ABR Photography: Blog https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog en-us @ABR Photography - 2011 - 2021 contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) Thu, 09 Sep 2021 11:01:00 GMT Thu, 09 Sep 2021 11:01:00 GMT https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/img/s/v-12/u795375677-o541776830-50.jpg ABR Photography: Blog https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog 80 120 Willa & Kevin https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2019/2/willa

Hansi, the owner of Kevin the Malamute, sent me this video she took from her window this morning. Despite their differences in size and temperament, Kevin and Willa have chummed together since puppyhood. Their weekly playdates have rendered them best buddies. Sometimes they hang out like "an old married couple," as Hansi describes it, sometimes it's a wrestling match where Kevin seems to cave to the stealthy Willa C. What a match.
35 lb female Border Collie takes down 95 lb male Malamute.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2019/2/willa Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:07:00 GMT
Crazy weather https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2018/2/after-the-rain "It’s this crazy weather we’ve been having; falling forward one minute, lying down the next," wrote the poet John Ashbery . . . 

The morning begins in gray tones and mist. Strong NE winds and rain follow for most of the day. Then at dusk . . . Blizzard BlissBlizzard Bliss

 . . .  The world becomes a hallelujah chorus of honeyed light.

February EveFebruary Eve



contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2018/2/after-the-rain Thu, 01 Feb 2018 18:44:00 GMT
Starlings meet up https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2018/1/starlings-meet-up At a distance starlings look black. Though even this late in the season, as they wheel through the sky and collect within the skeleton trees, their purplish-green iridescence and yellow beaks, more apparent in summer, cast a colourful sheen against a pewter backdrop. Starlings meet upStarlings meet up

Close UpClose Up

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2018/1/starlings-meet-up Sat, 13 Jan 2018 22:58:27 GMT
Milkweed Garden in Snow https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2018/1/milkweed-garden New Years barnNew Years barn

Milkweed plants keep their symmetry and beauty year-round. Their seeds also attract cardinals, juncos, and other over-winter birds. Some species use the fibers and fluff in their nests. I like how they accent and cast shadows on the snow and blend in with the tall, vertical ash and poplar trees. The still air helps too, only hours before an impending Nor'easter is set to rock the winter world.

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2018/1/milkweed-garden Wed, 03 Jan 2018 22:58:41 GMT
Return of the Light https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/12/return-of-the-light Solstice 2017Solstice 2017

To look, to listen, to fall inside the untrimmable light . . .

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/12/return-of-the-light Thu, 21 Dec 2017 04:01:00 GMT
First Snowfall https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/12/first-snowfall First SnowFirst Snow

At the ended of a forested trail, I found this gentle scene marking the first snowfall of winter: the laminated earth and creme-coloured sky in harmony with the snowy stillness. Nightfall rising.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/12/first-snowfall Sat, 09 Dec 2017 15:53:00 GMT
Early December Colour https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/12/early-december-colour Early DecemberEarly December

All week the tides have climbed to around 9.1 metres high. While photographing the backyard with the seawater encroaching behind these trees, I got distracted by the soft, red blush of birch branches against the river-sky.

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/12/early-december-colour Fri, 08 Dec 2017 21:51:58 GMT
4 O'Clock Walk Near the Harvest-Moon Trail https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/11/walking-near-the-harvest-moon-trail  

My evening walks are for thoughts and observing, not necessarily photographing, unless I have my phone on me and can't resist stopping to take in a still moment during low tide. There's an odd cast to phone shots plus the light was dimming, though the layers of rocks, mud, marsh grass and Fundy captured my vision like some inherent force and moved it forward to that hazy blue horizon.  



contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/11/walking-near-the-harvest-moon-trail Sat, 25 Nov 2017 23:12:43 GMT
Poppy Rattles https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/11/poppy-rattles Today I was making note of the native plant species along the old road by the beaver pond and adjacent flower patches. There's still so much colour and texture to be found: the scarlet reds of rose hips and hawthorn; the inky blue berries from the chokecherry; the gentle hues of poppy capsules . . . 

Poppy Dance3poppies 2poppiesCapsules.k.kjlkjlj

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/11/poppy-rattles Sun, 19 Nov 2017 01:26:07 GMT
Let's Dance https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/11/lets-dance

Official trailer THE ART OF FLYING by Jan van IJken from Jan van IJken on Vimeo.

