The call of the loon
Climbs through the rainbow valley
Finding me trail side.
With my time at Acadia National Park ending shortly, my time off is now filled with a sense of urgency. It’s the same feeling one experiences on that last day of vacation. I have grown to love the feel and sound of Acadia. I’m minutes from the ocean cliffs and steep, rocky mountain summits. How could one feel anything but blessed to have had the opportunity to enjoy close to six months here on this island paradise?! Running down my bucket list for Acadia, I planned my recent days off meticulously. I identified where I was most likely to see sweeping vistas of fall color as my first priority. And then, I organized my time on “Sunday” to catch a ride on the Margaret Todd schooner out of Bar Harbor and tour Frenchman Bay.
I planned a couple of hikes to kick off my free time. On Sunday after work, I enjoyed an early evening trek to the summit of Gorham Mountain and caught a pre-sunset vista filled with exploding Fall color.
On my “Saturday,” the weather forecast called for partly cloudy skies which I thought would be ideal for photographing fall color. There is a small, out-of-the-way knoll above Eagle Lake called Connors Nubble. I’ve never ventured to this summit so it became my destination. Planning my route carefully, I chose to walk some trails I have not traveled and complete a loop that brought me over North Bubble – another summit I’ve missed to date. I parked on the loop road just northwest of the Jordan Pond boat launch parking area. There is a trail from here leading down to the Jordan Pond Path. I hiked around Jordan Pond, picked up the Jordan Pond Carry Path to the carriage road around Eagle Lake. From there, I headed towards the east and caught up with the short, steep scramble up to Connors Nubble.
Backtracking down to the carriage road, I crossed over and climbed the trail to the summit of North Bubble. The views of Jordan Pond were spectacular!
I traversed from there over to the South Bubble summit for some awesome shots of Bubble Rock against a stunning backdrop of flaming colors.
Dropping back down to Jordan Pond from Bubble Rock, I was able to snare some great shots from the Jordan Pond Trail.
The final day has arrived! My 30 day photographic journey has come to an end and it has been a great experiment and an enlightening learning experience. I was hoping that today’s photo would be the best of the best but, of course, we cannot always produce under such pressure! I did take a drive over to Otter Point area after work and walk along the coast. It was a crisp, sunny evening and the surf was good. I think it is only fitting that my photo today is a quintessential example of the Maine coast.
It was a beautiful evening as the sun was setting. The colors were enhanced with the setting sun and the waves were especially playful as the tide was going out.
The carriage road around Witch Hole Pond is a nice 3+ mile loop that I enjoy walking in the early evening. I headed out with both my Nikon camera and my Canon since I was unsure what to expect. I wanted all my options. My photo of the day is a bit uncharacteristic for me. I have not been focusing too much on wildlife photography this summer.
About half-way through my walk, feeling less than inspired, I suddenly heard the familiar sound of a woodpecker. I stopped, listened and zeroed in on a female Hairy Woodpecker upside-down on a branch just to the side of the carriage road. I shot the first photo with my Canon, and then my battery died! (Seems odd since I had just put a newly charged battery in the camera – hmmm – something to investigate!) As I was switching cameras, I saw a flash of flying feathers (how’s that for alliteration!) and the male Hairy Woodpecker crossed my line of vision and landed in a near-by tree. The photo I shot of him was with my Nikon. I did have to crop the photo a bit to bring him in closer since my Nikon lens only extends to 120mm. Neither photograph is as focused as I would like but those darn birds just do not sit still and pose!
Another dreary day on Mount Desert Island but I made the most of it before work. I decided to dust off my Canon camera with the 55-250 lens so I could get some different shots today along the coast. I did not have time to venture too far on foot. It’s been awhile since I used this camera and it took me some time to adjust to different locations of the dials and buttons! I chose the shot I took of the golden rod along the path to the ocean for my photo of the day. The contrast between the deep yellow flowers and the texture of the tree trunk caught my eye. I believe this is Solidago rugosa – Rough-stemmed Goldenrod.
Since it was too wet to climb down over the rocks, with my telephoto lens I was able to capture some gulls resting high and dry above the churning water.
And, a lone lobster boat was out making the rounds…..
My day has been full with work obligations so I have decided to choose a photograph from another day during my 30 day experiment – so not totally out of line! I am particularly fond of photographing plants since that was my focus for many years as a landscape designer. As I’ve mentioned before, Thuya Gardens is one of my favorite locations on the island. During my last visit there, I spent some time communing with an Acer griseum planted in the garden. I have always been enamored with this small ornamental tree. It was a plant that we grew in our small nursery in Pennsylvania. I cannot resist the delicate trifoliate leaves and the exfoliating, cinnamon-colored bark!
