Calico Pennant Posing

Calico Pennant, Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, W. Kennebunk Maine

There are still lots of Calico Pennants emerging every day at Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, though they must disperse widely, since I only ever see a few adult males at the pond at any given time. This beautiful specimen landed right at my feet, on a stalk a foot tall, so I only had to bend over a bit for this shot. They really should have named this dragon the Valentines Pennant.

Sony RX10iii at 840mm equivalent field of view (600mm plus in-camera crop to 10mp). 1/640th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom.

Poppies

Giant Poppies, Sargentville Maine

Deep in the overgrown flower beds at Edgehill House in Sargentville Maine, these giant Poppies burst out on the second day of our visit. Just a single flower first, and then more each day. I think of these a very “old fashioned” flowers…you don’t see them in yards in Maine much these days. They were far into the jungle of Beebalm and thistle so this is a moderate telephoto shot, with lots of Program Shift to increase depth of field enough to catch both the two flowers in the foreground and the single flower in the background in focus.

Sony RX10iii in-camera HDR at 400mm equivalent field of view. Nominal exposure: 1/125th @ ISO 100 @ f13.  Processed in Lightroom.

Another Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Sargentville Maine

Are you tired of Swallowtails yet? I have never seen as many Eastern Tiger Swallowtails as there were flying on the Blue Hill peninsula on the Maine coast this past weekend. In fact, in four days I saw way more Swallowtails than I have seen in the total of my life up to that point. They were crossing the roads, hovering over fields, among the trees of the forest, on the rocky beaches…everywhere. If you sat still anywhere outside for more than 5 minutes you were almost guaranteed to see one float by. They were particularly fond of a patch of Lupine and Wallflower growing in corner of the yard where my daughter’s wedding was held. I saw as many as a dozen at once working the patch, and there were at least a couple every time I chanced by. Since they were actively feeding among the Wallflower, they were relatively easy to photograph…and I brought back a lot of Swallowtail pics. 🙂

Sony RX10iii at 840mm equivalent (600mm with an in-camera crop to 10mp for the extra reach). 1/800th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom.

Pumpkin Island Light

Pumpkin Island Light. Little Deer Island, Maine

On Friday morning before Emily’s wedding I had no assigned duties, so I took Anna’s boyfriend, visiting from New Mexico, looking for Lighthouses and classic Maine seaside village scenes. Sarah came with us because she likes bridges and wanted to go over the Deer Island bridge…a vintage suspension bridge just about two cars wide and with a significant humpback. I had found a light off Little Deer Island on the map of Maine Lighthouses I had consulted on the internet, but had to go by dead-reckoning once on the Island itself in hopes of finding it, and a photo worthy view. We drove out in the general direction of the light as far as we could go…and there it was…sitting on its little island just off-shore. It is the Pumpkin Island Lighthouse, decommissioned long ago, but still maintained by the same organization that maintains most of the Maine Lighthouses…as a historical monument. It is an odd light, far up into Pennobscot Bay, only visible for 3 miles on a good day (or night), and essentially landlocked. Before decommissioning it was judged to useless…and actually slightly dangerous as it often lead ships into a ice bound passage during winter months. But it sure is pretty!

In-camera HDR at 111mm equivalent field of view. Sony RX10iii. Processed in Lightroom.

Back view: Tiger Swallowtail in Wallflower

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Sargentville Maine

I shared a front view of Tiger Swallowtails in the Wallflower at the house where Emily got married for the Generous Eye yesterday. This is the back view. 🙂 It is a beautiful butterfly either way you look at it.

Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom.

Nubble in the sun with Gulls

Nubble Light, Cape Neddick, Maine

I had to drive to the bus terminal in Portsmouth on Tuesday to pick up a daughter coming in for her sister’s wedding this weekend, and, since it was a nice day, and since she has not spent much time in Maine over the past few years, we took the scenic route home and stopped at Nubble Light. I had been there just the week before, but not in the afternoon when the light is on the face of the buildings and the gulls are soaring around the island. 🙂

Sony RX10iii. In-camera HDR. Processed in Lightroom.

