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.

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

November 9, 2014

LAUNCHING OF THE ELEANOR JOYCE

We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic.
VAN MORRISON

... john's children, ben, forrest, and emily, are preparing for a 'round the continent sailing wanderabout (around the world, too, perhaps) ... saturday john and i drove down to bristol to share in the launching of their craft, the "eleanor joyce" ...

... arriving on the peninsula a bit early, we decided to make a visit to pemaquid point ... this two image merge was taken from a rocky perch that is one of the best places in the world to sit and, depending on your mood, either think or not think ... both work equally well in this spot ...


... we explored the famous reflecting pool ... the thin ice upon its surface is evidence of winter soon to be ...

... john snapped a picture of me ... sorry ma, but at least i wasn't wearing my sunday-go-to-church shoes ...

... it was a beautiful day, one john and i filled with a profoundly metaphysical and deeply philosophical conversation about the compositional injustice of the placement in front of the lighthouse of the little red building and the foghorn tower ... we both agreed, that for "pure" photography "what is, is" ...

... near the crowded harbor john thought best to investigate parking spots ... while he was doing so i walked over to talk with this interesting looking gentleman ...

... a trained naval engineer, dan thompson answered my questions about the wooden framework arching gracefully above his sailboat ...

... fascinating ...

... john showed up and dan told him a really cool story about the boat's masthead ... i was busy taking pictures, so i'll look forward to a retelling over lunch sometime ...

... coincidently, it turned out the framework was the same one john's son had used while his sailboat was being rebuilt ...

... at the boatyard last minute preparations were underway ...

... gram and friends enjoyed watching ...

... for john, thinking of his little girl soon to be sailing off across the deep blue sea, there was time made for a special moment ...

... soon, all the little last minute details attended to, the giant boat-lifter-upper thing's engine was cranked to full power and in obviously a well-practiced procedure the boat was transported down to the slip ... 

 ... considering maine's maritime history, it's quite likely that for over three-hundred years sailing vessels have been brought down to this little cove ... diesel engines, nylon rope, gps antennas aside, there are spirits in this place ... ghostly apparitions in the shadows, watching, waiting, chanting all the while, "now she comes alive ... now she comes alive" ...

... crew at the tiller, the gently rocking deck a sign the boat was finally dancing with the sea, a young man is now captain, in this moment transformed, forever changed ...

... "sailor" and "sailing" is synonymous with "tradition" ... gram did the honors ...


... tenderly, lovingly, as if a newborn baby, to say, "welcome .. there's so much i will teach you, so much you will teach me, so much we are to see and do and share" ...

... a young girl, her touch gentle ... "you are real ... you are alive ... now—now we are to become the very best of friends" ...

... a father and son, one who has already climbed, one who will, both, for a moment, together ascending the mast ...

... three will sail, all will be a part of their journey ...

 ... charted or uncharted, no matter their course, wherever they sail this crew of brother and brother and sister will have with them a fourth mate ...

“My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.” 
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW


... friends, old and new, you can view all the pictures of the launching of the eleanor joyce by going to ...
... which has a nice slide show that works on tablet devices ...
... or ...
... where you can print pictures ...

November 7, 2014

GOODNIGHT, FRIEND, SLEEP WELL

... okay, perhaps a tiny bit silly ... after i shrouded it in its weather cover roger captured a private moment as i finished up winterizing my motorcycle ...

... from us, just a bit of riders' humor ...

... was it a thousand years ago, or just yesterday, night after night after night i would so joy in putting my two little babies to bed ... the motorcycle, of course, is simply being stored while the weather and roads aren't all that conducive to riding ... i like my motorcycle, it's a wonderful machine, a great tool, but is highly unlikely that in the middle of the night i'll be sneaking into the garage to curl silently in a rocking chair just to watch it sleep ...

November 6, 2014

WINTER'S GOODBYE TO AUTUMN

... memory fresh with late afternoon pond swims and strolling softly the night in a balmy september breeze, this is the time of year that on an dreary early winter day it becomes seductively easy to sit inside, huddled near a radiator reminiscing of summer past and dreaming of another yet to be ... still, there are those who simply survive this region's winter while others strive to live fully the new england year ... perhaps a reason, for sure sometimes an excuse, but there are times photography serves no other purpose than to get me out of the apartment ... today john and i went for a little wanderabout ... i steered the car, he navigated, i've no idea where we were other than a vague impression that we somehow circled around the quimby farm in albion ... truth is, where we were, or, for that matter, are, is of the least important of things ...

... one of the thousands of maine's little roadside waterfalls ... no signs pointing the way, nor any hotels for the tourists ... still, in it's scale, as magnificent as the more famous cataract in buffalo, new york ... (and, for sure, much, much easier to find a parking spot) ...

... a tree, freshly fallen ... for a second or two i cursed at a scene ruined ... then i reminded myself that that everything in front of me—rocks, water, soggy leaves, bubbling patch of river froth, even the tree stretched across the brook—each and all were equally a part of the environment ... for me to censor any of it brought the risk of artistic arrogance, and that's something i at least try to avoid ...

 ... protected from the wind, there's a good chance these leaves will remain until the new growth in the spring pushes them aside ... then, and only then, when the days grow longer and the cold gives up to warmth, will they pass back to the earth, having served me well when my own memory faltered ...

... i approached this woodpile, interested in its form ...

... but when i got close i discovered it to be home to some sort of fungi ...

... i asked john if we thought we could eat them ... "nah, i'm not about to take a bite of any mushroom unless some really, really old person tells me they've been eating it all their life" ... good advice, but—well, if i did eat such things this would be one i think i'd like ... 

... john, searching for eagles nesting along a tiny tributary of the sebasticook ...

... if you've gotten this far in this journal entry, take my hint:  go out, make a little walkabout ... celebrate that you've feet and eyes and mind with which to appreciate all that is ...

November 5, 2014

AN AROUND TOWN WANDERABOUT

... motorcycle's over in roger's garage, waiting for me to finalize the winterization process, so this afternoon i decided to take a little walking wanderabout around town ... most of the recent snowfall has melted, but enough remained for me to serve john's recent inspiration ...

... heading out i observed a little main street vignette ... the new indian restaurant, i think he was inspecting the marquee sign ...

... flowers outside the mainely brews tavern*, still a bit of summer's glory ...

*THANK YOU, ELLEN, FOR UPDATING MY TAVERN KNOWLEDGE BASE

... slowly, ever so slowly, returning to their source ...

... they've a name, both latin and common, i'm sure, but to me they're little aliens scouting earth for their soon-to-be-arriving larger relatives ...

... autumn, new england ...

... in the simplest of things, if not beauty, intrigue ...

... wondering if my west indian relatives will get it, a bit of seasonal humor ...

... red, defined ... a lipstick color i can appreciate ...

... i don't know why, but this image makes me feel happy ...

... in a pleasant street garden, i'll have to check with my sister-in-law, but i think this is something edible ...

... whatever they are, they're pretty ...

... almost back to my apartment ... in another time, people thought important the clouds above them ... now, thinking how rare to find a ceiling other than painted white sheet rock, i appreciate that value ...

... miss my motorcycle, of course, but i'm so glad i've feet ...