Monday, July 5, 2010

The Hughes/Donahue Gallery Show

Yes, I know. It's been a while since I last posted a new blog. Some of you, and you know who you are, and no it's not Richard this time that I'm talking about without naming names, have been expressing a great deal of impatience about waiting and waiting . . . and waiting . . . sigh . . . for me to post something new for you to read. Could that someone be a young lady who's fiance is very busy studying for the upcoming bar exam so she doesn't have her best friend to play with??? Anyway, I'm taking your impatience as a compliment of the highest order. If you don't mean it as a compliment, please don't tell me. I fear my self-esteem may suffer too much.

Now on to the Hughes/Donahue Gallery show that featured photos taken by Bev and me and also included works taken by nineteen other area photographers. Simple and sweet - it was a smashing success. No, no, no. Nothing was broken. The show was a smashing success as in the British sense of the word smashing - spectacular, wonderful, rewarding, fun, and very encouraging.

The two scheduled days of the show, Saturday, June 26th & Sunday, June 27th, were so busy, the gallery owners decided to extend the show an additional day and the gallery ended up also being open to visitors on Saturday, July 3rd. Neither the gallery owners nor Bev and I got so puffed up over the popularity of the show that we thought people might show up on the Fourth of July, so we opted on the safe side and didn't extend the show to the big summer holiday when everybody is at parades, cookouts, or the lake or beach.

Now for those of you have been following my blog, you already know that Bev and I take great pride in our ability to be very good amateur detectives. We have after all, found Martha Stewart's summer homes in East Hampton, New York and Seal Harbor, Maine - and photographed the entrances to her homes to prove we were actually there. So it shouldn't surprise you to learn that Bev did a little subtle sleuthing at the gallery show.

The gallery owners, two wonderful guys named Darryl and Jack who we've come to really like and very much enjoy their company, have a guest book for gallery visitors to sign in when they attend the different shows. The gallery has been open since 2007 and they have had six different shows each year since. That's a lot of shows and there's been only one guest book since the beginning. So ever so casually glancing through the book through all the past shows, Bev was able to determine that the first weekend of our photography show had the highest attendance of all the shows since the gallery opened.

Now we are not quite so cocky as to think that everyone who came to the show came to see OUR photographs. Certainly people came to the see the work of the other nineteen photographers as well. Some may even have come for the refreshments that were served - wine, soda, spring water on ice, fresh fruit, dip, crackers & cheese, and my hubby's famous Spritz cookies decorated in a Fourth of July red, white & blue theme. Some, since it was a very warm weekend, may even have come to get out of the heat and enjoy the air-conditioning in the gallery.

But based on the many comments and compliments we got, I would say that lots of people came to enjoy the photographs. Putting yourself out there for the public to view your artistic work is a very scary thing. If you haven't ever done it yourself, believe you me, IT IS SCARY. It's like putting a very integral, intimate, core part of yourself out there for not only family and friends to see . . . but also total strangers. I don't know if one ever gets over that fear that people aren't going to like your work. And when they do, and they tell you how beautiful your photographs are, and how much they love and enjoy them, you breathe a big sigh of relief before you let the pleasure and joy of their pleasure and joy sink into your heart and soul.

Over the course of the show, we met so many nice people, interesting people, funny people, genuine characters, historians of local lore, other photographers and artists, even a few somewhat famous people, that the hours the gallery was open literally flew by. One lovely little old lady who has the most beautiful decoupaged cane came the first Saturday and brought several friends with her, and she was so entranced with the show she came back again the second Saturday and brought two new friends with her so they could see the show too.

She has given me a mission. She fell in love with my "Hildene Tree" canvas print and even as she was leaving the gallery and walking out to her car, she was telling me again how "I LOVE that tree photograph!" I was hoping she would buy it, but she didn't. She's on a search for THE photograph that she's had in her mind's eye for several years now and if THE photograph was hanging in the show, she would have bought it.

So she explained to me in detail this photograph that she wants - it needs to be a large print that she can hang over the headboard of her bed. She wants a photograph of a walking path or an old cart path. Not too bright in the light department. Maybe taken early in the morning or just around sunset. The path can be in a forest winding through the woods, or it can be on the edge of the woods located next to an old overgrown field, or it can even be out in the open like at the beach. But she wants the path to start off in the front on the photograph and wind through the photo and then go off and disappear somewhere unknown in the distance. I know what some of your are thinking . . . you're doing a little Freudian therapy thing in your head. I was thinking the same thing too as she was telling me all about this. But Ms. Beautiful Cane Lady is a very bright, intelligent, and alive and alert woman - trust me, she knew what she was really asking for.

I just need to be in the right place at the right time. I've seen that photograph so many times both on our photographic road trips and even back in the days when I worked as a conservation agent and was out in the middle of nowhere on many a piece of undeveloped land checking out wetland lines. Anyone who lives in New England and does any walking in the woods or out around fields and farmland knows that photo. Those beautiful old overgrown walking trails and cart paths are everywhere.

So Ms. Beautiful Cane Lady, it's only a matter of time before I find that photo for you. She told me all I had to do when I had it ready for her was to call Darryl at the gallery and "he'll know how to reach me". So I have a mission. I love to help find things and ways to make lovely people like her happy. To be quite honest, and if you know her please don't tell her I said this, I would gladly give her the photograph for free. It would be so much fun to be able to make her wish come true.

I had hoped to have photos of Darryl and Jack (Mr. Hughes & Mr. Donahue of the gallery name) to post with this blog. I did take some photos the first weekend of the show, but we were so busy greeting visitors and chatting that I never did get to take all the photos that I wanted. So I'm sorry to say the photo I wanted of Darryl, Jack, Bev & me all together in the gallery never happened.

