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.

January 27, 2014

MEETING SPRING IN RI

ADDENDUM 2.4.14:  I'VE LEARNED THAT AN INHERENT LIMITATION (READ THAT "APPLE PROGRAMED FLAW") IN THE IPAD'S IOS DOESN'T ALLOW FOR UPLOADING HIGH QUALITY PICTURES.  IF YOU CLICK ON ANY OF THE IMAGES I'VE UPLOADED USING THE IPAD (THE PAST TWO OR THREE ENTRIES) THE LARGE IMAGES WILL BE SERIOUSLY CRAPPY IN QUALITY.  I'M WORKING ON THE PROBLEM.


... i took a little drive down to rhode island to visit with mike and beth, but i'll also admit to thinking that this time of year 244 miles south of waterville i might just chance to meet up with the spring ... luck was with me when beth introduced me to signs of a season that we're still patiently awaiting in maine ...

... we went down to south county, and, in the backyard of what used to be summer homes of "the family," we enjoyed lunch at the rathskeller ... i had a bowl of onion soup, of all i've ever been served it was closest to jean's perfect presentation, and fresh flounder that was done up exactly right ... while waiting for our meals i spent time analyzing mike's blink rate/pattern, something i realized i had never done before ... turns out the n(o)s(uch)a(gency) could use his eyelids as a cryptographic random number generator ... in ten minutes of focussed scrutiny i could detect neither rhythm or measured beat ... all the more reason for me to take up the challenge, i think ... truthfully, i find he's one of those people who possess a most fascinating face ...
... of course, is a time honored photograph adage, "if you can't find a face, cat, or clown, look for a water glass" ... not really, but is amazing how after all these years i still love to play with a camera ...
... before leaving we braved the mud so i could snap a nice picture of the happy couple ...
... for supper we had fresh beth baked bread, my portion(s) most goodly gooed with a thick layer of homemade raspberry jam ...

... this morning i found beth's little orchard friends sitting in the frong window pretending it was spring ...
... today mike took me with him as he ran his errands, then he treated me to a great lunch at sictuate's village tavern ... afterwards we wandered back roads, talking of the times we'd take ma for drives along rhode island's many hidden byways ... we learned that my ipad functions okay as a g.p.s. as long as there are houses along the road bleeding wifi signals ... mike pulled off to the side of the congdon mill road so i could go explore a bit with my camera ...

... this was one of the spots i'd park the car so ma could enjoy the sun as she talked to me of the time when she first lived in rhode island ...
... a tiny ice encrusted rock, i was inspired by some of john meader's recent photography ...
... yesterday was a bit of a tease that made today's 18f temperature less bearable than it should have been ...
... soon, i hope, this will all be the price we pay here in new england so that at the first sixty degree day we all declare a "heat wave" and run outdoors in our shorts (and, yes, rev up our motorcycles, too) ...

January 25, 2014

FRAME FUN

... between waiting on customers in the bookstore i'm experimenting with different apps that put frames/borders on my pictures ... most of the programs are just fun, offering "balloon borders" and that sort of eye candy, so my goal is to find one that allows me to add a simple white line frame to a picture ...

... this might be it ...

... minor variation ... each took eight steps to accomplish, score one for photoshop on my computer, which i've trained to perform the same task with a single mouse-click ...


 

January 23, 2014

ALMOST FINISHED

... after all sorts of experiences cross-country motorcycling, i decided that at a price i could afford i wasn't going to find exactly what i wanted so i took matters into my own hands and designed a tail rack for my bmw f650cs ... here's my original design sketch ...

... this is the aluminum rack and support brackets after two coats of self-etching primer, then four thin coats of black epoxy paint ... a required wait of a week, then i'll apply another two coats of paint ...

... after that is waiting for my corbin custom seat to arrive while hoping the roads are clear in march ... !!! ...


 

PHOTOGRAPHING PAT PHOTOGRAPHING

... while we were out on his birthday picture taking wanderabout, john surreptitiously snapped a few pictures of me working my camera ...

... of course, although most photograpers would never admit to it, this is one of the reasons we like to share an outing with others who enjoy the craft ...

 

ROGER

... another experiment ... i took this photgraph while robert and roger and i were at the villager resturant enjoying lunch and chat ... i imported the .nef file directly from my nikon d200, processed it in snapseed, then posted it to my journal using blogsy ...

... roger's my friend and motorcyle mentor ... his application submitted, we're all counting down the days over the next few weeks, excitedly waiting for the 100 names to be drawn for the "2015 iron butt rally" ...

 

BLOGSY SAMPLE

... i am experimenting using the "blogsy" app to post to my journal ... the virtue of using this app is that i should have full control over type style and size, formatting, etc. ...

... there, that's all there is to it ... if all has worked as advertised, this should look the same as the postings i make from my computer ...

... the photograph, by the way, is of "the twins," taken several years ago at the managed bog along the shell pond road in lovell ...

January 20, 2014

BIRTHDAY BOY

... i invited my friend, john, for a little happy birthday wanderabout ... two thermoses of coffee in hand, i showed up at his house at 5:45 am, about an hour and twenty minutes before sunrise ... he lives across the street from hillman's donuts, so, naturally, we provisioned well before leaving town ...

... eventually, a half-hour or so after the time noted in the farmers' almanac, we noticed that with the overcast sky and developing snow squalls there wasn't going to be any sort of spectacular early morning photographic lighting ...

... neither of us cared, we just continued taking pictures ...

... after the wire bridge john suggested we go up the road to kingfield ...

... i found i couldn't decide, so i've left you with a choice ... color ...

... or black & white ... as i said, i like it both ways ...