Here's a short documentary film about “murmurations”: the mysterious flights of the Common Starling by the photographer
Jan van Ijken.

Starling BlizzardStarling Blizzard


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/11/lets-dance Thu, 16 Nov 2017 03:33:00 GMT
Fall Abstract https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/10/fall-abstracts Pond AbstractPond Abstract

Bulrushes reflected in our pond at deep dusk. I've just completed an intensive four-day workshop on abstract painting and composition and it seems to have seeped into my way of seeing. That and viewing Paul Strand's abstract photographic nature studies on various online sites. His much quoted, "All good art is abstract in its structure,” certainly rings true to me. His miniature landscapes of leaves, flowers and rocks (THE GARDEN AT ORGEVAL) have a rigour and sensitivity to light and space, form and shape that makes them look like grand vistas in microcosm. Contemplative or Miksang photography makes similar discoveries by paying attention to those "flashes of insight."

Another abstract photographer, James Baker Hall, who died in 2009, created a sort of ethereal minimalism with his striking images of leaves and pond reflections. I had never heard of him until I attended a recent screening of Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry. The director, Laura Dunn, employs Baker's images throughout this beautiful, diffused documentary (what a pleasure to spend 80 minutes in the company of Wendell Berry). Baker and Berry were life-long friends and literary collaborators.



@Paul Strand Archive, Aperture Foundation


Pond Surface
© James Baker Hall Archive



contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/10/fall-abstracts Thu, 26 Oct 2017 21:42:00 GMT
High Noon at Wildflower https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/7/sentinel-on-the-hill Sentinel on the HillSentinel on the Hill I'll often walk through the trails on my property and see a composition that feels just right even though the sun is overhead and searing and amplifying the lights and darks and I should know better than to photograph in this harsh light, but I shoot the scene anyway. Once again, it shows another dimension to the old red barn.

I just assume that when this barn was built by a Loyalist-descent from Pennsylvania named VanBlarcom, it was sealed with a mixture of linseed oil, which is orange-colored and derived from the seeds of the flax plant, and ferrous oxide, or rust. Rust was used on farms to kill fungi and mosses that might grow on barns, and it was very effective as a sealant. It turned the mixture red in color. One hundred and forty years on, the tradition of the red barn endures courtesy of the hardware store.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/7/sentinel-on-the-hill Sun, 23 Jul 2017 13:15:00 GMT
April Light https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/4/april-light

A perfect view. Our house sits in a river valley surrounded by spruce-covered hills that often appear lavender-colored. On one of the hilltops sits the old red barn with its run of personalities predicated upon the light and time of day. The winter light gives it a starkness, the summer light tones it down, the fall light blends it into a bold canvas of maple-reds, oak-oranges and poplar-golds. Spring arrives – and while it's all by chance – the electric greens, highlights of serviceberry and splash of forthysia makes this old icon seem operatic, ancient and wise. 

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/4/april-light Sun, 23 Apr 2017 12:53:00 GMT
That's the Spirit! https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/1/thats-the-spirit Janina unpluggedJanina unplugged

 It’s the delight of someone else’s helpless mirth. Unplugged laughter makes something communal happen, it shares the energy in the mirth. Janina is the light source and her friend David is the receiver of this electric, connective joy. The grey walls light up around her magenta sparkle. The moment shines as she is laughing like anything.

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2017/1/thats-the-spirit Sun, 01 Jan 2017 16:48:12 GMT
Misty Morning Under Tall Trees https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/12/white-pine Trees in the mistTrees in the mist

After months of blue skies and bright sun, the winter light has turned the bold landscapes of fall into a palette of grey, black and white. Something exhilarating, though, about the tin-cup scent of a poplar-pine grove on this moody morning.

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/12/white-pine Tue, 06 Dec 2016 15:16:34 GMT
Willa https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/12/willa WillaWilla It all takes time.  After year and a half without a dog, Willa appeared . Highly emotional and completely adorable, peppery, canny, scrappy and semi-obedient, I think she's turning out very well. We all get along and are touched by her loyalty, which I think at this point in her life is really insecurity. She's a natural enthusiast and wants to know everything and go everywhere.

And of course  . . . she's got a mind of her own.



contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/12/willa Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:46:29 GMT
Food photography https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/9/food-photography I took an online food course this summer to expand my plant-based repertoire and explore food photography.  So everything I cooked had lots to do with colour balance, compostion and contrast. Once I assembled a dish, I set it out in the sun porch so I could use the lovely natural light. Plating the dish on white placed the focus on the food. Using fresh, bright herbs and vegetables from my garden emboldened the subject. Great experiment. Great eats too!

