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.

July 29, 2017

TAKE #1

... a group of students is using my dining room table as a base while they're shooting scenes for a movie ... it seems they are very impressed with the "mood" of both my apartment and the chaos across the hall i jokingly refer to as "my big closet" ... my sunset spot has been transformed into some sort of bohemian study space ... here the producer, julia, was taking a little break between her "do this ... do that ... do this" duties ...

... the director, milton, and cinematographer, nico, review some last minute shooting instructions ... nico is from nicaragua, and i've found it nice that my "habitat for humanity" experience last february allows me to better enjoy conversing with him about his home ...

... in keeping with the whole "location" idea, i stylized this shot of the milton ...

... the rig for keeping the camera movements fluid and smooth is quite impressive—and, it seems, much, much heavier than the camera itself ...

... i poked my head in to check on their progress and found that they were constructing another set ... i probably should've made them use the ladder, but julia (two of 'em, this is the julia with the hat) was already atop the old display rack, and, to be honest, i myself found the thing quite useful for the same purpose when i painted my bedrooms so i remained a silent bystander ...

... at first i wondered about the "leading lady" ... on my first encounter with kyah she was tucked up in one of my dining room table chairs writing in what appeared to be a tiny journal ... she seemed—well, unassuming, that was my first sense of her ... then, as they were blocking out a scene, i started watching her eyes ... that was it, no more wondering ...

... sean was all over the set, moving, cleaning, arranging, and, once the camera was ready to roll, positioning and holding lights to milton's constantly changing direction ...

... for a moment i considered that milton might be thinking, "how do i send a text on this thing," but the i realized he was tired enough to need a short break ...

... nico had to wear a sort of "ghost buster's rig" from which his rather fancy-looking video camera was suspended ... his goal, of course, that you and i and all the other viewers of the movie forget we are watching the result of their long, tedious, laborious efforts and instead are brought to a state of mind that we believe we are with our own eyes witness to a reality ... way cool—way freakin' cool ...

... my favorite shot ... i.s.o. 16,000, maybe 1/4 second, captured with a manual focus/aperture thirty-year old olympus lens which wide-open at f/1.4 isn't by any standard a collection of glass i would consider "sharp" ... fake smoke, that too ... but—ah, yes, if it weren't for the distraction of the background this'd make a wonderful movie poster ... yea, i know, a bit of photoshop magic and it'd be "perfect," but that wasn't why i picked up the camera so it'll remain as it is, a most compelling snapshot ...

... what great fun, i can't wait for the premier ... !!! ... (i wonder if i'll get mentioned in the they've-all-left-and-the-ushers're-cleaning-up fine-print) ...

[p.s. note to movie crew:  you left what looks to be something important behind,
ring me up or email me to figure it]

July 27, 2017

TIME WITH THE KIDS

... chad had the week off, i'm healed up enough to be almost back to "retired" status, which is to say that i've a lot of time to do with as i wish ... obviously, things that're either free or low-cost always draw my attention, so i was quite excited to afford ma & pa some time off while i watched the kids ...

... emily, grant and walker colored with markers containing ink that's clear until it dries ... magic, as far as i'm concerned ...

... "any disagreements over the playstation and you not only lose it for the day, it's gone for any future time i might be in charge, too" ... they were perfect ... lots of dead storm troopers ...

... walker colors at a furious pace ...

... danny doing his michael jordan routine ...

... tom, probably thinkin' up some obscure fact he knows about bubbles ...

... megan, who, i'm proud to say, allows me her smile ...

... liz joined us ... here she's teaching grant to stick out his tongue ...

... grant, stylin' in the plaid shirt i bought for him ...
PHOTO BY EM TRACY 

... truth be told, it isn't all that much effort to be with these kids ... megan and emily do most of the work taking care of grant, and the rest of the time for me is just an occasional bit of dispute arbitration ("settle this or you both lose") and peace keeping ("settle this or you both lose") ...

... i'm healing, storm cloud's gone by and the sun's coming out ... what a beautiful day ...

July 14, 2017

PHYSICAL THERAPY ATOP CADILLAC

... john invited me to join him for a planetarium show he was putting on in northeast harbor ... usually i help him haul equipment, but, alas, on this day i had to be content sitting in a chair and enjoying his well-choreographed set-up routine ... and, of course, you can forget the moon and planet and stars, as is always the case the bubble itself is enough to excite the kids ...

