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.

April 28, 2015

TWO PHOTOGRAPHS

... those who know me well are aware that i don't care much for labeling my photographs ... i was reminded of this little personality quirk as i set up my fine art america portfolio, since work cannot be posted on that site unless it is titled ...

... with a little practice, though, i suppose—nah, who am i kidding, like cataloging my images, or keeping my rather eclectic collection of pots and pans properly stored, i'll probably never excel at filling in the blanks on the little brass plaques ... i suppose it can't hurt to try, however, if only that you and i share a bit of amusement ...

 ESCAPE
NEWPORT, MAINE


 WAITING
WATERVILLE, MAINE

... i like both of these images very much, although of the second i'm still trying to determine why ... your thoughts, i'd appreciate ...

April 24, 2015

SHARE A LITTLE WALKABOUT WITH ME

... my apartment front door opens onto the main street of a downtown for which many who govern believe the solution to empty storefronts and old buildings in need of repair and renovation is to pour money and energy into new development far from the center of the city ... typical, sad, and, in my opinion, clearly a myopic response that is not in the best interest of the city's long term health ...

... but enough of that ...

... having decided i'm not about to even consider running for office, i know i shouldn't complain, so, the next best thing, i go for a walk to enjoy the sights and sounds of my rather extensive front yard ...

... at "mainely brews" i fell into an classic 1930s mood ...

... "street abstraction," i guess that's the best description ...

... from main street i wandered through the little alley next to the old tonge building and made my way down to the banks of the kennebec river ...

... finally, spring begins to escape winter's confinement ...

... as always, i paused to admire the mathematically sublime essence of the two-cent bridge ...

... after crossing the bridge, i took a few moments to isolate two of my favorite trees, which are located in the little park next to the winslow fire station ...

... from the railroad tracks is a most fascinating perspective of this tiny knoll ...

... knowing that soon the underbrush will be so thick that it will be a much more difficult task, i worked my way down to the steep river bank ...

... only a few paces and the old log became a stranded river monster ...

... jutting through the layer of decaying leaves, a small section of the hundred-million year-old ledge that is the reason the ticonic falls exist ...

... now high from the spring run-off, soon the width of the river will be less than one-third this ...

... clearly it is not a casual walk along the river's edge ...

... a one-inch steel rope, perhaps a vestige of one of the industries that once existed alongside the kennebec river, it slowly rusts away back to the earth ...

... a plastic bottle, silently disappearing into the strata ... i laugh when i hear talk of how "plastic bottles will last forever" ... these rocks, hundreds of millions years old, formed from ocean bottom submerged so deep into the earth that soft silt was baked and formed into hard slate, they, too, are humored at the idea of "forever" ...

... soon, this tree will become soil as that from which it sprouted ...

... carefully, ever so carefully, i climbed down to the huge concrete abutment that i believe is a part of the dam ... i made sure to constantly remind myself, "fall in this, patrick, and you'll end up washing ashore somewhere in merrymeeting bay" ...

... as i crossed the memorial bridge, a sign for a store that no longer exists on the side of a building where once were sewn shirts for a most discriminating class ... awaiting development, right now the old structure is a place for the pigeons to congregate ...

... so difficult to believe, but ever so slowly these one-inch iron rods are surrendering to the creeping vines ...

... along the side of the road, a reminder that in all our lives are seasons within seasons within seasons ...

... as if to say, "you can celebrate my passing, i'll be naught but amused at your folly" ...

... ever so tiny, spring begins ...

... i hope you enjoyed our little stroll, thanks for joining me ...

April 23, 2015

HIGH WATER - ANOTHER APRIL

... with the spring runoff from all the melting snow and ice, here's this year's high water on the kennebec river ...

... and, here's another april, another high water on the river ...

... i remember  that we'd just gotten the kids into the building when the p.a. announced, "we're returning the students to their homerooms to await the buses" ... from that moment in the morning until the early evening the waters of the kennebec rose over twenty-eight feet ... this was down along the banks of the river in fairfield ...

... the parking lot behind main street in fairfield went under early in the afternoon ...

... a crowd gathered to see what was going to happen to the bridge to benton ...

... everyone wondered if the structure would survive ...

... as the debris accumulated against the steel beams there was great concern that it would act to dam up the flow of the river, thus increasing greatly the already tremendous stress to which the bridge was being subjected ...

... later, with alarm almost to the level of panic, the police and firefighters evacuated everyone from the center of town ... it turned out that a huge house-sized propane storage tank had been washed into the river upstream of the town, and it was thought that if it hung up on the bridge and ruptured the explosion would cause catastrophic damage to the entire downtown ...

... while the flood water splashed up through the bridge's deck grating, off to the side several engineers were measuring the deflection of the structure with a strain gauge ... when i asked what they were doing, one replied, "see how that needle is pulsing into the red ... if it stays still for even a second we'll have to condemn the bridge" ...

... things got worse along the banks of the river ... to be honest, i'm almost glad i didn't get any pictures of what happened to the trailer park ...

... the flood waters reached up to the railroad trestle bridge in fairfield ...

... in the afternoon the water began to crest at the ticonic falls in waterville ...

... out on the bridge abutment through my shoes i could feel the power of the river as it vibrated the concrete and stone supports ...

... the water rose rapidly, i'm pretty sure this couple crossed back using the memorial bridge ...

... a great mist enveloped the river valley ...

... on my last walk out onto the two-cent bridge i found it difficult to keep my balance ...

... great creaking and groaning sounds emanated from the structure ...

... looking across to the the old scott paper mill, i was reminded of a long night spent crossing the north sea in a winter gale ...

... the support for the toll-taker's shack went under ...

... finally, as darkness descended the waters began to lap against the underside of the two-cent bridge's wood plank walkway ...

... at the mercy of the deluge, it looked as if the old bridge had met its end ...

... but, it survived, and, once again, spring is here ...

... finally, spring is here ...


April 19, 2015

HOUSESITTING IN N.H.

... i drove over to new hampshire to watch rufus and winston while sarah and gordy made a little wanderabout down to visit jon in ohio ... along the way over i took a little break to check out sebago lake ... 

... april 17th, rather late for ice-out ...

... this couple had parked to watch the sunset ... joanna and dennis, their smiling faces a clue they've been doing this for a long, long time ... dennis and i talked about cameras, including a pleasant reminiscence of the time in the early-70s in japan when he purchased a classic minolta sr-t101 ... this was the camera that was first to bring open-aperature ttl light metering to "non-professional" cameras, and was also the first camera to have what is now called "matrix" metering ... hard to believe, but at that point in time even nikon was playing catch-up ...

... the first morning at sarah and gordy's, trying to sleep in and enjoy a bit more the new memory-foam sofa bed, i found that winston has adopted the role of alarm clock ... no bell, just copious  non-stop licking ...

... i drove sarah over to her new office ... it's going to be a great place for her to work, but with frontage on the ossipee river i think family and friends are also going enjoy the location for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding ...

... saturday i took a drive up to conway to visit whitehorse gear and to pick up fixin's for supper ... on the ride up i stopped to admire the view of mount washington ... this much snow, i'm sure the crazy-crazies will be skiing tuckerman ravine well into june ...

... heading back to freedom, i watched the spring weather disappear ...