Sunday, October 31, 2010

Falling House

Happy Halloween!
One All Hallow's Eve, we knocked on a witch's door on a dare and was invited into her kitchen. There, in front of a blazing fire, she dropped apples into each of our bags. That was a pretty scary experience, but I don't think, in the DARKNESS, I'd ever knock on this door--- Ever! Would you?

Saturday, October 30, 2010


One of our favorite places to hang out through the seasons is here at the Portland Harbor Hotel. Summers sipping a martini in the garden courtyard, with the afternoon sun lighting the tables, is a mighty fine experience. Merry Madness, an evening of shopping and merriment in December, when it was held here was the best. February brings Ice Bar memories. My brother and I attended the very first one, when it was held here. As I recall, Elenka was visiting Florida( she wouldn't have ventured out with us anyway... had it been the Heat Bar, she certainly would have been up for a night), and the temperature that day had hovered at about zero. That night Mr. Mercury dropped to somewhere between 10 and 15 below, and Marchin and I were off to see what it was all about. The lobby, bar and restaurant areas were packed shoulder to shoulder. There was food all over, but the beverages were served outside in the courtyard. Now, they had the firepit blazing, with plenty of guests sitting and talking, and a few of those large propane patio heaters were scattered about providing some warmth. But it was still FREEZING! We finally got to the Ice Bar (a HUGE bar cut out of a block of ice), ordered a couple of brew and bro handed the poor, young lady bartender a hundred dollar bill. Oh my! Between the temps, her gloves, the change for the 100, (I think it took her about 5 minutes to make the change) it was like a cartoon frozen in time. I'm still smiling!

Friday, October 29, 2010


Our weekend trip ended in Lubec, Maine, the easternmost point in the US, with a brief sojourn to the red and white candy striped West Quoddy Head Light. There has been a light here guiding ships through the Narrows since 1808. This distinctive light was built on this spot in 1858. Did you know it's the closest point to Africa in the 50 states? That is a strange fact, if you ask me. Later in Lubec, we stopped for coffee and stared across the water at Canada. The town reminded me an of an old West ghost town, abandoned buildings and few inhabitants. Soon we headed off on our 5 hour trip back home, across the airline to Bangor, then south. There were lots of sights along the way, with the autumn colors taking their final curtain call.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


We stayed at Elsa's Inn on the Harbor, a delightful B&B in Prospect Harbor. It was the perfect place for us! Outside our windows as we traveled, some delightful names whizzed by: south china, east palermo, the kingdom, searsport, stockton springs, verona island, bucksport, orland, sullivan, steuben, milbridge, columbia falls, hulls cove, otter creek, gouldsboro, prospect harbor, winter harbor, jonesboro, machais, whiting, lubec, northfield, the airline, beddington, the whaleback, aurora, amherst, clifton, eddington, newport, fairfield, sidney, litchfields corner, gray, standish and by then it was 'home again finnegan'! Quite a two day romp, if I do say so.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


One of my favorite hangouts in the Park is Schoodic Peninsula. It's bit of a longer drive but the 'pot of gold' at the end is well worth the extra miles. Once many years ago, I awoke at 4 AM one summer morning and set out to negotiate summer traffic on Route 1. Why? The allure of those rocks and the falling sun. I got back well after sundown, but with a camera full of dreams.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


So many great images... so hard to choose. After lunch, our 'road trip' took us along the loop trail which circles Acadia National Park. It's cliched, but around every bend on the road there was an opportunity for different images. In this photograph, one of the many carriage paths travels overhead, but below was where beauty was hidden for me. Startling... the camera is humbled here.

Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. -John Muir

Monday, October 25, 2010


It was a DownEast weekend adventure for us. All we really knew, when we started Saturday morning, was that we were spending the night at Prospect Harbor at a B&B. We left the house at about 7:30 AM, with our first main destination Bar Harbor, but we stopped a few times along the way to take in some sights with the camera. We pulled into 'Bah Hahbah' about noon and walked the main drag taking in the shops. This is a shot of the town square in its autumn colors. Later, we drove the loop road around Acadia National Park and to the top of Cadillac Mountain for lunch that we had brought in our cooler. Delicious roast beef sandwich for me, while Elenka went with her usual nutritious meal, that seems to always put me to shame. Delicious views too!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Good morning from Prospect Harbor, Maine! Last night we ate in a small diner in Winter Harbor. What great names!

Here's a bit more color, although there's not a lot of autumn tints here. We're moving into this final week of October, with lots of final bundling up of the homestead on the docket. It's also a week of Halloween festivities. Believe it or not, I'm not big into Halloween parties and dressing up in a costume, at least not on this spooky night. I guess when I finally grew out of that devil costume, I left that chapter of my life behind. But don't get me wrong... I do enough 'masquerading' in my other life to suit me and my friends just fine.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blue and Cream

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea!
You and me, you and me, oh how happy we'll be!
When each wave comes rolling in
We will duck or swim,
And we'll float and fool around the water.
Over and under, and then up for air,
Pa is rich, Ma is rich, so now what do we care?
I love to be beside your side, beside the sea,
Be side the seaside, by the beautiful sea!

This song is from the 1914 musical score "For Me and my Gal" made famous by Spike Jones and the City Slickers. Dad loved this guy and his music. I just thought the name Spike Jones was so cool. He'd often play the radio in the darkened den on Stevens Avenue, and this bandleader's hits were a favorite. Unbeknowst to others I might be with, I'll find myself humming or softly singing this tune while walking along the beach or even here at Bug Light.

Off on a day trip DownEast, and yes, I'll be near the beautiful sea!

Friday, October 22, 2010

House Afire

Is this another example of the randomness of life? Or is there something else going on here? Heading off to photograph a couple subjects and all of a sudden this strange building passed me by. Is this a house? Is this a storefront? A grange hall? How about a relic of a country church? Is it just a remodeling job gone bad? I'm a bit perplexed by this one. How about you?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Scatter

The pond at Deering Oaks is edged with autumn debris these days. Walking around the entire edging, the other morning, brought me up close and personal with many ducks, a wonderful fountain and lots of scattered leaves. This morning, this image reminds me of skating here many moons ago and stopping to search out oak leaves entombed in the frozen ice. Don't ask me why I looked for them, or even why I was so intrigued by their sight. Frozen, close to the surface, it was like they were held in some microscopic, suspended world, that I could examine so easily. Strange, what triggers the old memory bank.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tree Death

It's sad when a tree dies. For most, it's a slow death. Sometimes... when we lived on Washington Avenue, and I was in First Grade, a hurricane hit the city. Mom, Dad and I watched as a huge elm teetered and tottered all afternoon and eventually came down across the road. It took telephone lines with it and rendered the house dark for a few days. I'm sure it was a pain for my parents but for a six year old, it was some exciting. That tree waved back and forth in a fierce wind before she toppled over. Once she started leaning, her life expectancy was greatly reduced.Today, we have a couple of trees on the property that soon will be taken down. One is this one, a type of cherry, that leans perilously towards the family room The other, a once proud maple, is slowly losing its majestic shape on the lawn. Its twin was taken down ten years ago. When the day came to take her down, I spent the day away; I just couldn't bear to see her hit the ground. I still miss that old maple. Ol' sentimental me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tank Design

Looking off towards Portland, I spied one of many storage tanks at one of the local tank farms, as they call them. I don't know if there is much 'cultivating' going here amid the fuel storage systems; however, the blueness, tank edging and shadows caught my eye. It was a lovely autumn morning: made more so by a nearly clear, blue sky and a brisk breeze.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pine Grove