Lady Slipper Orchids in Array

Pink Lady Slipper Orchids, Rachel Carson NWR, Headquarters trail, Wells Maine

It is not often you get this kind of a display of Pink Lady Slipper Orchids in the wild. This stand is along the trail at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Wells Maine, and is one of several clusters in the same area.

Sony RX10iii at 277mm equivalent field of view. 1/200th @ ISO 100 @ f8. Program shift for greater depth of field. Processed in Lightroom.

Spangled Skimmer

Spangled Skimmer, Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Wildlife Management Area, W. Kennebunk Maine

This is another of my favorite dragonflies: Spangled Skimmer from Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area in West Kennebunk Maine. It is not much to look at perched, as pictured here, but in flight those bright white pterostimga (spots) on the wings catch the light and make a complex flashing pattern all around the bug. It is something to see!

Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom.

Calico Pennant

Calico Pennant, Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, W. Kennebunk Maine

I posted a shot of another Calico Pennant from Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area with yesterday’s Day Poem, but the bug deserves another shot…or two. I am sure I will photograph many more before the season is over. They are a beautiful dragonfly.

Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom. This is a full frame, uncropped shot at 600mm. This camera is so much fun!

Nubble Light. Happy Sunday!

Nubble Light, Cape Neddick, Maine

“If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light!” Jesus

This shot, and others I took last Friday at Nubble Light in Cape Neddick Maine (or York Beach if you prefer), inspired a poem…at least in part about photography. I include it here since it tells at least the first part of the story.

I took a loop south today to photograph
Nubble Light off Cape Neddick, one of
the closer of the iconic Maine Lighthouses
(Goat Island Light in Cape Porpoise is
closer, but nearly as photogenic). Nubble
is a place I take every new camera within
the first month I own it…it is a scene that
forms a baseline in my understanding of
image quality…a reference for comparison…

I know, who cares? I am enough of a geek
to say I do…and geek enough to brave the
Ogunquit traffic on a Friday to get to
the cape and stand on the rocks and shoot
the Light that I have shot, what, 50 times
before…from all angles. Some days the
clouds are great behind the Light (today
was one of them), some days there is drama
in the way the waves drive up the gap
between the cape and island, sending spray
fountaining in the foreground (today the
sea was as flat as I have seen it, and the
water in the gap lapped gently at the foot
of the rocks as though they edged a pond).

But always there is beauty in the way the
old home and the tall light, the picket fence
and the brick pump-house, the cable car
lines draped across the gap, stand up against
the sea, stand fast and sure, stand as an
icon of the struggle to wrest a living from
these northern waters…from this restless sea…

and catching a bit of that beauty, that strength,
is the challenge that keeps me, and a hundred,
(several hundred on a good day like today) other
photographers with every kind of camera coming
back, again and again, to the Lighthouse on the
Nubble, off the tip of Cape Neddick…I admit, most
do not have my interest in image quality, but they
all recognize a quality image when they see it.

And the second part of the story? If you did a count of the number of Christian Churches with Lighthouse in their name, it would, without doubt, amount to thousands…perhaps a hundred thousand or more around the world. It is such an obvious metaphor for the work any church worth its salt (and that is, of course, another reference from the words of Jesus) is supposed to do in this world: to hold up Jesus, the light of world, to turn anyone with eyes to see away from the rocks of this life and bring them safe to shore.

But Lighthouse is also a great metaphor for what each of us is supposed to be in this world. If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light…and that light shines out just as the light of God shines in. Each of us should hold up Jesus in our faces so that those around us know at least that someone cares enough to warn them of the rocks, and stands as a reminder that there is an alternative. Our bodies are lighthouses, or should be. Each one of us who claims the name of Jesus.

So, stand up tall on the line between the sea and shore, and shine brightly today, and every day. Happy Sunday!