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.

October 31, 2014

HERE AND THERE

... mike and beth were staying at their villa at evergreen valley in stoneham and i decided i'd give a try at a late season motorcycle ride up into the mountains ... it was a good ride up, even at 50°f with very gusty winds ... after a nice visit i headed back the next day ... in oxford i stopped at "daddy o's" to sample a turkey club sandwich and what ended up being at least a pot of coffee ...

... aaron ouellete, the owner, has been running daddy o's for seven years ... he is obviously quite proud of his business ... carol kimball, my waitress, was as friendly as she was efficient ... first impressions, i recommend this nice little diner ...

... on another day's wanderabout i stopped in at the old mill in mt. vernon to watch the sunset play out across the water pouring over the dam ... 

... on the roadside along the little catchment pond a few autumn leaves are autumn persistent ...

... still another little excursion, john invited me to help him close down his camp ... while he fiddled with pipes and the like i explored along the side of the hill overlooking the pond ...

... berries, so red as if somehow they'd collected all the color from the fading foliage ... 

... berries, so blue as to be hint of the chill soon to be upon us ...

... in the shed, things of the camp, including a rather ominous looking hook ...

... inside the camp, memory icons ...

... i asked john if i could help, but, canoeist that he is, his response was, "no, it's much easier to do by myself" ... a skill, i imagine, perfected through many a forest trail portage ...

... with her resurrected playstation perched on the back seat ("dad, you're a genius"), yesterday i met up with adrien in portland ... no movies that interested us, so we did a little wander down to the famous "main diner" in wells ... an excellent meal, included pancakes so big that one was a serving, then we cruised up route 9 to the rachael carson national wildlife refuge ... while the tide came in we walked the trails and enjoyed the crisp sea air ...

... from there we took a side trip to the peninsula on the south side of wells pool ... "lifestyles of the rich and famous" land ... in the olden days they clearly didn't want any of their prisoners to escape, adrien snapped a picture of me with the world's biggest ball and chain ...

... at the beach we collected pebbles for liz, skipped flat stones across the surface of the sea, and noticed how almost all of the houses were boarded up for the winter ...

today, john and chad and i explored along the banks of the kennebec river ...

... in gardiner we appreciated breakfast at the a1 diner ...

... on a back road just above merrymeeting bay i found this little gal lost in the leaves ...

... south of hallowell we stopped to marvel at the reflections in the river ...

"Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise
would have high tide always and a full moon every night."
HAL BORLAND

October 25, 2014

AUTUMN NEARS END

... in the middle of a rather wet nor'easter, with far too much rain falling to do door-to-door campaigning, robert cancelled our scheduled outing and invited me to lunch at the villager ... on the walk back to the bookstore i snapped these pictures with my little olympus ...

... it was fascinating how this unseasonal deluge seemed to encourage the green to burst forth, as if for only a few more days it had decided to hold back the first touch of winter's icy fingers ...

... a good reason for purchasing your impala in black ...

... only a few days ago it seemed these leaves had lost their vibrance ...


... returning home after many a summer wanderabout i welcomed their shade from the hot sun as i doffed my protective gear and covered my motorcycle ... 

... alone, holding still the sum of autumn's glory ...

"My sorrow, when she's here with me,
thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be;
she loves the bare, the withered tree;
she walks the sodden pasture lane."
ROBERT FROST

... this afternoon eric and i met up at the a1 diner in gardiner ... we enjoyed a nice lunch, during which he devoted a considerable amount of charming salespersonship encouraging me to consider a "new" motorcycle ... common in europe, relatively rare on this side of the pond, a honda nt700v ... a bit lower horsepower/weight ratio than my trusty bmws, result of being about 80 pounds heavier, but much better suited for long distance wandering ... built-in luggage, shaft drive, extendable windscreen, and a bit more wind fairing ... [sigh] ... yea, for sure a nice highway machine, but i know it wouldn't be as good on twisty back roads ... something to think about, especially since maine-oregon-maine is on for next summer ... !!! ... [any patrons can drop me a note ... anyone interested in purchasing a bmw f650c, too] ...

... after visiting the motorcycle shop we wandered back roads to mt. vernon, where we visited with carl and jane ... i snapped a "GQ" picture of eric with his two-wheeled rocket ...

... he reciprocated by taking a photograph of me and my german/italian pal ... [no, i've not chunked out ... is just my much appreciated electrically heated jacket beneath my topcoat, and the trousers're flannel lined] ...

... most likely i'm going to stick with this motorcycle until i wear it out ... its weight/horsepower ratio makes it very responsive, yet it's light enough for me to throw around on squirrelly back roads ... only one giant coffee-can cylinder, it's not as smooth as a twin, but i've grown to appreciate that with all it's foibles and idiosyncrasies it always seems willing to "take a lickin' and keep on tickin'" ... next spring, if the honda's still in the storehouse, we'll see how willing they are to deal ...

... [another sigh, a big one ... i wonder if it's permissible to attend an AA meeting, standing up to say, "i am a motorcycle rider ... it's been several hours since i've ridden a motorcycle"] ...

... after coffee and a nice visit with carl and jane we headed home, but not before i allowed a moment to enjoy autumn ...

"Within the trees in the lake,
I thought I saw my own image.
Mistaken about the reflection,
still they embraced me."
A.BRADY

October 18, 2014

BMW AUTUMN

... almost time to put my bmw to rest for the winter ... m'be a few days riding left ...


... then again, i rode it in the snow this spring, so perhaps i'll wait awhile ...