I've always told people, if they wanted to listen to me, that one of the most beautiful places in the city is Evergreen Cemetery. As you head in the main gate that leads towards the cemetery office, bear right on the main tar drive and look for these iron gates, that indicate the small Pine Grove burial grounds. It's a small private lot that is almost indistinguishable from the main cemetery. Growing up nearby meant that I spent a lot of time wandering the myriad of roads and trails in these parts. We always entered the cemetery, regardless of the season, via the very step hill that leads to this old section. Whether it was skating on the many ponds in winter, playing golf among the stones or daring each other to get from one end to the other near midnight, it is a place that clutches lots of memories.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sail Away

Yesterday, the Explorer of the Seas spent her last call in the city for 2010. Seeing this majestic ship in Portland helped to recall our spectacular 9 day trip to the Caribbean, on board her, this past June. I wrote this summer that we love cruising, but that, unlike the fanatics that sail away a couple of times a year, we space ours out a bit. For us, it seems to bring forth that added ingredient of the mix of longing and coming excitement. And yes, the eye does not deceive. The water looked almost black to the eye at Bug Light, where this photograph was taken. And the wind was nasty too out on the point. I love this setting, looking off to Portland; it provides a dramatic angle of the city when sky, weather, sunlight or night lights paint the skyline.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Signs, Signs

Growing up art Morrill's Corner, there were six gas stations scattered about a short distance. The Sunoco, the Esso and the Shell stations all could be seen from my second floor bedroom on Stevens Avenue, and I had adventures connected to all of them. Further around the corner, just past Howard's Variety, you could have found a Texaco, an American and a Chevron. Six distinct brands in such a short proximity. Now, a Subway sandwich shop, a McDonald's, a Wok Inn, a lumber supply building and car wash have overtaken the neighborhood. At last look, one station remains where once six, proud, 'full service' islands stood. Few relics endure of a bygone time.

Friday, October 15, 2010

First Born

october 15
she paints
she cooks
she cares
she loves
she travels
she creates
she jokes
she wines
she dines
she gardens
she sews
she teaches
she learns
she plays
she shops
she listens
she prays
she dresses
she accomplishes
she's there
she's then
she's memorable
she's forward
she's back
she's the difference
here, there and everywhere

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rake 'em!

Rake 'em, if you got 'em! Ya, they're almost mesmerizing now, but in another three weeks, they'll be the bane of homeowners. Once the 'leaf peepers' head back home in a few weeks, it'll be up to us to clear up the damage. Back in my teens, it got to my job on Stevens and Coyle to rake the leaves into the street set the piles on fire. But, of course, that's a no no these days. Now at our house, we've raked them into tarps and lugged them to the field and in other years to the compost pile. These autumns, I just mulch the leaves by driving my riding mower over them, again and again pushing them towards the street. After that, I just let the autumn winds do their thing. 'What God has joined together let no man put asunder'... except when it comes to that painstaking job each November of raking dead, brown leaves off my front lawn.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hidden Hood

We moved into our home in '77 on Elenka's birthday. That first week after work one day I ventured a walk up through the back field and woods. On my return trip, I ended up pretty much right behind the house, where an old Maine barn once stood. As was the case on most old farmsteads back in time, before town dumps, each farm had places selected to dispose of their trash. They also had their wells scattered about the property. This blue truck hood covers one of of the discarded wells. Every once in awhile, while digging up rocks for a new garden or moving some trees, I'll come across a spot that was once used as a dumping spot with bottles, mostly broken, and others not broken down through the many years. Back then, it was a different time... a different world.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Apple Truck

When fall rolls around, I can't help but think about those Sunday family adventures out to Terrison's Apple Orchards in Cumberland. Mom and dad would pile us in that Chevy station wagon, and we'd fly off. Once there, it was an hour and a half of pure fun and excitement, finding the perfect tree with the most macs and trying to climb to the top. My brother and I climbing and tossing and my sisters catching and bagging them. We usually took home a bushel of macintosh, a peck or two of my favorite, golden delicious, and a jug of cider. The day wasn't complete, unless we caught a glimpse of old man Terrison in the shop and listened took him talk to Dad about how many gallons of cider he had pressed that morning. Ah, apple pickin' time. There was that allure and oh, that mouth watering aroma, just walking among the drooping-branched trees in the Terrison's orchard maze.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wheel Well

