Thursday, April 3, 2014

New beginnings

This will eventually become No.73 in the Beachcombing series: Hulls Cove, March 6, 2014.

This is how the Beachcombing pieces start - sorting the debris from a day of beachcombing, looking for patterns, colors, likenesses. This one seems to be leaning toward warm greys and off-whites. 

And for another new beginning, I'm going to be moving this blog from the Blogger host over to Wordpress this month, and I'm not sure how that will affect the feed. Cross your fingers that it goes smoothly. I'm digitally literate but not fluent!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Beachcombing Research

I don't know how many of you have discovered Pinterest, but I find it very useful for storing research projects - places I will be visiting, rooms I am decorating, and even identifying things I find while beachcombing.

The link above is to the Beachcombing board, where I've stashed all kinds of fascinating sites dealing with stuff found on beaches: everything from clams of the Pacific Northwest to drift seed identification to explanations of sand formations. There's even a Feather Atlas! Fabulous stuff, so I figured I'd share it with you. If you've got some favorite sites, let me know in the comments - I'm sick in bed this week and could use some virtual exploration...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ice Fishing on Eagle Lake, March 1, 2014

There's a wonderful colony of ice shacks on Eagle Lake, not far from my house, and I love watching the way their owners change them every year. You may recognize some of these from my last post about them, but keep an sharp eye out - some have been painted:

Some have had structural changes:

Some have been accessorized:

And this one is just plain new to me:

My favorite shot of the day:

They did eventually let him in.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Moose Island, October 12, 2013 (Beachcombing series No.72)

Sea glass, Dog Whelk (Thais lapillus), Smooth Periwinkles (Littorina obtusata), Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis), feather, Rock Crab (Cancer irroratus), and fishing rope. I wrote about this field trip back in October, but only recently finished the still-life.

This winter my husband and I built a new lighting support for the light box, and this was the first photo I shot on my new rig. It's much less cluttered than the six mic stands I used to borrow from him, and simpler than re-setting them every time he has a performance. 

It's pretty simple - the base and the four uprights are screwed together, and the top square is clamped on so I can move it up and down as needed. The design flaws are already becoming apparent. The front piece is annoyingly in the way when I move from arranging pieces to looking at them from above: I bonk my head every time. Must figure out how to remove that but keep the frame stable.  I still want to prop the foam core boards around the outside and lay one over the top, but that has also gotten more complicated. I'll need to trim some to fit within the frame, and tape others together so they are tall enough to rest on the floor. It's a work-in-progress, that's for sure!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Beachcombing series No.71 (Hulls Cove, August 14, 2013)

Beach stones, Blue Mussels (Mytilus edulis), driftwood, U.S. penny, acorn cap (Quercus sp.), sea glass, barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides), Waved Whelk (Buccinum undatum), stoneware fragment, Moon snail (Lunatia heros), paper scrap, beach china, aluminum soda can fragment. The red paint on the rock is left from last summer, when the schooner Margaret Todd was hauled up on the beach to repaint her hull.

A wonderful and surreal thing about blogging is that you can become friendly with people who you have never met, and they can live anywhere in the world. You feel like you know a part of them through their posts, and another bit through commenting on each other's work. Anke and Ariadne and Diana, if I ever end up in Germany or Greece or Montana, for sure we will meet up over coffee or cocktails (depending on the time of day) and talk! 

Every now and then, all the planets line up and you get to meet someone you've only known through blog posts and emails.

Back in August, Justine Hand (of the so-beautiful Designskool blog) was vacationing in my part of the world and we finally got to meet face-to-face. And because we are quirky this way, instead of meeting for lunch we went beachcombing with her family. (My teenagers won't come along anymore.) Check out the hoodie her son wore:

 Even better accessorized with seaweed and attitude:

Justine's daughter is the best beachcomber I've ever met. Maybe it helps that she's so much closer to the ground, but she has an eagle eye for sea glass. That gorgeous blue piece in the center of the top photo? I didn't find it, Solvi gave it to me!

If you'd like to see more photos from the day, Justine posted some lovely ones on her own blog.

Hulls Cove, August 6, 2013 (Beachcombing series No.70b)

Remember back here I said I had too many finds for one photo, so I was working on a second? Finally finished it!

Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis), fishing rope, beach stone (might be rhyolite), Green Crabs (Carcinus maenas), china fragment, lobster-claw bands, Common Periwinkles (Littorina littorea).

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Snowy Owls at the Bar Harbor Airport

We've had an unusual influx of snowy owls here in Maine, and there are five who have settled in at the local airport. I was lucky enough to see three of them today (but only two were close enough to photograph.) The owls are huge. The one on the telephone pole was probably twenty feet away from me (and not at all fazed by the five or six paparazzi snapping photos), and I would guess it to be a good two feet tall. The wingspan of the one below must have been four feet. They are an arctic species who usually nest on the ground in the tundra, and what I've been told is that their main prey species (lemmings? or voles? some sort of small rodent) is prone to population spikes and crashes. When the prey population crashes, the owls come south looking for food. And here they are - hello there, Hedwig!

P.S. I'm testing a larger type size - what do you think? More readable, or too big?