My photo
I been a professional photographer since I worked for the US Government documenting Test and Evaluation of Research and Development projects for the US Army and US Navy in the later half of the 1980s. I came home to Maine to finish my Marketing Degree at USM and began to work full time in Market Research and Marketing for many years while documenting weddings and occasional photojournalist and commercial jobs on the weekends. In 2001 I again returned to photography as a full time trade and have never been a happier man. I love working with creative individuals, couples, small businesses and select Non-Profits and can’t imagine working in any other trade. In 1987 I was lucky enough to wed my high school sweetheart and we now live in a cozy little solar powered, recycled bungalow a mile deep in our woods in the Western Hills of Maine with our two brilliant home-schooled teenage daughters and our three cats.


PAW 2005 Wk 21 - Drive Ins

Maine has a long and rich history with Drive In movie Theaters. The Saco Drive-In was opened July 15, 1939 and I believe is the oldest in the nation which still regularly shows features. They are the perfect boon for families with children as you see two features for usually half the price of one in a regular theater, you always have plenty of room and a comfortable seat and if you leave you windows up with the vents on (which in black fly/mosquito season is advisable anyhow), your kids don't annoy all of the other patrons. Our local Drive-In serves full grill of items at less than normal concession prices now as well so supper isn't even a problem.

This is the Bridgton Drive In Theater packed on a Saturday night on Memorial Day weekend.

As an side, nearly 2/3 of the cars in the parking lot above are from out of state. This basically means that "Vacationland" is now open and will be under siege with 'summer people' from now until at least Labor Day.

The populations of most of the towns in our lake strewn wilderness will double, triple or quadrouple for the length of the summer. The best thing we can say about the situation is that their million dollar 'cottages' that are crammed around any water body in the area (as congested as their homes back in MA, RI, CT and NY) help keep my property taxes down significantly.

2005 PAW Wk 20 - StarWars

Like many many millions of people around the world, our family attended the midnight showing of Star Wars Episode III on the 19th of May. We went to our local hometown bijou-era theatre in Bridgton, ME called The Magic Lantern. We arrived just after all of the lines had been let in the doors and were lucky enough to find four seats together not too far down front.

Beth is almost 7 years old and so is not used to being awake at 23h45 in the evening. While Nicole (8) watched the whole movie with as much excitement as everyone else in the sold out theater, Beth took a short nap (with the help of her Care Bear as a pillow) before the movie began.

(Beth managed to watch the first 15 minutes before passing out again and woke up to see the last 15 minutes as well. If it comes to the Drive In, we'll go see it there in greater comfort and much earlier in the evening.)


Three New Images (Wks 17, 18 and 19?)

(This tree is on the beach at Ft. Williams Park between the world famous Portland Headlight and the ruins of the Goddard Mansion. I framed one of the beacon lights in Casco Bay between the trees. If you look at the larger version it is more evident.)

Wedding season in Maine has begun so I will have much less time to devote to my personal project here. As I can, I'll add a few images here and there, just not as frequently and I'll probably not be able to be as verbose. (a collective sigh resounds throughout the electronic ether...)

Here are three images that I've made in the last few weeks. All three just nice scenes of nature waking back up from Her long winter's nap. Summer is almost upon us and though it has been pretty wet, we've not been innundadted with our usual swarms of blackflies yet.

(This was another stunning sunset on the way home. This time over Pearly Pond in Denmark.)

(Tracey tells me that these are Bluettes. They are tiny, not that fragrant, but beautiful and all over our lawn.)


Ms. Shue Goes to Augusta

Ms. Jenna Shue is a 16 year old Junior at Hampden H.S. here in Maine. Concerened about what very well could be pollution issuing forth from an industrial site near her home she wrote a letter to the editor in the Bangor Daily News about it. Her letter and her activism spurred Maine House Representitive Jeffery Kaelin (R- Winterport) to bring L.D.1408 to Maine's Joint Standing Committee on Natural Resources. Ms. Shue came to the public hearing to testify in favour of passage and was invited to meet with Maine's Governor John Baldacci as well.

