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 14, 2015

FOR "WINTERCRAFT," AND ALL OF YOU

[this post is dedicated to jennifer shea hedberg, who in ice captures light]

... deciding that the only thing left to do was to give spring a little help in arriving, john and i took a little wanderabout up to the wire bridge in north new portland ... in north anson we stopped to watch the river ...

... after avoiding the county sheriff's speed trap on route 16, we paused at the gilman pond dam to take pictures ... still impressive, it's difficult to realize that this was once a very tiny part of a huge water-powered mill complex ...

... a bit more warming and the spot from where i took this picture will be submerged beneath a cascading torrent of frigid water carrying millions of tons of broken shelf ice to the sea ...

... mid-march, the warmth of the late afternoon sun promises spring ...

... at the wire bridge i parked the car, grabbed my camera, then sprinted to record the wanderabout of others ...

... once sharp, spring is in the ice slab's softened edges ...

... winter's end is in the smallest of details ...

... i headed out across the frozen surface because, after all, if i can't ride my motorcycle i might as well do something fun ... i will admit, however, that the grinding and cracking noises were a bit disconcerting ...

 ... john snapped a picture of me crossing the river ... i can only imagine what he was muttering under his breath ...
BY JOHN MEADER

... as i moved from one section of raft ice to another, the ever-so-slight movement of the surface reminded me that it's no longer winter ...

... i was fascinated when i found my own footprints from my previous visit to the wire bridge ... so like the traces of australopithecus afarensis that mary leaky found in laetoli, even if they are destined to disappear in days as opposed to the 3,600,000 year longevity of those ancient impressions ... i like to think that before they melt away another on their own wanderabout will take notice of these tracks and perhaps wonder a bit about who left them  ...

... i'm pretty sure i saw a trout swimming around beneath the ice, but i knew better than to try to get closer to investigate ...

... the sunlight was strong enough to penetrate the thick blocks of ice ...

... massive ice rafts like this, each weighing many tons, were cast up along the shore when a mid-winter thaw brought the stream to brief high water ...

... before the rising temperature can melt this block of ice the spring waters will probably float it back into the stream where the huge boulders will break it up into smaller pieces ...

... i was mesmerized by this ice mountain ...

... here, recorded, a history of this winter ...

... as within me, and you, each and every of the atoms within this ice once swirled around in the heart of a star ... this, i believe, is of the most profound of thoughts ...

... such mystery ...

... did the ice capture, or was it that autumn welcomed the embrace ...

... i wished i was a tiny bird, for just a moment, so i could make quick flight through this frozen passage ...

... it is a photographer's burden, to attempt to capture the indescribable ...

... absorbing the warmth of the sun, a leaf creates a frozen cast in the ice ...

... very soon, for a brief interval before the advent of spring's high water, the entire stream will look like this ...

... a boulder, moved to this spot thousands of years ago by the meltwaters of the last ice age's demise—a suspension bridge, constructed across the stream even as much of the american landscape was still wet with the blood of patriots—an icon of romance ... all is in its place, all belongs ...

... "kaylee's rock," soon it will be alison and bella's place to sit and disappear ... this, i think, is what the wire bridge is for ...

... heading home along katie crotch road (honest), john yelled, "pull over" ... he'd noticed in the stream's dark waters the evening sun was painting an impressionist landscape ...

... john, falling into the place ...

... all that remains of a once mighty tree, soon to begin its journey to the sea ... "only the rocks live forever—only the rocks live forever" ...

... "tranquillity base here," too ...

... john, remembering his duty as a fellow photographer, made sure to snap a picture of me as i tried to avoid falling into the water ...
BY JOHN MEADER

... of this one, it's the first time i've ever really seen in a photograph what ma used to tell me, that she could see pa in my smile ...
BY JOHN MEADER

... pa would've liked this place ... he would've made a little campfire for us to huddle around while he told us a story ...

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say. 
WILLIAM STAFFORD