Another celebration of autumn in Southern Maine. The ledges on the Batson River at Emmon’s Preserve in Kennebunkport. The low flow of water has the leaves to contend with as well as gravity. iPhone SE with the Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens. Apple Camera app with Smart HDR. Processed in Apple Photos.
This is one of the upper pools on the Batson River at Emmon’s Preserve in Kennebunkport, Maine, USA. Nothing spectacular but an interesting place for a panorama with the fall foliage. iPhone SE with the Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens, held in portrait position and swept from left to right through only a portion of its 360 degree reach. Smart HDR was on in the Apple Camera app, but I have no idea if it works with sweep panorama. Processed in Apple Photos.
The other thing, besides yesterday’s Mallards, that I found on my hike into Wonderbrook, was this swirly ice on the stream. To be fair I am always looking for swirly ice in the winter, as I find the patterns that ice forms while freezing fascinating. I can’t quite figure out the physics of it…no, that’s not right…I am no where near figuring out the physics of it. 🙂 The beauty only has to seen. We can appreciate what we can not fathom…and often do. Sony Rx10iv at 227mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. (Just because I was too lazy to switch to another mode.) Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 1600 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
“If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light!” Jesus
I could see from my yard that drama was building in the sky to the west, and would sweep over us in the next rew hours, so I packed my cameras and headed out to catch some of it. We live a forested landscape…so much so that there are few places with a broad horizon…at least to the west. To the east, of course, we have the sea, and as broad a horizon as anyone could want, but weather systems move over us from the west, and the best you can do on the east is catch the storm going away. Still, the beach, and the marshes behind the dunes, do provide enough sky so that is the first place I headed in search of photos of the coming storms.
This is a sweep panorama of the western sky and the marsh from just behind the dunes. The clouds high in the sky are just the harbingers…the real storms are still down on the horizon just above the trees. I drove further inland, to the Kennebunk Plains, to catch those. Still, the sweep of the creek, the line of the road on the right, the trees on the horizon, and the balance of the sky make for a beauty worth seeing…and worth sharing.
I think our love of moving water and stormy skies comes from somewhere very deep within us. I think we see the power of our God, and the beauty, in such a landscape. God speaks presence and present action. “I am here and I am working. See what I make. See my making.” Or at least that is what the generous eye sees and hears.
It took the storms on the horizon about 90 minutes to reach the coast. Heavy rain, high winds, and thunder. I was out on the Plains when the weather and the drama reached there. Beauty runs ahead of the storm. Beauty runs in the storm, and beauty comes after. God is all in all.
I went looking for the sunset last night…both because I like sunsets, and because I have a new camera to try out. Sunset is always a reminder, in the summer, that we live in the NORTH: 8:24PM. It was worth it though. I found a fisherman on Back Creek, behind the dunes at our local beach. Back Creek is one of the few places where you can get the sun reflected in the water along our section of east facing coast. Add a little in-camera HDR, and some processing in Lightroom, and here you have it. Fisherman in the Sunset.
Sony HX90V at 81mm equivalent field of view. In-camera HDR. Nominal exposure: 1/25th @ ISO 80 @ f5.
It is just about Ebony Jewelwings time of year again. After my encounter with the River Jewelwings a few weeks ago (here), I went back to the rapids on the Batson River on Saturday to check for early Ebonys, and there were indeed a number of males dancing over the rapids and pools. All Ebonys, no River…which is, I think, an interesting thing to note. And I found no females, either near the river in the forest, or in the meadows. Maybe next week. There is, of course, nothing like the iridescent blue/green of the Ebony Jewelwing’s body…sometimes bright blue and sometimes bright green, depending on the angle of the light.
The center image is from the Sony HX90V and the surrounding images are from the Nikon P900. All are processed in Lightroom and assembled in Coolage. Coolage is such a great program for this kind of panel!
As the dawn sweeps over the globe today, Christians are gathering on mountain tops, hilltops, roofs of buildings, and beaches to witness the sunrise. It is Easter Sunday for most Christians, and the sunrise this day symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ two thousand years ago, and celebrates his ongoing life through the spirit in each of us. And whatever you think of Christianity, the promise of new life, of being better at loving and giving and living, is one that speaks to us all. In the dawn, as the sun rises yet again on a new day, surely we can all believe a little more deeply that forgiveness is possible, that love is all that matters, and that joy is not only within reach, but our birthright. Surely this day, we can all believe that peace on earth begins with us, with each of us, facing the dawn with hope and open hearts. He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Happy Easter Sunday!