The second Saturday of the show, I did take a beautiful photo of Darryl sitting on a bench outside of the gallery. An American flag is discretely blowing in the breeze in the background (another good Fourth of July motif) and I was very happy with the photo. A little background here. I take Bob's smaller Olympus camera with its 18X optical zoom lens with me when I take photos for the blog. It's much smaller than my Canon Rebel and I don't have to be concerned with carrying and changing lenses and it's much lighter to carry around. So as usual, I took Bob's Olympus with me to the show and left my camera at home. Do you see another important photography lesson coming up here? (If you don't know what I'm talking about, see one of my previous blogs about stupid photography-related mistakes I've made in the past and hope not to ever repeat - EVER!)

It just so happened that I had asked Bob to download the photos I took on the first weekend of the show to his computer so I could write my blog downstairs on his much faster computer that doesn't get snippy and snarky and freeze up all the time like my computer upstairs does. Now Bob just turned 65 years old (Happy Birthday deary, no one would ever guess you were 65 and the proud new owner of your very own Medicare card), and I've noticed that he has gotten just a trifle bit absent-minded (note to husband: when you get home from grocery-shopping and bring the milk in from the car, you're suppose to put in the 'frig, not leave out on the table on the sun porch). And when Bob downloaded my photos from the first weekend of the show, he forgot to take the memory card out of the reader and put it back in the camera. So what did I do? I went to the show on the second weekend, was snapping away taking photos including the really nice one of Darryl sitting on the bench, and all the while, there was no card in the camera to record anything. Always make sure your camera battery is charged before you head out (old lesson from previous blog) and the memory card is in the slot in your camera (new lesson from this blog). And no, you don't need to worry that a surprise quiz might be coming up!

Some of you camera savvy people are probably already thinking, some of the newer digital cameras have a small memory in them even without the card inserted. So couldn't they have connected the camera to the computer with the cable that comes with the camera just for that purpose, and then downloaded at least some of the photos that might have been saved? Oh, we did indeed, think of that. We are creative thinkers here in the Christine household. The only thing is . . . Bob can't remember where he put THAT cable and he's looked up and down and in and out, and it's nowhere to be found. So unless Bob has a miracle brain reconnection within the next day or two about where he put the cable, or I accidentally find it while I'm rummaging around, the wonderful photo of Darryl will be lost to ether land forever.

Now on the first weekend of the show, when I actually had the memory card in Bob's camera, I did take some photos of the inside of the gallery. You'll see a beautiful flower arrangement on the gallery table that Bonnie the Artiste made for the opening day of the show. She was the hostess for opening day and greeted visitors and introduced them to Bev and me and the other photographers. She's a very talented painter who has shown her work in previous shows at the gallery, and in a past life, she was also a floral designer. And I love her because my very favorite photograph amongst all the ones I've taken, "The fibers that knit us to the cold", she also loves. That makes two of us, Bonnie. I don't know what's wrong with the rest of the world!

As you will probably find not all that surprising, I have yet to figure out how to title photographs that are included with our blog. Bev and I are planning on getting together this coming Friday to work on some more photos we took in Bar Harbor, and she's my technical guru when it comes to this stuff. She is just absolutely amazing. She won't like me singing her praises like this, but she is fearless when it comes to website design and management and trying new things with blogs. So if we can figure out how to title our photo blogs, it won't be "we" who figures it out, it will be Bev. Not that I'm trying to put any pressure on you little sister . . .

The blog photos will hopefully be self-explanatory. There are four walls in the gallery because it is basically one large room. There is a photo of the Judith photos hanging on one end wall and in that photo, you'll see my name on a placard at the top of "my" wall, the other end wall had Beverly photos and in that photo there's a placard with her name on the top of "her" wall, there's one long wall that had the overflow of both Judith and Beverly photos that didn't fit on our own personal walls (this is starting to sound a bit snooty isn't it!) along with lots of other photos taken by the other nineteen photographers and I don't think I got to take a photo of that wall, and the fourth wall with the window and the table in front of the window had mostly black & white photos and macro-photographs. The photo of the fourth wall has Bonnie's beautiful flower arrangement and Bob's cookies in it. There are no closeups of any of the photographs, but all of the photos we displayed at the gallery are on our company web page.

So I hope you enjoy your little visit to our gallery show. I really do wish I had had the time and a brain in my head to have gotten more photos for you. That way you could have enjoyed a more realistic visit to the gallery. I should have gotten a photo of Bonnie the Artiste, Darryl and Jack, maybe even Beverly and Judith (after all, we did dress up a bit for the public . . . and I'd to think we clean up rather nicely). I will try to do better for my next blog.

And speaking of my next blog, since I need to keep the best friend/fiance of the guy studying for the bar exam happy until after the exam, which isn't until the very end of July, I'm going to have to write another blog in between this one and the one I'll be writing while the whole family is vacationing up at Sebago Lake in Maine later in August. I'm sure that will be too long a period of time for some of our "fans" to go without hearing from us. I may be able to talk Bev into going on a local photo road trip between now and Sebago.

So enjoy your visit to our gallery show. No light refreshments are served with the blog-version of the show, I'm sorry. But you can see the refreshments in one of the photos, so perhaps you can imagine yourself partaking as if you were there in person. As Albert Einstein said, and I so believe, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

P.S. For a bonus photograph, I've included one of Jack and Darryl's eight cats sleeping outside in the shade under a chaise lounge. What a life cats have! Don't we wish we could all live like cats. Such a tough life . . . should I nap in the shade under the chaise lounge or should I nap in the shade over under the tree? Me oh my, such decisions to make.

P.P.S. And in case you didn't already realize it, you can click your cursor on each individual blog photo to see an enlarged version.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Hot Day At the Plymouth Public Library

Saturday's art & craft and book sale at the Plymouth Public Library (PPL) was a lot of fun. Not that we didn't expect it to be. This was our third year participating and because it's Bev's work stomping-grounds, lots of the library staff came out during their breaks to say hello and check out our new photos. So there's lots of teasing, and jokes, a little bit of gossip, and plenty of friendly chat that takes place in addition to the more serious part of running the business.

