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.

May 29, 2014

VINALHAVEN VISIT

... last fall john invited me to join him on a trip to vinalhaven where he was scheduled to do one of his famous "northern stars planetarium" shows ... five months and three postponements (severe illness, death in the family, and icy winter gale) later we finally made the crossing to the island ... while waiting for the morning ferry we wandered the waterfront with our cameras ...

... before leaving the terminal john jumped at the chance to drop his coins in this machine ...

... interesting, what people'll collect, and, even more interesting, how sometimes learning something about someone is like finding a new piece to a puzzle but you just cannot figure out where it belongs ...

... leaving the protection of the headlands, we passed the famous owl's head light (you might remember sharing a little wanderabout we took that way during the winter) ...

... we saw a tiny porpoise, perhaps a juvenile of the species ... too far for impressive pictures, still it was fascinating to watch the creature glide through the sea ...

... sea birds flew alongside the ferryboat ... they have names, but, like flowers and trees and the internal pieces to machines, such don't stick for long in my head ...

... further out we encountered some of the hardy souls who work on the surface of the sea ...

... we had strange companions for our voyage ... this little guy was easily twice the size of his two friends who remained hidden beneath a blanket on the back seat ... he made up for their reticence by barking us a tale of a long ocean voyage ...

... we encounter the other ferry as it emerged from the low mist ... i wasn't happy when i realized there were no lifeboats visible ... didn't they see that movie ... ??? ...

... me, on another wanderabout ...

... and another intrepid wanderer ...

... a bald eagle escorted us as we negotiated the twists and turns of the harbor's labyrinth-like entrance of rocks and shoals and tiny islands ...

... arriving at the vinalhaven school, i helped john set up his air bubble planetarium ... "helped," of course, means i carried stuff ... after that i stayed off to the side and marveled at the perfection of his practiced choreography as he precisely placed each component ... here, i think, is his last, "have i forgotten anything" ...

... it was worth the price of admission to witness this process ...

... why drive to boston, or new york, when you can have a fully functional planetarium with an accomplished star guide pop up in your gym or lunchroom, or, for that matter, living room if the ceiling's high enough ...

... school rules, i can't show you the images which captured the joy and wonder on the children's faces ... that was the best part of the day, easily making up for the fact that there's no longer a label on the ninth rock out from the sun ...


... finishing the show and having everything all packed back into the van, we were served a nice school lunch by the friendly staff ... some of the third-graders made a point of asking us to join them at their table, a most wonderful way to end our visit ...

... while waiting for the ferry we walked a bit and snapped pictures ... there was a gimongous pile of rope along the shore ...

... my first ever visit to vinalhaven, it seems a very peaceful place ...

... we stopped on the way home to visit a favorite tree ...

... another wonderful wanderabout ...




May 26, 2014

PORTLAND STREET WANDERABOUT

... liz and i met up with adrien in portland for a movie day ... we shopped at goodwill for awhile, then went over to see "godzilla" ... after the show we went downtown portland to get some gelatto and other munchies ... i found an opening along the curb and dazzled the girls with my parallel parking skills ... (too bad i didn't have a 70 foot box trailer and a loading dock to show 'em my really fancy moves) ... meters were free on the holiday, so we strolled for awhile ... with john's comments about henri still in my ears, i let my eyes wander ...

... i found little mysteries ...

... stories waiting to be told ...

... casual encounters ...

... and, a man searching for meaning ...

... acting the paparazzi, i chanced across a little girl tapping her heels together, "there's no place like home—there's no place like home" ...

... with adrien and liz is always a most perfect day ...









May 25, 2014

TOMATOES

... this morning i went for a little wanderabout on my motorcycle ... i headed north, a thought being that i could cruise along the kennebec up towards canada, then cut over the height of the land to moose head lake ... i stopped in skowhegan for lunch, a most yummy turkey club served by a sweet waitress who was also a magician, since no matter how hard i tried to empty it she somehow managed to keep my cup filled with coffee ... investigating the landscape on my ipad mini (upon which for free i loaded the entire north american road atlas) i noticed a back road i'd never explored ... heading north, just before solon i turned left and headed back towards madison on the river road ... it turned out to be one of those meandering lanes* atop two wheels one wishes would never come to an ending ...

*most appropriate description, since much of the roadbed was put down upon sand-filled meanders formed at the end of the last ice-age when the kennebec was more like the modern-day mississippi ...

... almost to madison, i ran across the "backyard farms" greenhouse ...

... it's like one of those giant airplane factories built during world war 2 ... so huge that it's one of the principal reasons we spent all last summer in traffic queues while crews installed pipelines bringing natural gas to central maine ... looking at this structure, my opinion is that the use of the phrase "backyard farms" is a bit of vocabulary reassignment,  like the term facebook "friends" or the "surge" in afganistan ... (as a former "special" weapons technician,  having worked on devices which would yield millions of tons of explosive force, don't get me started on a homemade pipe bomb now being a "weapon of mass destruction") ...

... but, when all is said and done, for those living in maine the industrial hybrid genetic mutant fruits raised in this building are much better tasting than most of those shipped to us from the other side of the continent ...
... i was most impressed with the security measures protecting these tomatoes ... other'n single rather than double fences, it is very similar to that which surrounded the "q" areas within which were stored the "specials" upon which i tinkered ...

... hmmmm ...

"Feed me Seymour, feed me all night long.
That's right, boy!
You can do it!
Feed me, Seymour, feed me all night long.
Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
'Cause if you feed me, Seymour,
I can grow up big and strong!
CHARLES B. GRIFFITH

... "backyard farms" ... up along the river road in madison, maine, i wonder what might really be going on ...

