Wednesday, December 20, 2017

FAMILY FALL TRIP TO MAINE

 SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21ST

My family decided last year that we should come together to visit Maine, and Acadia National Park this year. We timed it to follow my photography trip to Maine. This was to be an enjoyable time to visit, hike, and travel back to some of our old stomping grounds. George and I had met and married in Castine, Maine.
We had all arrived the evening before, so this morning we were off to Bar Harbor for five days. We had breakfast at Guidi’s in Westbrook before heading North to Bar Harbor.

Our next stop was Camden, Maine, for a visit to Camden Hills State Park. When standing on top of Mt. Battie one gets a wonderful view of Penobscot Bay and the fall colors this time of year.

A VIEW OF PENOBSCOT BAY


CAMDEN HARBOR
FALL ATOP MT. BATTIE
 The family had not seen the Penobscot Narrows Bridge which we also stopped to view. This bridge replaced the Waldo-Hancock Bridge which had done wonderful service for many years. It had been discovered in 2003 that the cables were badly corroded and it was urgent to build a new bridge. This bridge is only one of three similar bridges in the United States ( (the others being Zakim Bridge in Boston, Massachusetts, and Veterans Glass City Bridge in Toledo, Ohio.
 It has a observatory atop of one of the towers, and is the highest bridge observatory in the world.

PENOBSCOT NARROWS BRIDGE

THE NEW AND THE OLD

THE NEW AND OLD FROM BUCKSPORT, ME

Our next stop was in Castine, Maine which is where George and I met. We have many fond memories of this town. I called the town home from 1956 to 1963 when I went off to teach in Stamford, Connecticut. We did a “drive by” of the Maine Maritime Academy, The Manor, Dyce’s Head Lighthouse,

DYCE'S HEAD LIGHT

LOOKING OUT TO SEA

Trinity Chapel,

 “The Berth on the Bagaduce", my late parent's home, and the Cemetery. 

At Dyce’s Head Lighthouse we walked down to the shore below the light and an ocean view.
BELOW DYCE'S HEAD LIGHT
 
DYCE'S HEAD LIGHT

At Trinity Chapel we re-enacted our departure from the Chapel after our wedding. 
52 YEARS, AND GOING STRONG

JUST AS HAPPY 52 YEARS LATER

At the “Berth of the Bagaduce” we met the current owner and learned that after my parents passed away, it was sold and eventually gutted and rebuilt as a two story home built on the original foundation.

We then visited the Castine Cemetery where my parents had been buried. We spent some time cleaning off the gravestones and decided to return with brushes to do a more thorough job on our return to Portland.

Our final stop in Castine was downtown at The Compass Rose, a small independent bookstore and café. Here we bought a book on Castine written by a long time resident that George used to work with, and I had known  at Maine Maritime Academy. There were a couple of other souvenir purchases here.

We finally made it to Bar Harbor and settled into the Belle Isle Motel. Our stomachs were soon crying for some dinner which we found at Helen’s back in Ellsworth. Lobster rolls were on the menu.

ENJOYING A GOOD LAUGH
THE JOKE MEISTER

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22ND




This was the beginning of the family fun at Acadia National Park. We fueled up with a hearty breakfast at 2 CATS before heading for Jordan Pond and a wonderful hike around the Pond. The trail is 3.2 miles in length and is quite close to the shore of the Pond. The trail gets more difficult as one turns South along the West side of the  Pond as you scramble over some boulders, and then have to watch your footing among the fir roots that one has to negotiate. Then there is an extensive part of the trail along “bog walks” which are long boards elevated over a boggy area  used to protect the fragile plant life due to the wet terrain. After the hike we enjoyed our lunch on the shore of the pond near where we had started.

LOOKING ACROSS JORDAN POND

LUNCH STOP VIEW TOWARD THE BUBBLES
Afterwards we did some grocery shopping and visited the Park Visitor Center. As I knew of a place to get fresh lobster at a nearby roadside location (See previous Blog) we were off to get  the  treat of whole lobster dinners. Regrettably this was their last day of the season, and by the time we got there they were out of whole lobster!! We settled on generously packed lobster rolls for all. The girls and Justin had two each! This finished off the inventory. We practically closed the establishment down. For desert we ordered a whole blueberry pie to be consumed back at our Motel. Yumm!!