... i couldn't figure out why john had seemingly so easily found his way from the road down to the river ... i pretty much slid all the way on my butt, as i did so performing several moves for which if i was in the olympic figure skating competition i'm sure i'd have been award 9's (maybe even a 10 from the russian judge) ... i thought it might've been that he's a bit younger than me, but then he 'fessed up that he was wearing crampons on his shoes ... cool, gotta get me a set of those things ...


... i became visually fascinated with this tree limb ...

... the spreading branches and the flowing water in the background were in an interesting perspective relationship which ever so subtlety changed with each movement of my eye ... 

 ... how wonderfully odd, that just a portion of a tree can become in and of itself a destination ...


... i found most interesting the little ice dollops formed beneath a fallen log ...


... i call them "ice dollops" 'cause they're clearly not "icicles" and "frozen stalagmites" just doesn't seem right ...


 ... i'd have gotten even closer, but the crunching and cracking sounds emanating from beneath my feet reminded me that with the river's recent falling level many of the ice floes were actually hanging as much as two feet above the surface of the fast-flowing frigid water, and that breaking through and then being entangled in the ice would be a very dangerous situation, indeed ... a long time ago, as a child living in alaska, this was something i learned the hard way ...

... the weight of the snow and ice had brought this tree down ... in the summer i'll bet muskrats hide inside the rotted out knots ...


... it looked to me as if john enjoyed his birthday present ...



... at the "woodsman" in kingfield we enjoyed a nice breakfast before heading back to waterfall ... my b-l-t with an over-easy egg tucked inside easily made up for the lack of color in the sunrise ... mmmmmmmmm, good ...








January 17, 2014

CASTLE ISLAND

... i drove out to mt. vernon to do a bit of work on my motorcycle and have a visit with c.j. ... after an hour or so of some "making it fit" modifications and a nice chat with my friend, towards the end of daylight i headed back to waterville ...

... as i was cutting through the s-curve leading to the bridge over the narrows at castle island i noticed how the setting sun was playing its light across the frozen lake, so i pulled the car off to the side, set the blinkers, and took a stroll ...
... this was the scene early on during the sunset ... as the sun descended towards the horizon it began to cast its light through a sky crystal-clear to southwest, so, somewhat paradoxically, for a few minutes it actually became brighter as night approached ...
... i was fascinated by the gentle light which reflecting off the frozen lake softly illuminated the ice encrusted boulders along the shore ...
... and i was transfixed witnessing the arctic-like depths momentarily capture the warmth of the sky in a frigid embrace ...
... at my feet, more evidence of autumn's determination to never end ...

... i snapped fifty-sixty pictures before i drove away ... behind me along the darkening shore of the pond i left a few things i didn't need, some of which most likely had never really been mine to own ...

Sunset and evening star
   And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
   When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,

   Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
   Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,

   And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
   When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place

   The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
   When I have crossed the bar.

ALFRED LORD TENNYSON



January 13, 2014

QUIET IN NEW PORTLAND

... the shoulder of the highway completely iced over, i had to leave my car in the driving lane with the flashers on while i took a little walk into the north new portland cemetery ...
... each time my boots broke through the surface several little chunks of ice would roll downhill, chorusing crystalline merriment all the way to the edge of the cemetery ...
... when the icy surface gave way beneath me a great exploding fracturing noise would echo across the graveyard ... nobody complained ...
... this made me smile ...
... this made me wonder ...

... myself, i've no desire ever to end up being buried, but on days like this i understand cemeteries ...

SUNRISE ON THE CARRABASSETT

... i was supposed to join john on his astronomy outing to vinalhaven island today, so i awoke at four o'clock in the morning, showered, shaved, dressed up in the blue jeans without holes, and started to prepare two thermoses of hot coffee ... at that point john called, "i'm wicked sick, we're going to have to do this another day" ... i reassured him all was okay with me, cautioned that he get plenty of rest, then switched off the phone ... pleasant thoughts of jumping back into my warm bed were suddenly interrupted by the realization that at least one giant mug full of coffee hadn't made it into the stainless steel bottles ... sooooooo ...

... so, i decided to go for a little wanderabout ... a couple of hours later found me enjoying the sunrise from the deck of the wire bridge in north new portland ...
... the roads in the area were ruts of iron-hard ice and packed snow, and the entire landscape around the bridge was encased in an inch-thick laminate of hard ice on top of thawed and then refrozen snow ...
... i'd walk several steps, just enough that i would begin to relax, then one of my feet would break through the hard surface and i would fall over like a drunken cow on the side of a hill ... sometimes the ice would close in on my leg like a chinese finger trap and it would be a great effort to get myself level again ...
... knowing what would be waiting for me, i struggled several hundred yards to the place where the river makes a slight bend to the north ...
... returning to the deck of the bridge, i was mesmerized by the music the river played with the ice edging its banks ...
... walking on the ice covered bridge was almost impossible, and driving its span was a most entertaining experience ...
... i hope john is feeling better ...



50CC RE-BOOKS

... having to hang around too much with roger and myself, robert finally gave in to peer pressure and bought his own two-wheelin' machine ...
... okay, so it doesn't have quite the power of my bmw, and i suppose it's fair to say he's not going to be using it to tag along with roger on an iron butt ride across america ... it gets a zillion miles per gallon, however, makes a pleasant almost purring putt-putt sound, has a huge trunk under the seat, and, most important, if it falls over it can be one-armed back upright ...
 ... temperature rose above thirty this morning, so robert decided it was a good time to bring it home from the dealership in oakland ... 
... chunks of ice all over the roads, construction, potholes, shoulders of the highways unusable, slippery wet asphalt ... personally, i consider his first ride a bit of an adventure, so i made an add for robert ...