m'Maine Man, Matthew

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October 25th 2015
Published: November 30th 2015
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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Photos from Marshalls Lighthouse

Photos from Pemaquid Lighthouse

Photos from Pemaquid with painterly expressions

We woke up and continued packing where we left off sometime yesterday. It was Sunday, and the intent was to leave before the games were afoot, yet late enough to get in some more quality time with our hosts, Stubdude & Juno. We wanted to reach Marshalls Lighthouse in Port Clyde in time for the so-so light of mid afternoon, and then be on time for some sunset shots at the Pemaquid Lighthouse (my favorite, and now I think Matt’s, too).

The ride from anywhere to anywhere in Maine will take you on interesting roads, and our trek mainly kept us on US1, the only road in our country named twice. It stretches along both coasts, and it makes sense that that’s where you’ll find the lighthouses. We stopped for lunch at a small local restaurant somewhere south of Belfast, and were the only patrons this late in the season. When we reached Marshalls we pretty much had the place to ourselves, too. There were two or three others leaving when we arrived. Of course, this was not the best time of day for light, but most of the visitors just point a device somewhere in the direction of what they want to show the people back home and poke it with their forefinger while caring little about proper light. They are traditionally gone by October 12th, and the remaining serious photographers either already got their best shots of the day or were waiting until sunset to add special excitement to their photos.

When Barb & I were with the photo club two years ago, we visited Marshalls at sunrise. The results, of course, were better than this visit, but I at least wanted Matt to experience the place. In fact, he did remarkably well with his camera, and got a much larger variety of angles and interesting compositions than I. This day, unlike the beach at Brooklin, I had no wind to blame, so we can point to my low expectations as the culprit responsible for my inadequacies. Marshalls Lighthouse has some notoriety due to its inclusion in the Forest Gump movie. It’s the eastern most part of his run across the United States. Consequently everyone now walks or runs the long wooden walkway to touch the lighthouse door as Forest did.

We walked around the grounds and shot what was available. Soon a vehicle pulled into the lower lot. I couldn’t see the painted van, but could see it’s colorful attraction. A couple got out and started heading to the lighthouse ahead of their driver. Their drive to the shot overshadowed their social skills, but the driver had time to wave as he followed them, and he smiled in a way that says he shares the beauty of place. Later I was getting some fisheye shots from the porch, and he was standing at the cusp of grass just above the rocky shore where the 2 ladies were busy shooting. “That’s one of my favorite shots,” he said to me without disturbing them.

Turns out he is the famous Jeremy d’Entremont of New England Lighthouse Tours, an outstanding authority on the history of lighthouses from the world over, but especially New England. He has many interesting stories, and has authority in his voice when he recounts them. He told us that the pumpkin at the door of the lighthouse is in memory of a girl who recently lost her life in Hurricane Joaquin. Danielle Randolph was the 2nd mate on the cargo ship El Faro, which means “the lighthouse.” In photos 14 & 15 I learned she was only as old as my daughter Celeste, and I sunk even deeper inside for her parents. Before Jeremy left with his charge I mentioned how the recent rainwater stayed only on the dedication engraved on the tabletop (photo 6) they pass on their way back to the van. In the short time spent with Jeremy d’Entremont, I was impressed with his knowledge and contagious enthusiasm for these wonderful icons, and plan to get more of both someday soon. In addition to the website above, a great place to absorb the thrill and whet your taste for the experience is Jeremy’s Amazon Books page.

Marshalls Lighthouse is a little over 2 hours from Stub’s, and Pemaquid Lighthouse is about 2½ hours from Stub’s, but Pemaquid is 1½ hours from Marshalls. Go figure. Start by checking a map of the Maine coast. Just like in the case of Stubdude’s proximity to Cadillac Mountain that seems to be a mere 20 minutes from his kitchen window, yet driving there takes at least an hour and a half.

Earlier in the week when we were at Stubdude’s and didn’t have the downtown-like phone coverage we’ve gotten used to, I got a call from a woman at the Bradley Inn where we had a reservation for this evening. After a few times reconnecting a dropped call that wasn’t too clear in the first place, I got the idea they were asking if Matt & I were planning on eating in the dinning room. When I called a few months ago to get the reservation, they mentioned we were (and likely would remain) the only guests that late in the season. At Stub’s, between the crackles in our connection, I asked if there were other nearby eating options, learned there were, and told her to give her staff the night off.

