Sunday, September 17, 2017

Before the Rain

Our third day staying in Lubec brought us a weather forecast of hard rain all day. We got a bit lucky as the rain managed to hold off for most of the morning and even slightly after the noon hour. We just finished our hike on the Ridge Trail at Bog Cove when the sky let loose an impressive rain. Today's post contains the photos before that, and also some mid-afternoon marsh/flats shots of an area just south of Quoddy head that we passed on the way back, during a break in the rain.

Lush Mist

Cove Below

Looking Down

We saw a lot of white moss on the Ridge Trail.

Winter White

Ridge Zone

Helping Ladder

The Trail Beckons

We'd gotten so used to various types of moss and wildflowers everywhere that these tall grasses were a rare site on this particular trail.

No Need to Mow

Bunches on Trees

The remaining photos below were all taken from roughly the same spot. As mentioned, there was a break in the rain, and we'd pulled off the road to get a better look.

Marsh Stage Left

Marsh Stage Right

Middle Marsh

Is this called a tiny lighthouse?

Lighthouse in the Flats

Because this particular area has such a gentle slope, the water moves out a considerable distance during low tide.

Back in Six Hours

All photos © 2017, all rights reserved.  Contact me for licensing or to order prints.

Quoddy and Western Heads

On day two of our Maine trip we visited Quoddy Head with its lighthouse and beach. We also had a great hike at Western Head, which is south of Lubec, in Cutler. Maine has a lot of "Heads" I guess. From what I can tell a Head is simply the outermost piece of land or rock in an area. Something for ships to avoid hitting. The dictionary has many definitions for head; the one that seems closest is "promontory". A promontory is "a point of high land that juts out into a large body of water; a headland".

We enjoyed these colors on the rocks at West Quoddy Head beach.

Stone Palette

Stair Steps

The West Quoddy Head Lighthouse has a small visitor center that was open. One amusing thing we learned is that the number of red and white stripes on the lighthouse sometimes changes when it gets repainted. We're not sure if Deb or I took the next photo.

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse

We also learned that the Bay of Fundy tide changes are even more pronounced the further north one goes; it's about 20-25 feet in this area, and 50 feet at the northern tip. This next poster explains in more detail.

High Tides Explained

Looking out at sea from near the lighthouse:


We thought this was an "island". Turns out the tide went down dramatically while we were there, and we were later able to walk to it.

Temporary Island

Watching the Tide Roll Out

Birds of a Feather

Red Squirrel Dinnertime

Sharp Rocks Before the Mist

Green Undertow

In honor of the name of this blog:

Cormorant Pose

Seagull Pondering

Gold Coast

Hmmm, can you see where Debra is in this photo? She's hiding.

Where's Debra Now?

There she is!

Deb Walks on the Ocean Floor

Tidal pools! Yay!
For these next shots I used my polarizing filter to "see" under the water with as few reflections as possible.

Tidal Pool

Underwater Color

Tidal Pool Rocks

Quoddy Head Shoreline

Tidal Design

We stopped at Hamilton Cove on our way to our next hike at Western Head. This view was along the short path to the beach there.

Blowin' in the Wind

This is the view near the start of the Western Head hike in Cutler.

Island Above Wildflowers

Beach House

Many of the hikes we went on had structures like these to protect the environment. This next photo shows chicken wire atop boards to give one sure footing.

Bog Protection

We came across an "interactive" sculpture on the Western Head beach. It didn't take us long to figure out that many other hikers had placed rocks within this long dead tree. Naturally, we opted to do the same. Mine is the blond colored rock on the left and Deb's is the spotted one next to it in the center.

Love Rocks

As an artist, Deb thoroughly enjoyed this natural crowd-sourced sculpture, and took many photos of it. She got a good laugh when she saw this next photo.

Bending Backward to Improve the Photo

This is the island at the tip of Western Head:


I took many tripod stabilized photos of waves in an attempt to make them look silky smooth with a long exposure, but that also requires a good neutral density filter, which I don't have. I use my polarizing filter as a makeshift ND filter to provide the equivalent of 2 or 3 f-stops of reduced light. This is 1/5 second at f/22.