... addendum:  upon close inspection, i wondered about a gimongous greenhouse filled with tomato plants being referred to as a "campus" ... i looked it up, discovering to my delight that the word "campus" in latin means "field" ... princeton college, just before the war for independence, was the first school to thus refer to its grounds ...

May 18, 2014

WANDERABOUTING

... a week of rain in the forecast, i hopped atop my motorcycle and headed out for a bit of wanderabouting ... after a stop in china at the most highly recommended green bean for a cup of coffee and some yummy cake, i headed off to visit the ocean ... 25-35 mph head and quartering winds all the way to belfast, i was exhausted by the time i parked down by the shipyards and took a little stroll out onto the old highway bridge that is now a pedestrian walkway ... nothing spectacular, but here's a tiny postcard view of the harbor ...

... heading home the wind had somehow managed to reverse itself, so as much as motorcycling i also had to do a bit of serious tacking as i crossed the heights between the coast and the interior ... i stopped to rest at "the mill at freedom falls" ...

... the walking bridge allows a dramatic perspective of the cascade ...

... it appears that the parking area is still being landscaped ...

... yesterday i drove out to visit with chuck ... boat's in the water, bella's atop her throne, proof positive that despite the cool weather, indeed, summer is here ...


... feeling a bit run down, today i decided to make a very slow walking wanderabout of my downtown ... a bit trite, perhaps, to label this photograph "spring," so i'll settle for "green" as its title ...


... the consignment store always displays neat things in its window on ticonic street ...


... of course, when i make this circuit i never fail to stop for a visit with my plastic lady friends in the abandoned coiffuriers on main street ...


... i shared my wandering across the two-penny bridge ...


... and found a story, untold ...


... i returned home as the rain arrived ...

... quiet night outside my window—ever so softly spring slowly surrendering to summer ...


May 13, 2014

OF MIKE & LENS & ERRANDS

... mike took me for an errand outing, of which one stop was for me to check out the venue where i'm doing another wedding in a few weeks ... driving away from that, the streak of grease on his windshield irritated him enough that he pulled into one of his favorite "smoke a cigar after work" spots ... while he was cleaning car i wandered over to the little dam below the road ...


... i wondered how long this broken off tree branch will defy the flow ...


... again on our way, a few miles down the winding back road  i yelled, "stop the car" ... i probably should've been a bit more descriptive of what i wanted, since mike left two nice black streaks when he jammed on the brakes and screeched to a halt in the middle of the lane ... no matter that, before the smoke was clear i was already out the door and performing my special "photography stealth walk" back towards the swamp alongside the road ...


... this was my first attempt at this sort of thing using my new nikon 18-200mm zoom ...


... i was very conscious of of the fact that the much appreciated sigma 100-300mm i just parted with provided much more magnification than the new lens ...


... looking at these pictures, each having had almost 1/2 of the original cropped out, observing the sharpness and contrast in the images, and reminding myself that in this situation if i hadn't made the lens change the sigma zoom would've been sitting on the shelf back in my apartment, i decided for once and forever that, indeed, mine was a good decision ...

... halfway through errands mike took me to the village tavern for lunch ...


... i like photographing his hands ... 


... tomorrow he and beth head to ohio while i'm to be on my way back to maine ... today we shared a nice little wanderabout  ...



IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT

"Warmed by the moon, of grass fresh cut a special sense of Spring carried softly
by the mid-night cool, cool breeze brought you to me."
—A.Brady

May 12, 2014

LONELY GIRL


"I never wanted to be Marilyn - it just happened.
Marilyn's like a veil I wear over Norma Jean."
—Marilyn Monroe

SATURDAY

... this saturday i photographed trish and jd's wedding ... for many reasons it was a most delightful day ...

 ... most important, i've know trish and her family for a long time ... they are nice people, and jd seems a perfect addition to the clan ...

... also, i went to the wedding "equipment light" ... i've always approached such events with two giant black bags filled with a great assortment of photographic gear ... regular flash, extra regular flash, big flashes, extra big flashes, huge battery packs for the big flashes, cords, extra cords—well, i'm sure you get the picture ... several months ago i decided to change my approach to wedding photography, a reflection of many things, including the changing relationship society has with photography ...

... for this wedding i took two cameras (one a backup), two flashes (one a backup), and two lenses (you got it, one a backup) ... that's it ... needless to say, although i normally begin a wedding with a healthy amount of nervousness, saturday i experienced some new variations of that feeling ...

... in addition, this was the first wedding for which i used the nikon d7000, and my very first gig with my brand-new 18-200mm zoom ... even with my brother taking me to the venue the day before for a bit of practice shooting, still i was biting my nails more than usual ...

... another reason making the day so great was that my brother gave my services to the bride as a wedding gift ... compensation for the help he gave me long ago when my life was doing a bit of rapid back flipping, it is to me as if he were about to scale a great rock face and he said, "would you belay me" ... such trust, it is a great honor ...

... finally, adding to all this, trish's wedding was, as we all like to hear the bruin's announcer screaming, a "hat trick" ... one family, three daughters, three weddings, three times i've been privileged to serve as the photographer ... i keep track of such things, this was my fifth triple ...

... anyhow, i'm having a nice time in rhode island ... not that my waistline needs it, but mike and beth seem to be running their very own five-star restaurant ... i've meet the nice couple for whom i'll be photographing their wedding in a few weeks ... i fixed the failed resistor on my motorcycle, so i'll have lights on the way home ... and my hay fever's beginning to act up a bit, which means, to paraphrase dr. king, "spring at last, spring at last, thank god almighty, spring at last" ...

 





... yes, for sure, saturday was an especially wonderful day ...