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 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 ...