Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 11

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Willows blooming along Little Long Pond

I spend a lot of time walking around the natural areas incorporated within the Land and Garden Preserve here on Mount Desert Island.  Adjacent to Acadia National Park, the preserve is a quiet place with rustic hiking trails and carriage roads that offer views of Little Long Pond and some of Acadia’s mountain peaks.  It was my home away from home last summer.   Late afternoon today was my first chance to stop in and stroll around the lake.  The willows were blooming along with some very small herbaceous plants in the meadow, such as Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) and Pussytoes (Antennaria).

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View of Penobscot Mountain from Little Long Pond

Photo Challenge: Vermont: May 10

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Scilla siberica – Siberian Squill

It’s been a steady and sometimes heavy rain here in Acadia all day – low 40’s and wet!  No chance to get out and take pictures today.  I looked through my computer files for any photographs I’ve taken on May 10 and found this one from last year.  I have these little spring bulbs blooming in my garden in Vermont each year.  Last year, they were particularly showy 🙂  I wonder what they look like today??

Tomorrow I will be visiting Little Long Pond after work.   Should be good weather for capturing that evening light.  I understand there are loons nesting on Little Long Pond right now.  Can’t wait to see them.


Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 9

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Bubble Pond in Acadia National Park

Since I still do not have water available at my campsite for the season, I was forced to fill a 6-gallon water container several times after work today and fill by hand.  After completing this task, it was going on 7:15 pm and I still had not eaten dinner.  I was not up for any evening hiking without dinner first – and while filling up my fresh water tank could hear the evening chatter of nearby birds.  I decided to just sit quietly with my Canon camera with the telephoto lens and see if I could capture one of the birds I was hearing.  While I did manage a couple of photos of a dark-eyed junco ground feeding around my campsite, I cannot say they are really worthy of my photo challenge.  So, I pulled a photo from last year to share 🙂  It’s kind of relevant since I did a hike along Bubble Pond a couple of days ago.   I remembered this photograph from last year – it was a misty, foggy early June day and the bright green of the new foliage was just popping out in this filtered light.

The same day that I took the Bubble Pond photo above, I discovered a drift of lupines blooming along the Park Loop Road.  Again, the raindrops and mist provided some interesting texture.

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I thought I’d at least include one of my Dark-eyed Junco photos from this evening just because these little fellows are so cute.

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Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 8


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Magnolia stellata at Asticou Gardens

I could see this magnolia blooming from Route 3 as I drove by Asticou Gardens today.  It beckoned me to come closer and I just had to stop in and visit with it.  I have a Star Magnolia in my garden at home, and I left Vermont before it had started to bloom this year.  It’s one of the first shrubs to come to life in the spring and I love it’s dainty multi-petaled white flowers.  This photograph was meant to have a dreamy quality and I focused on just the curve of the front petal – exquisite! 🙂

Asticou Gardens is renowned for its azalea and rhododendron display and the early rhododendrons are just starting to flower.  I caught some Korean Rhododendrons in full bloom.

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Rhododendron mucronulatum – watched a hummingbird visit the flowers but he was to quick for me to capture with my camera!
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Had fun watching this bee making the rounds – the gardener said this one is R. mucronulatum ‘April Snow’ but I think ‘April Snow’ has white flowers.  He did admit to being new and not familiar with all the plants so I’m not committing to the cultivar – just the species!
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Helleborus species  – a double-flowering variety

Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 7

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Ferns starting to unfurl their fiddleheads along Bubble Pond

The weather was ideal today for an early morning hike up Pemetic Mountain.  The route I take is best done in May and June before the park shuttle bus starts to run.  I park at the Bubble Pond Parking Lot (which is closed once the shuttle runs) and hike up the North Ridge and complete a counter-clockwise loop up and over the summit and down the South Ridge trail.  Hooking up with the Bubble and Jordan Pond Trail, I traverse along Bubble Pond and back to the starting point.  The mile climb up the steeper North side gets your heart rate up in a hurry!  This is one of my favorite hikes in the park.  I only passed one couple along the trail during the entire 5-mile hike – gotta love the off-season!