Like any potential good art & craft and book sale, customers arrived to check out the goods even before we arrived to set up. And we arrived an hour before the sale started. Oh those early-birds! Before they even opened the library doors, the line to get in to check out the books was longer than the front portico (which is pretty darn long).

We heard stories about some very unruly and elbow-throwing book customers who, once they'd gotten inside and could start checking out the tables and boxes of books, went a little crazy. It seems large book sales like this one (the library has two sales each year - a late spring one and one in the winter) attract lots of booksellers looking for highly desirable volumes that make for good resale. Some even come with sophisticated hand-held scanners to quickly check the IBSN codes on the covers to determine which books are worth buying. Internet sites like that sell used books have made this a very lucrative practice. Plus, and this is like the thrill of the yard sale hunt, you never know when you might find a valuable first edition that someone donated to the sale and had no idea what they were giving away.

We're able to get set up very quickly - both because we've had a fair amount of practice at it and because displaying photographs is not a complicated deal. Imagine being a jewelry-maker who has to set out and display each and every necklace, pair of earrings, pins, rings, etc. Now that takes time!

For this show, we were also minus our larger matted and framed photographs which are a bit more complicated to display. All our large pieces had been delivered to the Hughes/Donahue Gallery and are already hung for the opening of next weekend's photography show.

Oh, and maybe, just maybe, set up goes easily and quickly because two guys name Bob and Bob help us do a lot of the heavy work like unloading our vehicles, putting up the tent, setting up the tables, etc, etc. Thanks guys. You know we really appreciate all your help and support - we couldn't do this without you. Well maybe we could - but the thought of two Polish woman putting up the tent by themselves is enough to make You-Tube tingle with the possibility of that being video-taped for the world to see! What you say? A million hits in just one week?

It was busy. There were lots of people wandering around the outside tables. The economy is definitely getting better. People were actually taking money out of their wallets (and letting loose a few moths in the process) to make purchases. A local nursery had a wonderful stand of beautiful perennials, annuals, hanging baskets, starter vegetables. There was one other photographer who was selling his work. Not nearly as nice as ours, of course. No, really. In my don't have a prejudiced bone in my body opinion, our work was definitely better. I think.

We did seem to be the tent that was channeling all of the literary karma of the day which in turn made Salmon Falls Photography the gathering-place for some members of a local Plymouth poetry group called Tide Pool. We also want to thank Joe Horn for his wonderful company and stimulating conversation and for his permission to use on one of our poster-effects a limerick he wrote back during his early school days. (We have some beautiful photographs of a very old Vermont cemetery and have never know what quote to use for the poster-effect - this may be the quote.)

There once was a man from Socorro
Who would never pay back what he'd borrow
Said he to his friends
I will make amends
But they buried him on the morrow.

It was hot. No getting around that. It's a day like Saturday that makes you're grateful that the PPL is located so close to the ocean. We had a very refreshing breeze blowing across the lawn in the morning keeping us comfortable. Well except for when a strong gust would all of a sudden come out of nowhere and knock over a lot of the smaller or lighter items on our tables. If I had to estimate how many times we had to straighten out the tables and upright knocked over photos, I'd guesstimate somewhere in 1,000s (well maybe not that high, but certainly way more than 10 and probably closer to 100 - a few zeros here and a few there, what's the dif).

One thing that most warmed our hearts yesterday were the customers who stopped by and told us they specifically came to the show in the hopes that we would be there again this year. These are the "art patrons" we are trying very hard to cultivate - the people who come to a show, see our photos, fall in love with them, buy one or two, and then come back the following year hoping we'll be in the same place so they can buy some more. We love you people! We want you to get addicted. We want you to never have enough of our photos. We want you to become just like Julie V. whose whole front hallway is covered with Salmon Falls photos. And yet she still stops by and sees new photographs she just must have to take home.

I took some time to wander around the lawn and take some photos of what was going on and I will post those for you to check out. I'm going to try and learn how to add labels to our photos so you'll be able to better identify what you're seeing. Just like our company website, this blog is a work in progress and we're learning more each time we post each new blog. In about 30 years or so, I should have this down to a polished science.

The show ended promptly at 1 pm as scheduled. Actually, some exhibitors had packed up and left before 1 pm. Not because they were so efficient and thinking of the library's janitorial staff and the cleanup work that still needed to be done, but because it was getting so DAMN hot! By then, even the breeze wasn't enough to keep people comfortable with the sun that high. Oh, and there were more than a few people wandering around whose underarm deodorant had failed by then. (Just thought I'd throw that part in to see if you were paying attention.)

Thanks to all our wonderful fans and customers who made this show a wonderful financial success and so much fun for us. I'd like to say that the fun part is way more important than the financial success part (and most days it actually is) - but we do need to replenish the bank account to be able to buy more print paper, ink cartridges for the printer, matting and sleeve supplies, frames, pay our taxes, and on and on. And Bev has such expensive tastes in camera lenses and she so wants the motion-detector camera that we can mount outside on a tree to take photos of birds and other wildlife.

Thank you Little Fairy (I'm now capitalizing your name and that makes it your official name from here on in) for being so appreciative of our "Old Library" photo - a photo that we don't understand why it's not a resounding success and best-seller in Plymouth. And to the wonderful man who told us our photos made him want to go home and throw out his camera and give up taking his own photos and who fell in love with my "Old Maine Rake" - I'm sure the fact that it was in the sale bin had nothing to do with the instant love affair you developed with that photo. Thank you Cindy and Stef for your support, refreshments, and help packing up. And again, to our two wonderful husbands. Family is golden!