Gyro with smoked tempeh bacon, tzatziki sauce and herbs.

Raw enchiladas with sundries tomatoes and walnut pate, avocados and cilantro cashew creme.

Manicotti with homemade eggless pasta.

Eggless waffles with roasted strawberries and apricot creme.

Blueberry tart.

Homemade udon noodles and stir-fried veggies.

Spiced crackers made in the dehydrator with macadamia nut cheese and beluga lentils.


Raw  macaroons with cocoa nibs, lemon zest and coconut.

Chocolate Torte

_MG_2049Baked-Alaska w/ Aquafaba Meringue

Baked-Alaska w/ Aquafaba Meringue

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins w/Aquafaba

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/9/food-photography Thu, 15 Sep 2016 14:45:00 GMT
Why I Photograph Landscapes https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/8/landscapes Noon-TideNoon-Tide

Nature has been a friend and inspiration to me all my life, from the time I read Hans Anderson’s fairy tales as a child, to early explorations along the Platte River, to present day hikes through the forests, hillsides and seascapes of Maritime Canada. And the redemptive power of a natural landscape moves through most of the work I make.

Acadia ForestAcadia Forest

Why do I photograph landscapes? Because the process throws me into full receptive mode. When I am relishing a scene, I am completely aware of where I’m standing, what I’m wondering at and nurturing. I'm focusing on light, shadow, texture and composition and trying to imagine all these multiple elements as a cohesive, consistent whole.

Early Spring GroveEarly Spring Grove

But then there are those, "flash of perception moments" when all the elements are aligned in one stark moment.

New Year's Eve MarshNew Year's Eve Marsh

Like in the light and colour of a perfect sunset . . .

Or the symmetry of a line of trees against the red earth.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/8/landscapes Thu, 18 Aug 2016 14:48:00 GMT
When I saw the view https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/8/landscape _MG_0882 (1)_MG_0882 (1)

High tide on the Annapolis with just a sliver of salt marsh showing beneath wide open skies.

"O beautiful for spacious skies," wrote Katherine Lee Bates from a Colorado hotel room in 1859. She had traveled by mule cart to Pikes Peak earlier in the day. There, the skies, with their "sea-like expanse" inspired the poem "Pikes Peak."  The lyrics were later set to music and called "America the Beautiful." In 1910 the song was paired with the composition "Materna."

I'm a long way from Pikes Peak, yet I feel the same rush when photographing this sky reflection along a trail near home. Like Bates, "When I saw the view, I felt great joy."

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) Annapolis River Nova Scotia https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/8/landscape Wed, 17 Aug 2016 14:45:00 GMT
Front lawn visitor, snowshoe hare https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/6/front-lawn-visitor-snowshoe-hare Snowshoe Hare, JulySnowshoe Hare, July

This has been a prolific year for snowshoe hares. I often see two or three grazing in our front yard along side their leverets. Without a dog in the house I've been able to observe more wildlife sightings. Still . . .  I hear coyotes at night and saw a bobcat crossing the driveway last week. No matter, hares produce three litters a year on average. They have become so accustomed to our coming and going that they remain still long enough to photograph. For years now, even with the dogs, they've sheltered in warrens around the house under a splay of junipers. I love their long radar ears.

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/6/front-lawn-visitor-snowshoe-hare Wed, 29 Jun 2016 11:26:35 GMT
Consumed https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/6/consumed Digital CowboyDigital Cowboy

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/6/consumed Wed, 29 Jun 2016 11:09:37 GMT
Poppy Field Outside Wolfville Library https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/6/poppies Like a yawn of fire from the grass they came . . . Poppy outside Wolfville LibraryPoppy outside Wolfville Library


   . . . And the fanning wind puffed them to flapping flames.



contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/6/poppies Tue, 28 Jun 2016 23:46:18 GMT
Marshlands https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/6/marshlands MarshlandsMarshlands

Monochromatic skies, waters wide, fill the void while the marshlands sleep. No, they never sleep. The winds gust freely across the open ranges of the tidal marsh. Natural channels and ditches dug by farmers long ago take the tidewaters through all levels of this landscape, rising, flooding, falling, withdrawing, a twice daily ritual to which all of its abundant life responds. Close to my heart are the willets and their piercing calls. Following them as they patrol the skies often leads me to other shorebirds or raptors. I hear them in the distance as I click the shutter.