Today I was keeping an eye out for emerging plant life and I found plenty subtle surprises along the trail!

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The cigar-shaped buds of Beech are starting to swell
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Myrica gale – Bog-myrtle or Sweetgale
Pink Lady Slipper emerging
I believe I’ve spotted some Pink Lady Slipper starting to emerge in a spot I found last year – so exciting!!

Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 5

Ocean Path ANP

Finally, I was able to get in a 4-mile hike after work today and meandered along part of the Ocean Path just before sunset.  Pools of water were evident along the rocky cliffs and provided for some nice reflections.  The clouds were interesting as well and seemed to emanate from a central point spreading out towards the edges of my photograph.  What really captured my eye was the clump of green grass sprouting out of the middle of this pool of water.  I was lying prone on the rocks behind this pool and shot the photo from eye-level with the grasses.

It was a beautiful evening with temperatures in the high 50’s and no wind – a peaceful walk along the coast – magical and soothing to the soul.

Low Tide Otter Cove
Remnants of low tide in Otter Cove

Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 6

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Little Hunter’s Beach stream

After work today, I walked down to Little Hunter’s Beach – a lesser known spot in Acadia that is a classic example of a Maine coast cobblestone beach.  This secluded cove is a welcome respite from the main attractions here at the park.  I was completely alone while I explored the beach.  When the tide is coming in, the musical melody that is played by the movement of the stones rattling against each other is absolutely bewitching!  The stream that feeds the ocean at this cove is still running high.  The picture above is a close-up of the stream coursing through the cobblestones as it makes it’s way to the ocean.

A wider-angle near the same spot puts the above photograph into context with it’s surroundings.

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Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 4

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Amelanchier laevis  – Smooth Shadbush

Okay – so I said one photo – one day – but I did not specify that it had to be a photo I took that day, right?!   I just could not get out and shoot today due to a later work shift.  I’ve stuck to a similar theme as yesterday’s posting – early spring blooming plants here in Acadia.  Last year when I first arrived to start my season here at Acadia, the Amelanchier were blooming.  As with the Lady Slipper I pictured yesterday, the Amelanchier will be blooming here later this month.

The picture above was taken on May 19th of 2018 along the Gorham Mountain trail in Acadia NP.   Shadbush is one of my all time favorite native shrubs and a welcome sight in early spring.  I love, love, love this plant.  It has several common names and is often called Juneberry due to the ripe berries in early summer used for jams, jellies and pies.  I cannot wait for these shrubs to start blooming this year and I will be sure to post a current picture later in the month!  There were many clumps of Amelanchier along the trail including some with a beautiful ocean backdrop as pictured below.  It’s fun to look over last year’s photographs to remind me of what I have to look forward to this month!

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Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 3

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Pink Lady Slipper along the Cadillac Mountain Trail

Today was just too miserable to go out and shoot after work so I’m grabbing a photo from last spring.  Although the pink lady slippers bloom later on in the month, I wanted to post this photo to show what I have to look forward!  Hoping to discover some more patches of this delicate flower in the coming weeks!

Photo Challenge: Acadia: May 2

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I worked all day today, so after dinner I raced down to the coast to see if could capture my shot of the day before the sun set and the rain started.  The interesting thing about a photo challenge is that there can be a very short window of time to snare that perfect photo – and it forces you to just get out there and shoot.  It was a long day.  I was tired and had to force myself to grab the camera, suit up in warm clothes and head down to the water.  I was glad I did.  While this is an ordinary photograph of the Maine coast, the rock scrambling was invigorating and I felt refreshed with renewed energy.

It’s still pretty chilly here right now, and the maple trees are just starting to show off their red buds.  I’m looking forward to the awakening of the spring flowers and foliage.  Spring is the season of hope, of rejuvenation and rebirth.