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.

April 2, 2017

FIRST RIDE

... not counting a brief around-the-block excursion a couple of weeks ago, meant only to informally transition my motorcycle from "storage" to "on the road" status, today was my first motorcycle ride of the year ... 51°f, warm enough to enjoy riding even if the roads're still a complete mess of frost heaves and sand bars ... i stopped a the tracy's to visit, warm up a bit, and enjoy a cup of coffee ... when i left chad most graciously agreed to shoot my "official" first-ride-of-the-year portrait ...


... using just his cell phone he produced this cool poster ... in technical photographic terms that's called "talent" ...

... i then drove up the road a bit, did a bit of a 45° slide on some sand, then passed the house so he could get another picture of me riding ...


... tomorrow i'm going to mount the side boxes and go for a nice long ride ...

... other places it's flowers, green grass, or putting boots away for the year, but here in maine no snow on the road is what we call "springtime" ...

THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1987

... thirty years ago yesterday, per a request i'm reposting my pictures of the "great flood" of 1987 ... these are ektachrome 400 color slides scanned on a nikon coolscan Ved and dust spotted in photoshop ...

... here's the two-penny bridge about an hour or so before the flood crested ... at its highest the water rose about six inches closer to the bridge's footboards ...

 ... for those of you not familiar with the "last toll footbridge in the united states," this is what it looks like during the kennebec river's "normal" spring flow ...

... nowadays, with modern digital sensors, it would be easy to take pictures in low light like this ... in 1987, however, capturing these images with silver-based film was at the very edge of the photography envelope ... the slides were shot using a nikon f3 with nikkor 20mm and 105mm lenses (it's possible a couple of the long shots were with a tamron sp 300mm) ... i used ektachrome 400 slide film, and, as is evidenced by the movement showing in the water, a 1/15th-1/30th shutter speed put me at the limit of effectively hand-holding the camera ...

... i remember the frightening sound of the water ...

... the swaying of the bridge made walking very difficult when i went out to the center of the span to snap some pictures ... 

... it was so odd, looking at this scene and remembering that just up the road at our house on oak street, only a half-mile or so into town, there was no evidence this was taking place ...

... i wondered if the bridge supports would survive the torrent's tremendous force ...

... the ticonic falls were submerged 28 feet below the flood's angry surface ...

... all along the river houses became enveloped in the cold water ...

... had the water risen even a single foot a debris dam would've formed along the bottom of the railroad bridge and most likely the resulting force would have probably pushed the structure off its supports ...

... this began to happen at the bridge in fairfield ... by the end of the evening the strain gauge needles had bounced enough into the red zone that the engineers decided to speed up the timetable for replacing the old bridge ...

... the flood water pressed up beneath the bridge ...

... during the day it they kept it open as long as possible ...

... by the evening, however, it became clear it would be too dangerous to allow cars or pedestrians to cross ...

... the parking lot behind downtown fairfield became a lake ...

... further up along the river an entire section of town became submerged ...

... eventually it became too dark to take pictures ...

... the next day the cleanup began—it would take weeks, months, even, for some bridges, longer than that, before things would return to normal ...

... thirty years later, however, for those who witnessed and were affected by the great flood of 1987, when the spring rains come there's still many a watchful eye kept on the kennebec river ...