Category Archives: Sugar Plum Studio
Posts that contain work produced in my multi-media studio
I’m studying Casco Bay’s geological history. Willard Beach is my latest exploration.
Willard beach, South Portland reveals two types of bedrock and the forces that created them. I sit, observe and listen. The spine like protrusions and scattered eroded pieces reveal much without a single sound or the slightest of movement.
Enjoy the slideshow created from photos I snapped at Willard Beach toward Fort Preble. Clear your mind and connect with what you see. The images are more than just a bunch of rock. There are stories within stories throughout all time. I’m glad to be a part of the history of this space.
Well, here I am. My first morning on Bangs Island. A place I made an attempt to visit during my practice trip last year. The attempt was ruled out rather quickly because a strong current gripped my loaded down 14.2″ recreational kayak as soon as bow turned toward the Island. Safety first folks. The sea was perfectly calm but currents can be as dangerous or even more so than a wild ocean. First rule of self-rescue, “Know when not to go out.” My golden rule for anything.
I sit on a rock looking out over the channel toward Great Chebuege Island, remembering last night’s return trip and chuckle about my creative parking of Abbie B. She looked truly undignified. I wonder what she said about that but maybe it’s best to leave that one alone. Sorry, Abbie B.
Here’s the video clip taken within minutes of leaving Abbie B creatively parked. I added a bit light for better viewing. You will here the wind and see gentle water. Note that I am in a protected cove which means what is beyond has a bit more flavor. The tidal current pulling at a steep angle upwind of water movement was moderately strong. It was still a challenge to walk from the safe landing point over to camp. I was in mid-thigh to waist deep water whose incoming waves were hitting me on one side, waves rebounding off the rocky shore was shoving everything beneath the water outward, my feet stumbled over underwater rocks, while pulling Abbie B behind me. At least trying to keep her behind me. The wind, push and pull of surface water kept pushing her into me. A nudge from her bow hurt enough to motivate keen awareness of Abbie B’s location and making adjustments accordingly.
For my hiking friends, This is like walking broadside to a stiff wind above tree line at the same time a stonger wind at a 90 degree angle is driving the lower half of the body outward, while navigating through a rock garden. Use your imagination by adding the work of pulling a large hardshelled empty pack which is floating on a layer between the opposing forces with an empahsis on the upper broadside wind. Believe me when I say that, you don’t want to get hit by the backpack. Bruises and a bit of being beat up is the least of possible injuries. The few times Abbie B was shoved against me were just love taps from here bow. These hurt enough to keep a sharp eye on her throughout the short crossing to camp. It was a constant chore to keep her behind and off of me.
Back to my morning view, the three rafts lying just off the shore are a mystery to me.
They don’t like like a working floating dock;
such as the one in the harbor between
Little Chebeague and Long Island.
Click on photo for full screen to see the docks better
I’ve learned that these docks are owned and operated by Bangs Island Muscle Co. “BANGS ISLAND MUSSELS are hand-raised using techniques that are meticulous and labor intensive, by design. We nurture and harvest our mussels with the utmost care, relying on our worker’s knowledgeable hands instead of powerful and damaging machines to get the job done right. The extra time and effort that we put into BANGS ISLAND MUSSELS pays off in extended shelf life and premium meat quality.” From the Company’s about page. Click here for more info. It is also worth checking out their Harvenst page for a map of locations and a more detailed description of what they do. Click here. They offer a photo slide show on their home page, Click here.
The following is a gallery showing the docks, my protected home (one from surf landing point showing the length of walk and the now exposed seaweed covered rocks I walked through with Abbie Band there other is from my “private beach.”) A photo of sky from tent floor and one of the interior of the island from my outside of tent door. More on the latter in my next post. * You can view the photos full screen by clicking on any one of them.
Wow! It’s hard to believe that there have been so many days of high winds this year. That is, unless you live here. Today is no different from the rest. It’s a repeat of the previous ones. I guess the wind is living fancy free and I am at its mercy.
There have been some beautiful sunsets on these days. I’d love to share one but you’ll have to settle for a slide show from last year as I feel no compunction to risk my hands and fingers to the sub-zero temperatures today.