The Motel had a tradition of having an outdoor fire in the evening for our pleasure. We enjoyed the fellowship here as we shared the day's experiences with other guests.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

FALL ON THE MAINE COAST - PORTLAND TO BAR HARBOR llI


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19TH
BIRCH TRUNKS AND BLUEBERRY BUSHES

 A “ho-hum” morning for sunrise so we started a little later with breakfast once again at 2 Cats.  Afterwards we were off with cameras, and exploring new artistic techniques for different effects. This morning it was panning with multiple exposures as you move the camera through a progression. We took a series of 8 multiple exposures while moving the camera from ground level to sky.
AN ARTISTIC TOUCH
This is done, hand held! It is important to hold the camera steady as you are shooting. This takes lots of practice and trials. Do believe it is an interesting effect but I need lots more practice.
 
A PAINTERLY EFFECT

We then went back to Otter Point for long slow shutter speeds to eliminate the surf  and smooth out the water. This requires a tripod, and about a 10 stop Neutral Density Filter so you can slow the shutter speed to about 2 minutes or longer. This I had done before and liked some of the results. Here is an example from this trip>>>>
A FOGGY LOOK

SHORE IN FOG
 A number of us were determined to dine on whole Maine lobster. We finally found a place where we could have the lobster cooked, and then take it back to our house. (Eating a lobster in a restaurant is really not as much fun as at home  where you can be as diligent as you wish in getting all of the meat.) We really enjoyed the meal, but had to be quick with it as we needed to get to Bass Harbor Lighthouse for sunset!!
ROADSIDE ADVERTISEMENT


GOOD PLACE TO GET FRESH LOBSTER

We made it to Bass Head Lighthouse, along with lots of other people. I opted to scramble very carefully and slowly down to the shore on the East side of the lighthouse. My vantage point was O.K, but I had to fire over a Barbed wire fence, and I was not tall enough to eliminate the wire. I got some nice shots, but it was trying. The accompanying photo has been greatly cropped to eliminate the wire.
BASS HEAD LIGHTHOUSE

 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20TH

This morning saw us atop of  Cadillac Mountain for sunrise. As we looked out to sea, the sky responded with some nice color in the clouds. 
SUNRISE FROM MT. CADILLAC
The early light on the fall colors as they cascaded down the mountain was beautiful. 
FALL COLOR FALLING TO THE SEA
Soon it was time to be on our way back to Portland. After gathering our gear, and stuffing the cars, we headed for Ellsworth for breakfast at Martha’s Diner. It was located on the periphery of a small mall, but the food was very good and the service was quite timely.

Our drive South went smoothly with another stop at Camden Hills State Park. We did not spend a lot of time here, but it was good to give the area another look. 
MT. BATTIE COLOR
COLORFUL CAMDEN HILLS
GREEN AND RED
 
GOLD CASCADE


We had kept our eyes out for a church steeple framed with Fall Color and eventually found one in Wiscasset, Maine, one of the coast’s more beautiful towns.
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

Once back in Portland we went off to Portland Head Light for sunset.
PORTLAND HEAD LIGHT & EARTH SHAD0W
We again had a sunny, clear afternoon, but that did not discourage us. The lighthouse was a beacon in the setting sun. As we did not want to delay dinner because of a long wait of at least 90 minutes at one of the better seafood restaurants in Portland, we returned to Westbrook where our Motel was, and had dinner at RubyTuesday.  They did good by us. It was not as chaotic as we would have found in Portland on a Friday evening. Back at the Motel it was decided to forego tomorrow’s sunrise shoot, and get an early start on out return trips home.

My family joined me this evening and tomorrow we will be headed back up the coast as a family to visit to Castine, where George and I met and were married. Then it was onto Acadia National Park. We had enjoyed our family time in Yosemite two years ago, and thought we would do something similar at a different Park.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

FALL ON THE MAINE COAST - PORTLAND TO BAR HARBOR ll


MONDAY, OCOTBER 16TH


SUNRISE, FROM MARSHALL POINT

We returned to Marshall Point Light for sunrise this morning. It was difficult to place the lighthouse in a picture with the colorful sunrise. 
 
SUNRISE BETWEEN HORIZON AND CLOUDS
 I guess if I was a Photoshop artist I could combine the lighthouse with the sunrise in the background, but that is not “my cup of tea”. It was still a beautiful sunrise, and pleasant time to be outside.
 
MARSHALL POINT LIGHTHOUSE

Back in Rockland we packed our gear and had another breakfast at the Home Kitchen Café. This time I enjoyed crab benedict! Then we were off to Bar Harbor. It is about a two hour drive without stops, but photographers are easily distracted by beautiful scenery and subject matter. One of our stops was at the Penobscot Narrows Bridge Overlook. 
PENOBSCOT NARROWS BRIDGE

This is a lovely bridge which is quite modern in design and replaces the old and decayed Waldo-Hancock Bridge which had been opened in 1931. In 2003 it was discovered that the cables were badly corroded and it was urgent that the bridge be replaced. This new bridge has an observatory at the top of its left tower and it is the highest bridge observatory in the world at 420 feet. The first time I saw this bridge it was right next to the Old Waldo-Hancock Bridge, when I traveled to Maine in 2011.
 