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/6/marshlands Wed, 08 Jun 2016 10:52:00 GMT
Evening stroll, 8 p.m., low tide https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/6/evening-stroll Low Tide at DuskLow Tide at Dusk

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/6/evening-stroll Wed, 01 Jun 2016 10:33:00 GMT
The Painter at 92 https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/4/the-painter-at-92 Charles CouperCharles Couper

I visited my friend Charles Couper the other day to wish him a happy birthday. He had recently returned from a trip to Rhode Island where he spent the winter creating a series of pastels that many of his local followers say represent some of his best work. Couper is 92 and as mentally acute as he was 12 years ago when I wrote about him for a local newspaper. Since then, his life has undergone some dramatic changes. Marge, his wife and great supporter of his art, died a few years back. They had been together since their twenties. He now spends his winters in New England.

During the course of four hours we talked about politics, gardening and art along with a book he read recently on the philosophy of war.

Here's some background on the artists from my article:

On a meadowed ridge overlooking the Bear River lies the studio of artist, Charles Couper. With its high ceilings and light filtering in from a large north-facing window, it is a place where the colours are warm and vibrant; a setting that is as welcoming as the vague dreaminess of a warm summer afternoon. It is here, along an expanse of whitewashed walls leading up a narrow staircase to a loft, where a visitor can glimpse some 65 years of the artist’s development. From large pasteled landscapes and whimsical self-portraits to Vermeer-like ensembles of old bottles and buoys, each conveys Couper’s signature use of light, colour and composition to capture the sensation and dignity of commonplace objects.

Couper, a long-time interpreter of the still life genre, continues to paint several hours a day in hopes, he says, to preserve an artistic tradition that seems to be fading. “In the kind of world we live in it is sometimes difficult to keep up the moral courage to think of painting as a means to inspire people,” Couper says. “Yet I never tire of the ongoing quest for this honesty in art.”

Born in New Hampshire and educated at the Vesper George School of Art in Boston, Couper was drawn to still life because it “presented the greatest challenge in composition and ones ability to relate things.”

But there were also practical considerations. Still life, where the objects are stationary and permanent, as opposed to portraiture or landscape painting, gave him the freedom to divide his time between developing his art and supporting his family. In the early years Couper worked on the East and West Coasts of the United States as a night cook, print shop machine operator, labourer on the Pacific Coast Highway and an aircraft mechanic, before he settled into a long stretch as an art teacher in Boston and on Cape Cod.

Along the way his reputation as a prominent still life artist gained ground. Couper’s work has been exhibited throughout North America and received awards from the Allied Artists of America, the Pastel Society of Canada and other prestigious organizations. His work is archived in the American Museum of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

On a trip to Nova Scotia in the early 1980s to trace his family’s lineage, Couper and his wife, Marge, came upon the land in Bear River where they eventually built a house and made it their permanent home. He became a Canadian citizen in 1987, a choice he has never regretted. “Nova Scotia is a good place to think things out from an artist’s point of view,” he says. “The people here are less aggressive and more thoughtful.”

       Compared to the United States, he adds, “Canada is a more humane democracy. Social reform is more prevalent here. You don’t see this tremendous dichotomy between the rich and the poor.”

       These days Couper is in his studio by 9 a.m. and works until early afternoon. From there he stills tends a large organic vegetable garden that produces enough food to last year round.  Despite the shift in focus, he says, “I’m always thinking about painting and what I’m going to do next. As a painter you’re always looking at how you can translate what you see or imagine on to the canvas.”

       It is perhaps in his studio where he can think most clearly without coming up against an overlay of cultural or political distractions. On this recent day, his easel cradles a still life of wooden buoys he has collected over the years. He stands back a moment, his eyes, the colour of robin’s eggs, contrast with a thick shock of white hair. His posture is arched and intent. The scene catches the quintessence of Couper as the ultimate artist-maestro.

       “All great art aspires to music,” he says. “In my work I want it to give the feeling of music—repetition, colour, line value and texture. Finally there is the vision path to capture the eye and let it follow the harmony of the piece.”  

       For now, Couper says he has reached an artistic peak and will keep painting as long as he is able. “I’m still healthy enough mentally, spiritually and physically to use the experience I’ve accumulated over the years. But you can’t deny the debilitating course that life takes with age.”

