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.

July 19, 2015

MILKY WAY ABOVE THE FORILLON PENINSULA

... in terms of photography, it was the primary reason we had taken this trip ... it's why i "moved up" to the fuji x-t1 ... it's why i purchased a 12mm f/2 rokinon manual focus/aperture lens ... and, this evening, it's why we hiked almost two miles to stand upon the headlands of one of the most marvelous places on earth ... as we walked towards the lighthouse behind us the sun slowly set ...

... around 10pm night approached, late at this latitude ... at the time i didn't notice it in my viewfinder, but i captured john admiring the glow of the setting sun ... (okay, he might've been off near the trees for another reason, but i'm sticking with the admiring-the-scenic-beauty story) ...

... soon, the wonder of the milky arched above the lighthouse ...

... hundreds of millions of stars, where, i'm convinced, are others who also look up in awe and wonder ...

... before we left, i told john i'd like to chance a stroll down the dark trail descending  along the east side of the ridge, thinking i might get another nice shot of the milky way framing the lighthouse ... i couldn't find the perspective i wanted, but then i became intrigued by a shadow hovering over me ...

... as we walked back to the car, careful to avoid the many porcupines who also seemed to be enjoying the night, we stopped to snap a few more frames of the heavens contrasting with the porch lights of the homes across the bay ...

Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven,
If in your bright leaves we would read the fate
Of men and empires,--'tis to be forgiven,
That in our aspirations to be great,
Our destinies o'erleap their mortal state,
And claim a kindred with you; for ye are
A beauty and a mystery, and create
In us such love and reverence from afar,
That fortune, fame, power, life, have named themselves a star.
GEORGE GORDON BYRON

GASPE WANDERABOUT: RETURNING HOME

... leaving the town of gaspe, we decided to make a little "long-cut" around the northern shore of the great peninsula ... our first stop was a beach composed of millions of flat stones ... the texture and coloration of this fellow made it the odd rock out ...

... we met vince, who had just ridden his huge-wheel unicycle 1000 kilometers from his home in montreal ... he was a very nice young man, and we enjoyed learning about his quest to circumnavigate the maritimes on one wheel ...

... we bid vince adieu, still in awe of what he was attempting to do, especially considering that his bike's brake had failed and until he reached the post office where his friends were sending replacement parts he was having to slow the bike using only his legs ...

... he peddled off down the winding coast road, and, inspired, i decided that i felt good applying to him the adjective "heroic" ...
  

... we pulled off the road to explore the cap de la madeleine lighthouse ... 

... the winding stairs inside the narrow tower seemed a three-dimensional manifestation of a some odd function on a graphing calculator ...

... simply elegant ...

... the great fresnel lens, built in paris well over a hundred years ago, no longer warns mariners beware the perils of the rocky coast ... that function is now the task of a tiny little xenon bulbed apparatus ... still, over a century old, the functional beauty of the lens remains ...

... john called to me, "don't look at it, look through it" ... thank you, john, i think this is one of my favorite shots of the gaspe landscape ...

... we came over a sharp rise and before us was the beginning of the section of the coast road that is pretty much a line between the steep cliffs and ocean ...

... folded and refolded over the eons into a convoluted layering, the rocks along the coast tell many stories of earth's geographic story ...

... broken from the bedrock, each of these stones tells of thousands, perhaps millions, of years of the geologic saga ...

... standing on a high bluff, watching this tiny craft head out to the fishing banks, i was reminded that this beautiful land is the home of tough, hard-working people ...

... turning inland to cross through the interior, in mid-jury we were reminded that there are seasons in which this is a cold, brutal environment ...

... for john, it was a visit to the land where as a child he camped with his family, and as a young man he ran the cool, clear whitewaters of the rapid filled rivers ...

... little things, always they draw my eye ...

... as the great milky way, the huge bluffs populated with seabirds, the soft cascade of a waterfall, this, too, interesting to me ...

... of our little accident, the friendly people who with genuine concern so wonderfully cared for us, the restful night we spent recovering in a very fancy room at the hostellerie baie bleue carleton-sur-mer so generously provided us by annie bellanger, the friendly manner in which paul helleringer assisted us, all that i'll leave for face-to-face over coffee ... i came home not with my first thought of the milky way rising above the majestic peninsula, nor any of the other fantastic sites we visited, but of how gracious and hospitable are the people of the gaspe ...