Fundy Waves

All photos © 2017, all rights reserved.  Contact me for licensing or to order prints.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Campobello Rocks

Deb and I visited the most northeastern point in the continental United States: Lubec, Maine. The sun rises there before anywhere else in the country. It's that part of Maine that juts out to the right directly into the Bay of Fundy. Amusingly, though it is a lengthy drive north for us, Maine still has a *lot* more land north of it. The entire coastal area of Maine from Lubec downward, including Acadia National Park, is called "Down East" by Maine locals.

Crossing the bridge from Lubec to Campobello Island, brings one into the New Brunswick province of Canada! You generally need a passport these days to travel between the U.S. and Canada, so we made sure we brought our passports along. Visiting Campobello Island was definitely one of the highlights of our entire trip.

Colors on the Canadian Coast

Here's a Canadian view of the bridge between Lubec (United States) and Campobello Island (Canada).

Canada Meets U.S.

A view of Lubec from Campobello, Island.

View of Lubec from Canada

We saw lots of seals in the water near high tide, as that's when they are able to find more food.

Accomplished Swimmer

Fishing is a huge industry in this part of the country. Plenty of seafood available in every restaurant, especially delicious lobster, of course.

Two Girls

We were the only people on Raccoon Beach, where we began our walk along a gorgeous trail to Liberty Point. It was one of the most enjoyable hikes we've ever been on!

Raccoon Beach

Mossy Trail

Canadian Shoreline

The wildflowers were incredible.

Deb Among the Wildflowers

Joyous Day

Along the trail we visited the Sunsweep sculpture, seen below on the right hand side. There are two other related sculptures across North America at the same latitude. They signify a friendship bond between the U.S. and Canada.

Sunsweep Sculpture

The lighthouse on the northern tip of Campobello Island shows on Google maps as being on a separate island, but one can walk to it during low tide.

Extreme Hazard

There is a system of bridges and ladders one needs to navigate to get to the lighthouse.

Bridge Walk

Bay of Fundy tides move 25 feet in this location. In the photo below, taken at low tide, the top of the dark area is the approximate line of the high tide.

Head Harbor Lightstation

Here's one of the ladders needed to traverse the low tide ocean floor. I had to ignore my fear of heights going up and down these steep see-through crooked ladders.

Don't Look Down

The red and white theme is very pervasive here:) We were told it is Saint George's Cross.

Standing Tall

The wide angle end of my zoom (12 mm; 24 mm equiv.) enhanced the perspective in this next photo.


I took this next picture of smiling Debra from way down below her on the "beach" - which is only a beach at low tide, as otherwise it is completely underwater - using my telephoto lens. I was actually 110 feet away, according to the camera's metadata.

Open Arm Rejoice

After returning back to Lubec, I tried some night shots using my new tripod that I'd brought with me. It is hard to appreciate just how dark it was for these next photos, but it was quite dark out. Our unaided eyes could see only the very brightest light in this next photograph. The long exposure photograph actually allows one to "see" things otherwise unseen in the dark. My camera could not successfully autofocus on the lighthouse, so I had to use manual focus mode. Of course manually focusing wasn't much easier. I couldn't really focus on the lighthouse light itself, but rather I had to focus on the reflection in the water. This is 4 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 1000:

Mulholland Point Light Doing Its Job

There was more available light on Lubec's deserted streets, thanks to the street lights. This is 3.2 secs. at f/5.0, ISO 200:

Lubec At Night

Another shot looking from Lubec at the Canadian end of the bridge, from Lubec. The lights are at the Customs buildings for the border crossing. They're open 24 hours:)

Customs Lights

Here's a mermaid I spotted in downtown Lubec:

Quoddy Red Head

Not much going on in Lubec at this hour. In fact, someone pulled up in a car and parked directly behind us perhaps to watch what we were doing; he might have been a police officer but he didn't leave his unmarked vehicle. Is it unusual to be setting up a tripod and grabbing pictures of a deserted town at night?

Nightlife in Lubec

All photos © 2017, all rights reserved.  Contact me for licensing or to order prints.