NKV AND BRIDGE

ROADSIDE VIEW OF NARROWS BRIDGE WITH OLD WALDO- HANCOCK BRIDGE TO THE RIGHT

NARROWS BRIDGE FROM BUCKSPORT w. FORT KNOX TO THE RIGHT

We continued along Maine Rte. 1 to Ellsworth. We were stopped a couple of times because of the beautiful fall color, and a couple of photogenic barns. 
 
A CASCADE OF GOLD



 
CAPTURING THE COLOR
In Ellsworth we headed South to Mt. Desert Island, and Acadia National Park. 
 
HORSE BARN AND HOME

TYPICAL MAINE FARM HOUSE WITH ATTACHED BARN

We stayed in a vacation home that accommodated all of us! I had my own room, but shared one of the four bathrooms. There really was not an issue with this.

This evening we joined many others atop Cadillac Mountain for sunset. We were rewarded with a lovely sky and sunset. 
LOOKING DOWN CADILLAC MOUNTAIN TO THE OCEAN

CADILLAC MOUNTAIN VIEW

SUNSET OVER FRENCHMAN'S BAY

Back in town I enjoyed another lobster roll for dinner at Geddy’s.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17TH

ONE OF THE BUBBLES, JORDAN POND

This morning we visited Jordan Pond. This pond has many  photographic locations. We went to it first thing in the morning. 
MAPLE COLORS

I went wandering off along the shoreline trail thinking that a couple of others were ahead of me, and that I would be scooped up on their return to our starting point. 

FALL COLOR REFLECTION
Well, they took the high road while I took the low! I never saw them until about two hours later when I returned to the parking lot. 
ALONG THE SHORE

Evidently they thought I was lost and were about to send out the Saint Bernards. I was never lost, and had a great time wandering the shore trail and taking pictures. 

AUTUMN ROCK GARDEN
After a late breakfast at 2 Cats Restaurant, we took a break back at our abode, and I got good half hour nap. In the afternoon we visited the Visitor Center to pick up maps and passes. We were then off to the Otter Cliffs area for more colorful trees.
BIRCH AND MORE


The sky was clear for sunset so it was quick with the only color coming from the effects of the Earth’s Shadow along the Eastern horizon.
LOOKING EAST AT THE EARTH SHADOW
Dinner tonight was at The Jack Russell Restaurant where I enjoyed Fish and Chips. Once again I enjoyed the bounty from the sea that one finds along the coast of Maine.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18TH

This morning we returned to Otter cliffs for sunrise light reflected off the shoreline cliffs. We were not the only ones enjoying the moment though there was a fairly thick layer of clouds along the horizon. 
 
LOOKING EAST

There was nice reflected light on the cliffs. 
MORNING LIGHT ON OTTER CLIFFS

We then drove to Northeast Harbor looking for breakfast. We stopped at the very picturesque Asticou Azalea Garden which was planted in 1956-57. 
 
ASTICOU GARDEN


BIRD FIGURE

As you can see it is beautifully designed and a very peaceful setting. Regrettably most of the eateries in Northeast Harbor 
COFFEE BREAK

had closed for the season, so we went back to Bar Harbor for another breakfast at The 2 Cats.

We drove through the village of Somesville, the oldest settlement of Mt. Desert Island. We stopped to photograph the Somesville Bridge, one of the most recognized and photographed man made structures on Mount Desert Island. It is the arched wooden foot bridge in Somesville that sits next to the historic Selectmen’s Building, and stayed a while to play with multiple exposures at different settings. This technique needs more practice on my part so no examples at this time. As you can see this was a very picturesque location.
SOMESVILLE BRIDGE


A SOMESVILLE  HOME
We then headed for Schoodic Point for sunset. This involved over a 40 mile drive to get there, yet it is really only 4 miles across Frenchman’s Bay from Bar Harbor. J We first visited the small fishing village of Corea with its small harbor filled with lobster boats. 

LOBSTERMAN'S GEAR

COREA HARBOR

We drove on to Schoodic Point, where sunrise first occurs on the continental United States. The coastline is rugged and filled with many large boulders, and rock outcroppings. While here I got a refresher course in using the Graduated Neutral Density
Filter. This filter helps create an image with more detail in shadows, and tones down the highlights.
SCHOODIC POINT SHORE
DAY'S END I

DAY'S END II
On our way back to Bar Harbor, our smart phone users found a great place get pizza to go. We picked it up in Ellsworth and then enjoyed it back at our house about a half hour later.