Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hanging Stones

Let's file this one under: strange occurrences. I stumbled upon this yesterday, in a bed of bushes that had been cut back last fall. These groups of small rocks seemed to be balancing precariously on the underlying branches. They were not the only ones. There were many hanging like this. They didn't seem too secure either. I bet, if I tried to place them like this, it would be impossible. What gives? Nature's way? As a kid, I would have taken them, one by one, and happily chucked them as far as I could, bouncing them off rooftops, sailing them at vacant building windows. Yesterday, I let them lie still. I kept those enterprises for another day.
ps Let's see if my brother has a smart comment on this photo like he did for my 'Nine Stones' awhile back. hahahaha!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fog Lights

Fog does crazy things to normal evenings. Here we are a couple of nights ago at one of the entrance ramps to the Casco Bay Bridge, which spans the Fore River connecting Portland and South Portland. We've got a busy, yet relaxing weekend ahead. Our plans are to do a bit of celebrating of our recent anniversary. Details to follow soon and hopefully without a lot of fog. It does a job on the hair, if you know what I mean.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

At Rest

I was glad to see that my mom wasn't the only one putting gloves and mittens up to dry at the end of a busy day. After taking in the Portland Museum of Art Biennial yesterday afternoon, we ventured down to a few of the wharfs off Commercial Street and caught a glimpse of the working waterfront at rest. Back in another life, late winter afternoons usually found the big radiators in the den on Stevens Avenue fully stocked with a myriad of colors, shapes and sizes, as our 'working' gloves, mittens and socks stumbled upon a bit tranquility after a hectic winter day. Luckily, there were lots of the big radiators, because with four kids, there were lots clothes that needed a 'rest'.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

'rooms on Tree

Just out back a bit, I found this mushroom strung small tree. Is the growth new this spring or left over from the fall? I do not know. I just thought it was a neat look on a this tree. I'm not a harvester of 'rooms, so I'm not about to go sample these. I'll leave that for those that know better than I. Mushrooms are a dietary favorite of mine; a taste I acquired as an adult. Growing up, they weren't a staple on our dinner table. Dad was a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so that's what Mom prepared. These days, I'll try anything. Elenka's a virtuoso when it comes to the culinary arts. She makes mouthwatering meals that attack your taste buds and are pleasing to the eye. She says she hates to cook, but you'd be amazed at what she prepares for family social gatherings and ordinary evening meals. Of course, I'm easy! I'll eat anything... well, just don't bring up lamb.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Entrance with Bike

Here's the entrance to the Young Men's Christian Association(YMCA) building on Forest Avenue. Growing up, I spent some afternoons here, with my buddies, shooting some pool, and playing b-ball on their court. Later, during my college years, I spent a couple of nights back in town in a small room, on a clandestine trip to see a couple of friends. It was a classic example of a trip well planned, that went wrong at all the important points. I'll not go into the messy details, but suffice to say, I learned a life lesson and never tried that again. Foolish youth!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Time's Toll

These leaves are still hanging having suffered a Maine winter's wrath. I photographed this tree last October and these leaves were bright yellow. Now, they are on their way to a pale white, with just a slight whisper of yellow. New buds are at the ready and will soon overtake these once striking leaves. Nature takes its course; life pushes ahead. This so reminds me of a favorite Robert Frost poem and that thirst to 'stay gold'!
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Time waits for no man, woman or child. It's both a curse and a pleasure rolled into one. In our youth, it's marked by go, go, go. Everything couldn't happen fast enough, turning to a teen, 18 and off to college, the age of 21, then 25 a quarter of 100. Now, I say, "Life, could you please slow down a bit? I'm not ready to grow old. I have too much livin' to do." Ever watch grass grow? It's a pretty imperceptible process, but each May and June I'm still mowing the yard once or even twice a week. When does it do all that growin'? At night? Same goes for this sundial. Watch the sun creep across this marked blade. It moves at the same snail-paced speed, but before we know it, the day is done. So let's all try to enjoy today... it ain't comin' back soon.