Don't forget, next weekend is our big show at the Hughes/Donahue Gallery in Taunton. Come see us, take a look at our photos and the work of 19 other area photographers. We'll be there both Saturday and Sunday from 1 pm - 6 pm. As will Jack and Darryl, the gallery owners, and we'd all love to have you stop by. Personally, we think our show is going to be so good, it would be worth driving from Harrisonburg, VA or Bedford, NH, or Newark, DE just to see it. But if you can't make it, we certainly understand. And then, shortly after the show, I'll be writing a new blog to post. See you then. Judith

P.S. You may have noticed, the photos included with this blog do not have titles. Heavens to murgatroid snagglepuss. I can't even begin to tell you how complicated it is to add titles. You need to be a major computer nerd just to read the directions about how to do it. I won't say we won't ever begin to add titles. But don't sit around holding your breath. You may expire.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Backyard "Road" Trip

It's been some time since I wrote our last blog, and I feared I might be getting a bit rusty. Our trip to Bar Harbor, although still very much present in my mind's eye, seems like light years ago now. I began to think I might need to warm up a bit for two upcoming blogs I will be writing - one about the craft show and booksale Salmon Falls Photography is participating in this coming Saturday at the Plymouth Public Library and then the Hughes/Donahue Gallery Show that will be taking place on the weekend of June 26th and 27th.

So I decided to take a photographic road trip around my own backyard . . . and my front yard and my side yard - a regular circumnavigation of the old homestead. Photo ops are everywhere and they don't always require that you get in a car or truck or hop on motorcycle to drive someplace that's a distance away from home.

Those of us who live in New England are blessed with photo ops that come and go so quickly - changes in the weather that happen in the blink of an eye, changes in the seasons that result in ever-evolving colors in our flowers and shrubs, trees that go from barren winter silhouettes to a riot of oranges, reds and yellows in autumn. I love the spring wildflowers, those ephemeral beauties that bloom in the woods in the dappled sunlight before the trees sprout leaves that completely shade the forest floor. At that point, without hardly any sunlight getting through the tree canopy, the wildflowers go dormant for another whole year. Miss the two weeks or so when the lady-slippers are in bloom and you've got to wait another whole year for your next chance to catch them in pixels or on film.

That's why, if you love photography, and you want good photos, you take your camera with you whenever and wherever you go - winter, spring, summer and fall, snow, rain, sunny days, heavy fog, sunrise, sunset. I can still see in mind's eye, and this is from back in the early 1980s, one of my best photo ops ever. I was driving early one morning down Beech Street in Bridgewater on way to work (this was back in the days when I managed a laboratory over in the Town of Middleborough), when I passed a hay field with a gorgeous rusty, old hay rake sitting out in the middle of the field. (A little aside here: Bev and I love rust. We always have. Give us rust on practically anything, and we want to take a photo of it.)

And sitting on the top of the hay rake seat where the farmer's helper would be were the rake being used, was a black, white and yellow calico cat. He (she) was staring ever so intently down into the hay looking for a field mouse to eat for breakfast. The sun was just coming up and although most of the field was still in shade, the hay rake with that hunter cat sitting atop it were lit by the early morning rays of the sun. It couldn't have been a more perfect photo! Did I have my camera with me? No. Shame on me. Now that photo is just a memory in my mind's eye - but boy, do I still wish I had it on film.

So we're going to include some photos from my backyard trip so you can see what you might find when you just wander around your own lawn. There is one photo that for me, brings back wonderful memories of Bev's and my trip to Bar Harbor. If you've been reading our blogs, you know that we "borrowed" some lupines to bring home from Maine. It was such a joy to see all those lupines in bloom as we traveled throughout Bar Harbor and other places in Maine. For me, for as many trips (and that's a LOT!) as I've made to Maine over the years, I had never seen the lupines in bloom.

As soon as we got back home from Bar Harbor, I put my lupines in one my favorite pitchers and put them out on our deck on the "new" junk table I bought for $6 from this wonderful character of a guy who owns the best junk and secondhand and collectibles and antiques place to browse for everything and anything imaginable. (If Bev gets ambitious and tears herself away long enough from the Celtics game, perhaps she'll post the photo of me sitting on the steps of that wonderful junk shop.) And for about a week after we got home from Maine, which was about how long the lupines lasted, every time I walked out or in our back door, there were the lupines looking ever so beautiful in that pitcher on that old junk table . . . and memories of all those Maine fields and hills covered in lupines would flood my mind. Now of course, the lupines have long expired - but I have my photo of them to always remind me.

Photo ops are everywhere. You just have to see them. And that's why photography is as much about having a good eye as it is about being proficient in how to use your camera. For me, and I think Bev would say it's the same for her, we see photos in our mind's eye long before we take our cameras out and start shooting. So the next time you're out and about in your own yard, or taking a walk around your neighborhood, or even out riding your bicycle, pedaling for a bit of exercise, think of your eyes as your camera - because that's where the really good photos come from first.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bar Harbor to Home, Friday

Well, leaving Bar Harbor this morning was bittersweet. Leaving was sad because: 1. it's such an incredibly beautiful area; 2. it's very nice having a room with an ocean view; 3. the weather was about as nice as nice can get (sunny, clear blue sky, dry air, breeze coming off the ocean); 4. no more maids to clean our room and make our beds while we're out during the day; and 5. no more picking a different restaurant each day for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. But taking off for home was sweet because: 1. there are hubbies; 2. also kids; and 3. even kitties. The latter 3 definitely outweighed the former 5, so off we took heading south.

