Ice crystals in the atmosphere creating a halo around the moon. This was our view this Wednesday. Today, we had one of the largest storms this season, about 8″ to 9″ of snow. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Winter Constellations

life_in_maine_winter_constellationsHigh altitude clouds create halos around the bright stars in the winter constellations: Orion, on the right with his famous belt and sword; Taurus, in the center marked by his blazing eye; and the Pleiades, the tight blue group on the left. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Winter Milky Way Rising

life_in_maine_winter_milky_way_risingThe days in Maine are shorter and the nights deeper. Coming home from our weekly grocery shopping, we were greeted by the winter Milky Way rising through the forest. That small bright patch in the center of the image is the Pleiades. Orion, which stalks that constellation across the sky, is just above the horizon at the bottom of the frame. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Farewell to Summer

life_in_maine_farewell_to_summerA ghostly Milky Way behind a waxing moon from the summit of Mt. Cadillac in Acadia National Park. The Cranberry Islands and the Gulf of Maine are below. This is the summer Milky Way, which reveals the center of our galaxy. Soon the summer Milky Way will set before the sun, hiding itself until next year. Click on the image for a larger view.

Land of Little Rain

life_in_maine_drought_2016This year has been very dry. Except for a few invasive species like bitter sweet, most of our plants has been struggling. The maddening thing is there have been many days forecast with thunderstorms, yet, while the thunder clouds have passed overhead, very few have let go of their reserves of water. Click on the image for a larger view.

Memorial Day Weekend

white_mountain_national_forest_mt_washington_rangeNaomi and I went to the White Mountain National Forest on Saturday. The weather was hot and humid—unusual for this time of year, especially since the temperatures reached 93°F. This is also one of the busiest weekends to travel to this park. While it would have been nice to be at the cool summit of Mt. Washington, we had no desire to jostle with the crowds. We had lunch at the bottom of the auto road and simply enjoyed the view. Click on the image for a larger view.

Winter Light

life_in_maine_winter_lightTo walk to the edge of our forest in the evening and see the sun setting in the west signals the deepest period of winter is behind us. For most of the winter, leaving work and returning home in the dark is a matter of course. March gives the first signs of the lengthening days. It always feels like the sky is the first to fill with light before the land. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Christmas Night, Christmas Lights

life_in_maine_xmas_nightJust before midnight on Christmas, Naomi and I went out on the deck to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather. The moon was full and, with high-altitude clouds, encircled in a ring of light. Beyond the moon was a field of stars. (Orion can be at four O’clock.) Click on the image for a larger view.

O Holy Night

life_in_maine_stars_over_acadiaWhen growing up in England, I was a choirboy. The carols and music seemed to define the season. For me, the songs and images of the night and divinity were powerful. It was only after I left the city and experience dark, star-filled skies that the metaphor took on a reality.

This is the view Naomi and I had when we stopped near Little Hunters Cove in Acadia Nation Park one evening to eat the dinner we had packed. Click on the image for a larger view.

Day’s End

life_in_maine_days_endYesterday was overcast and rainy. After dinner, I noticed the clouds breaking. I walked out to our field to watch the fading light of the day.

These events are fleeting. Clouds from the valley climbed the ridge and would obscure the view a few minutes after this image was taken—you can see those clouds just above the trees. And while we imagine the vivid color of the clouds would show some tenacity, that color can drain from the sky in seconds. Click on the image for a larger view.