September 29, 2010 § 1 Comment
It rained yesterday. Today too. And, it is forecasted for most of the week. But with my days here dwindling I took to the road and hidden pathways anyway. I mingled with the the drizzle and fog, filling my camera with pictures and my spirit with solace.
I passed through Somesville many times traveling between Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor. It was the first permanent town on Mount Desert. In 1761, Abraham Somes sailed from Gloucester, Massachusettes and built a log cabin on the shore of this well-protected harbor. It is an impeccable Maine village with clapboard houses, well-kept gardens, pristine views of anything the eye looks upon. There is one well-known feature on Mount Desert that resides in Somesville. The Selectman’s House, now a small museum, boasts an arched footbridge leading to beautiful gardens. It is a good thing that the speed limit is very low in Somesville, because this eye-catcher stops traffic.
Frederic Church, one of the most famous artists in America during the mid-1800s and an important part of the Hudson River School, stayed in Somesville for about a month in 1855. It is reported in various guide books that he and Thomas Cole almost single-handedly catapulted Mount Desert to its fame through their paintings.
After Somesville, I parked my car on a hidden lane and walked slowly through the mist not looking for anything for the scent of salt air filled my senses leaving little else I could want or need in the moment. My camera was with me though tucked under my rain poncho so it was safe from rain should it begin to pour again. I came across a peaceful yet haunting meadow. The stark, dried red and gold sea grass against the dark green pines created an inner contentment just to look upon it and wonder: what animals cross it or why is it so isolated and does anyone ever look at it to appreciate its stillness and calm. It was palpable to me.
I continued my trek on this narrow road and walked up a steep hill only to look down at a small harbor! When I reached the wharf and asked the name of the harbor, no one seemed to know. But it was filled with boats, fishermen, lobster crates, and a small fishing shack that looked like it was caught in amber.
Turning around to look at the mountains, I felt as if I were standing in a Norman Rockwell painting.
I walked back to the car and decided to drive further but really didn’t care where. It was raining hard and the windshield wipers were doing an aerobic workout to keep up. I continued on and the rain stopped as suddenly as it started. By that time, I decided to go to Bar Harbor for I wanted to say goodbye to a potter I befriended and whose work I admired, and a rainy day is perfect for doing that sort of thing.
I thought I was on the right road but those who know that I get lost even on a well marked trail, probably also know what I am about to say. I was lost. How does one get lost on Mount Desert between Southwest Harbor and Bar Harbor? In my defense, I wasn’t so much “lost” as I didn’t know exactly what road I was on and whether I was going north or south. Ordinarily one would say that it is an important distinction whether one goes north or south. However, everything loops around on Mount Desert so to me it didn’t matter.
It turns out that I was driving south on Route 3 into Bar Harbor. I had not been that way before and it turned out to be arresting.
When it is cloudy, I find that colors and auras stand out even more than when the sun brightly shines because they are not competing with the hues of the sky, long shadows, or reflective light bouncing in unwanted directions. Here is yet another view of marsh grasses, wetlands, and pines … all of which abound in Acadia.
All in all, not a bad rainy day. My only regret is that on my way home I stopped at the Little Notch Bakery in Southwest Harbor, had a robust cup of French roast coffee, and, sadly, another blueberry tart.
I still have great expectations that I will get to Schoodic Point this week before I leave. If not, I just made arrangements to return to the sweet cottage I rented my first week here for three weeks in October next year.
There is a lifetime of photographic opportunities in this pristine land and coastal Maine has a way of working its magic on me. I hope I have passed some of that magic on to you.
Be well. Be safe. Give gratitude.