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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Six Month Old Kilian :-)

I had the pleasure of visiting Kilian and his mom and dad the other day.
Kilian's mom, Kim, is one of Miss J's best friends, and it was so awesome to see Kim all grown up, married, living in a beautiful home with her wonderful husband Pat, and of course her beautiful baby Kilian.

Kilian's eyes just get to me....look at these eyes!!!!



I think he gets his eyes from Kim:



And how handsome is Pat? What a beautiful family!



We didn't get too many outdoor pictures because it was one of those ninety something degree days with the humidity at the top of the charts.



But we had fun indoors!







Thanks guys. I had so much fun and it allowed me some practice time for when Miss J's baby comes along! **wink**

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer D'Light in Barton Vermont

I just loved the late day golden light as I photographed this barn in Barton VT last week.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Big Moose Inn, Millinocket Lake Maine

I couldn't finish up the series of blog posts from my recent Maine trip without mentioning the place where we stayed....The Big Moose Inn!!!!




This place was the perfect home away from home for all twenty of us in our group. The inn rooms were sparkling clean and furnished with wonderful antique furnishings. The beds were extremely comfortable and were made with cozy linens.
There is a common area on the first floor we we would gather and relax on the comfy 4 leather sofas which were arranged in a square conversation arrangement with a huge antique square coffee table in the center of the arrangement. It was so relaxing to sit here, share stores, have a drink which you carried out from the bar and grill, and watch tv if you chose to do so.
I wanted to take the coffee table home with me......strap it to the roof of my vehicle.....but I think the inn would miss it!! :-)

Here is the common area and we were greeted with a welcoming sign during our stay!



Complimentary breakfast was served every morning from 7am to 9am. However, seeing as though we were a photography group and wanted to be up and out before the crack of dawn, we were easily accommodated with breakfast as early as we requested.
Now I call that superior service!
The breakfasts were delicious and the dinners were also delicious. You have your choice of fine dining in the restaurant, or to have lighter fare in the Loose Moose Bar and Grill where we watched the Bruins game on Friday evening and the Sox game on Saturday evening.

We hope to return to Millinocket in a year or two, and we would not think of staying anywhere else but the Big Moose Inn.

I hope you enjoyed the series of blog posts from Maine. I have some catching up to do....as I just returned home from a trip to Vermont....so the next few blog posts will be about that Vermont trip where I got some pretty summer scenics, as well as some wildlife images that I can't wait to share.

Happy Summer everyone!!!!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Tracy Pond Baxter State Park

There's a very short trail to get to Tracy Pond. The trail is mostly flat with a few hilly spots and many tree roots to watch out for. There is a short but steep hill to get down to the base of the pond. We went on a cloudy overcast morning so the distant mountain views were obscured by clouds.

A few members of my group decided to keep going along the trail to Elbow Pond, but I was certain that a moose was going to come out and feed and certainly did not want to miss it!!!!!
Well, the moose never came out. We waited....and waited....and waited......
I eventually sat down while I waited and liked the view from the ground. For example....this tree root beside where I sat caught my eye:



A Ring Necked Duck swam along as we waited....



Love the coloring!!!!

It eventually flew across the pond to gather with it's friends....



That was about the most exciting thing that happened at Tracy Pond that morning. Oh, except for the Black Flies and mosquitoes, but it's June after all. We expected it and we were prepared. But, no matter how prepared I was.....and I really was prepared wearing a bug shirt with a hood that zipped over my face and carrying travel sized bug spray with me, I still managed to get some bites.
So is the life of a nature photographer.........

Monday, June 17, 2013

Daicey Pond Baxter State Park

As you drive along the Tote Road in Baxter SP, there are not too many "views", as the road is a very narrow dirt road that literally runs through the forest, so most of the drive is through a canopy of trees. However, as we drove along on our way to Daicey Pond, we rounded a corner and saw a spectacular view. There is no stopping or parking along the Tote Road, but we safely pulled over and got out to take a few shots of this beautiful view.


We then made our way to the visitors parking area at Daicey Pond Campground. We walked up the hill to the pond and were greeted with another beautiful view. (Wish it wasn't such a cloudy day but we have to take what we are given!)







There is a cabin which is a library situated in a beautiful spot along the pond. There is a covered porch where you can sit and relax and enjoy the fresh air and the beautiful view. Here is Diane sitting in a porch rocker at the library. How relaxing!