Trivia note: Back in the summer of '74, my pal Fillinger and I, constructed the base for this sundial at Evergreen Cemetery.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Willard and Cresent beaches in the summer and during the winter the expanse of open water of Old Orchard Beach are places that bring forth solace and creativity into my life. Whether it's the solitude of the empty beach with pounding surf in the winter months or the relatively uncrowded warm sand of July, they can both set the mind at ease and rejuvenate the spirit. Both of these times and locals conjurer up fine memories too- our January trips to icy Kettle Cove in the station wagon and Dad's wild tales of pirates and buried treasures or Mom's egg salad sandwiches with that slight hint of sand at Willard on our summer sojourns there. Now that I think about it, I shouldn't be surprised at all that these sites along the coast bring forth such feelings. The mind does amazing things, when we just sit back and let it work.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Can you really go wrong with books? Whether it's a large library, with historical volumes under lock and key or a small quaint bookstore, with tucked away alcoves for quiet reading time, these are both all time favorite hangouts of mine. Add in all the electronics and wifi that have found their way into libraries today, and you'd have to say, they do have a somewhat different look to them in 2011. However, you can always find a spot for some quiet time though. This is the Portland Room at the Portland Public Library. It contains some the oldest and most valuable volumes in the library's collection. This room is warm, inviting and just the spot to spend 'me time' in on a blustery spring afternoon.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pond Reflection#4

Here's one of the five small ponds at Evergreen Cemetery with its reflection of an early spring day. As I've mentioned quite often speaking with friends or writing in this space, it's one of my favorite 'reflection' spots in the city. Within the gates, there are endless places that hold memories. I grew up in here right through the seasons, toiled for the city for ten summers and now in later years return to this familiar haunt, turn off the engine and just sit and wait. This is a perfect photograph to use to0, because these grounds involve so much 'reflection'. But don't misinterpret here. It's not all nostalgic. Lots of my time in here involves glancing ahead, thinking ahead.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Ah... in quiet coffee shops, sitting alone listening to the comings and goings of people sitting around me. You just never know what you'll find. This morning at the Bard there seemed to be a bit of everything. A fellow to my left stretched out with a laptop at the ready and about half way through London's Sea Wolf, and a young coed in red moccasins curled up on a comfy chair with journal, iphone, laptop at her side and reading Theosophy a book by Rudolf Steiner. Behind me, a tentative business transaction seemed to be in the planning stages. It's my new favorite place. Delicious brew, comfortable over-stuffed couches and quiet enough to plan my day, week or upcoming project. I need a refuge like this to grab a hold of, relax and be the old, anonymous me. How about you?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ft. Allen Park#2

Here's a visual oxymoron if ever there was one-- Chandler's Band concerts in the bandstand and cannons. Both of these look off endlessly towards Casco Bay and the hustle and bustle of Portland's working waterfront. There are days when I park alone with a coffee or lunch and peer out over the 'big pond'. I enjoy the solitude and just for a few idle moments dream about me in another life, another time. I've always enjoyed watching the tugs pushing around the big tankers. I admire them. Little guys doing an overwhelming job, reaching far beyond their potential. It's a soothing spot; it's a dreaming spot. It's a fine spot for me, regardless of the season. I'm at home here... always have been, always will be.

Today, Elenka and I are celebrating 36 years of wedded bliss. Where did that time go? Lovya!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Front Seat#1

What places do you seek out that give you solace and creativity in this go-go world we live in? This week I'll show you some hangouts of mine that help me get my creative juices flowing. Believe it or not, I do some of my best thinking in the front seat of my truck, going here and there. Most times traveling just lets me sort of clear the air, set things straight in my mind of where I'm going and what's my best plan of 'attack'. At other times, my creative ideas seem to jump from a story or a song streaming from my radio or cd player. Lastly, when all else fails, it's that quiet oasis to just get away and be alone with my thoughts.

Best wishes to my good friend and bff 'annie's mom' on her B-day!
... and Happy Patriots Day!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


This is another of the tanks that overlook the city from its South Portland home. Five or so of these have been painted by a commissioned artist, but this is one of the many that have been left to look out for themselves. To tell you the truth, I kind of like rusty look of this one with its steps leading up almost endlessly, then nothingness. I feel that way at work... sometimes. Ah, I hear the familiar piano cords of the MPR musical lead-in off in the kitchen. Just the recipe for a lazy, rainy, spring Sunday morning.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Maine Course