       Besides, he adds, “You only fail as an artist if you quit. And to paraphrase Leonardo DeVinci when he was in his 80s, ‘Still, I learn.”’

Charles, Marge & LuckyCharles, Marge & Lucky






contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/4/the-painter-at-92 Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:04:00 GMT
Train Songs https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/3/train-songs IMG_1036 (1)Train to New HavenMorning fog, very atmospheric

While waiting for the Shoreline Eastbound train to New Haven the other morning, I captured the sunlight as it broke through a feathery veil of fog. There's something so evocative about the atmosphere of trains and travel or the anticipation thereof. So I started thinking about some of my favorite train songs. The best of them were written and recorded decades ago such as Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten's Freight Train, Freight Train. A left-handed, self-taught guitarist who played bass lines with her fingers and the melody with her thumb, Cotten wrote the song in 1904 when she was eleven. She later became part of the folk revival of the sixties and won a Grammy in 1984. I grew up on Peter, Paul and Mary's still perfect version.

Another great classic rail song, The Rock Island Line was recorded by John Lomax in 1934, after hearing prisoners on a chain gang in Arkansas sing it a capella. In the mid-1950's, Lonnie Donegan, a British folk/jazz singer sped up the tempo and made it a world-wide hit. Here's his original and jazzy version:

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/3/train-songs Sun, 20 Mar 2016 22:25:07 GMT
St. Paddy's Day Parade https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/3/paddys-parade St. Patrick's DaySt. Patrick's Day

Irish ScottIrish Scott


Irish Dancers, NYCIrish Dancers, NYC


Crowds, St. Paddy's NYCCrowds, St. Paddy's NYC





contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/3/paddys-parade Thu, 17 Mar 2016 22:41:00 GMT
Central Park Near Columbus Circle https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/3/central-park-near-columbus-circle sparrowHouse Sparrow

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/3/central-park-near-columbus-circle Thu, 17 Mar 2016 22:28:00 GMT
Outside my kitchen window https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/1/outside-a-kitchen-window IMG_0975 (1)Outside a kitchen window Temps mild, snow nearly gone, how pleasant to see a male pheasant . . . rainbow bird.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/1/outside-a-kitchen-window Wed, 27 Jan 2016 01:24:24 GMT
Tobella's Pond, late January https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/1/tobellas-pond-late-january Tobella's Pond, late JanuaryTobella's Pond, late January A few years back, a colony of beavers created a pond around a stream bed and wetlands situated near the eastern side of our property. The now named Tobella's Pond currently contains three dams and two lodges. One of the wonders of watching a beaver pond evolve is seeing how it expands the habitat for a range of waterfowl. For the past couple of years, a pair of wood ducks have nested there and this spring I spotted green-winged teals and ring-necked ducks feasting on the vegetation along the banks and heard soras in the distance. In the winter, when the light is at a certain angle, usually around 4:30 pm, the pond takes on various shades of blue and amber. The reflections of alder tree branches create a fluid symmetry. Thus the photo above.
  Wood duckWood duck
  Wood Duck, June
  Ring-necked DuckRing-necked Duck
  Ring-Necked Duck, July
Green-winged TealGreen-winged Teal
Green-Winged Teal, July





contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/1/tobellas-pond-late-january Sun, 24 Jan 2016 22:40:10 GMT
Christmas Bird Count https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/1/christmas-bird-count Redpolls & SparrowsRedpolls & SparrowsRedpolls and song sparrows atop a dragon's claw willow.

For many years I've participated in the Christmas Bird Count organized jointly by the Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada. The count runs from mid-December to January 4 and local organizers pick a day during that time period, rally team leaders and then count up the results. Weather conditions, winds and tides are a key part of count numbers. I find that I see more hawks on windy days and that packed snow cover results in fewer waterfowl sitings.  When the tides swell, the coves along the river naturally contain more mallards, black ducks, golden eyes and buffleheads. As the river widens into the basin I usually spot more scoters and scaups. Some years, if I'm lucky, I'll spot a raft of eiders. Yesterday, high tide occurred at dawn and dusk, so visibility wasn't great for waterfowl sitings, and the winds were calm so I saw fewer hawks. But I did see more cardinals around the beaver pond than in previous years and more redpolls and waxwings overall. Throughout the day jays, song sparrows and finches overwhelmed the feeders.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/1/christmas-bird-count Mon, 04 Jan 2016 13:10:38 GMT
New Year's Eve, 2015 https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/1/new-years-eve-2015 The light on the marshlands in late December is like no other time of the year . . . at dusk, a smokey, peach-tinted sky, builds to a bright orange glow, then erupts into a pillar of fire, fading too soon.