We’ve had a great run of weather, cold and dry. Dylan (Corgi) has taken a liking to “ski-time.” He was afraid of my cross-country skis the first couple of times around the farm. But, no more. “Ski” means, sprint! and that’s what Corgi’s do. They are herding dogs – quick as lightning, can turn “on a dime,” and have very sharp teeth. Believe me. A nip at the ankle or hamstring of even large animals will send them the way a little Corgi says so.
Here’s Dylan during play.
He was in full sprint mode. I almost missed him.
Anyway…… We had a great ski. I’ve made Dylan his own trail, parallel to mine, for the fast sections. He races me and wins! Other times, I go ahead while he waits. “Come-on Dylan!” A happy boy, all smiles, tongue hangin’ out. Boom! He’s right behind me.
Today was a repeat of wind day. The weather changed for the worst within minutes of ending our fun. It started to mist, then frizzle (freezing drizzle) and then outright rain. The ground is still very cold making the driveway more slick than when it is just ice. Put my trekking crampons on a pair of my boots so I can safely traverse between my place and the main house.
I’m fighting the crappy feeling that comes with this weather, ruining my ski trails and all other outdoor fun. — found one of my all-time favorite winter morning photos at Sugar Plum Farm. Captured this view after a before light snowshoe out back. [Name of Place I live which will be 209 years old in July.]
I’m still working on the next portion of my sea kayaking trip. Something will be published tomorrow.
I pulled out a template that I made a few years ago to make a birthday video for a friend. I want to share it here because the words are meaningful and will touch you as well. We are special!
I created the music in my recording studio, Sugar Plum Studio using Steinberg’s Cubase. Cyberlink is the video editing software that I use.
Enjoy and have a wonderful day.
A very wacky day filled with good stuff and a lot of other stuff, stuff, and more stuff. Sooooooo, dug up this slideshow I made up last year after a blizzard, staring Dylan and Dessie. The music seems a bit corny to me this year. But, hey, it was last year’s inspiration. Enjoy this short clip of happy dogs. (Yes, Dessie is on a leash. She’s a visitor and sadly seems to enjoy running up and down the road, including driveways. We have 50 or so acres of fields and woods, Dogs!) Enjoy.
Today ended up pretty packed so I didn’t finish today’s 21 days at sea post. Instead, I added music to a video I shot last year from Crow Island of Middle Bay, Maine. The quality is poor because it was made using a feature on my little camera. I still like to watch and maybe you will too. Egrets are beautiful even in pixels.
One thing I know from reading books and personal stories is that the sea can be an unforgiving place. I also gained a sense of this during last year’s practice trip. I can’t begin to emphasize how important preparing for the sea is. I don’t think anyone can actually be prepared enough, not even those with vast experience. I’m thankful for learning this lesson early on in my travels and am blessed to believe that I don’t know it all and never will. Pride, complacency, fear and laziness are terrible enemies when it comes to preparing for a journey.
I learned from last year that I needed to study the nature of the ocean, navigation maps , navigation aids on or near the water, reading the weather from the sky, and adding more self-rescue skills and safety items for surviving disaster. I would be kidding myself to think that because I have a lot of skill and experience on water, “It will never happen to me” will never happen. I am fortunate to be without the curse of disaster during any of my journeys so far. I also know that the more I head out the greater the odds are for getting into trouble.
Many of my friends and acquaintances express their fears regarding my going out alone. I’ve done all but one long trek alone. I prefer to be alone and I will go out. I’d rather die doing what I enjoy than leaving this world standing on the sidelines.
Where Do I Stand?
Laughter Surrounds me,
Like fireflies on a summer night.
All cheery and bright.
The Ocean laps at the sand,
As castles rise from little hands.
And, the children play happily,
While I stand beside the sea.
Laughter Surrounds me,
Like fireflies on a summer night.
The children playing,
In the warm sunlight.
A breeze tosses their hair.
They are free from life’s cares.
And I am filled with happiness
As I stand beside the sea.
The children play happily,
While I stand beside the sea….
~ Song for Dulcimer by Judy Owen 2001