This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago at the Maine State Pier, next to Casco Bay Lines. This shrink-wrapped sailboat was still waiting out the vacillating Maine winter storm schedule. Most smaller boats are taken out of the water over the winter months; however, lots remain right at their moorings, shrink-wrapped or not, to wait out spring. On the weather front: it's snow in the western mountains tonight, but around here it'll be all rain, a sure sign of spring.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hay Wagons

Lined up in a row in a steady rain, these hay wagons, await their summer work details. Having grown up as a city boy, there were lots nuances I had to become familiar with out here in the country. Hay season for one. Around these parts, for example, I've noticed that farmers usually have a two hay crop season--- late June and then again in the early fall. To get the hay crop cut, kicked, raked and baled without it being ruined by the impeding rain can keep farmers sweating bullets and constantly looking skyward. It's hard work. I admire these guys and gals running their rigs back and forth across the fields of gold. Me? I don't thick I was cut out for it. Heck, growing up, a piece of straw stuck in my white t-shirt would drive me crazy all day!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Boot Fashion

"Wear your boots, dear!" That was the refrain I often heard on days like yesterday. In the down pouring, drenching rain, on my daily walks to high school in the snow or our Sunday jaunts to church, I heard it from Mom. And those boots were? Ya, you guessed it, the eight inch high, black, 5 buckled variety, that you wore right over your shoes. A fashion item, if I ever saw one. Not! I hated them. I told her they made me look stupid! In front of all my friends, they were embarrassing! I told her the kids would laugh at me. She countered with, "Please, they'll keep the colds away." These days, thanks to wellies; you're stylin'. These boots are very much in vogue. But alas no, I would have never worn a pair of these either! Well, I must admit. If the price was right, I might have. You see. I sometimes live in a danger zone.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Going, Going...

Good Grief! Going, Going... Gone? I think the mind's failing me. I took this photo last week at the cemetery, but for the life of me, I have no recollection as to what this is. That's definitely is a piece of granite in the middle, with some sort of lichen creeping in from the right. I guess I better start writing this stuff down. I'm not really a list sort of guy. Usually, I'm a shoot from the hip sort of guy. However, I might have to start changing my ways.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Turn Ahead

Yesterday, my morning trip found me fighting more blurry driving along with an early morning thunder and lightening show. Earlier, when took the trash out at 5 AM, I knew something was up. It was humid, and there was an eerie, close to the ground layer of mist or fog that had me thinking... smoke? Was there a fire somewhere? You can tell things are changing around here. It's close to 60 degrees right now, and most of this remaining snow will be gone soon.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tick Tock

Memories... what strange things. Sometimes we're accused of having selective ones. A song, a building, some words and we can go rocketing back to another time, another place. So out of control, it seems. They bring laughter; they utter forth tears of pain or joy; sometimes we even search out explanations to our dreams gone awry. Grandparents for me hold very memorable place. How I ended up with Josephine and Albert, I'll never know. I do know I have an endless, it seems, bank of recollections. Too many to list for sure. Here's one. This Seth Thomas clock ticked away my youthful summers at the head of their dining room table. The gentle tick tock was such a soothing sound, in the middle of a twelve year old hectic pace. I'm listening to it now in my kitchen. Got a loving grandparent memory? Please share with me today. I'm in that mood.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chapel Window

Coming back from the beach last week, I had some time to kill, so I pulled over in a cemetery and next to this vine-covered chapel. Again, herein lies that struggle of beauty verses ugliness. The beauty of the vine in all its splendor during the summer months needs to be matched up against the structural damage that can be done by 'this beauty', as it claws its way into the stonework and mortar. My grandmother's grape arbor never faced this dilemma. Constructed by Grampa, it was sturdy and strong and seem to hold up fine through Maine winters. In the spring, a slight repair here a dab of white paint there, and it was ready for business. All summer long, it seemed, I would steal a grape here or there, but they were always mouth-curdling sour to my taste. But in the fall, her canned grape jelly always tasted so delicious on that warm toast. Another mystery of life, I guess... or a grandmother's touch.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring Flow

Here's a mystery this morning. How many of these little intrigues do you encounter in your daily trips to work or play and back? Each spring there is usually a torrent of water making its way down this steep hill towards the Saco River nearby. Driving by, I have always wondered about what the W.B.S.C. 1892 refers to though. Hey, will I survive if I never uncover its meaning? You betcha! Oh ya, another clue. There is an electrical dam nearby. Anybody want to hazard a guess?
Happy Saturday!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cottage Shade