We did make a stop in Rockland to check out the current exhibit at the Farnsworth Art Museum's Wyeth Center. Bev and I are huge fans of all the Wyeths and are particularly enamored of Andrew Wyeth's watercolors. This was Bev's first visit to the museum and she seemed to enjoy it and was very well-behaved. I made her take the elevator to the second floor (the Wyeth Center is actually a beautiful old church that has been converted to an amazing art gallery) because Bob & I were so impressed by its size when we visited several years ago. The elevator is so large, it's like a room. It used to have a long bench along one wall so you could sit down while you traveled up and down (no bench today though).

Bev and I particularly wanted to study the composition and brush techniques of the watercolors done by Andrew and Jamie Wyeth. One of the new filter techniques that we have been using with some of our photos closely resembles watercolors and since our photo subjects are quite often similar to what the Wyeths painted, we think some of our photos resemble their work. Check out the photo of Marshall Point Light on our homepage at if you want to see why we think that. Coincidentally, Marshall Point Light is located in Point Clyde, ME where the Wyeth family owned a summer home.

We also had an opportunity to study and enjoy several of Robert Indiana's large steel sculptures from a previous Farnsworth exhibit. They were displayed outdoors in the gardens surrounding the museum, and there was a blue version of his famous LOVE sculpture located in a small park in downtown Rockland. Bev took several photos and if you're lucky, she'll decide to choose those photos to post with today's blog. Indiana's sculptures are always interesting, intriguing, beautiful, and thought-provoking.

After our museum stop, I took Bev to The Brown Bag (TBB) restaurant for lunch. Bob & I ate breakfast at TBB every single morning on our last trip to Rockland. All their bakery items, including the homemade bread used to make their sandwiches, are made right there on site. So you can only imagine what the smell of freshly baking bread does to one's appetite as you enter the front door.

Bob says my blog occasionally reads more like a foodie blog than a photography blog, but I know people love to know about good restaurants and the good things those restaurants serve. So here's the low-down on lunch. I had a turkey BLT with cucumber slices. TBB roasts its own turkey and they shred the turkey meat and then pile it up high on the bread. I love turkey sandwiches and this one was A+++. Bev had a Reuben - a favorite of both of us, and she also loved her sandwich. Sweet potato fries for Bev, potato fries for me, and I had a small green salad. On the way out, we stopped over in the bakery and I purchased the most gorgeous blueberry pie for Bob and me to enjoy this weekend (it even has small stars made out of pie crust on the top of the pie - a very nice nod to Memorial Day), 3 Hermit bars for Bob (he DOES love his Hermits), and a loaf of their gorgeous white bread which was still warm because it had come out of the oven less than an hour before. Oh, I know I could have bought healthy bread - oatmeal, or 7-grain, or bran, or one of those hippie fiber breads - but sometimes there's nothing like the perfect loaf of dense homemade white bread. So get over it. If you're ever in Rockland, please, please, please, for your own pleasure, go to TBB for breakfast or lunch. You will thank me after.

After we loaded up the car with our newly-purchased baked goods, we departed Rockland and headed straight for home. Except, well . . . we passed this little farm stand not far out of Rockland and they had a sign out announcing the sale of their own freshly-picked strawberries. Late May in Maine! Almost too good to be true - our local strawberries down here in Southeast MA don't even ripen until June. But we pulled a U-turn and drove straight back to the barn. And indeed, they did have real honest-to-goodness local RIPE strawberries for sale. Seems all those warm days they've been having even up in Maine (days with temps up in the 80s & 90s) pushed the strawberries to ripen much earlier than normal. I did just eat one when I brought them into the house when I got home. They are GOOD and SWEET.

Here's a small lesson on things that are Maine. One of the most beautiful and enjoyable sights Bev and I enjoyed all week were the fields and hills and gardens just overflowing with lupines in near full bloom - blue, lavender, pink, and white in color, they are so incredibly beautiful to see. Like the strawberries, we found out from a local Mainer that the lupines are also blooming much earlier than normal this year. Anyway, Bev and I were pronouncing the word as if it sound like lou-pines. A very nice lady at the Jordan Pond gift shop in ANP informed us that the locals call them lou-pins (as in safety-pins). So we have been corrected and are now pronouncing lupine just like the locals.

I do need to make a little confession here. I was pinning (not pining) for some lupines to take home to make a bouquet for my dining room table. I have never seen lupines growing wild in Massachusetts, so I figured having some in a vase to see each time I walked through my dining room would be a nice reminder of our trip to Bar Harbor and Maine. So yesterday, while en-route to the Atlantic Brewing Company, Bev and I scouted out a place where, the next morning as we left town for home, we could "borrow" some lupines to take with us. And we found the perfect spot - a little dirt road that went in off Rt. 3 to a small field where someone had piled up a bunch of rocks. All around the edge of the field of rocks, lupines were growing everywhere.

So after we left our hotel this morning, we got to where the little dirt road was located, backed in a ways off the highway, and we did some picking. We had a tall, narrow cooler that we'd brought with us from home and we added water near halfway to the top before we left the hotel. Bob had a small wooden case in the trunk that contained a jack-knife, and no local cops drove by while I was picking (Bev was out front between the front of the car and the edge of road taking some photos of the lupines out there - she was my decoy), and I was able to pick several dozen stems of those absolutely beautiful flowers. I was SO happy.

But, our little field had only a couple white lupines and no pink ones. So later on on our way home, we spotted a beautiful hillside of lupines with plenty of pinks and whites. We pulled over and I got out to pick some so I'd have a variety of colors for my flower arrangement. Well, there was a drainage ditch off the side of the road and at the bottom of what was really a very steep hill. When I went to jump over the ditch, I slipped on some moss on the other side and fell nearly flat on my face. The hill was so steep and the moss was so slippery, I couldn't get any traction to make my way up to where the lupines were. Someone driving by must have thought I looked pretty darn hilarious because they gave me a nice beep, beep, beep of their car horn. Bev got out and walked right up the hill to the pink ones and cut us enough for some added color and I sat on the side of the road and attempted to clean all the mud off my left-foot white sneaker. All turned out well - at least in that no cops drove by and we didn't end up in trouble.