Rep. Jeffery Kaelin, Ms. Jenna Shue and Gov. John Baldacci discuss proposed anti-pollution bill L.D.1408 and the fact that Maine has one of the highest rates of Asthma in the Nation.

Ms. Jenna Shue testifies before Maine's Joint Standing Committee on Natural Resources in favour of passage of proposed anti-pollution bill L.D.1408.


2005 Popham Beach Beltaine

(WARNING: The large version of this photo at this link is over 300k in size)

Each year since about 1982, Maine Pagans have gathered at Popham Beach State Park on or about the 1st of May to celebrate the Beltaine Sabbat (The midpoint between Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice and a time to celebrate fertility in Nature.)

This year, well over 100 folks were in attendance from all parts of Northern New England in spite of the blustery wet start to the day.

The May poles are brought back to the beach year after year and placed in an erect position on the beach to be readied for the spiral dance.

Older poles will accumulate a lot of layers of ribbon over the years and they tend to be treated with a bit of respect.

The Popham event has grown to the extent that one portable Maypole is not enough to accomodate all who wish to take part in the dance. For the last several years two Maypoles have been used. This growing interest and participation in even the tiny state of Maine corrolates with the statistics that show that Paganism is among the fastest growing religions in the US today.

As the dancers move in two opposing circles around the pole they weave in and out passing each other first on the left and then on the right. This causes the individual strands of ribbon that each of the dancers holds to weave into one unified web around the central pole.

I see this dance as symbolic and as emblematic of the singular strands of ribbon that we all carry through life as individuals as we weave in and out of our interactions with others... If we dance well in life, even when moving in opposition to many of those we meet, the greater universal web is woven well. If we ignore or remain ignorant of the fact that we are all connected to the same "Maypole" (in Deity) and are in fact weaving this web together, then we'll do nothing in life but create knots in our lives and in the lives of those whose ribbons we cross.

Fred (gray cloak) and his wife Leigh (not shown) are basically the hosts of this annual event. They held the celebrations here 7 years before they helped found the EarthTides Pagan Network and made the gathering even more popular beginning in 1989. Fred and Leigh have since moved from where they used to live and now voluntarily drive about five hours one way just to continue to host this gathering each year.

As the dance progresses, the web moves its way down the Maypole the dancing gets faster and faster and the crowd gets tighter and tighter.

As each ribbon is danced to an end, several ribbons are braided off securely to the Maypole for the rest of its 'life.'

As the modern era of NeoPaganism has now been expanding again since the late 1960s, it is interesting to note that such open public celebrations are again as multi-generational an activity today as they were in PaleoPagan days.

Here, off in the distance, you will see a crowd frantically running toward you. Actually they are running toward the torch that is in the foreground during the annual Beltaine torch race. Harper Meader organises this race at the Beltaine every year and he jokes that this is the longest running Pagan footrace in honour of Pan in North America. (Now in it's 5th year!)

This may actually be the very first photo finish of any Pagan foot race held in honour of Pan. The Druid known as Aspen was this year's rightful victor.

Aspen has earned the honoured and esteemed title "Fleet of Foot and Beloved of Pan" for this year and is awarded with the Silver medalion by the race's organiser Harper Meader.

Labyrinth artist Kelt always donates a nice labyrinth on the beach to be walked each year. The kids love this as much as the adults.

Two brave souls dancing in the waves. The temperature at the beach this year was hovering around 48 degrees. The water very likely was no where near that warm.

After the ritual and the race on the beach, everyone gathers back at the picnic area for a huge potluck feast. This is never as photo worthy as the beach activities for me, so I have completed my report with the above.

Hereditary Maine 'Yankees' are generally accepted to be the decendents of a puritan congregational people who relied more on democratic, localised and independent 'authority' for their religious lives then their home nations would allow. I find it interesting that this independent streak continues strongly in Maine Paganism today.

(all photos here were created with a Canon SD300 in Manual mode, -1ev.)

PAW 2005 - Wk 16

(Powershot SD300, ISO400, 1/5 sec. @f/2.8)

No newsworthy content to this at all. I just liked the way the shadows of the rain drops and parkinglot lights were playing on Tracey's hand and jeans.