... after a nice supper we drove up to the top of cadillac mountain, which, if you didn't already know, at 1530 feet is the highest point on north america's eastern coastline ... (no, despite what you may've heard, the fishkill landfill in new york doesn't even come close) ... i like how 35,000 years ago the laurentide ice sheet neatly scraped clean the top of the mountain so that today visitors can enjoy a 360° view ... you needn't worry about footprints, in another 35,000 years or so another glacier'll most likely do a very thorough job of tidying up the summit ...

... john snapped a picture of me as i was trying to capture a most fascinating eastern vista, one in which the sky and sea merged so perfectly that there was no evidence of a horizon ...

... john scrambled about capturing the scene with his super-duper lens ...

... later, we drove over to the western side of the mountain ... being a weekday we were able to find a place to park the car ... weekends in the summer—well, me, i don't get anywhere near the island since acadia is one the most visited places in the entire national park system ...

... three broken ribs, a bunch of other body parts kinda mangled, i left the contortionistic camera compositions to john ... you can see his photographs here ...

 ... i had a great time, most likely because some sort of temporary amnesia caused me to forget my doctor's advice ... i paid the price today, but, as far as i'm concerned, it was worth it ...

... like all sunsets, it was perfect ... in case you're wondering, i live over the horizon to the left in the picture ...


"So very strange, in sunset's moment, that such a great silence descended upon the land, as if the orchestra had put down their instruments, and we, sitting in the very best of seats, anxiously awaited the opening of the curtain for the first act of a play we'd never seen."
—A.BRADY


"I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual."
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU

July 8, 2017

I'M OUT AND ABOUT

... maybe not officially approved by the FDA, but as far as i'm concerned this giant "pill" is as good for healing as any of the little ones served up by the pharmacy ...

... john asked me to join him for the evening shows he was going to do at the "maine wildlife park" in gray ... the weather forecast predicted rather severe weather in some parts of the state, but the park decided they'd like to run the risk of a rain-out and that they'd pay the travel expenses no matter the outcome of the evening ... john had the planetarium all set up, and i was thinking it might be nice to snap a picture of the big dome in this outdoor setting, when all of a sudden the wind picked up and a great deluge washed over the park ... needless to say, that was it for the evening ... as i understand it, he'll be spending a good part of tomorrow drying out the dome and the floor matts ...

... while he was setting up i took a little stroll around the grounds ... odd, forty-four years living in maine but i've never been to this fascinating park ... i was rather pleased that i was able to hold my camera in a vertical position, although it turned out that i couldn't do it for very long, and, hours later typing this, i'm wishing i'd stuck to landscape compositions ...

... i was very impressed with the facility ... it's neatly arranged and very attractive ...

... as a big sign at the entrance proclaims, only "wounded, confinement born, and orphaned" animals live at the park ... although i was only very casually enjoying the facility, i noticed that there are many signs and placards educating visitors about the animals ... this hawk was obviously comfortable around humans ... for many animals this is a reason they can never be released into the wild ...

... i was saddened to see this eagle in, if not "captivity," what is clearly caged confinement ... then i remembered that otherwise it would not be alive, and that here at least it can serve to educate the many people who visit the park ...

... a legion of volunteers and dedicated staff maintain the grounds beautifully ...

... i've always like turtles ... if it turns out that we can really come back as animals, this is one of the two i would like to be ...

... i enjoyed talking with rusty clark ... he's the president of the volunteer organization ... "when they asked everyone else took one step backwards" ... i learned a lot not just about the critters, but also some little-known and very interesting historical and political information concerning the park's existence ... rusty's a most interesting individual, and i'm hoping he'll take me up on my offer to volunteer my picture taking skills ...

... on the drive home we passed the lewiston-auburn airport ... "wait—turn around—i think i saw a lockheed constellation" ... john navigated us to the terminal area ... just as my eagle eyes had discerned from a distance, parked on the tarmac was a one of the greatest piston engine aircraft ever built, a lockheed constellation starliner ...

... when i was a little kid in 1950s this was of the most beautiful aircraft in the skies—now, over a half-century later, i've not changed my mind in the least ... the constellation in lewiston has a ways to go before it'll be fully restored to this condition, but i'm already anticipating the day when i'll be able to stand at the end of the runway and watch the constellation soar into the sky ... what great joy, yet another wanderabout to look forward to ...

... [addendum:  the constellation we saw parked outside, "b8083h," is not the airframe that is being restored ... that one is inside the purpose-built hanger ... the one we saw is being used as a "parts queen," as well as for measurement purposes ... also, the rather cursory research i did leads me to wonder if this restoration project is still in progress, of, perhaps, if instead it has been abandoned due to the expense ... if any of you have information i'd love to hear from you] ...