October 16, 2014

AUTUMN WANDERABOUT

... john and i had arranged to spend a morning wandering ... "where should we go" ... "hmmmmm, how about we just head up towards daggett rock in philips and then figure it out" ... as we neared the turnoff we decided to take a side trip up to smalls falls to make some pictures while the sun was still low in the east ...

... i couldn't really get my landscape eyes working properly ... happens this time of year, perhaps a symptom of what i call my "visual autism" ... so much color and detail, i become compelled to focus my vision upon a single leaf or rock or some other isolated element ...

... i worked my way down beneath the walking bridge and found an interesting perspective of the old dam below the lower pool ... so odd, to think that many years ago this isolated place was the home of some sort of agricultural or industrial mill ...

... a simple composition within which i became lost ...

... john set up on the rock where my little girls first learned to dive into a mountain stream ... of my most delightful memories is the music of them laughing as they tried to swim in the bubbling froth at the base of the lower falls ...

... i snapped another shot of john as we made the short uphill hike up to daggett rock ...

... i took several shots of the 8,000 ton glacial erratic ... none of them were anything i felt like sharing [which is a polite way of saying i took a lot of lousy pictures], so i thought i'd offer you this interesting late-1800's postcard of "cleft rock" ... 

... as i've said before, many years ago daggett rock was in one piece ... some rude new hampsherites came over and split it into three pieces so they could claim as being larger their boring "madison boulder" ... just another reason, as far as i'm concerned, for maine and vermont to divide that silly state up between us and be done with it ... john posted a picture of me zeroing in on a single leaf ...

... 15,000 years ago, after being ripped from the side of sugarloaf mountain 12 miles to the north, in the muddy deluge that was the melting of the mile-thick ice sheet which had covered this landscape, here this mighty bolder came to rest  ... minus perhaps 20-100 years for the first seeds to germinate and sprout, 15,000 times the autumn leaves have framed this huge chunk of crystal speckled granite with vibrant splashes of glowing yellow and red ... barring the sun exploding or a giant planetoid crashing into the earth [or, i suppose, wal-mart inc. deciding to take over even more of the planet], 15,000 years from now this cycle will still be taking place ...  

The leaves, Hermanito, believe the leaves!
They come in spring, 
Bask through the summer,
Show their glory in autumn
Die in winter

Yet the tree remains.

We are the leaves, Hermanito, believe it!
Renewed in spring,
Enjoying the summer,
Parading in fall,
Gone in winter.

But what of the tree?

Only the rocks, Hermanito,
Live forever.

And there are always rocks.
JAMES HALL

... on the hike out i became mesmerized by these leaves ... an interesting fact of physics/metaphisics, that within them exists the exact same amount of color as is displayed by the entire forest ... to take infinity and divide it, yet each and any subset you create will in itself be infinite ... whether or not g*d exists, if we look we will see ...

... deep in the woods, stone walls ... "what effort, by hand and horse, to move all these rocks," remarked john ... "someday," i asked, "do you think all of what we find so big and important and permanent, will it, too, be but lines overgrown in the forest" ...

... where at a right-angle walls intersected, john talked of two farmers meeting in a rocky field, before beginning the process of clearing the land finalizing with a handshake a line that would delineate their lives long after they themselves had returned to the soil ...

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments,
but what is woven into the lives of others.
PERICLES

... worlds within worlds within worlds ...

I found I could say things with color and shapes
that I couldn't say any other way — things I had no words for.
GEORGIA O'KEEFFE

... the forest, it speaks, ours is to listen—and hear ...

... wandering up the carrabassett valley john guided the car to ira mountain, where "a temple rises above kingfield" ... here, sitting within the "echo chamber,"  i think he is contemplating the purpose of this modern megalithic construction ... "hmmmm, pagan sacrifices ... worship of the northern star ... rituals to insure a successful harvest" ... me, of course, i was thinking of nubile native girls, clad only in body oil and very small leaves, offering themselves up to the mysterious strangers from afar who out of giant wooden houses floating upon the sea had suddenly stepped ashore in their land ... [sigh ... yea, i never was much for the standard textbook history] ...

... product of the overly imaginative musings of a nutcase with access to heavy moving equipment, or the result of some real estate developer's farsighted machevellian scheme, either way this is a most interesting place ...

... at the top of the mountain we looked out and appreciated ...

This world is but a canvas to our imagination.
HENRY DAVID THOREAU

October 11, 2014

CAMPAIGN TRAIL WANDERABOUT

 ... my friend, robert, is campaigning for re-election to the town council ... i always enjoy helping him with his political life ... this is the two-sided handbill i created ... [myself, i think it's one of the best i've ever come up with] ...

... not content to rest on the inertia of his incumbency, robert campaigns using an old-fashioned "door-to-door shaking hands and talking to people" style ... yesterday i served as his driver for the long trek down western avenue and some of the housing developments on the side roads ...

... while he "greets and meets" i sit in the car listening to wbz radio out of boston ... something catches my eye, i get out and take a picture ...

... robert'll walk a block or two, then i'll move the car to pick him up and we'll drive to the next section he's mapped out ...

... at one point at the end of bickford drive i found a patch of color i couldn't resist exploring ...



... we didn't approach these guys, figuring they're most likely non-residents ...

... i enjoy watching him talk to people ... beyond campaigning, he speaks with them as a public servant, asking their concerns, needs, and thoughts as to how he can better serve them ...

... i must point out that this picture is not really representative of their encounter ... in twenty other shots she was smiling, he was laughing, the two of them were having what appeared to be a most delightful conversation ... i just couldn't resist this particular photograph ...

... i think it will be good for the town if robert gets re-elected ...