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 sixth 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.

December 22, 2014

DOWN BY THE RIVER

... i took a little stroll, over the kennebec on the two-penny bridge and then, although as usual tempted to trespass on the railroad trestle, across the memorial bridge back to waterville ... i stopped in winslow below the little park to enjoy the unusual perspective ...

... at my feet, still, remnants of autumn ...

... and, if but for a brief moment on this shortest day of 2014, most glorious color as the rapidly descending sun marked its adieu to another solar year ...

In the end, it's not the years in your life that count.
It's the life in your years.
A.Lincoln

December 21, 2014

WANDERABOUT SOUTH OF BATH

... if not suffering, at least enduring a combination of seasonal-affective and holiday-induced depression, i was grateful when john said, "i'll drive, grab your camera and we'll go for a little wanderabout" ... our first stop was to stroll about the peary-macmillan museum in brunswick ... always i'm captivated by inuit art, and also, as you can see, classic marble sculptures ...

... hard to believe, but a "first" for me was heading south onto the phippsburg peninsula ... our first stop was head beach ... 

... while we drove john and i had talked of places we'd like to visit ... at the very top of my highly-unlikely-i'll-ever-go-there list was easter island, so it was rather interesting when we ran across a huge tree which had drifted up onto beach to have it's trunk and limbs carved and initialed by legions of summer people and winter wanderers ...

... unaware of john recording my efforts ...

... from the warf jutting into atkin's cove behind fort popham i experiment with my little fuji x-e1 in very contrasty lighting conditions  ...

... using a well-practiced sneak-up-on-a-seagull stealth walk, i got within arms reach of what i identify as a Larus smithsonianus herring gull in its winter plumage ...

... looking down from the huge granite block footings of the fort's mighty ramparts, i found a fascinating example of the mechanics of scale ... the surface of mars as seen from the MRO satellite orbiting almost 200 miles above the red planet:
MARS

... and, from perhaps twenty feet or so, the surface of maine:
MAINE

... so obvious, there is no longer any question that "rivulets of water" rolled down to an alien sea, but—but, perhaps of the greatest of all the questions ever to be asked, "did friends stroll that distant shore, their thoughts simply appreciation of the beauty at their feet" ...

... most likely washed down from the great forest that is the source of the kennebec, but, being that it was deposited by tidal water, it could also be a wind and sea driven wanderer from some far distant land ...

... on the ridge behind the revolutionary and civil war era fort popham is the more modern defensive structure, fort baldwin ... on this protectived pedestal was mounted one of battery hawley's two 6" naval rifles, each of which could deliver a shell accurately over a distance of up to seven miles ...

 ... fort baldwin is maintained as a park, otherwise trees and plants and moss such as this would cover completely the site ...

... soaring above a dense forest canopy, perhaps the fire control tower will remain when all else has been reclaimed by nature ...

... but, inevitably, as the massive walls of troy and ilium, so earth and time will once again conquer the arrogance of man ... perhaps, just perhaps, ol' isaiah was right, "... and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." 

... before the pilgrims, on this little point was one of the first english settlements in new england ... the colony failed, a result of the terrible winter of 1607, but also due to management and financial problems ... before the colonists returned to england, however, they launched the virginia, possibly the first english-built ocean-going ship built in north america ...

... contrasting the bay's cold waters, the mid afternoon winter sunset seems reflection of the terrible fire that destroyed the popham colony's storehouse and the many essential supplies it contained ...

... i tried, but the perkin's island light, post sunset, need be seen to be truly appreciated ...

... so i turned sideways, to find color i could capture ...

... as the darkness descended we made a last stop opposite the squirrel point lighthouse ... i climbed through the bramble bush and almost broke my neck falling when a huge granite block from a colonial era building foundation unexpectedly shifted as i put my weight upon it, but i managed to snap a picture appropriate to the ending of a wonderful day ...

At rest, even in the calmest of anchorages,
a ship never stops, it merely takes pause.
A.Brady


December 8, 2014

X-E1 STUDIO WORK

... alison said she was coming over for our annual christmas picture taking session ... as usual, i expected bella to be the star of the show ...


... the thumping on the stairs should've been a clue that was more than alison and bella arriving ... soon my apartment was filled with alison's people ... as an experiment, i decided to use my new fujifilm x-e1 for the picture taking ...