Last night we had some torrential rain and windy gusts. It kept me awake until close to morning. I knew I would have to get out early for a photo shoot today or not at all. Luckily, the rain had subsided by morning. I could hear the surf pounding against the rocks as I exited my trailer. And, it was foggy. With little time before work, I managed to get down to the shoreline and capture a very “foggy” coastline. While it’s not the most interesting photograph I’ve taken, it does convey the mood of the morning.
I’ve been reading an interesting book titled “Living on the Edge – a guide to tide pool animals, seaweeds, and seaside plants.” The book was written by Ruth Gortner Grierson, who writes a nature column for a local newspaper, and Thomas Vining, who was an interpretive ranger in Acadia National Park. This guide is informative yet concise. I like concise! It has inspired me to pay more attention to the shoreline and examine tide pools and seaside plants more closely. Today, I ventured to Wonderland – a magical place – where I wandered the rocky coast for two hours completely engrossed in this rugged, diverse convergence of land and sea.
I chose one of my favorite seaside plants as my photo of the day. I love the simplicity of its flowers – Rosa rugosa – the less common white-flowering variety. Learning about the meaning of botanical names has always fascinated me. In many cases, botanical names are extremely descriptive lending themselves to memory more easily. I understand that “rugose” means wrinkled or corrugated. In this case, the rugosa refers to the botanical meaning of the reticulate venation of the leaf being rough and ridged – sometimes mentioned in text as “quilted.”
Since it has been my pattern to include more than one photo, I will not break with this tradition! I could have wandered along this shoreline for many hours but the weather was threatening and I wanted to get to my favorite organic farm before they closed!
I have had the privilege of witnessing 3 full moons rise over the Atlantic off the coast of Mount Desert Island this summer. They have all been spectacular and humbling. The Harvest Moon tonight topped them all. I made it down to the spot I chose on the cliffs just as the moon was starting to rise above the horizon. It promised to be quite a show and it did not disappoint. Scrambling to get my tripod set up and level, my first shot of the evening turned out to be the one I chose for my photo of the day.
As the moon rose in the sky, the reflection on the water increased. My second favorite picture of the day captured this reflection nicely.
I had two objectives today after work. I wanted to find the horse statue a camper mentioned stumbling upon when taking a wrong turn on a trail, and I needed to try and get a photograph of the full moon. Although technically the moon is full tomorrow, I thought I’d snare two chances this month to get a worthy photograph – since both nights are scheduled to be clear. I settled on the moon rise as my photo of the day. It was beautiful down on the cliffs tonight. The moon was rising over the ocean at about 6:15 pm while the sun was setting at 6:38 pm. I managed to enjoy both the sunset and the moon rise in a span of about an hour. It was mesmerizing. I had some company down on the rocks during the sunrise but soon after the moon rose everyone else meandered back to the campground and I was alone to enjoy the solitude and soothing sound of the waves lapping against the rocks below me.
A few of my other photos from today – just for fun!
One more week to go with my photographic journey experiment! I worked an odd shift today which meant I did not have time to get out and take pictures. So, I will once again post an older photo – taken towards the end of August. As we approach the full moon for September, I am reminded of the pictures I shot of the August full moon called the Sturgeon Moon. Historically, the August moon was called the Sturgeon Moon because the sturgeon fish were most easily harvested during the month of August. This nomenclature dates back to colonial days. It was one of my first attempts to capture a nighttime photograph using my tripod. My goal for tomorrow night and Monday night is to once again practice my evening photography. As a prelude to those photographs, I’ve included some of my August full moon shots. I chose the shot where the moon is slightly masked behind some clouds. I have others with the moon more visible, but I actually thought this was more interesting with the clouds! Thanks goes out to my husband Jim for accompanying me when I took these shots and providing me with encouragement and support.
My other shots of the Sturgeon Moon:
There is a high wind advisory in effect for coastal Maine this evening. I thought perhaps that might render some decent wave activity as the tide started rolling in on Little Hunter’s Beach. On my way to the beach along the path to the park loop road, this tree stump caught my eye. I think it was all the various textures that captured my attention. What I thought might be another “rock and water” scene for my photo of the day turned out to be something completely unexpected. I love it when that happens.
I’ll include a couple of my shots from Little Hunter’s Beach. I’m not particularly happy with either one but have some thoughts to improve these shots in the future.
I have not ventured to Hunter’s Beach Cove for several weeks. It was time for a visit. I love the old log bridge along the trail. It is weathered and starting to become moss covered. It feels ancient and timeless.
It was an overcast, dreary evening. I captured some photos on the cobblestone beach and I’m including a couple of the best ones below.