Here's a beach-side cottage window doing its best to reflect back a bit of the passing parade. Having survived the winter, but not yet open for inhabiting, I find the these places somewhat depressing against a cold wind. Fast forward to July, and it'll be a beehive of nonstop comings and goings. Never had a 'summer home', camp or cottage. Elenka, one practical cat, always said, "Why? We're so close to everything. A place on a lake or pond, an hour away? The ocean, even less driving time then that. Does it really make sense?" See what I mean? And of course, at this point on 'the journey'... the upkeep? As I've always said to those who might listen, we make quite a team.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cold Dunes

These are the dunes just off West Grand Avenue near Old Orchard Beach. I was here a week or so ago, as a cold, biting wind blew. The shoreline was pretty deserted, with even the sun playing its game of hide-and- seek. Although the ocean was calm this day, a visit to here in early spring or winter usually gets me thinking of one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes (Marine Biologist) and George Costanza lines, "The sea was angry that day my friends, like an old man trying to return soup at a deli!" I'm chuckling even now as I write it. Hahahaha!
Got a favorite episode?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tree Fog

Rain and some warm weather have kicked in the fog machine around here. From early morning to late evening, yesterday was a foggy-bottom day. When it gets like this early, it can make for some tricky driving. I pulled over on the way to work to capture part of this favorite tree. I hear that London, famous for its fogs, can have them with brown or yellow-green tints. Never seen those in these parts. However, I do love to watch an Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes movie, featuring Basil Rathbone attempting to maneuver those murky, fog-bound streets on London though. Living on Coyle Street in those high school and college years at the foot of Back Bay, there were many days that the 'pea soup' fog just seemed to roll up the the driveway and consume us all, like some white-haired monster from the deep. On those days, I can remember, it really was hard to see the proverbial hand in front of your face. That reminds me, I love pea soup with big chunks of ham! Hey, how did I get here?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cut Tulips

I stopped by my cardiologist's office yesterday afternoon for a little check-up and a smell of these tulips. You know-- time for an oil and plugs' change and a little tune-up. While I sat in my truck later and updated Elenka and sis in Oregon, I watched sleet bounce its way across the windshield and hood. I said to myself-- well. I have tomorrow's post. Those cut flowers must make an appearance. They are upbeat and positive. I remember my first visit to a florist's shop ever. It was Meloon's on Washington Avenue, and guess what; it's STILL there. I was overwhelmed with the aroma of cut flowers and growing plants in the dead of a Maine winter. I was there to help get some flowers for Mom, but I still can't get that image of 'flowers flourishing in snow' out of my mind. Was it possible? Flowers in winter? I was simply amazed... and amazed still that I remember that distant day.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wood Cut

This stump is rotting from the inside out. I found it protruding from a sea of snow along a city street. Growing up, one of my fondest memories was counting the rings of a tree to search out its age. Regardless of what we seemed to be doing at the time, our fun usually came to screeching halt when we ever came across a recently cut down tree, and there were lots of them that were felled, when the dreaded 'elm disease' attacked the Forest City's towering trees. The bigger it was the more fun. We'd all gather around and get our fingers busy. Five boys, five fingers, five different counts. It got confusing! But that tantalizing, sweet fragrance of the sawdust was heaven.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ice Out

The ice is, inch by inch, leaving the brook down the road. When I took a walk the other afternoon, I saw this edge that reminded me of the B-2 Spirit (aka Stealth Bomber) wing. While on the campus of Virginia Tech a few years back, we saw one come out of nowhere to roar over the campus. It was an amazing, shuddering sight.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cruel Joke

Love That Snow!
I hope this is my one last glance at winter. This was my look at 7 AM yesterday morning, out my front door. The snow was heavy and very wet. We lost power but only for a couple of hours. If you think you'd enjoy a scene like this in April, move to Maine. As for me, I'm checking out travel brochures this weekend. Maybe joining Creech in the Carolinas! Ha!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Theme Day: Edges

Today, April 1, 2011, is Theme Day across CDPB (citydailyphotoblog) community.

No foolin'! This is NOT a joke!
Freak winter storm hits Maine!
I'm so depressed; I can't EVEN type! My fingers are so sad. That's the story, and it ain't pretty anymore!
Let's head to the beach!