Friday, November 27, 2015

Sanderling feeding at low tide, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Photograph of a sanderling pushing its beak through the sand at Parker River NWR

A belated Thanksgiving to you all! I hope you enjoyed your meal and socializing socializing with family and friends as much as this sanderling did the day before. A busy semester has kept me inside since September, so it felt great to finally get out to the beach for a sunset on Wednesday. While the temptation is always there to search for snowy owls on a winter trip to Plum Island, I was focused on finding a flock of shorebirds to photograph. I started my trip at the Lot 6 beach, and from the crest of the dunes I saw a small flock (about 30 birds) of sanderlings and dunlin. It didn't take too long to win their trust, and it felt awesome to lay out in the cold sand as the flock surrounded me. The extreme low tide this week seemed to provide an extra feast for the birds, as there were many places where the whole flock dug their bills into the sand while making quite an excited and loud ruckus of "peeps." The party scene ended abruptly though when something spooked the flock and they took off up the beach. While I didn't get to photograph them in the best light of the day, it was still invigorating to spend time with shorebirds again.

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Boulders and reflections in Bubble Pond, Acadia National Park

Photograph of boulders and forests reflected in Bubble Pond, Acadia National Park

Bubble Pond was a location that we didn't see on our trip to Acadia National Park last year. The parking lot was rather small (maybe room for 10 cars?), so it took a few tries before we were able to walk the carriage road along shoreline. Like most of the ponds in the park, the water was wonderfully clear with views of the rocky bottom. There was only a light wind crossing the pond when we started out, providing nice reflections as well -- offering a simultaneous view both above and below the surface.

View more photographs of Acadia National Park.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fog shrouded sunset on Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

Photograph from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park of the sun setting behind a fog bank

As I've written in my last few posts, this year's summer trip to Acadia National park was all about the fog. I had daydreamed about having the chance to photograph the warm colors of the sun rising or setting behind a bank of cool coastal fog -- and our first evening in the park was my only opportunity. We experienced all of the other sunrises or sunsets from underneath a heavy layer of coastal fog.

It was a tenuous experience looking for the right location to catch the sunset at an elevation below the summit of Cadillac Mountain, which was fully shrouded in fog. The rolling moisture was ever-shifting, leaving some moments of deep, dark grey and others of clear views over the park. Thankfully, the fog that was slipping down the slopes from the summit stayed above our elevation during the last few minutes of the sun's descent toward the fog bank horizon. In fact, the constant motion of the fog gave me multiple opportunities to catch the "final" moments of the day -- after the sun had set, the fog would shift and provide another opportunity to watch the sun slip further behind. So even though I had only one evening to catch the sunset, at least I had a couple of rapid-fire opportunities at the time.

It was surprising how quickly the fog covering the summit crashed down to our location after the sun slipped behind the foggy horizon for the final time. Just a few minutes after taking my last image for the day, we were full-on in a cloud, getting soaked by the heavy mist on the brief hike back to the car.

View more landscape photography from Acadia National Park.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Dynamic coastal fog rolling through the valleys, Acadia National Park

Photograph of rolling fog spilling through valleys in Acadia National Park

The fog was incredibly dynamic as it rolled across the landscape in Acadia National Park. As we awaited the sunset on the western slopes of Cadillac Mountain, the skies above and below us were constantly changing. One moment we would see far into the distance across Mount Desert Island, as in this image, and in the next moment we were fully enveloped in the fog. In fact, the photograph that I posted yesterday of a fog-shrouded scene was taken only 1 minute after this one!

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Fog and granite, Acadia National Park

Photograph of a granite outcrop under fog at sunset in Acadia National Park

On our first evening in Acadia National Park this year, after enjoying some delicious crab and lobster rolls as our welcome to Maine dinner, we planned to drive up Cadillac Mountain for the sunset. As we approached the bridge to Mount Desert Island, we could already see that the summit was hidden by fog rolling in from the coast. However, the fog had not yet slipped all the way down the slopes, so some of the intermediate elevations were clear. We joined a fleet of cars parking in the pullouts along the road and awaited the sunset from the granite outcrops. In the hour or so we hiked around the area, the ever changing fog would bury us completely and then fade away with a steady rhythm. This photograph was taken at the edge of one of these mountain breaths, where setting sun cast a warm glow in the cloud of fog surrounding us.

View more landscape photography from Acadia National Park.