Saturday, June 15, 2013

Stump Pond, Baxter State Park

Stump Pond is one of the most easily accessible ponds within the park. It is located along the Tote Road. There is a very small parking area across the road from the pond with only about 6 parking spaces. Parking is NOT ALLOWED along the side of the road, so if the parking lot is full, you must keep going past and hope you find a space on your way back. We never had a problem with parking during the time frame of early June when we were there. I'm sure it must get a lot busier further along in the summer.
Moose are frequently seen feeding at this pond, but on our two tries to find them, there were none to be seen. Our first visit there on Friday afternoon provided us a good opportunity for some landscape images. Although it was a cloudy day, the clouds were not low and the mountains were visible.




On our second visit to Stump Pond, the clouds were low and the mountains in the distance weren't even visible. It was a good time for plan B. There were no moose to photograph, and there were no good landscape opportunities. So, we found some dewey spider webs which kept us busy for a while.



I'm really looking forward to returning here in the Fall. Planning a possible trip for the Fall of 2014.


Friday, June 14, 2013

On the way to Baxter State Park

Today's blog post takes us back to day one of the Maine trip. We were driving down Millinocket Lake Road, which eventually leads to the entrance of the park, when we came upon this:

Why did the turtle cross the road??


To get to the other side, of course!



This is where he was heading......to the land of the ghost trees....



So, we continued our drive further down the road, and came to this:



Just beyond this sign we came upon the visitors area, where we stopped to get our park maps and speak with the park rangers. They told us there was a good view of Mount Kathadin behind the visitors area so we walked back there and here's a sample of what we saw:



Tomorrow's post will feature Stump Pond, which was our next stop of the day.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Golden Road, Millinocket Maine

The Golden Road is a logging road which runs from Millinocket Maine to the Canadian Border. The road is dirt in some places, and paved in others. The paved areas of the road are laden with numerous potholes, so care needs to be taken as you travel along.
We traveled the Golden Road this weekend in search of moose....as the land along this road has a very high moose population and moose are frequently seen feeding in some of the grassy ponds and boggy areas along the sides of the road.
Our first trip along this road was after breakfast on Saturday morning. It was raining at the time, but the rain was not going to stop us from our quest for moose. We spotted a cow (a female moose) along one of the boggy areas, and I quickly pulled over. By the time I got my camera ready and focused, she had darted into the woods. Only one person in my vehicle got a shot off. She rolled the rear window down and took a quick shot out the window. It worked!
We got lucky later in the day when we returned to the Golden Road after lunch. The rain had ended and we were feeling confident we would find our elusive moose. We pulled into the parking area at Compass Pond (a pond along the Golden Road), and walked up and over the hill to the pond, and low and behold, a bull moose was out for a swim!



We watched and photographed him for about 45 minutes. He was a long distance away across the pond, and the 300mm lens I have clearly wasn't long enough. But, it was exciting to see him in his own natural habitat and I was happy to be able to make some behavioral images. (Most of my moose images have been taken along the sides of the road in Vermont)

He eventually swam ashore:



And soon went back into the woods:



The next day we took one final trip down the Golden Road, just before we were to begin the 7 hour drive home. We spotted two more cows who were off in the distance in a boggy area. Although they were so far away, I still was pleased to be able to include them in a landscape shot.



More images from Baxter State Park will be shared tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sandy Stream Pond, Baxter State Park

I shared a wonderful weekend of photography with some members of my camera club this weekend. Destination: Millinocket Maine and Baxter State Park. There will be a series of blog posts this week about this trip, and I decided the first blog post from this trip would be about Sandy Stream Pond, which was my favorite spot we visited.
Sandy Stream Pond is located in Baxter State Park. After a 25 minute drive down the dirt Tote Road, we arrived at the Roaring Brook Campground and parked in the visitors parking area. We then signed in at the start of the trail, and hiked the trail into the pond. It is a 1/2 mile walk in....mostly flat ground with a few short hilly spots. There are some rocks to navigate past, some tree roots to walk over, a boardwalk followed by a series of single wide walkways made of logs to walk on. Here's the boardwalk:


Once you reach your final destination, you soon realize you are in one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in all of New England. The greens were so green and Turner Mountain and Mount Kathadin look majestic rising in the background. It was cloudy during our visit, but there was virtually no wind which helped to create some wonderful reflections in the still water.









Sandy Stream Pond is a very popular spot for moose sightings, as they are seen feeding here many times a day. Unfortunately, there were no moose sightings on the two trips I took here, but on my first trip here we were blessed to see a beautiful doe feeding along the shore.








Although we did not find any moose on day one of our trip, day two did not disappoint! Stay tuned to tomorrow's blog post.