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.

June 23, 2015

AURORA BOREALIS ADDENDUM

... faithful to the photographers' credo, john took time to snap a picture of me ...

... by the way, don't be misled by the capability of modern technology ... when these images were taken it was completely dark to the unaided eye at ground level, we had to use flashlights to see to set our cameras ... 

... okay, yes, if the thought came to you you're absolutely correct ... "snap a picture" is a bit of a misstatement ... we both very carefully set up our tripods, then i held perfectly still during the 30-seconds his camera's shutter was open ... not exactly a candid, eh ... give me some credit, however, for remaining motionless during the exposure even when a ginormous mosquito landed on my cheek, with his needlelike organic syringe pieced a major blood vessel, then proceeded to suck about a quart of blood out of my face ... to tell the truth, i'm still a bit woozy, but, nevertheless, john got the shot ...

It is your trump
It is your hateful little trump
You pointed fiend,
Which shakes my sudden blood to hatred of you:
It is your small, high, hateful bugle in my ear.
D.H.LAWRENCE

AURORA BOREALIS

... a bit of a hectic start to my day when robert called, "my alternator light is on and i smell something burning" ... i followed him out to our mechanic's, "mickey's wrench" on the norridgewock road, then gave him a ride back to town ... after that i scooted over to roger's to change the oil on my motorcycle, after which he and i headed out on another of his "all the towns in maine" wanderabouts ...

... in norridgewock i snapped a fun picture of "roger york" in front of the little convenience store on main street ...

... after taking the picture i suddenly realized that in all the busyness of my morning i'd neglected to eat, so i went inside and bought a cold tea and a humongous ice cream sandwich ... roger snapped a shot of me on my lunch break ...

... next to the bench was a huge bush covered with little yellow blossoms 

... we stopped in madison to take a picture at the library ... the veterans memorial next to the building was covered with names ... curious, i went inside to find out if the stones listed everyone who had served during the war, or only those who had been stationed "in country" ... the nice librarians, jane and julie, told me they didn't know, but that "i could check with the v.f.w. who maintained the monuments" ...

... later in the evening, just after i'd finished a nice supper of left-over curried chicken and a baked sweet potato stuffed with butter and brown sugar, john called, "reports're saying that there's going to be a good aurora just after dark, want to go take some pictures" ... he picked me up and we headed north to the little pond on the backside of the hinkley school campus ...

... after the sun was down i played around taking pictures of scene illuminated by the setting moon ... these pictures were 30-second exposures taken using my wide-zoom set for 10mm ...

... it seemed as if the clouds were going to prevent us from seeing the aurora, but after awhile the northern sky cleared and we began to discern colorful striations in the sky ... even with the light pollution from the sappi paper mill and the town of skowhegan i managed to snap a picture of the lights ...

... john used his little penlight to "light paint" the road ...

... as a heavy ground mist began to settle on us, and the mosquitos suddenly became very, very hungry, i made one more exposure of the sky ... it was only when i brought the images into photoshop that i realized i'd captured john's camera in the frame ...

Oh, it was wild and weird and wan, and ever in camp o' nights
We would watch and watch the silver dance of the mystic Northern Lights.
And soft they danced from the Polar sky and swept in primrose haze;
And swift they pranced with their silver feet,
and pierced with a blinding blaze.
They danced a cotillion in the sky; they were rose and silver shod;
It was not good for the eyes of man -- 'Twas a sight for the eyes of God.
ROBERT SERVICE