New Year's Eve MarshNew Year's Eve Marsh

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/1/new-years-eve-2015 Sun, 03 Jan 2016 17:21:48 GMT
Montmartre https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/1/montmartre When I arrive in city all I want to do is walk. On a fall trip to Paris we stayed in the Marais district but wandered for miles each day. Early one Sunday morning, we journeyed to the Montmartre neighborhood, part of the Right Bank in the northern part of the city. There we spent hours exploring its steep cobbled streets, curio shops and cafes, trying to imagine La Belle Époque when the area became home to so many artists from Pissarro to Picasso. Despite its modern touristy character, which has attributed to high rents and driven the artists away, the area retains much of its old-world charm. I took along a Canon Powershot on this trip, mostly because its 50X lens enabled me to get closer to the scenery. This shot from the steps of Montmartre Hill shows a partial panorama of Paris. Perhaps living amid such geometric patterns incited Picasso's cubist works or later his paintings of blue rooftops.

Sacré-CoeurFrom the steps of Basilica Sacré-Coeur

Tightly cropping the top photo and hoping to capture some geometric unity, I focused on a macro view of one of the panoramas:

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2016/1/montmartre Sun, 01 Nov 2015 13:15:00 GMT
Kayak View https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/9/kayak-view eagleeagle

A hazy July day out on the river. I took along a point and shoot, small enough to store in my life vest.
The megazoom lens is not so great but I like how it produced this soft, dreamy quality.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/9/kayak-view Tue, 15 Sep 2015 14:57:57 GMT
Blooming blue https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/8/water-flower hydrabudshydrabuds

I have several varieties of hydrangeas tucked in shaded areas and in full sun. So full of grace and presence, they light up the lawn like sun sparkles on water. Here's a macro view of Billow Blue, a lacecap variety.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/8/water-flower Tue, 25 Aug 2015 13:02:53 GMT
Frannie's House https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/8/house Frannie's HouseFrannie's House

In the house on the hill lived a bachelor farmer who raised beef cows and blueberries. He loved the history of the land, and, as his ancestors had lived here in the same spot for centuries, he knew it well. Salt marsh, uplands, rivers and tides sketched out the typography of his soul. As newcomers came and went from this pretty part of the world, he charmed them with stories about the past both turbulent and pastoral. We're just keepers of the land for the short time we're here, he liked to remind them.

He succumbed to an long illness recently, one of the hazards of farming, he once told me. Now all that’s left is the house on the hill, strewn remnants of a farmer's life and echoes of words worth remembering.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/8/house Mon, 24 Aug 2015 18:36:24 GMT
Korean Spruce from Kitchen Window https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/7/korean-spruce Asian SpruceAsian Spruce


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/7/korean-spruce Mon, 13 Jul 2015 13:54:00 GMT
The Honey Locust https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/7/the-yellow-locust

yellow locustyellow locust

Of all the specimen trees in my arboretum, the grand Honey Locust is among my favorites. Its wide-stretching limbs and graceful conical shape brightens the landscape from spring to early-July until the leaves evolve into a deep lime green. I've never tasted the sweet legume pulp from where the tree derives its name. You can apparently ferment it to make beer. The photos show a macro and wide angle view of Gleditsia triacanthos.





contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/7/the-yellow-locust Mon, 13 Jul 2015 10:31:00 GMT
Tobe Gone https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/6/tobe-gone old tobeold tobe

We buried Tobe this morning under a tall stand of white birch and oak. Neighbour Ian dug the grave with his backhoe. After wrapping in her favourite blanket, we lowered her into the sweet earth. Wide open blue sky above us. Brave old girl she was until the end.

Tobe outlived Bella by nearly two years.

First time in thirty years without a good dog at my heels. How odd . . .


At Delaps Cove, August 2012 ...

kisses copykisses copy

With sister Bella, 2010.

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/6/tobe-gone Sun, 14 Jun 2015 19:04:00 GMT
Salix discolor https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/5/salix-discolor Salix discolorSalix discolor Salix discolor and its gorgeous, soft, silky silvery catkins. ]]> contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/5/salix-discolor Sat, 09 May 2015 11:20:00 GMT Backyard View https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/3/backyard-view

Good morning shades of blue. Good evening calm, pale light.
First photo and last photo of the day.
I love how the scenery never stays the same here on the great marsh.