I will say in our defense that we don't really think it's a big deal to be borrowing Maine lupines to bring home. We found out they're considered an invasive species in Maine and the National Park Service even has a program to try and eradicate all the lupines in Acadia National Park. We'd like to think we were helping the NPS with their eradication program.

And now, our spring road trip for 2010 has ended. Bev and I are now ensconced safely back in our homes. Bob and the kitties were very happy to see me. Bob was happy to see the variety-pack of Atlantic Brewing Company beers I brought him home. The kitties didn't get any presents, but then, they don't know the difference. I tried to explain to them about the two Bar Harbor stores that sell all dog stuff and how there wasn't a single store with cat stuff, but they didn't seem to much care. They were just glad I was home to scratch their ears and give them some good petting.

Now that we're back from Bar Harbor, we won't be writing our blog every day, or even every week. But we will occasionally be blogging about day road trips or upcoming Salmon Falls happenings. We do have a gallery show coming up at the end of June at the Hughes/Donahue Gallery in Taunton. It's a show devoted solely to photography. And although several other photographers will be exhibiting their work, the gallery owners are featuring Bev's and my work. So there will be news on our blog of the show as it comes together.

We hope you've enjoyed reading about our Bar Harbor trip and you'll check back for new posts to read about more of our adventures.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bar Harbor, Thursday

Today was the best day weatherwise of our stay so far. I do believe that the visibility out over the ocean and across the mountains was the best it could possibly be. The air was crystal clear. The weather changed here so dramatically late yesterday afternoon that the temperature dropped from near 90 to 55 in less than an hour. We went from a land breeze to an ocean breeze, there were whitecaps out on Frenchmen's Bay in front of our hotel, and it felt like we were suddenly in a totally different world.

This morning when we left the hotel to head out for ANP, the sky was clear, a cool breeze was blowing, the air was extremely dry, and it was only in the low 50s. The only thing that changed over the day was the temperature which went up to near 70 degrees by late afternoon. It was a perfect day to finish driving the Park Loop Road. And we started at Thunder Hole a little over two hours before high tide. We were the only people there for about half an hour, so we could take photos without any people getting in the way. Us photographers love times like that.

After we finished driving the PLR, we headed out for Seal Harbor. And like the good detectives that we are, we found the entrance to Skylands, one of Martha Stewart's summer homes, in no time flat. It was even easier than last spring when we went to the North & South Forks of Long Island and found Lily Pond, her other summer home in the Hamptons, and took pictures of the beautiful gate at the end of her driveway and the roof of her house. Are we obsessed with Martha Stewart? Bevie would say that I am, and that I need to go for therapy, but she is not. I'm not so sure I would agree with that assessment.

Martha has signs everywhere at the end of her Skylands driveway telling us ... warning us, that it's private property and we are not to enter and disturb her. Perhaps our reputations preceded us. Did her signs scare us? Yes indeedie they did. What does this have to do with Salmon Falls Photography? Absolutely nothing. But we consider it quite a challenge to find Martha's houses and figure it's good clean harmless fun.

We traveled from the park to Seal Harbor to Southwest Harbor to Northeast Harbor, and then back over to Bass Harbor so Bev could take some photos of Bass Head Light. Earlier in the week, when we entered the lighthouse grounds illegally before 9 am, we didn't know there was another path on the far side of the lighthouse that provided an access all the way down to the bottom of the rocks on the ocean side of the lighthouse. The access allows for photos to be taken looking up at the lighthouse from the water's edge. Bev really wanted that photo so we drove all the way across Mount Desert Island to THAT lighthouse to get THAT photo taken from THAT view. A little aside here. The "Desert" in MDI is pronounced like the word "dessert", not "desert" - at least over in Seal Harbor where Martha lives.

We wanted to get going early this morning, but slept much later than usual because we were both exhausted - still are for that matter. By the time we did get out this morning, the park had already opened and we'd missed a lot of the early morning light. We cut outselves some slack and kept reiterating how incredibly gorgeous the day was and how extraordinary the visibility was and we just simply enjoyed being in the moment in such a beautiful place.

Not much to report in the restaurant review department. We never did eat breakfast or lunch today. We just got busy with business and forgot to think about meals. Finally, we decided it was time to get off the photo op road and head for downtown Bar Harbor for supper. We drove up and down a few streets looking at restaurants and finally, on a fluke, picked Mama DiMatteo's, an Italian place. It was a lucky choice. The food was excellent. And I was a very happy camper - the soup of the day was gazpacho, one of my all time favorites. We shared an order of crab-stuffed mushrooms. Bev had Mediterranean past for her main course and I had mac & cheese made with gorgonzola cheese. Oh, and a side of sauteed spinach and pine nuts. No dessert. We walked down to the center of the shops, wandered around some stores (why does Bar Harbor have two stores devoted entirely to dogs, but not a single one for cats???), and then into a different ice cream store from last night's that we decided needed checking out. Tonight I had a waffle cone withat a scoop each of butter crunch and Almond Joy ice cream. Very, very good. But then again, what ice cream isn't!

After we get today's blog online, we plan to do some reading. As my family well knows, one of my favorite travel things to do is to read the local newspaper. This week's issue of the "Mount Desert Islander" came out just today and I have a copy right on the bed here beside me. You just know what I'll be reading when I climb into bed.

Tomorrow morning we will be packing up to leave Bar Harbor and our next stop is Rockland, ME. We hope to spend the morning visiting the Wyeth Center at the Farnsworth Art Museum We are both big fans of all three Wyeths and we rarely get a chance to visit the Wyeth Center to check out new exhibits. This will be a treat for both of us. After our museum stop, lunch at the Brown Bag in downtown Rockland (a wonderful breakfast & lunch bakery/cafe that Bob and I discovered on our trip to Rockland & Camden to celebrate my 60th birthday), we then head home to Massachusetts.

