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.

March 29, 2014

DECISION & INDECISION

... roger picked me up early and, after a brief stop during which i had to explain to the mcdonalds counter person how to serve up a cup of coffee "with one less cream and two extra sugars," he and i drove down to brunswick where he made the final decision to purchase a 50-year old vespa 150cc scooter ...

... knowing roger, by the time he's completely disassembled and then reassembled this little italian gem it'll look and run better'n new ...

... after being dropped off at my apartment around lunch i went out and enjoyed a most wonderful afternoon ... (???) ... 

... seeing that another storm is on its way to maine, i decided to take my car down to the winter lot. then stroll around town looking for some pictures ... i found one, but indecision transformed it into two visions of the same scene ...


... as always, i am most fascinated when this happens ... what do you think ... ??? ...

[GENTLE REMINDER: IF YOU CLICK ON A PICTURE THEY'LL ALL APPEAR FULL SCREEN]

March 27, 2014

SWEET HOME ALABAMA

... chuck and ann's daughter, liz, invited me to photograph her wedding in alabama ... first time i've ever done so, i traveled extra light, carrying only two camera bodies, two lenses, and two flash units (extras were backups) ... amanda made all the plans, so all i had to do was stand atop a snowbank outside my apartment in 15°f air at 4:15am and wait to be picked up ...

... obviously the world south of maine is embracing spring ... we were welcomed to alabama by one of the local venomous denizens, a brown recluse, Loxosceles recluse ...

... with a bit of time on our hands, chuck and i sat out by the pool for about fifteen minutes ... needless to say, we discovered that maine's long winter seems to have greatly weakened our resistance to uv radiation ... no matter, it was worth it ...

... on the way to the rehearsal barbecue we made a little scenic detour into downtown enterprise to view the "only statute in the world dedicated to an insect pest" ...

... it seems that in 1915 an infestation of boll weevils ate up the cotton crop and there was thought that the farming community would never recover ... instead of giving up, however, the farmers planted other crops, such as peanuts, and the result was the growth of a vibrant economy ... in 1919 they dedicated this monument in recognition of a "blessing in disguise" ...

... everywhere you go, there's always something neat to be seen or learned ...

... the wedding was great fun ... for me, of course, with one camera and lens it was a back to the basics of photography experience, made more interesting by the fact that i'm still getting used to the d7000 camera ... you can enjoy the entire wedding album on phanfare,  but here're a few of my favorites ...

... still not quite used to the d7000's controls, i was pleased to find myself becoming comfortable enough with the camera to be able to focus it quickly enough to capture a "decisive moment" ...

... liz and victor posed for me, i then did a bit of photoshopping ...

... while i consider myself to be a well-traveled individual, on the way home i encountered something i'm told is now rather routine equipment in airport terminals, an automatic hygenic seat cover dispenser ... will wonders never cease ... 

... okay, hopefully you're done laughing ... but, honestly, don't you wish you'd invented it ... i do ... i mean, after all, it's such a way cool idea ...

... back home, after four days in t-shirt weather struggling to readjust to ice and snow and well-below freezing temperatures in mid-march, i considered purchasing a new lens, a nikon 18-200mm VR zoom, which would allow me to much better utilize my d7000's capabilities ... budgetary considerations had to be made, of course, so i started laying out an ad on ebay to sell my sigma 100-300mm f/4, a most cherished lens that i very rarely use ... halfway through the process i put the sigma on my camera, opened the window, and took this snapshot ...

... i erased the ad ...

March 16, 2014

CURLING

... on my way down to visit my friends in mt. vernon i stopped at castle island to take pictures ... as i got out of the car the door slamming startled these ducks into flight ... clearly not an audubon magazine cover shot, still i was pleased that i could raise the camera and manange to, as they say, snap this picture on the fly ...


... this afternoon's gusting winds had littered the snowbanks with debris ...


... i think the reason this part of the lake stays ice free is because of the strong currents in the castle island channel ...


... two snowmobilers were driving (racing?) across the surface of long pond ... a bit of trivia:  i've flown in a helicopter, jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, done a tourist cruise in an electric submarine, and, as you all know, spent most of a summer atop my motorcycle, but i've not once every ridden on a snowmobile ... am i right to think that's a little strange ...


... a planned stop, i wanted to snap a picture to illustrate a couple of questions i'd like answered:  "what is a public interest phone," and, "when did public interest phones first appear" ... while taking the picture i noticed the most wonderful metal roof ice curl i've ever seen ...


... i examined it closely, the weight of the ice is actually being supported by the side of the building ...


... to any architects reading my journal, i hope this serves as inspiration ...


... of course, i was most pleased that me standing in the middle of the road with my camera served inspiration for another photographer to stop ...


... in scenic downtown mt. vernon i chanced across this composition ...


... having to pick up liz at her ma's house, taking the long way to the martin stream road i wandered up cape cod hill in new sharon ...