Here are some fall colors found yesterday in a truck lot next to an abandon factory. Artistic designs can often be found in machines in our world, and they also can be seen in nature, of course. Sometimes they mesh, at least they did for me. Apples, cider, pumpkins, lots of colored leaves and a hard frost. Hey, it's fall in New England.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Mom taught us all this English language nursery rhyme. It always appeared this time of year. It came to mind yesterday afternoon, as I was pulling my pumpkins from the garden. Great pumpkin crop this year! By the way, Happy 10.10.10!
Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,
Had a wife but couldn't keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her very well.
Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,
Had another and didn't love her;
Peter learned to read and spell,
And then he loved her very well.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


As I wake this morning, I still can't get my head around the fact that today John Lennon would have been 70 years old had he not been killed in 1980. That is indeed a long trip from the Ed Sullivan show and those Shea Stadium concerts. Is there any way to just get a piece or two of those innocent, youthful years back? Sitting on the back steps at Stevens, often staring up towards the Milky Way wondering where this life was taking me. Waiting there for that first Sunday night show. Brenda, Judy and Judd's excited voices making their way up the back trail to see my sister. I met them at the back door. Brenda chirping, "Are you going to watch them? They're so gorgeous and sharp!" "Ya, probably", I think I remember saying, trying to act distant and aloof. But I know one thing about that Sunday evening sitting around the old Philco-- my life changed; I know it did! It headed in a different direction, and I like where it went. Although, on mornings like this(with the Lincoln Park fountain as my picture), I long for a few innocent hours. Excuse me while I put "Double Fantasy" on and take a short trip back. Peace!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Park Boulders

It was a nice, peaceful morning, ripe for a walk in the park. Tommy's Park. amid the Old Port, is a destination that'll bring you the respite you need on a bustling Saturday afternoon dodging skateboards(hence the boulders, I take it), yappin' puppies or crowded sidewalks. It's even a more pleasant spot on a sunny Sunday morning coffee in hand. Out our way, most trees have turned to their fall colors. There seem to be lots of muted reds, yellows and oranges this autumn. As you can see here, these city 'greens' are hanging on for dear life. These days temps are beginning to struggle to stay in the 60s., and this Sunday, our first hard frost is looming. Just can't fight mother nature.
J and B head back to Oregon this afternoon. As always, the two weeks flew by, but these two really know how to enjoy themselves. They were go, go, go every day for the fortnight. Safe passage!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ice Cream Memories

Always? These days, I'd say hardly! Now, white milk is not a big part of my diet, and when it comes to ice cream, I'll search out lots of brands before this one. Since the demise of Deering Ice Cream shops around here, I really enjoy Dairy Queen Blizzards. Hey, call me crazy, but I love them. July or February, I'm game! Really, I don't partake in a lot of Hood products, but back in the day... The H.P. Hood Company has been around New England for over 160 years. They used to have a a store and offices on Walton Street. As kids, the gang always knew if there was a trailer truck parked at the loading ramp, there usually was ice cream for the taking. It was free, and if we were lucky and the truck had only been there an hour or so, the back would contain some ice cream products in all stages of melting. If you dug deep enough, you were sure to reap the rewards of a couple still frozen Hoodsie cups or chocolate covered ice cream bars. Some days the truck was empty, but most days it held free treats for the boys. Always!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dark Roast

I'm in Arabica again last Sunday morning with long time pal Paul. We get together for coffee and breakfast every so often and catch up on our latest comings and goings. It's our favorite meeting spot. When the sun's coming up, I love looking out these windows towards Free Street. He shared his latest good news on the house hunting front and the trials and tribulations of attempting to negotiate the summer tourist traffic in Bar Harbor in July. Elenka and I are headed to the Schoodic Peninsula soon, but we'll try it after the 'leaf peepers' leave. I like to visit the beaches and rocks, when they are a bit lonely and wanting for attention. As for me, we reminisced about his meeting my sister Diane for the first time. He had questions, and we both just shook our heads at the fine fortune of her finding us when she did. It was quite a quest for her. I think she's happy at what she has found. I know I am. After about and hour, we parted. He was stopping off at the office. I headed off to shoot milk trucks. Don't ask. Got Milk?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Your Honor