We will post one final Bar Harbor trip blog tomorrow night. There's bound to be some photo ops between Bar Harbor and the Rockland/Camden area and who knows what other unexpected adventure might come out way. So tomorrow night, look for one final posting from our Bar Harbor trip before we settle back into everyday life with our families - we do miss our hubbies and our kitties.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bar Harbor, Wednesday

We are posting today's blog early purely for selfish reasons. We want to go swimming tonight after dark in the beautiful hotel pool with the underwater lighting all while the stars are out and the moon is shining. With the blog written and a photo added from today's outing, we can stay in the pool (and the hot tub) until it closes at 11 pm - much too late to take care of business like that AFTER we climb out of the pool.

Today, with plans to travel the 27-mile Park Loop Road (PLR) in Acadia National Park (ANP), but unable to enter the park until it opened at 8 am, we started with breakfast at 7 at the Morning Glory Bakery in downtown Bar Harbor. I had an egg & bagel sandwich and they actually cooked the egg fresh while I waited. No pre-cooked eggs here like Dunkin' Donuts. Very good bagels - New York style with a nice chewy outside and a soft inside. They did not have fresh hand-squeezed orange juice. :( I had to settle for Nantucket Nectars apple juice. It was still a good breakfast. We watched all the worker bees come in in their Monday through Friday work clothes to get their coffee and pastries to go before they headed out for the office or wherever they work. The regulars . . . those ladies at the bakery counter knew exactly what they wanted before the morning regulars even walked in the front door.

Just before 8 am, we headed out for the park; but, we had decided to stop first at an old stone arch bridge that when you look out through the arch, you see a beautiful view of the ocean. Ugh! My camera battery was dead (we determined the battery was the problem after swapping out my battery for Bev's - thank heaven we have near identical cameras). Like all good professional photographers, I had charged the battery before I went to bed last night. Still don't know for sure what the problem is, but the battery is already in the charger and we'll see what another charge does for it. Bev offered to share her camera with me for the day. That's okay, but she's not quite as generous as I would have liked her to be. Plus, my prize-winning photos of the day are now on her camera memory card and I'm not so sure I will ever get my hands back on them again!

We got lost on the Park Loop Road. We took a right when we should have taken a left. Not really our fault. On our way back out of the park this afternoon, we checked the signage from the opposite direction and it's definitely misleading. You don't have to be Polish to have made the mistake we made. Anyway, by the time we realized we were on the wrong road, we ended up at a beautiful little beach in Seal Harbor where Martha Stewart owns one of her summer homes. The fog was rolling in heavy off the ocean. The small harbor had lots of lobster boats anchored, and there were several beautiful forested islands not far off the beach, and it was another one of those fortuituous happenings. We LOVE fog photographs! I will be very excited to see how those photos come out. I think there may will be a Lambert Award for Excellence in Photography winner for this year's Plymouth Art Guild show. (Bev won the Lambert Award last year, and I am DETERMINED to win it this year!!! Am I a competitive older sister. Maybe just a little.)

We then turned around, got back on the Park Loop Road and started back from the beginning of the one-way section. And the fog came rolling in all the way up to where we were (much further inland and amongst some pretty high mountain peaks). We did get to stop at Thunder Hole, but it was almost exactly high tide and the hole was quiet. When we return tomorrow, when we are sure the fog will have lifted, we plan on getting to Thunder Hole about 3-hours before high tide - the ideal time for the loudest thunder sounds as the waves come crashing into the split rock chasm that makes for all the noise.

Not long after we left Thunder Hole, it started raining (never trust Accuweather's forecast - today Bar Harbor was suppose to be sunny with highs in the mid-70s). So we drove straight over to the Jordan Pond House and settled in at a table by the window that afforded us a beautiful view of Jordan Pond and The Bubbles (with some fog). We both ordered soup and one of their world-famous popovers. Oh, those popovers! Served with soft whipped butter and blueberry jam. To die for! Then we had green salads with curried chicken salad on top. Bill, a college kid and our waiter, was fabulous. He comes from Easton, one of the town's that borders Raynham. Talk about a small world. Then we shopped at the gift store and I did some serious credit card damage. Presents for you family members - they're very, very nice.

Now we're back at the hotel, and I'm writing the blog and Bev is downloading today's photos and I just know she's stealing my photos of the fog rolling in over at Seal Harbor. Later we're going to make a trip to the downtown Bar Harbor area where all the neat stores are and visit the Atlantic Brewing Company to buy some locally-brewed suds for our hubbies. Supper is going to be ice cream at another local ice cream maker we saw last night wandering around downtown Bar Harbor. Then back to the hotel and out to the pool. YEAH!

Tomorrow - back to the Park Loop Road to check out the section we got rained out of today. Then off to Seal Harbor to have lunch with Martha. Just kidding! But we do want to ride around Seal Harbor to look for some more photo ops. If we're lucky, like so many other days, fortuituous photo ops will come our way when we least expect to find them. Although, quite honestly, if we came home with just the photos we already have, we'd more than happy with this road trip. You just have to trust that the photos will find you and not look too hard for them on purpose.

We will be back tomorrow with tales of another day's adventures. Bev wants to make sure I not get your hopes up with this posting - we will not be posting any photos of us swimming in the pool tonight.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bar Harbor, Tuesday

Today was both productive and rewarding. We were up at 5:15 am and left the hotel parking lot by 6 am (we love the early morning light for taking photos and are willing to sacrifice our morning sleep to catch the very early morning light - as long as we know there's an afternoon nap in our future). We decided to head out for Southwest Harbor.