... many are the times i've parked my car or motorcycle on this ridge and enjoyed the view ... sometimes i take pictures, sometimes i don't ... i most enjoy the afternoons when i think to bring a subway sandwich and thermos of iced tea ... late at night this is perhaps one of the best spots in maine from which to watch the northern lights ...


... walking uphill back to the road i broke through the crusty surface of the snow and sank almost to my armpits ... every time i tried to extricate myself i'd get halfway out and then break through again ... for a few minutes i thought that this might be my end, frozen like a giant popsicle, crows landing atop my head and calling their buddies to come see so they could all share a great laugh ...

... i managed to get out, obviously, but, equally true, i can't think of a nicer place to be stuck ...

March 14, 2014

CHILLIN' AT PEMAQUID

... i guess even i would admit that "chilling" is perhaps too mild a word ... freezing off our fingertips and a**es is a more accurate description of the sunrise at pemaquid lighthouse ... john and i scheduled this morning for a picture taking wanderabout ... after spending a half-hour digging my car out of the crusty snow mound within which it was enveloped, i drove to fairfield and picked him up ... it was only then we finally decided the direction and destination of our little expedition ...

... two thermoses of coffee later, after surviving icy roads, suffering numerous bone-jarring potholes, and managing to avoid the vehicles skidded into snowbanks along the sides of the neck road, we arrived at pemaquid point ... of course, after two thermoses of coffee i uttered my thanks to the town of bristol for keeping a porta-potty at the edge of the parking lot ... 10-15°f with a brisk breeze coming of the ocean, we began to freeze the minute we started taking pictures ...


... i decided to climb down the rocks to get a better view of the lighthouse ... there was a time i would just kind of hop across the pegmatite sills, but now, in this time of mature wisdom and bad knee, i was very careful on the treacherous surfaces ...

... john took what may just be one of my favorite pictures ever of me ...


... sharply delineating the outline of monhegan island, in a perfectly clear sky the sunrise was all the more intense in its brevity ...


... the clear sky made for somewhat less than dramatic compositions, so i amused myself by taking a self-portrait ...


"Above all, I craved to seize the whole essence, in the confines of one single photograph, of some situation that was in the process of of unrolling itself before my eyes."

HENRI CARTIER-BRESSEN


... such joy, to remember how i first took a picture from this spot over forty years ago ...


... more than just landscapes, i've come to find it most rewarding to bring harmony to place with person ...


... after a very nice breakfast at a diner we found on route 1, we drove up to whitefield, then parked in the mailbox turnout on kings mills road and walked in to take pictures at the river's frozen over fall line ... i experimented a bit with my ultra high-density filter and fancy remote release ... unhappy with the results and with my fingers way too cold to play around with all the teensy-tiny control buttons, i fell back into a more "normal" picture taking routine ...


... john caught me "assuming the position" ...


... looking at the contrast in this scene, from spectacular reflections on the snow to dark shadows, it's clear i'm become much more comfortable with the d7000's ability to capture an extended dynamic range ...


... i wonder, which came first ...


... risking a fall, i perched myself atop a guardrail to do another self-portrait ...


... since they'll be plowing the main lot tonight, after i returned to waterville i had to take my car back down by the river ... on the way back to my apartment i stopped to explore the railroad bridge over the kennebec river ... benedict arnold's first portage of his bateau on the ill-fated expedition to capture quebec city in 1775 took place between the telephone pole and the edge of the bridge ...


... i noticed that the telephone pole still has its original colored glass insulators ...


... it's hard to believe that in a few months i'll be able to take a sandwich and a thermos of tea and enjoy sitting on the rocks at the edge of the river below the far end of the bridge ...

... now, of course, is not the time for that ...


... in castonguay square across the street from my apartment i stopped to play for awhile with this metal bench ...


... the parking lot below my window is filled with the cars of people out to eat, many of whom, i'm sure, are actively fighting cabin fever ... time for me to find some supper ... what a nice day ...

March 13, 2014

SNOW DAY

... 10" or so of heavy snow last night and this morning, flurries are still falling ... i went for a little stroll ... alek fortier was walking his dog back to the insurance agency ...


... one of the ladies who works at the hairdresser's was heading home early ...


... mrs. kelly was cleaning the snow from the entrance to her shop ...


... i'm the four windows on the top floor ...


... sidewalks buried under, roads too messy and busy for walking, i went back up to my apartment to play a bit in photoshop ... these're images i found last week while i was exploring the hathaway building ...


... even the most common of things is worth a moment ...


... just a bit of HDR fun ...


... one of the unrented spaces ...


... i was captivated by the color in the galvanize coating on the entrance railing ...


... i walked the length of the south end, then spent some time investigating the catholic cemetery's iron fence and its shadow ...


... brisk wind is still creating little mini-blizzards at ground level, but above the sun's beginning to peek through the thinning overcast ... time to figure out supper ...