Here's to the end of a stubborn, crazy,
but awe-inspiring winter...


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/3/backyard-view Mon, 23 Mar 2015 14:42:52 GMT
Winter's Reward https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/2/winters-reward Snow, snow everywhere. Long driveway to plow. Dog and cat needs.
Shovel, shovel, shovel.
Clarity revealed, like in a dream.
Solstice SunsetSolstice Sunset North MountainNorth Mountain

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/2/winters-reward Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:38:48 GMT
On A Clear Day https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/2/on-a-clear-day How many times have I photographed this old Dutch barn, circa 1870? Not enough, it seems. Walking the dykes this morning it shows yet another side of its inimitable character. This rural landmark has become a deep part of my visual life. Always present and assuring, it will surely outlast me. Standing on the river's edge as the morning light amplifies the poplars, barn and hillside, I keep wondering about other walkers on this path who had surely witnessed the same iconic beauty and simply stopped and gazed.

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/2/on-a-clear-day Sat, 14 Feb 2015 16:22:20 GMT
Red Barn Through Living Room Window During a Blizzard https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/2/barn-throu Barn Through BlizzardBarn Through Blizzard

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/2/barn-throu Thu, 12 Feb 2015 15:50:00 GMT
The Beauty of Somber Skies https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/3/the-beauty-of-somber-skies Quiet MarshQuiet Marsh

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/3/the-beauty-of-somber-skies Sun, 01 Feb 2015 14:00:00 GMT
Winter Blue https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/1/life-falls-to-winter In our room of windows, I call the observatory, raptors soar by at eye level, the tides ebb and flow and the currents of wind, rain, sunshine and snow are ever apparent. Everyday showcases a different mood, light, colour and scent. Many of the most memorable panoramas fall between December and February when the air circulation is robust and crisp. While this is ideal for photographing sunrises and sunsets, it also intensifies and illuminates objects in a landscape, such as my "winter" garden below. During a snowstorm the light creates a prism of blue shown in the image of the birch grove bending in the wind.   Somber DaySomber Day Blizzard BlissBlizzard Bliss

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2015/1/life-falls-to-winter Sat, 03 Jan 2015 15:24:00 GMT
Henri Cartier - Bresson https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2014/12/henri-cartier---bresson

In this short film, Bresson muses beautifully and philosophically about the
art of the image and its importance. Famous for his "immediate reactions"
to urban scenes and portraits, his words apply to all angles of fine-art photography.
"To photograph is to hold one's breath," he says, "when all faculties
converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at that precise moment that
mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy."

And this: “In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject.
The little, human detail can become a Leitmotiv.”

Grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2014/12/henri-cartier---bresson Sat, 27 Dec 2014 15:12:00 GMT
North Mountain Sunset https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2014/12/north-mountain-sunset In the fading dusk of a December day, North Mountain reminds me of a sleeping giant. Cross-stitched with lavender treelines and two white birch trees marking the foreground, this lightshow is one of the gifts of winter. I took this without a flash or adjustments, thus it's a wee bit on the blurry side.

Sunset Over North MountainSunset Over North Mountain

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2014/12/north-mountain-sunset Sun, 21 Dec 2014 04:13:00 GMT
Plant 'em and they will come https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2014/10/plant-em-and-they-will-come My biggest gardening event this year was planting a succession of wildflower gardens for the Monarch Watch program. After seeding a mix of annual and perennial wildflowers (you must be vigilant for weeks about watering and weeding until all is established) and a large patch of native milkweed given to us by our botanist/landscaper/neighbor, Niki, we waiting all summer for the monarchs to appear. Finally, one fall day, after the asters had bloomed two did. They stayed for a couple weeks feasting mainly on the milkweed and purple asters. The bees and the humming birds loved the wildflowers.


wildriverwildriver Monarch on Joe Pye WeedMonarch on Joe Pye Weed

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2014/10/plant-em-and-they-will-come Wed, 15 Oct 2014 16:34:00 GMT
Summer Paintings https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2014/8/summer-paintings

