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 fifth 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.

January 28, 2017

RE-BOOKS WANDERABOUT

... after downloading and printing my tax forms (three cheers for me, figuring out how to do it from my ipad; to apple computer, inc., a great big raspberry for making what should be simple either difficult, seemingly occult, or an extra expense) i decided to see if i could start-to-finish create and post a journal entry using only the ipad ...

... so, let's go for a little literary wanderabout ...

... re-books is not only "where everybody knows your name," but also a place where there's bound to be a book calling it out to you ...


... like to be rich ... ??? ... there's a zillion dollars worth of gold buried in northern maine just waiting for the first person knows how to dig ... we at re-books know about this since we published the book ...

 
... perhaps he came to re-books looking for a copy of theodore sturgeon's "a touch of strange" ...

 
... the crew cleaning and repairing after the great deluge boxed up the undamaged books ... $20/box ... fantasy/science fiction, nautical and aviation, horror, mystery and more, a deal well worth investigating ...

 

... need help, ask one of re-books' friendly salesbears ...

 

... the wikipedia of another age ...

 

... yes, re-books welcomes all ...

 
... none of those obnoxious "don't touch the merchandise" signs here, at re-books user testing is encouraged ...

 

... some come to re-books because it's a great place to think ...

 
... "well," said stuart, "a misspelled word is an abomination in the sight of everyone" ...

 

... you're invited to come to re-books for your own little wanderabout ...

 

 

January 22, 2017

JOURNALING WITH IPAD AIR

... attempting to post from my new ipad air (64gb ... !!!) ... google is no longer supporting "blogger" as a separate app, so, despite some rather nasty reviews, i decided to give "blogtouch pro" a go ... this photograph was loaded onto my ipad air directly from my camera ... i then edited the raw photo in "snapseed," which i think is currently the best general purpose photo editing app available for ios and android ...


... with roger for company, this afternoon i went for a little drive ... my goal was to shoot some pictures and then complete this journal entry without using my laptop or desktop computers ...

... i stopped at the little dam that impounds taylor pond ...


... every time i visit this spot i wonder why this little angle was built into the structure ...


... in this region there was a time when pretty much along any stream or river bank it was possible there would've been some sort of a mill utilizing the energy of the falling water ...


... we had a nice visit with c.j., then headed home ... at the north end of minnehonk lake we paused to enjoy a very seasonal maine vista ... for some, these little shacks serve as "vacation getaway" homes ...


... returned to waterville, i took over the bookstore while robert ran errands ... no customers, but a pleasant surprise john dropped in for a visit ... a cup of fresh hot coffee was my inducement for him to serve as a practice subject ...


... this last photograph was taken using the ipad's built-in camera ... the snapseed app isn't all that versatle when it comes to working in black & white (for that many of us are anxiously awaiting the ipad debute of "affinity pro"), but for now i find it at least acceptably workable ...



... in conclusion, i'm not completely happy with the results ... journal entry looks okay, but the pictures are "embedded," so they cannot be opened to view full screen ... i'll just have to keep working at it i guess ...














January 18, 2017

PEMAQUID SUNRISE

[NOTE: REMEMBER, IF YOU CLICK ON AN IMAGE YOU'LL GET THEM ALL IN A SLIDE SHOW]

... with john driving, a good idea since at 5:30am i wasn't fully conscious, we wandered our way down to pemaquid point ... we arrived literally just as the sun was appearing above monhegan island ...

... interpreted in b&w the sky was most dramatic ...

... with the moon at this point in its orbit i knew the tide would be especially low, which was quite exciting since i learned long ago that the best vantage point from which to photograph the lighthouse only appears above the surface once or twice a month ...

... i witnessed the sunrise through the windows of the little red building ...
    

... one of my favorite spots, a place where i often feel a bit guilty for wishing i had an even wider-angle lens ...

... along this rocky promontory the clear evidence of a most tortuously convoluted hundred-million year-old geologic history provides that creationists and believers in "intelligent design" are seriously lacking imagination ...