... jakob and trinity ... mechanically, the x-e1 was clearly out of it's element doing this sort of photography ... its image recording buffer is rather limited, so it's difficult to shoot sequential images quickly, and it's a bit slower focusing than my nikon d7000s ... when it comes to the quality of the image it records, however, it holds its own, if not actually surpasses, the nikons ... these pictures were taken using a thirty year-old olympus zuiko 50mm f/1.8 lens ... a very impressive performance, if i do say so myself, but, then again, it's pretty hard to go wrong with this amount of cute ...

X-E1 1ST WANDERABOUT

... 20°f outside, windy, but i needed run errands and i figured today would be a better time than tomorrow, when it's predicted a nasty rain-to-freezing-rain-to-rain-then-finally-to-freezing-rain-again storm is supposed to hit central maine ... i put the just in from japan 16-50mm lens on my fujifilm x-e1 (dōmo arigatōgozaimashita, mr. chifumi sato), and drove down the east river road to augusta ...

... i'm not sure, what with the cover of snow and ice, but i think that a long, long time ago pa may've owned this car ... we used to snuggle in sleeping bags atop the roof to watch the northern lights (automobiles were once made of very thick metal) ...

... across the road, one of central maine's many dairy farms ... the kennebec river runs its course in the steep valley behind the buildings ...

... here's the same interpreted in black and white ... you can use the little comment box to register your vote ...

... last night i watched a movie while i practiced manipulating the x-e1's many control dials, knobs and buttons ... having already focused upon my floor lamp, i decided to direct my attention to one of my shelf racks ...

... during the day i found a portrait of robert as he did a bit of research concerning a new consumer product that i think is going to make some astute investors very, very rich ...

... the x-e1 and i, we're getting much better acquainted ...

December 6, 2014

ON A DREARY DAY OUTSIDE, INSIDE A BOOKSTORE WITH A NEW CAMERA

... still not twenty-four hours in my hands, more and more i'm finding this little fujifilm x-e1 to be a most fascinating camera ... most delightful, its fit in my hands is already beginning to match the first camera i ever purchased with my own money, an olympus-35 sp, and it's possible the x-e1 will match the "gold standard," my classic 1958 nikon s2 rangefinder ...

... i bought the olympus in 1970 while i was in london, to this day it is considered one of the best "affordable" 35mm rangefinders ... the nikon was one of those "i must have it" things, in 1974 it cost me almost one-half of one of my monthly military pay checks ...

... the x-e1 is svelte in my hands ... it is, for me, at least, a mechanism that begs to be held ...

... perhaps a tad bit too small, once i get the leather bottom case i think it's going to be a perfect fit ...

... after i'd opened the store and gotten the coffee brewed, i stepped outside to try the camera in what is currently passing for daylight ...

... robert arrived and i managed my first "snapshot" ...

... while he settled in i wander upstairs to the "children's book cellar" to continue the process of getting acquainted with the x-e1 ...

... there're all sorts of fascinating things on display ...

... one hundred years old, if these bricks could speak imagine the stories they would tell ...

... a camera can be a tool for seeing like a child ...

... the children's bookcellar, in all its charm, is a reflection of its owner, ellen ...

... roger stopped in for a visit ...

... as did john, who used the x-e1 to snap a picture of me ...

... i wandered around re-books, seeing ...

... my nemesis, i am forever frustrated voiding sales and loading new paper rolls ....


... unlike the big box bookstores, re-books has live-in residents ...

... me and my new fujifilm x-e1, to quote the greatest of greats, "i think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship" ...

December 5, 2014

NEW CAMERA!!!!

... thank you, unnamed friend, for purchasing my precious olympus e-p1 ... thank you, liz and adrien, for offering to support me in selecting my own christmas present ... and, always, thank you waterville federal credit union, for serving as a piggy bank and hiding a couple of year's worth of spare change ...

... my fujifilm x-e1 arrived this afternoon ... lens, case, and other accessories are to follow in the next few days, but most fortunately arriving yesterday was the precisely machined adapter that allows me to mount 25+ year-old olympus zuiko lenses to this modern digital camera ... still many chapters of the instruction manual to digest, but i've already become quite comfortable with the e1 ... having owned a classic m3 double-stroke leica, i feel i'm qualified to say that i think this little camera is going to compare quite favorably ...

