a snow day so we went for a little wanderabout ... a rather dreary afternoon, we decided that if we couldn't find any pictures we might as well go to the governors and eat pie ... (remember, there are few rules to wanderbouting) ... we did make a brief pause behind the home depot to catch the sunset outlining the colby chapel ...
   

... me, utilizing a giant pile of snow as a tripod, my own little homage to the movie "free solo" ...
   
COURTESY JOHN MEADER
 
   

January 31, 2020

WEEK 3 OF 2020

... yes, i did say "one entry per week" ... hmmmm, right, how about we consider that i'm going to try to average that, okay ...

... john and i made a little wanderabout down along the coast ... we found this really cool railroad spike sculpture near rockport ...
         
    
... temperature hovering around freezing, little wind, and the warmth of the sunshine made for a most pleasant mid-winter day along the coast ...
         
    
... john gifted me a little glass crystal ball ...
         
    
... sea ice was trying to form along the shore ...
         
    
... perhaps canada's desolate arctic coastline from low earth orbit—no, simply a tiny bit of ice melting in the sun atop a granite breakwater block ... fascinating ...
         
    
... just for fun ...
         
    
... hmmmm, do you think they've made their point ...
         
    
... hidden in the glade i spied upon the plaid-jacketed nutty-haired super-duper-lens guy ...
         
    
... in the little harbourside park across the street from camden's public library, edna st. vincent millay, a child of the little town who became a gift to the entire world ...
         
  
... here she is in 1914, photographed by arnold genthe, a great portrait photographer from the early 1900s ...
         
ARNOLD GENTHE
  
... i've always liked her words, of which some have inspired my photography ...
         
I see things with my own eyes,
just as if they were the first eyes that ever saw,
and then I set about to tell, as best I can,
just what I've seen.
EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY

... me, a quick snap by john using my semi-super-duper lens ...
         
    
... in the harbor, almost-ice water ...
         
    
... from a long ago age, a time when during the second game of a double-header it was easy to find an empty seat right alongside the dugout in fenway park ...
         
    
... not all that shabby, considering that i shot this little guy through the plastic screened window on bill's sunporch ...
         




January 16, 2020

WEEK 2 OF 2020

       
... my "once a week journaling" idea is already proving more difficult a transition than i'd anticipated, but i'm going to keep at it ...

... as i've said, this year i'm going to distance myself a bit from facebook ... nothing to do with acquaintances and friends and family, it's simply that during the coming eleven months i don't believe that spending time in facebook will be healthy for me ... i'm hoping all of you will stay with me here, and that you will converse with me using messages, emails, texts, or, perhaps, even the little "comment" box on the right side of this page ... if i've not already placed you in my journal contact list, please make sure i get your email address ...

... slushy snow and slick ice this morning, so john an i made our little wanderabout of the town ... down by the 2¢ bridge i snapped a nice portrait of him, and i also managed to find a nice perspective of the 117 year-old span ...
      
  
       
... at the new hotel being constructed across the street from me i chanced upon a most interesting composition ...
      
       
... dr. bill asked me to do some family portraits for christmas ... using my home-refurbished sunpak 611 and scratch-built battery pack, i was quite pleased at how well i was able to light his daughter's living room ...
      
  
       
... from several years ago, john on one of our coastal wanderabouts ...
      
       
... christmas at the tracy's ... here walker and dan celebrate a moment of brotherly sharing (and, yes, we all enjoyed it while it lasted) ...
      
       
... dan's growing up, meagan—well, she's almost there ...
      
  
       
... grant observes while dad performs the most ancient of christmas rituals, "figuring it out" ...
      
       
... his little foot chaotically resembling a spinning windmill with a loose bearing, clearly entertained, grant has no idea that mom is also teaching him to read ...
      
  
... tom, who now towers over me and is training his way to running a marathon, while my wonderful kitchen cleanin' emily's great smile proves that some christmas presents are, indeed, timeless ...
      
  
  
... county commissioner robert asked me to take a picture of him at his "office" in the skowhegan municipal building  ... turns out that canine sheriff brady is the center of attention in somerset county ...
      


       
... my friend, bill (dr. d.), wanted a new photo for his linked-in account ... i snapped this one while he was cleaning the driveway at the cottage in milbridge ...
      
       
... a few days later he came over and i took a few more in my "studio" (read that: big room with a patch of white painted on a wall) ... this is his as usual response to my "smile a bit" request ... i'm fast on the shutter finger, and i couldn't resist playing with this result ...
      
       
... i did manage to get two nice shots of him, which, considering how he is in front of  camera, is a pretty good result ...
    
   
       
... em and dan came over to help me with house cleaning ... after we took a stroll down by the head of the falls ...
      
       
... baby little tessa is growing up so fast ... i think she figured out christmas ...
      
       
... using the latest version of photoshop, i revisited one of my favorite color slides of pa ... this was taken in 1978, when he had fulfilled his lifelong dream of "retiring" to the west indies ... he'd built a giant fish trap and had it anchored next to a coral head about sixty-feet from the shore (only another twenty-feet to his living room) ... with it he was feeding ma and himself, and also the rest of the neighborhood ... still, i miss him ...
      

... there you go, "week 2" of 2020 ... hmmmmm, maybe this'll be the year we find that monolith on the moon ... ??? ...

... what a wonderful week, indeed ...