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Camping Canines

>> Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's amazing how our dogs turn into different creatures in the woods, especially Phoebe.  She's the most campingest dog ever.  She doesn't need a leash on our site as she doesn't stray far and doesn't chase wildlife (well, okay, other than the insanely irritating red squirrel who was hurling pine cones and yelling at us for days, and with whom she finally lost her patience and chased up a tree).  She loves sleeping with her pack in the tent.  And each morning, she would greet the day by sitting for about a half hour in a spot of sunshine, staring out over the beauty of the bay.  She'd just sit there and stare, and wouldn't move a muscle.  It made me wonder desperately what she was thinking.

Phoebe could entertain herself endlessly in the woods.  She'd play with her squeaky ball for a while, then play with Simon for a while.  Then she'd wander down to the water's edge and watch the tide come in, or poke around in the soft mud and seaweed whuffling for who knows what.

And hiking!  Lordie, how she loves hiking.  She walks roughly 4x the distance Seth and I walk, if she's allowed off leash, as she runs ahead and runs back, then runs ahead and runs back, and repeats it over and over.  If we are walking separately, with one ahead and one staying behind with the aging Basset hound, she easily follows her nose to the leader, never taking the wrong track.  She's truly a natural hiker.

I swear, my little mutt just exudes pure radiant joy in the woods.  Makes me feel bad that I don't take her camping more often.

Simon, as you can see, hates camping too.  Though being a hound, he stays leashed every moment, because he'd follow his nose who knows where and never be seen again.  We set him up with a nice run, though, and he'd whuffle about and occasionally take a dirt/dog bed bath.

The poor stumpy booger is getting older.  He's only 7, but our vet says he's officially a senior citizen and it shows.  After a day of very mild hiking he'd be achy and sore and need a baby aspirin to go to sleep.  Poor old man and his spine burs.  He likes camping primarily for naps in the sun, and the ready availability of laps.

He's too neurotic to stay at home by himself without his Phoebe for any length of time, and we can't deprive her of hikes.  Here are the two tuckered out friends after a walk on the beach:

We are contemplating how to train him to ride in one of the Duluth packs, so we don't have to stop hiking with him.  Here follows Duluth pack experiment:

Well, he was content in there, but man, is he awkward to carry like that!  Maybe we shall have to experiment with him, and see if he'd go for a kid's back carrier of some kind.  It should be hilarious and ridiculous, if we can make it work.

Anyway, we all had a great time on our camping adventure, and as an added bonus, the Bean appears to finally be over her car sickness issues, which is a very welcome relief.

Speaking of Beans, (as in, "full of"), Phoebe drives me crazy with her ultra high energy and her insistent need to know what I'm doing at EVERY SINGLE MOMENT when I'm home.  But then, after a stint in the woods, I don't mind her nosy energy - I know that she, like me, is more at home surrounded by trees and water and bugs and sky, and just bides her time until she can be there again.


The textures of Coastal Maine

>> Monday, August 26, 2013


It seems to me that my shots this year fell into essentially two categories: Classic images of coastal Maine, and texture shots.  By texture, I mean something that's fairly characteristic of my photography and is becoming moreso: photos that show high contrast between objects, or show off the texture of ordinary objects themselves.

I took a lot of photos of beach debris of one sort or another, and rocks, and ordinary things like shells and seaweed in ways that focused on their surfaces.  It's kind of fun to look at them in retrospect, and note what it is that caught my eye in the first place, and see how it turned out.

I'll stop describing now and let you see firsthand what I'm talking about:

I keep meaning to look up what these amazing purple flowers are.  They are all along our camp site on Cobscook Bay, and look like ordinary flowers that you'd see growing in a field or in woods.  But these delicate lovelies spend large parts of their lives submerged entirely underwater during high tides, and grow surrounded by plants that look far more like seaweed.  They fascinate me.  See the surrounding seaweed below:

Rocks.  Ah, how I love the texture of rocks.  Check out these gorgeous boulders that are on the beach near the Quoddy Head, and I assume they must be loaded with iron.  I love how the salt spray makes them rust in fantastic rich patterns.

I also loved driftwood this year, and all the debris that winds up washing up on beaches, and textures that life makes in the sand.


This one is fantastic.  I'm not sure what it is, but assume some kind of plant with feathery strands, or some sort of coral-ish thing.  But it's got coral textures and barnacles on the mussel shell it's stuck to, too.  Awesome.


Back Home in Downeast Maine

>> Saturday, August 24, 2013

My husband and I had an abbreviated vacation in Downeast Maine again this year.  It had been a few years since we'd been there, and we have missed it badly.  Unfortunately, because of circumstances beyond our control, it wound up being a shorter trip than we would have liked.  But at least it was a little dose of Maine-ness.

We stayed at Cobscook Bay State Park again, and visited a number of our favorite haunts again, as well as a few new ones.

Of course I took my camera, but since I've done a fair bit of photography there, I was working hard not to just repeat shots I've taken before.  I don't think I succeeded when it comes to fishing boats - I took some shots that look remarkably like ones I've taken before.  But fishing boats have such visual charm I found it hard to resist.  Mind you, I do not forget for a second that fishing is a damn hard way to make a living, especially with overfishing continually reducing fish populations, and the hard winters of Maine, and the wild tide changes of the Bay of Fundi.  In lovely summer weather, though, one has to work to remember the hard life the fishermen live.

I apparently especially love red fishing boats.

We also had some nice atmospheric fog this year that made for fun photo ops.

Anyway, this is round one of Maine photos, featuring iconic fishing community images.  There will be more to come, of various themes.  

This was totally unintentional, but I love how it looks like a mini boat is suspended on the seaweed-covered rope:


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