It has been some years since I have been back in Maine during the winter. School break during the summer months were the best time to go, and truthfully, a very pleasant way to spend time in the gorgeous surroundings of the most northeastern state. This time it was necessary to go in January, when most shops along the tourist coast are closed, the coastal villages slow their pace, and snow birds head south.
As a photographer, I have always known, at least for myself, that there is no "bad" time to venture out to capture images in nature or of people going about their business. It is a challenge at times, but my resolve and patience are usually rewarded with beautiful images to share, despite the predictable discomfort. Maine has an advantage, of course: its rugged coastline and thick forested mountains are stunning at all times of the year.
I set out on photo safaris during the second week in January and came away with the following scenes etched into the digital innards of my new Nikon (I hadn't bought a new camera in 40 years). Here they are. (All images are by the author, all rights reserved. Do not use without permission).
|An apple tree sleeps in the foggy snow of South Blue Hill|
|View of Blue Hill Bay|
Woods on Parker Point Road, Blue Hill. During the winter, the snow melts and evaporates into the cold air, producing fog.
|Early morning fog, Blue Hill|
|The sides of this building have been weathered by repeated harsh winters and sunny summers. It looks out over Eggemoggin Reach between Brooklin and Deer Isle.|
|Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park from U.S. Highway 1 in Sullivan|
|Iconic scene of Stonington on Deer Isle. Bustling with tourists during the summer, it is very quiet in winter. Yet lobstermen go out on the ice-cold North Atlantic to haul lobster from great depths, 400 feet or more.|
|Stonington lobster pound. This young lobsterman explained that only nine boats were bringing in lobster, compared to hundreds during the summer. Lobster move way offshore in winter and lobstermen spend 30 straight hours once they get to the traps, about a two hour trip from Stonington. Lobster are then sold to pounds at the pier, and may be kept in salt water tanks until demand drives up prices.|
|A Buddha sculpture sits through another winter, layers of paint peeling each successive year, giving it an abstract look. Note the moss growing in the upturned palms. Milbridge, Washington County, U.S. Highway 1.|
|Pine needles captured in ice at McClellan town park in Milbridge.|
|Crashing surf at McClelland Park, Milbridge. This stunning piece of land is a well-kept secret 4 miles off Highway 1. The geography is similar to Acadia National Park, but I have never seen more than four or five people here, even in summer. There were none this day.|
|The pounding surf smashed large underwater boulders together, creating a crash that sounded like thunder on this brilliant winter day; A magical experience.|
|Typical New England church, bright against a darkening sky near sunset. Milbridge, U.S. HIghway 1.|
|Milbridge from U.S. HIghway 1.|
|No, not Sasquatch. One must dress for the weather.|