... the world famous "reflecting puddle" ... i've been here in the summer when a busload of "camera workshop tourists" are lined up at this spot ... a guide with watch in hand carefully meters the minutes so that each photographer gets an equal amount of time ...

... with john the only other person wandering the majestic headland, at times it seemed as if i had the place all to myself ...

... in the past forty-some years it's been only three or four times i've seen the tide this low ... i could see the low reef-like ridge which is only very rarely fully exposed since most often crashing waves make the spot inaccessible ... on this day the sea was calm enough that i decided to take a risk ...

... from the same vantage using a narrower field-of-view lens ...

... although this three-panel pan contains too many technical flaws to consider a serious photograph, still i thought you might enjoy it ...

... we wandered over to fort william henry ... while this structure was reconstructed in 1909, there has been a fort of some sort on this site since 1630 ...

... next to the fort i found an unusually angled fence, most likely evidence of a centuries-old property line ...

... it's quite possible that in 1569, over fifty years before the plymouth colony, david ingram was the first european to explore this estuary of the pemaquid river ... archeologists are still in debate, but many of them believe that twenty years before the pilgrims landed on cape cod there was already a tiny trading and fishing community on this spot ...

... wandering down along the boothbay peninsula, we suddenly came upon a lighthouse neither of us had ever seen ... hendricks head lighthouse is now a private residence, one of those "double-digit millions" pieces of real estate ... 

... if it was mine i'd live in it year-round ...

... i used photoshop to create a photograph of it from when it was constructed in 1875 ...

... the tiny public beach has many ridges of quartz-intruded granite ... the veins must continue off-shore, thus the beach is composed of jagged ground-up rock ...

... hunting island, from cape newagen ... another of those double-digit millions properties ...

... the cuckholds light ... it's now a bed & breakfast ... i checked, there's still a full week available in mid-july of this year ... "how much," you ask ... $4,700, tax not included ... really nice meals are about $150/day extra, and the boat service is $100/hour ... sounds like great fun ...

... another wonderful wanderabout ...

January 13, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOYS

... i give the kids bookstore gift certificates for their birthdays ... i do this in part because i've absolutely no idea what to get them, but mostly as a major component of my rather devious plan to addict them to finding great happiness in visiting bookstores ... with all the going-ons of the season it ended up that in a single outing i brought tom, danny, and walker to the children's bookcellar in downtown waterville ...

... when we arrived tom made a reasonable effort to peruse the shelves, but even before we left the house it was clear he'd already decided on the book he wanted ...

... walker, however, was a different story ... he kept referring to his gift certificate, "mr. groleau, do i have enough for this" ...

... danny was the man of all seasons ... upon entering the store he kicked into his special "high rpm" mode and proceeded to investigate each and every item on the shelves ...

... walker finally settled on a set of "100% u.s. made" roy toy building logs ... nothing against lego blocks, of course, but, after all, how could he resist "real wood logs" that have been made by the same maine family for almost 100 years ...

... even after he'd bought them, with a bit of brotherly help covering the tax, he enjoyed looking at all the other cool stuff ...

... dan's approach was radically different ... i'm not sure about his math knowledge, but it was clear he possesses intuitive number/geometry theory ability ... as he investigated each item he would ask me its price ... i could sense that he saw them as pieces of a puzzle, one of which its outline was the amount of his gift certificate ...

... towards the end of our excursion tom decided to play a little tease with his brothers ... they, with their purchases firmly in hand, he, "oh ... isn't this interesting" ... 

... happy birthday, tom, danny, walker, however, in terms of gifts, i think i got the way better end of the deal ... !!! ...

January 9, 2017

BRRRRR WANDERABOUT

... since it's directly across the street from john's, before picking him up it only made sense to stop at hillman's for some fresh donuts ... it was a biting 4°f outside ...

... we wandered over towards belfast, then turned south and headed down route 1 ... camden, rockland, rockport and other stops provided many photo opportunities ... at the time i wasn't paying much attention to where we were, so i'll not try to keep them in sequence ...

