Southern Maine’s second fall…when the oaks and birches turn…is not, perhaps, as spectacular as the first…when the Maples turn bright yellow and red…but it has a beauty of its own…especially under the late October (and sometimes November) skies. October this year, definitely, as the season came early. This is a little stream that comes down to the Mousam River and crosses under Water Street in Kennebunk, Maine. Sony Rx10iv at 28mm equivalent. Program mode with Auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/320th.
This is a somewhat awkward season in Southern Maine for photography…and, as it happens, I am rarely in Maine in August. The bird life is kind of quiet, dragonflies and not in flight as much, and we often have blue sky days…not my favorite for landscapes. I generally attend the Tucson Birding Festival the first part of the month and for the past two years have been in Africa late in the month. This year, of course, I am home. 🙂 So, here is a somewhat random abstract shot from along the Bridle Path in Kennebunk. I love what the water and wind does with the salt grass, and what the weather and the years have done to the posts. Sony Rx10iv at about 170mm equivalent. HDR mode. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
This week’s Supermoon (the last for this year) caused exceptionally high tides all along the coast here in southern Maine. This is Branch Brook at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells Maine, a good mile inland from the sea. All about color and clouds and reflections.
Sony RX10iii at 24mm equivalent field of view. In-camera HDR. Nominal exposure: 1/1000th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr on my Android tablet.
Though the dominant species along the lower Mousam this year is the Spot-winged Glider, there are still numbers of the much smaller Seaside Dragonlets in the marsh pools. The female is one of the more intensely colored and patterned than the darker male, and has distinctly banded wings. This is a typical posture, with the wings held forward to shade the thorax. This lady was perched deep in the reeds, which accounts for the lovely bokeh.
Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/640th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed and cropped for scale in Lightroom.
There are often Egrets in the marsh pools along the lower Mousam River near my home in Kennebunk Maine. The river edge and marsh there is part of Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. I caught this Snowy Egret in the act, doing a fishing dance more typical of it’s Reddish cousin. Ah well, success is all that matters…though I know fishermen who would say it is not about the catch at all. I have a feeling Egrets would not agree. 🙂
Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Sports Mode. 1/800th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom and assembled in Coolage.
Some people like a sunny, cloudless day. Not me. I like blue sky, but I like a few clouds for little drama…or a lot of clouds for a lot of drama 🙂 To me, the clouds make the landscape. This is the junction of Back Creek and the Mousam River, about 2 miles from our house. It is only 2 PM, but already the light has the slant of late evening. That’s winter in Maine. This is an 180 degree sweep of snowy marsh and winter sky. The little tuffs of marsh grass showing keep the eye busy in the lower half, and the clouds dominate the upper. The light is simply wonderful. The lone figure on the right gives scale.
Sweep Panorama mode. Auto exposure with -1/3EV. Sony HX90V. Processed in Lightroom.
I waited patiently yesterday for some light…for a bit of sun to break through the overcast…before risking a photoprowl. It is hunting season, and though Sunday hunting is banned in Maine, I never really feel safe in the woods until the guns are put back in their cases in early December. Fortunately, I am in Texas and New Mexico for more than 2 full weeks in November…so I generally have lots of pics to post anyway.
This is a Greater Yellowlegs, in the marsh pools along the Bridle Trail in an isolated section of Rachel Carson NWR, in Kennebunk Maine. The late afternoon light makes the image warm, makes the shadows long, and picks out the detail in the plumage. Nikon P900 (back from repair!) at 2000mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 320 @ f6.5. Processed in Lightroom.
“If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light.” Jesus
Of course, Great Blue Herons are not song-birds. They do not sing. They rarely make and sound at all, and when they do it is a guttural grunt, not only un-song like, but un-bird like. But they have a song. It is in the way they move, they way they hunt, they way they are. It is the silent stalking, the slow march across the marsh. Majestic, written and arranged for strings and orchestra. By Vivaldi perhaps. As much dance as song. Even silent, you can see as you watch the Heron hunt in the shallow waters of the marsh that it is hearing the music in its mind…that it moves to a song all its own. And then with a swell of strings, it spreads its great wings and lifts off…keeping time even as it flies. It is the song of the Great Blue Heron. And if you have watched one closely, with generous eyes, you will know what I mean, and hear it, at least in your dreams.
All creation sings the glory of the creator God…the God who creates in love. That is the light we are filled with…the generous eyed ones…the ones who hear the Heron song with the ears of the spirit…and who celebrate such beauty. Happy Sunday!
On my after supper visit to the local beach, with the sun about an hour from setting, but already warm with the evening light, there were several Willets feeding in the marsh grasses and along the edge of the tidal flow of Back Creek near where it meets the Mousam River. Our New England Willets are warmer in tone than western Willets anyway, but the early evening light really brings up the warm, almost rust, color of plumage.
Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 320 @ f6.5. Processed in Lightroom.
It rained off and on most of yesterday, but about 3 pm I decided to go for a photoprowl on my bike anyway. I pushed through what turned out to be a thin band of light rain and got to the marsh behind the beach in time for the sun to come out. I had some fun chasing bees in the Beach Rose along the road (among other things). The wet flowers, and the freshly washed bees, made for vivid images. I did some tele-macro, and then switched to actual macro as the bees were so busy feeding that they did not seem to mind a close approach. This one was captured at about 80mm equivalent field of view in Close Up Mode.
Nikon P900. 1/320th @ ISO 100 @ f3.5. Processed in Lightroom.