We had a little incident in the parking lot of a beautiful Methodist Church that caught our eye because it had some very unique gingerbread trim. So we pulled in to check it out. But the church had vinyl siding (in our opinion, too many old New England churches are going the way of easy maintenance and we're losing the character of those beautiful old buildings). When we went to pull out of the church parking lot, I laid rubber, Bev broke into hysterical laughter and started making signs of the cross (don't ask how long it's been since she's been a real practicing Catholic!), and she nearly peed her pants she was laughing so hard. Poor Bob, especially if he reads this blog - he just put two brand new tires on his car before we took off for Bar Harbor . . . and I'm laying rubber with them in a church parking lot. By the way, if that was a Methodist Church, why was Bev making the Catholic sign of the cross???

I do have to tell you about breakfast. We got hungry around 8 am and started looking for some place to eat. Fortuituously, we found Sips in the little town of Bass Harbor. I had the best ever homemade granola with yogurt and fresh fruit for my breakfast and Bev had scrambled eggs with Nellie's organic-grown brown eggs. Maybe we were just very hungry, or just maybe the food was that good. Today's breakfast was as good as breakfast can ever get. Oh, I did I tell you? I had REAL hand-squeezed fresh oj.

As usual, we got off the beaten path and ended up finding our best photos of the day. That's the way it almost always is for us. A beautiful garden of lupines growing up a hill on someone's lawn on the side of the road, three old Adirondack chairs, one blue, one red, and one yellow, all lined up side-by-side on a big stretch of shaded grass lawn located in front of an old inn, the Bass Harbor Head Light beacon still on because we illegally walked into the lighthouse area before 8 am when it didn't officially open to the public until 9 am. Like that scared us off.

Late in the afternoon we found our way back to our hotel, took a long overdue shower (it was 90+ degrees and somewhat humid in Bar Harbor today - who says it's always cool at the ocean), didn't take a nap, but did go out and sit at the pool (in the shade) and watch the boats out on the ocean. Then off to supper at Lompoc's, this wonderful restaurant Bob and I discovered on a previous trip to Bar Harbor, where we had some wonderfully diversified ethnic foods to pick from. From there, we wandered over to Mount Desert Island ice cream where they make their own ice cream, and had dessert. I had a three-scooper: chocolate-orange, vanilla bean and white chocolate.

Then we drove over to Acadia National Park and up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain where we check out the 360-degree views including the easterly view across the Atlantic Ocean to England. I see London, I see France, I see Bevie's . . .
The sunset was beautiful, spectacular, spiritual, and breath-taking all at once. There was a very thin cloud cover as the sun was setting and it was like watching a giant orange beachball slowly sink below the horizon. Bev and I are pretty sure we now know without a doubt why observing sunsets are a part of many native Americans spiritual practices. If one of Bev's sunset photos turns out well, that's the photo we will post with our blog tonight. We will not be adding any extra photos to our Facebook pages today.

Tomorrow we're off to Acadia National Park proper and plan on driving the 27-mile Park Loop Road around the edge of the park and perhaps stopping at Jordan Pond to enjoy one of their famous popovers. See you tomorrow night.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bar Harbor, Monday

Well, we have arrived. We are in Bah Harbah! As I sit here at the table next to the window in our hotel room, I have a beautiful view of the ocean and the mountains beyond and I can also see the inground swimming pool and hot tub which have the lights turned on for the night. It's really quite beautiful and peaceful. Not a bad way to make a living running a business!
We had a safe trip up, rather uneventful (for us), and arrived here around 5:30 pm having made numerous stops along the way. Bev has some excellent photographs of the trip up and she will post one along with this blog. Unfortunately, I was unable to convince her to take a photo of the topless sunbather lying on the beach in Lincolnville. Rather, she took pictures of the ocean and some boats moored out in the water and some rather pretty lupine flowers in near full bloom.
We did make a quick U-turn to take some shots of some very cute baby sheep, but once we got turned around and pulled over to the side of the road, all the sheep took off up the hill to get as far away from us as they could. I stood by the fence and tried imitating a sheep, a cat, whistling to them, doing the smoochy lips thing that people do to get a cat's attention - all to no avail. They only wandered off further away from us. So our shots are not as close up as we would have liked.
We had a lovely supper at the Poor Boy's Gourmet restaurant in downtown Bar Harbor(if you're interested in the place or their menu, check out and had an excellent meal. Bev particularly liked her lemon drop martini and I had a delightful hand squeezed hard lemonade.
Now we're both very tired and after we post this blog, add a photo (we believe our blog only allows us to post just ONE photo per blog), and then add an album of the rest of our photos from today to my Facebook page, we need to decide about tomorrow. Bev's going to read to me about some scenic roads and sights in Bar Harbor as part of research for tomorrow's trip. And then it's lights out for the night. See you tomorrow. Judith

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Beginning

So many people have asked us about where we go on our road trips, what we do while we're out tripping around, and what inspires us to take the photographs we take, that we decided to blog and share our adventures and some of our photos with you. We'll see how it goes, what kind of feedback we get from all of you, and how this whole, wonderful, crazy experiment plays out. It may be a short term experiment or, it may turn into a novel that lasts well into my 90s (my primary care physician has actually promised me that I'm going to be very healthy and taking wonderful photographs when I'm that old).

We're going to start our blog with our trip to Bar Harbor, Maine at the end of May. We plan on being gone for 5 days. Since Bev is the administrator of our website at and I'm the one who loves to write and tell stories in detail (ask my family if you don't believe me - they frequently tell me I make their ears tired), I'm going to write the blog (that would be me, Judith).

We welcome questions and we'd love to hear your comments. Be forewarned, my answers to your questions or comments on your comments, may even tire your ears . . . or in this case, with a blog, tire your eyes.

And the experiment starts. Stay tuned and check in frequently. We depart Monday morning, May 24.