... we saw many shore birds ... i started to feel sorry for them, then i remembered that if i was wearing a down-filled parka proportionately sized it would be at least a couple of feet thick ... for us, even though well-dressed for the temperature, we were quite glad my impala's cabin heater has a "thermonuclear" setting ...

... the birds graciously allowed us our photographic follies ...

... this was another "super-duper" lens day for john ... for those of you who are not so inclined, this means he spent most of the time hand-holding his brand-new canon "L" 100-400mm zoom lens ... here he's making a sprint to get into position to take pictures of the ducks ... as for myself, well, one look at sea water that was probably about 30°f and i decided to stay away from the edge ...

... because john was having a "super-duper lens" day i decided to do the same, so i affixed my ancient nikkor 300mm telephoto ... for me there was no auto-aperture, auto-focus, nor any "vibration reduction" ... to top it off, on my aps-c fuji-x the lens is effectively a 450mm, or, in binocular terms, almost 11x ... put a set of 10x binoculars to your eye, focus on a bird about twenty feet away, then look to the edge of image circle ... you'll quickly realize several things, one of which is how unsteady your hands are and another being how remarkably good your eyes are at compensating ... in short, the "rule book" advises keeping a long lens like this atop a rigid tripod ... all the more reason for me to feel good about getting these shots hand-held ...

... did i mention it was cold ... ??? ...

... cold enough that before our eyes the the surface of the sea was freezing ...

... while the pleasure boats are all stored away for the winter, even in this frigid weather these craft will soon be put to work ...

... john spent a part of his life sailing as crew on boats such as these, so much of the day was me asking questions about the details of the vessels and what life was like working on their decks ... that's fascinating for me at several levels, one of which is the fact that in my west indian family there is a great tradition of "sailing the seven seas" ...

... did i mention it was really cold ...

... we stopped to witness the sea fog ...

... the ferry from the vinalhaven island came charging across the strait ...

... at the marshall point light the wind chill was well below 0°f, so common sense allowed i stay in the lee of the building ...

... soon, however, either bravery or foolhardiness, truth be old it matters not which, it came time for me to go down to the edge of the sea ... i was so cold that it was only when i processed the pictures in photoshop that i noticed the object in the lower right corner of the image ... can you identify it ... ??? ...

... yes, those're my aviator sunglasses, and, no, i didn't leave them there ...

... watch "forest gump" to see it in milder weather ...

... as i was heading to the car, fingers numb and the focus barrel of my 12mm wide-angle frozen stiff, i happened to look down ... my first impression was, "why would someone set a plastic paint bucket upside down here" ... aware that rare are perfect circles in nature, i got on my knees and inspected closely the phenomena ... i was—well, i suppose "amazed" is as close as i can get to describing how i felt ... not simply at what i was seeing, but also because in that moment i realized how lucky i was to witness something totally and completely new to me ... i will leave it to you to figure it out ... i'd love to hear your solutions, you can leave them in the little message box on the right side of the page ...

... walking back to the car, i noticed that one of the distant "brothers" was levitating itself out of the sea ...

... then, just i was preparing to pack up my camera, i happened to glance through the trees to the east ... what was it ... ??? ... after john and i consulted what constitutes the printed oracle for such matters, the "maine gazatteer," we determined that this could only be the "two bush island lighthouse" ... tripod to base of the tower is exactly 9.79 miles ... the lighthouse is 42" high ... doing the math, at this distance there's no way it should appear so far above the horizon, thus—

—thus, ladies and gentlemen, this is an atmospherically refracted image, otherwise known as a "mirage" ... so cool, so unbelievably cool ...

... [added 1.11.17: although i still think i'm right, it's possible i'm not ... it depends upon the height above sea level of my camera and the base of the tower ... here's a calculator] ...


... we finished our little wanderabout at moody's diner, since, after all, while both of us are fully away you cannot make a day perfect, we also believe there's nothing but great joy to be found in trying ...