When we arrived at around 4:19, we found the most delightful owner standing at the doorway asking, “Marty?” She may have professionally said Mr. Straub, but it felt more like I like it. Beth was immediately recognizable as one of those special people who knows her way around helping others. She told us we could have any room we’d like since we’d be the only guests, and handed us keys attached to clamshells that we kept in our pockets until we returned them unused to her the next morning. She assured us we’d enjoy our stay and said someone would be available if we needed anything. She also suggested nearby places to eat, and told us the bartender Sue would be in by the time we got back.

We only had a few things to bring in for the night, so we were in and out for the early sunset at Pemaquid Lighthouse. Although it was a short walk and a great night for it, we opted to take the car so we’d have anything we’d need camera-wise nearby. We pulled out of the parking lot and, laughing, turned the wrong way. That’s not “laughingly turned the wrong way.” We turned the wrong way because we were already laughing. We do know how to circumnavigate with the best drunken sailors, and enjoy circuitous routes in spite of what the car’s NavSys calmly suggests while interrupting our music. The car ride was certainly not quicker than had we walked, but that wasn’t the point. We made it to Pemaquid Point in plenty of time.

Although we only visited 2 lighthouses on this day, there are 3 galleries to show for it. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I usually like to keep each one to no more than 50, realizing that that number is way too many for anyone else to browse anyway. These galleries stand as mementos to fun times, and not as the traditional “gallery” intending a financial return of investment. The extra gallery is the one with painterly expressions. Normally those are mixed within the so-called gallery. Sometimes those with such an expression stand right next to those without for comparison; sometimes they stand as substitute replacing the untreated twin. Pemaquid is so special to me that perhaps I feel it sacrilegious to mix the unnatural with the superlative natural.

At any rate, I notice the timestamp on the first photo in the Pemaquid gallery declares 15:57:15, exposing my earlier error regarding our check-in time. I said around 4:19 anyway, so we’re at the same point. The uniqueness of Pemaquid (at least I think it’s unique) is the amazing granite (at least I think it’s granite) formations that carve their way from the beacon to the ocean. That and what I call the Perpetual Puddle, since it’s been in many of the best photos from this place, along with the red outbuildings make this an attractive subject.

As we started out, the first 4 shots are mirrored in both galleries. Photo 5 provides a good sense of scale and it’s one of many that will have Matt in them. It shows him closer to the point, and I was standing about half way down the granite slope. He’s standing next to what in 2013 I called The Saddle Horn rock. You can see it again in photo 21, and after tomorrow’s shoot… well, stay tuned for its new name.

The Perpetual Puddle is in photos 7, 8, 9, 19, 35 & 36, and that’s just today’s main gallery. It also appears in photo 5 of the painterly version, and wait until tomorrow. In photos 17, 26, 27 & 28 and maybe others, you can see birds floating on the shoreline swells. Matt has a lot more of them, and we also took movies of the show. Photo 18 shows Matt in a similar shot where I captured Jim Cook in 2013. In photo 29 Matt & I posed for our “group” shot on the same bench where our crew from 2013 sat.

Eventually cold, hunger and being unsure if the other was ready to go, all contributed to us rendezvousing in the car. We rendezvoused to the point of packing up and backing out before Matt brought us to our senses. “Let’s wait. The light is still going to get better.” If he didn’t announce that, we would have been pulling into The Harbor Room when the best light was pulling into Pemaquid. If we pulled out then, photos 37 to 50 wouldn’t have been made and we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet the guy and his dog in photos 42 & 43. The 3 galleries from today could have been divided into Marshalls, Pemaquid, and Pemaquid after Matt’s prediction.

After a pleasant meal at The Harbor Room with a little bit of the Sunday night matchup on a giant screen, we went back to the Bradley Inn knowing our Giants would win. We walked into the warm reception area of the inn, and went upstairs to our room, noticing that we felt so at-home that we left the door wide open. In fact we left it wide open for the rest of the night until we went to sleep. If the house was haunted, we wanted to be sure to hear the knock.

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


30th November 2015

Nice artistry !
The extra time it takes to do these sorts of changes hs been well worthwhile in these photos. Out of curiosity, what p;rogram do you use for your "painterly" works?
30th November 2015

Thanks, Fred. The painterly stuff is done with a Topaz filter called Simplified 4.
4th December 2015
Pemaquid Lighthouse

Lots of colors and depth

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