Channels

Water draining from sand dunes begins to cut channels into the flat surface of a beach. This is somewhat of an optical illusion. If you think the light is coming from the right, then the channels will seem to protrude from the surface. If you think from the left, then the channels appear to cut into the surface, as they actually do. Reid State Park, Maine. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Beach Combing

It was an unusually warm and sunny day in Maine for February. Naomi and I went to Reid State Park to walk along its sand beaches. The images are opposing views from where I was standing. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Winter Sun

life_in_maine_winter_sunNaomi and I went to Bailey Island this weekend to enjoy one of the few sunny days we have in the last month. The winter sun hangs low in the sky, setting just past four in the afternoon—this was taken at 3 pm. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Time and Tides

life_in_maine_time_and_tidesMile Beach in Reid State Park. Click on the image for a larger view.

Small Cranberry

life_in_maine_small_cranberrySmall cranberry, Vaccinium oxycoccos, can be found in peat or acidic soils, which gives it its other common name, bog cranberry. This is one of the first plants to colonize burnt bogland and native Americans would burn bogs to stimulate its growth. Like the cultivated cranberry, these are tart. Naturally, this fruit is sought after by wildlife. This plant is on Little Moose Island at the tip of Schoodic peninsular in Acadia National Park. Click on the image for a larger view.

Dog Days of Summer

life_in_maine_dog_daysWe have had a stretch of hot, humid weather. This is tough on Mainers as we don’t have air conditioning to escape the muggy days. Still, knowing what others south of us suffer, it is hard to complain (not that Mainers ever complain, least of all about the weather). Click on the image of Sea Wall Beach in Phippsburg, ME for a larger view.

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Art Meets Science

exhibition_art_meets_scienceI have a photograph in the MDI Biological Laboratory’s Art Meets Science exhibition that is running from June 20th to September 30th. This is coinciding with the centenary of the founding of Acadia National Park. If you are visiting Mt. Desert Island this summer, stop by this remarkable scientific and educational facility. More on the exhibition and MDI Biological Laboratory can be found here.

Depth

life_in_maine_depthMaine has a fascinating environment. Sometimes the perception of distance dissipates and all that remains of the landscape is depth, like strata in an archeological dig. Click on the image for a larger view.

Barren Landscape

life_in_maine_barren_landscapeThe dunes along Seawall Beach at Bates Morse-Mountain Conservation Area. Winter holds the landscape in stasis. Click on the image for a larger view.

I have recently been around conversations in art, and in particular, photography. One conclusion I keep taking away about our art world seems to be a boredom with the world and its beauty. Photography seems to echoing our narcissistic times by making statements about itself; declaring itself a fiction and fetishizing this revelation. And when it does look at the world, it is to exploit it as a freak show or to confuse banality with profundity.

Or is our wider culture simply bored with the world? Like adrenaline junkies, we seek out novelty, something weird or strange. If there is nothing that gets our immediate attention, do we move on? Has the norms of advertising conditioned us into wanting instant recognition, instant gratification?

Sand is the detritus of the land. Having been reduced to such a fine state, the wind and water control its destiny. Yet, plants have evolved to exploit this unlikely environment. Invading it. Holding the shifting ground in place. And when dormant in winter, this organic colony continues its grip. Even when it trades its summer green for brown, it is beautiful.