... it took me quite some time (and, yes, a bit of referencing in the aforementioned instruction manual) to get the camera to take a picture ... seems that for using old-fashioned manual lenses one must dig way down into the camera's menu structure to find a selection "take picture without lens" ... weirdly labeled, i think, but maybe it's just one of those translation things ... here's my first picture with the camera ...

... my favorite lamps at iso 1200, manual focus and exposure ...

... roger came over to talk about next summer's wanderabout ... while he discussed all the motorcycle museums he wanted us to visit i snapped a picture ...

... i was thinking b&w, but the skin tones in the original are evidence that fuji is telling the truth about the merits of its "x-trans" sensor array when compared to the [old-fashioned] more typical bayer arrangement ...

... finally, a quick snap with a thirty year-old zuiko 50mm macro lens ...

... oh, is this ever going to be fun ... bonus, of course, is that even as i play with this old glass somewhere in the air between here and hong kong there's a modern auto-focus fujifilm 16-50mm zoom lens with my name attached ...

... so much fun ...

November 21, 2014

LATELY

... most of my life making the adjustment to the winter season was a gradual affair, one marked only by the chore of digging out after the first measurable accumulation of snow, and, usually coincidental to that event, the realization that one of my gloves had gone a.w.o.l. during the summer ... now, having just put my motorcycle away, i find this seasonal transition a most jarring and unpleasant situation ... i'll get used to it, i know, if for now other reason that i must, but i can't stop wondering if it would be worth it to put studded tires on my bmw ...

... in the meantime, here's a little sampling of what's been going on lately ...

... from my apartment window, what might've been the last of autumn's sunsets spotlighting the clouds above the western horizon ...

... from the outing john and i took to witness the launching of his children's sailboat, here i am perched atop pemaquid's pegmatite outcropping ... as i say often, in the whole world one of my favorite places ...

... and, from another outing john and i shared, two trees together holding against the erosive current of a little brook out in albion ...

... eric, robert and i went over to roger's to help him move his 50 year-old 150cc vespa scooter down into his basement, where during the winter he will continue the process of rebuilding and restoring it to out-of-the-showroom condition ...

 ... always wise to consider murphy's law corollary #4, "the amount of work accomplished is often inversely proportional to the number of hands involved," i decided i would be more useful chronicling the event ... (my energy conservation plan failed somehow, for i ended up being the "lift person" as the scooter was lowered down the stairs) ...

... eric and i met for lunch at the a1 diner in gardiner ... after a nice meal i strolled the main street, which is photographically rather intriguing ... i like exploring in reflections the unique two-dimensional layering of "inside" and "outside" worlds ... 

... advertisement, perhaps, but i like to believe dancing girls left these shoes to rest, otherwise how could it be so obvious they are softly awaiting the feet which will bring them to their life ...

... insulated, i think she'd forgotten windows connect, not separate, worlds ...

... chad had a meeting in portland, i went with him to have a wanderabout ...  at sunset we went over to the lighthouse ... chad had forgotten his memory card and i hadn't brought my tripod, so for both of us, he with his cell phone camera and me with my nikon hand-held, hopping the fence and descending the rocky bluff was for the purpose of some old-fashioned snapshot photography ...

... if the shutter remains open long enough my nikon d7000 will take pictures in near total darkness ... as i braced the camera atop a fence pole there was very little form visible in this scene, and the only discernible color was the faint yellow of the lighthouse lamp's beam ... i crossed my fingers, let go my breath, and very, very gently depressed the shutter button ...

... as is often the case, there came a time i lowered my camera and just watched ... chad, of course, was stalking me ...

... i took a drive over to new hampshire to spend a day with adrien ... before grocery shopping we took a little drive to witness winter descending upon agiocochook ...

on the drive home i came across a lonely canoe ...

Tu es mon compagnon de voyage!
Je veux mourir dans mon canot
Sur le tombeau, près du rivage, 
Vous renverserez mon canot

When I must leave the great river
O bury me close to its wave
And let my canoe and my paddle
Be the only mark over my grave
Mon Canoe d'écorce