July 6, 2017

SEASON 6, EPISODE 4: "THE PLAID SHIRT"

... drove over to the tracys for several reasons ... first, of course, was that i have a new car and i'm able to drive it, which, if you think about it, is a pretty cool thing ... second, i wanted to invite megan to a birthday lunch ... and, third but hardly least, i wanted to give a little present to baby grant ...

... a few days ago, maybe it was further back, i'm not sure, i was shopping in walmart—[yes, i know, but my "evil empire" membership card incorporates anything big enough to merit it's own zip code ... editorial note: i'm always fascinated when people say, "i'll never shop at walmart," but then most excitedly browse the aisles at the double-l place in freeport ... anyhow, to quote the greatest of philosophers, "nevermind"]—when out of the corner of my eye i spotted an entire rack of, well, i'm not much at children's clothing sizes, but i'd use the term "miniature" for what they were ... little tiny plaid shirts ... unbelievable ... none, by the way, of which i had an example of the pattern in my collection ... no matter, i was suddenly struck with the thought, "oh, my, those look like they're baby grant size ... gosh ... why ... why, forget the yellow-brick road, i might be the first to start that kid on the plaid shirt path to a fulfilled life" ...

... so, before i took megan, emily, danny, and walker on a birthday-dessert outing [megan wanted to share the joy ... tom was a bit under the weather, so he and i'll paint the town another time], mom em outfitted grant in what i consider to be serious sartorial splendor ...

... honest, the sunglasses were em's idea ... me—nah, the shirt was enough since i'm quite content to transform a kid's entire life one giant step at a time ...

... grant loved the shirt, even his ma agreed he was strutting, which, of course, is the whole point of a new plaid shirt ...

... later the rest of the kids and i went to friendly's for dessert, after which we enjoyed a nice browseabout in barnes and noble ...

... what a wonderful day ...

July 3, 2017

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN

Whoopi-ty-aye-oh
Rockin` to and fro
Back in the saddle again
Whoopi-ty-aye-yay
I go my way
Back in the saddle again
GENE AUTRY

... okay, so maybe we'll leave it at, "i'm looking out the window at the barn where my horse is patiently waiting for me to heal" ... nevertheless, pleading that the accident must've done some kind of damage to the part of my brain that remembers medical advice, this morning i picked up john and we shared a nice 160-mile wanderabout through the mountains of maine ... when i said that we'd use my car he was quick to volunteer that he'd take over the wheel if i felt the need ... of course, i didn't let on that my "goal" was to complete the drive myself ... [and, of course, i'm sure he knew this] ...

... we stopped at the wire bridge in north new portland ... forty-four years now, i've been trying to capture the "perfect image" of this structure, the oldest standing suspension bridge in north america ... this morning, very, very carefully, i worked my way upstream to a new vantage of the span ...

... this is a three-image hdr ... it's a bit forced, since the foliage moving to and fro in the brisk wind resulted in the hdr process producing numerous artifacts in the leaves, but i do like the composition ... i'll go back and try it again—hmmmm, this might be the one compels me to get that 8mm lens ...

... we drove up quimby mountain ... instead of being free there's now a $10 fee to drive the road ... the money'll go for road maintenance and development, and both john and i consider the drive to be well worth the price ... the last time i photographed this tree it was in almost total darkness as a frame for the milky way ...

... from the 2,300 foot summit there is a complete 360° view of the mountains and valleys of northwestern maine ... the horizon is the province of quebec, canada ...

... after the recent severe rain, the stream at smalls falls was flowing rapidly ... i couldn't leave the trail, but john hiked down to find a different angle ... i noticed that he took a little break to enjoy this very special place ...
  
... i managed one picture of the falls themselves ... my 12mm was a bit wide for this shot, but i wasn't in the mood to change lenses and i was also pushing myself a bit too much to get this far off the pathway ... truth be told, i wasn't much for actual picture taking this day ... no matter, i was wanderabouting, which is all that counts ...

... for today it was an adventure for me to make it down the stairs to the bridge, and, although you can't see it in john's snapshot, i'd a big smile on my face because i was able to lift my left arm so high ... later, after i got home mid-afternoon, i slept for three hours ... slow—very, very slow—but progress is progress and i'm happy for that ...

... people've been asking me a lot of questions lately ... all i can say is that if you want to live—to truly live—then you must learn not simply to heal, but to embrace the process ... and, no, that doesn't lessen the pain, but it does allow for it to have meaning ...