Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Very Late Summer Day

Amazing but the last couple of days have been in the 80's; good grief. It's way too late for these kind of days complete with lots of humidity followed by lots of fog. Early today, the line of thunder boomers kept on rolling through with lots and lots of rain---golf was definitely cancelled today. Maybe tomorrow.

I went into Portland in the late afternoon to join some old friends for dinner. Tested the camera a bit coming home in the dark so have fun trying to figure out what I was shooting. It is nice to see a pretty calm Casco Bay Lines dock for the 8:15 boat; at least something tells me it's late September.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Peaks September Evening

I barely made it out the door, camera in hand, as the sun was going down. The evening light is, as usual, so very special this time of the year. You really have to be alert for it's either dash out the door or clean up the dinner dishes. Tonight I decided on the dash. Of course I threw some dishes into the dishwasher so I could return to the house but I just wanted to be outside for ten more minutes before calling it a day.

It is that time of the year you spend as much time as possible outside inhaling enough oxygen to survive the winter months. There will be plenty of time for cleaning dishes, reading and dvd watching in the months ahead. For today, get outside and savor every minute.

I just wandered around the corner down to Centennial Beach and caught a couple of shots in the fading light. Ansel Adams they're not but they do capture the peace and quiet of a fading day on Peaks Island. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

September on the Bay

This past Thursday, I took the 11:15 am boat uptown to join a friend for some golf. Casco Bay was special. The light of the day was unusual; more like perfect. The sky was a deep blue with scattered clouds of puff accentuating the colors. The whites were whiter, the blues were truer and the reds were deeper.

Even the riders knew the day was a special one. People, deep in their individual thoughts, just stood by the railing to be as close as possible to the water as it passed by on our way into Portland. I took over twenty pictures which is truly unusual for me. I tend to not take many pictures but instead try to frame only those I think are a little special. On this trip, I just kept shooting the various forms of light that were passing by. Everything I looked at was special.

Maybe, it's just knowing this beautiful time of the year is so fleeting. We've already lost multiple hours of sunlight with the sun now setting over Portland's City Hall about 40 degrees south of it's setting over the middle of Little Diamond Island in early July. Even though the temperatures are still mild, we know what's coming. To be a part of a special day like this is made even more meaningful due to what we islanders know is next.
To have some fun with these pictures, move your mouse to any picture and give it a click and voila, you've magnified the picture about 4x. Move the slide bars around and enjoy creating your own image of this special day and place.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Quiet Day

The days over the weekend of 90 degrees with matching humidity are behind us. Yesterday dawned a tad gray with a few showers throughout the day and temps in the mid 60's; a perfect day for watching the Patriots destroy the Jets; hell, destroying any sports team in New York is a good day!

Today was exactly the same with temps in the 60's, scattered showers, no sun with a little fog mixed in to sweeten the pot. It was a good day to get the bills paid, the bank accounts reconciled and a little reading done. Every time I was outside, I couldn't hear a single thing going on. No chain saws, no laughter, no radios, no nothing. Mid September has arrived and it is extremely enjoyable.

After dropping the bills off at the post office and exchanging the latest Peaks Island news (fast and wrong is my usual view of it), I took a ride around the backshore accompanied by a few pictures to try and capture the mood of the day. It was quiet with no walkers, no bikes and one car the entire trek. Just another peaceful day on Peaks Island.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A New Day on Peaks Island

I had to make a trip into town this morning which didn't please me much at all. It was simply a beautiful day; not a good day to leave the Island. After walking to the boat and stopping to talk with a number of friends I hadn't seen in awhile, I was feeling much better.

I had forgotten it was Wednesday which means a no car ferry day. It was a big smile to see the oldest boat in the Casco Bay Lines fleet, the Island Romance, steaming into Peaks. I've been riding that boat since 1974 so it's very much like finding your old comfortable, well worn shoes in the back of your closet. I hadn't been on the Island Romance since last Winter so it was interesting to see more than one islander commenting on having missed it as it pulled into the dock.

There are no different cabins on it like all the newer boats so you can see everyone who's on the boat the moment you come over the gangplank into the boat. There was nothing like riding the 7:15am boat into town back in the '70's, checking out any unknown faces to see who had "missed" the last boat from the night before, who they were sitting with and not getting caught doing it. Islanders are indeed a curious group of individuals. Being just one cabin, it's perfectly situated for a lot of communing with your neighbors as you head uptown into Portland. I just couldn't help taking a couple of pictures of this "maiden" voyage of the Fall season. The last picture was just an "oops" as I was heading around the Island after picking up some milk at Hannigan's Market. The light was fading but the schooner Bagherra was coming through Whitehead Passage heading for home and I just couldn't help myself.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What A Difference a Day Makes

It's Tuesday, the Labor Day Weekend has come to an end and once again, Peaks Island is breathing restfully. It really felt different last night as each boat leaving Peaks looked emptier and emptier. After the sun went down, the sounds of the crickets became extremely noticible. The roar of the silence was truly wonderful.

Walking to the early boat this morning heading for the golf course, the sky was a true deep cloudless blue, the sunshine was plentiful and there wasn't a single car sitting on Island Avenue waiting to leave the Island. The islanders getting on the boat were full of early morning chatter as they began to reunite with each other after a solid ten weeks of separation; the mood was definitely one of delight and relief.

I wanted to make it to the backshore tonight to catch a few pictures before the beautiful light deserted us for today. Obviously, I didn't make it. A good friend stopped by with her HUGE dog, aptly named Brutus, who I refer to as Mr. B, to visit our new puppy, Otis Waldo Tiffany. All I had time to capture were a few shots around the neighborhood. The light was perfect, the evening was perfect and the Island is perfect. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Peaks Island Labor Day Happenings

A happy, restful Labor Day greeting to all. This weekend has been a beautiful, breezy, clear, dry sunny weekend on Peaks Island. It is indeed the last hurrah for our summer visitors. This weekend, an entire tour group of Japanese visitors have been on the island. It's been very enjoyable hearing a different language and watching them covering the island on many of Brad's bicycles wearing huge smiles as they partake of an island visit.

A long tradition on Sunday of Labor Day Weekend is the Great Around Peaks Island Race. At 1pm the flag drops and any non motorized vessel that can make it is off and running trying to be the first around the island. Canoes, kayaks, row boats and all sizes of sailboats depart and for the next hour or so a semi formal race occurs. I was involved in working on the first couple of races and many strange things happened back in the early '80's. The original beginning was supposed to occur with a hand of each crew member on the local bar with the race then beginning. Not wishing to have anyone hurt by fifty individuals trying to get out the same door all at once, it was changed to a notable island attorney dropping the flag at the end of the pier to start the race. Of course, in the spirit of the day, he turned around, dropped his shorts and the race was on under a full moon. As I remember, one rather lengthy vessel was under the power of four rowers and was making remarkable progress against the other rowers when puffs of smoke were seen wafting their way out of the boat. It was later discovered there was a nice 4 horsepower single stroke engine greatly assisting them; they did get an award for the best cheating of the race. Another individual paddled their canoe about halfway around the island, came ashore, threw the canoe into her pickup truck, went to the other side of the island and reentered the race; she won the Rosie Ruiz award.

Many wonderful hours were spent afterwards with fellow islanders tasting assorted chili dishes in the Great Peaks Island Chile Bake off. A simple yet effective way to send off our summer visitors and once again begin to reclaim our island. Fun times. Enjoy some pictures from today's Great Race.