Three Things

Quick — name three things that come to mind when I mention the state of Maine.

Got them? How many are in the photo?

My trio is water, rocks, and trees.  I’d expect lighthouses and lobster to be on many lists.

Acadia National Park outside of Bar Harbor offers breathtaking views. The water was calm during my visit. Use your imagination and conjure the powerful waves during a storm. Crashing against the rocks. Sheets of water sliding back into the surf. Over and over. Year after year. The timeless struggle of sea and land.


Witches and Whaling

My son and I planned the trip months in advance. He’d not been very far east of our Midwestern home. I wanted to visit some relatives and see some special historical sites.

Can we…? I looked at the 17 year-old and agreed. (Always consider your traveling companions.)

We added Salem, MA to our itinerary.  It was delightful. Witchcraft trial museums and plays. Whaling and clipper ship history and displays. Excellent seafood.

Among all the good things in Salem, MA — I think I liked the waterfront best.



Happy Birthday!!!

The document was first read to the public here. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine yourself 244 years ago in a large, thriving Colonial port.

Are you relating to one of the well-dressed gentlemen in knee breeches? Or the lady of a prosperous household in an imported dress and bonnet? Perhaps you are a crew member of a sailing ship? Or a worker in a brickyard? You might be a servant girl cooking and cleaning for room and board.

I’ve only visited this city once. Enjoyed all the historical sites and fell in love with the waterfront. They were setting everything up for the large, annual birthday party the next week. (Considering events of 2020, I expect the “large” portion to be canceled.)

This Philadelphia view was taken from one of the ships displayed at the waterfront. The United States was younger then — a mere 222.


Delayed, Not Neglected

As a child raised in the American Midwest, the ocean was more concept than reality. Earlier than many of my peers (my family took summer road trips), I was a teen when I first encountered salt water.

Perhaps it’s a family trait. Or I may have been following a path of least resistance. In any event — when I moved away from home — I headed West.

When living in the Pacific Northwest and vacationing in various places in the West — I saw some spectacular sunsets over water. It was not until I was the parent of adult children I managed to view a sunrise over the ocean. The occasion was a visit to South Carolina. In addition to one sunrise, I enjoyed afternoon visits to this Atlantic Ocean beach.

Feathered residents of Isle of Palms


A Bay off a Bay

From the pier it looked like open water. Another illusion.

On my first tourist trip to Alabama (had driven across the panhandle without stopping once before), friends and I joined a tour anchored on the east side of Mobile Bay.

Interesting sites. Guided tours. Good food. Sailing on the bay on a fine afternoon. Warmer than my home state in mid-March.

On our final afternoon, I was tempted to try kayaking (I’ve been in a canoe, not kayak), but the little bay off of Mobile Bay was choppy. I took the advice of others and stayed on land.

The next morning I took a walk and found this.

I think I stood in awe of the amount of flat, still water.

PS: Date on photo is incorrect. Actual date was March 2010.



Song Title

A ballad. A gentle melody compliments words describing the scene. The listener conjures a vision of clean sand, gentle waves, and fair skies. Released by a country/folk music superstar, the song is one of those that “stuck” in my mind.

Approximately two decades ago I visited the beach in the song. Well, I visited a beach on the same island. To be fair, the beaches we drove past to arrive at the state park portion all looked similar.

Bad timing. But my visit was short. We arrived a day or two after a storm. This happened to not be a storm with deposited a rich supply of sea shells. (Well, they may have been present, but I didn’t look especially hard.)

Jellyfish anyone???

Our beach time centered around keeping the four-year-old grandnephew from having an EXTREMELY close encounter with the dead animals.

Perhaps one of these years I’ll return and find the Galveston beach of the ballad.


Visible Power

Waves roll, crest, and gather again. Over and over. For miles and miles.

Spurred by currents deep within and wind from the top, the ocean appears to breath. Or is it a great, invisible beast attempting to swim to shore?

In contrast to the welcoming shore of sand in my previous post — when the Pacific meets the Baja in this area, it does not whisper a greeting. Here it pounds on the door with one fist on a fine day and throws its shoulder into the door during a storm.

         Can you see beauty in the power? Wonder at the vast expanse?                         How far due West to the next spot of land?


Sand, Meet Sea

Beach. What comes to mind with that single word?

Do you think sand and sunshine and tropical trees? Or the gravel shore of an inland lake?

On my previous post, I showed you some of the highest peaks in Baja California.

Later that same day, we drove out to a sandy beach. I think of it as a “welcome mat” for the Pacific Ocean. Surf. Sandy tidal flat. Dry sand. Busy shore birds.

With a better photographer, it would be picture post-card perfect.


A Dash of Water

Sea water. The Pacific Ocean. The coast of Maui to be more precise.

Today’s photo is more recent and the camera of slightly better quality.

Power. Persistence.

I’ve always been a bit intrigued by waves against rocks. It’s easy for my imagination to view water and rock as opposing sides in a long term battle. Will the rock continue to guard the tide pool? Will the water carve an entrance and change the shape of the beach?

Respect the waves. Pay attention to the tides. (It could be wetting getting back if you forget.) Release your inner mountain goat and climb from rock to rock to find the perfect perch to observe the heartbeat of the ocean.