The gray brickwork of the latest addition to the Cumberland County Courthouse is seen here. Been in the old courthouse twice in my life. Once I was on a field trip in high school, and the second time was with my brother, with him to offer support. That's what brothers do. Elenka and I have never been called for jury duty, yet. Now, there I go. I bet I've gone and jinxed myself and what's worse-- her. I'll never live it down, if she's called in the next few months. She'll never let me forget it either. I know that! Sometimes, I should just keep my mouth shut. As far a doing my duty in a jury goes, I'd say my time is running out though. Most of my friends my age have been called. Me? I just keep rolling the dice, I guess. Ah! Snake eyes!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Barbed Wire

I pass this cow pasture with its barbed wire and posts quite a few times in my travels. Interesting stuff. This type of fencing has been around since 1867 when it was patented by Lucien B. Smith of Ohio. Most often, it is used to contain cattle, but it has a history of being used during trench warfare in various wars, and rolls of it can be found atop fencing surrounding prisons. I do have a historical connection to it, that does not involve cattle or prison life. The gang and I came across it on a horse farm and just wondered if we could scale it undamaged. The results were not pretty. One of us, I can't remember who, ended up hanging, caught upside down for a bit. It was kind of funny though, seeing him running around the pasture in his underwear. Leaving his pants hangin' was the only way he could free himself from the wicked wire. Funny memory!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Island Boxes

When Dad starting delivering mail in Portland, his first route was on Peaks Island. He took the ferry to the island and back each day. Through rain, snow, sleet and sometimes blazing sun, he walked the main circular road on the island. He told me once that he loved that first experience of 'island life'. He worked delivering mail in the city for over 40 years and the only times I ever heard him complained was when he'd come home from work and have to soak those feet in epsom salt. His main route was the West End and he just loved walking those brick-lined avenues. One of his many perks, as he called them, was stopping each day for lunch at the Maine Medical Center (in its early years the Maine General Hospital) cafeteria. Now, being a good Catholic family, Friday was a special day for us. We did the whole routine of 'no meat' on Fridays. Each time the day rolled around, it was usually some form of a fish recipe. Fish chowder was a favorite. Dad always sang the praises of the hospital's menu, especially on Friday. In his words, "The best fish chowder in the city!", and that was saying something because Mom's was outstanding! Always think of Dad when I see these old relay boxes, still in use in some parts of the city.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chain and Bolt

Sometimes it's not the grand picture of things that holds the ultimate key, is it. Often, as we know, the truly simplistic offerings clutch some ultimate magic for us. Most of my life, I have traveled the 'blue highways' of this state and others with my cameras in my backpack or at least in my backseat ready to capture the twists and turns of this 'little trip' I'm on. I like to set a goal or two as I head out. You know... "Hey, I'm heading to the West End for that snow covered street or Riverton to shoot the Grange." I don't think I've ever said to E- "I'm heading to the pier to photograph a chain and bolt." Life just pulls us along sometimes. I say: Just let go; just float! Like this morning, sitting on a bench, just resting for a spell. And there it was. Almost at my feet. Voila!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Theme Day: Graffiti

T0day, October 1, 2010 is Theme Day across the CDPB (citydailyphotoblog) community. One man's meat is another man's poison, as they say. Now, the age old question(well, almost for the ages) is graffiti ART? or is it a NUISANCE and vandalism?? Behind The Asylum, a bar and dance club, you'll find these newly painted walls enclosing the building. These walls are painted over every six months or so by art students who work nearby. Lots of dots in this one. Happy weekend!