There is more to Honduras than birds and bugs, of course. While hard to capture, the rainforest is full of lush growth, rushing water, and occasional vistas from a ridge where the trees thin. This is a waterfall on a feeder stream to the Rio Santiago, 6 km up the side of the mountains from the main route, which is already up on the shoulders of the mountains surrounding Pico Bonito. Our birding group paused here for photos and to enjoy the scene.
Sony HX400V. About 50mm equivalent field of view. In-camera HDR. Nominal exposure: ISO 200 @ 1/50th @ f3.5. Processed in Lightroom on my Surface Pro 3 tablet.
Yesterday, it was in the single digits at dawn, and only 9 degrees by 8 AM, but I decided to suite up and go looking for Snowy Owls and Eagles anyway. No Eagles at Roger’s Park. And no Snowy Owls in Biddeford Pool…though I put my hood up and walked all the way out to East Point. I thought I might find some interesting ice bells on the Batson River on the way back, so I drove into Emmon’s Preserve and hiked down to the stream. Evidently conditions have not been right for ice bells this winter. The river (brook really) was almost completely ice bound, with just the most vigorous water at the small falls still flowing free. There was only one set of tracks into the river since light snow on Thursday, and I found that someone had ridden up the river on the ice with a mountain bike, once I got to the water…other than that it was pretty quiet in the woods at Emmon’s. Even the sound of the water was muted by the ice and snow.
There is, of course, a beauty to such stillness…winter has its charms. I maneuvered out to the edge of the stream and the snow and ice covered rocks…being very careful were I placed my fur-lined Crocs. For this shot I got as far out on the rocks as I dared, and then held the camera out at arms length over the water to get the angle on the falling stream. Then I retreated just as carefully. If anyone came into Emmon’s after me yesterday and studied my tracks as I studied the tracks of the day before, I am sure they wondered what in the world I had been doing. 🙂
Being retired, I have more time to enjoy the Maine winter this year. I got myself a set of snowshoes and poles with Christmas money and gift cards, and had already bought a set of Under-Armor like foundation thermal under-garments for my time in Bosque del Apache. I call it my winter ninja suit, since it is close fitting and solid black from the toes of the sock-liners all the way to my neck. Of course, when I put the rest of my clothes no one knows I am a winter ninja underneath. I have an LLBean dual season parka with a removable fleece lining and a wind and waterproof shell, hooded, that is simply the warmest coat I have ever owned, and I have my trusty Tilly wool winter hat, and couple of different weight pairs of gloves. If it were not for having to keep the driveway clear, I might even enjoy the Maine winter this year…and actually, I am making a commitment to enjoy it despite having to keep the driveway clear. If we get too much snow I can always hire a plow and do my part for the local winter economy. Though we don’t have enough snow yet to make them necessary, I can see how the snowshoes will make the winter much more accessible. I had them in the back seat of the car at East Point and Emmon’s just in case, and no amount of snow will keep me from visiting. I plan to visit many of my summer haunts right through winter this year. It should be good.
It will be good. Having the right gear has already changed my attitude toward the Maine winter…which I will admit, I was not looking forward to. You could say I am settling into the mind of winter, coming to terms, and beginning to look forward to its unique opportunities. Even if we don’t get Snowy Owls and Eagles this winter, I will find something to celebrate in the season.
This seems like a purely physical accomplishment…dependent on having, finally, the right gear for winter…but it feels like a spiritual achievement. Getting my body and my stuff prepared has allowed my spirits to rise…and it is the rise in spirit that is the important, that is the significant part. This whole winter attitude thing is another example of why I believe that it is impossible to separate the spiritual and the physical. We make an error when think that the divine and the eternal happen somewhere different, on a different plane, than the space and time where we spend our fleshly lives. More and more I think it is all one…that the spiritual and the physical are not two realities but two ways of looking at one reality…and that the closer we get to living a life of the spirit in the flesh, the less meaning that distinction will have.
Or to put it another way…my spirit has always been ready for the beauty of winter…it just took some doing to get my flesh to the same point. And now that we are all in sync, things are going to be good. It is going to be a beautiful winter. Happy Sunday!
Continuing the theme of autumn color…which will very likely continue well into October :)…here is a little pocket of color along the edge of a pool were a small brook enters Old Falls Pond on the Mousam River. One of my readers informed me yesterday that the trees along the water’s edge are more susceptible to an early turn because the wood is saturated with water. Certainly that and the fact that cold air pools along edges and in little coves like this, accounts for much of the early color we are seeing in Southern Maine. I like the contrast here between the layers. Peat-brown water, green vegetation, golden cattails, and the greens, reds, and oranges of the small saplings.
Sony HX400V at 24mm equivalent field of view. In-camera HDR. Nominal exposure ISO 80 @ 1/250th @ f5. Processed in Lightroom on my Surface Pro 3 tablet.