Photography and painting are are otherworldly experiences, each requiring a sharp eye on the subject. What I've learned from photography I apply to painting and vice versa. Understanding the flow from dark to light, noticing the fading edges, finding the balance. It can take a long, long time for all of those components to become instinctual. As such, I am self-taught. I learn from workshops, much more experienced painters, books and YouTubes. I paint on my sun porch surrounded by the scenery I've so often photographed. Sometimes I paint fragments of that landscape and sometimes I'm  inspired by a photograph or another painting. I start with what moves me, then my imagination takes hold. Lavender on RedLavender on Red

Carolina scene

Nancy's GardenNancy's Garden

Flower garden, early July

Geometry in the trees

Over by the Frog PondOver by the Frog Pond

Rose arbor, late June

Foilage and fog




contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2014/8/summer-paintings Thu, 07 Aug 2014 12:50:22 GMT
Two Springs https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2014/5/spring-again

Pisgah Mountains outside Brevard, NC, early March.

Nor'easter GardenNor'easter Garden

Nova Scotia Nor'easter, day of return, March 25th.

Late Spring GroveLate Spring Grove

May 14th, spring finally arrives...

Swallows sail the sky:

Forsythias bloom;

Shadbush and poplar light the hillside.

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2014/5/spring-again Wed, 14 May 2014 11:01:29 GMT
Butterfly Rainforest https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2014/3/butterfly-rainforest The Butterfly Rainforest inside the University of Florida's Museum of Natural History is a place of pure, wide-eyed wonderment. Here, hundreds of butterfly species float through a lush garden of tropical plants over waterfalls and turtle ponds. Beneath and above the understory small exotic birds preen themselves or bathe in ceramic bowls. Below are just a few of the garden's species.

Idea leuconoe a.k.a Rice Paper, Paper Kite, or Tree Nymph of Southeast Asian origin. 


Morphos BlueMorphos Blue

Female Morphos Blue

Unidentified species.

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) butterflies https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2014/3/butterfly-rainforest Tue, 11 Mar 2014 23:29:10 GMT
Giverney https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/12/giverney

I like to photograph life not as it is, but how I see it in my imagination. So when creating painterly images I look for color, line and composition, but also how it looks aesthetically. This photograph was taken in Monet's Garden at Giverney in the early spring, when the water lily pond was lined with violets, forget-me-nots and crimson tulips. Monet created the garden from his impressionistic mind, and to see it up close, with all its brilliant color harmonies, is like walking into a dream. Giverney is a painter's as well as photographer's wonderland.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/12/giverney Fri, 20 Dec 2013 13:17:28 GMT
Nebraska Car Ride https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/10/nebraska-car-ride Nebraska Car RideNebraska Car Ride

We're driving down I-80 en route to Mahoney State Park in Nebraska. My brother is piloting the white SUV, while my twenty-something niece and nephew -both raised in Colorado - and I take in the bold geometry and subtle blond beauty of the vast Nebraska headlands.  Ash, maple and sumac accent the exhausted fields on this late October day. Waves of telephone lines, silos and picturebook farms sweep by us. And although I spent my childhood in this same terrain, nothing about this scene and the happiness it evokes seems familiar. Yet, there is no mistaking the stone-white expanse above us. How I remember and carry with me those incomparable skies...

From Willa Cather:

"The sky was as full of motion and change as the desert beneath it was still, — and there was so much sky, more than at sea, more than anywhere else in the world ... Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky. The landscape one longed for when one was away, the thing all about one, the world one actually lived in, was the sky, the sky!"


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/10/nebraska-car-ride Wed, 23 Oct 2013 17:39:15 GMT
Platte River Scene https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/10/platte-river-scene IMG_6850-3IMG_6850-3

The Platte is the river of my childhood. Each time I make a pilgrimage to its banks, I'm reminded of the river system's rich human and natural history. A tributary of the Missouri River, which in turn is a tributary of the Mississippi River which flows to the Gulf of Mexico, the Platte is a slow flowing and braided stream with many islands. In 1739 two French explorers, Paul and Pierre Mallet, named it La Rivière Plate, or "flat river." The Platte falls along the middle of the central flyway a prime North-South corridor for migratory birds including trumpeter swans, tundra swans, Canada geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, Sandhill Cranes, Canvasback ducks and others. Pelicans, too, use the flyway. 

I took this photograph at sunset from the bridge crossing the river at South Bend. It's an iconic shot, in a way: two fisherman standing in the fading light, a backdrop of towering cottonwoods, and the calm, reflective waters.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/10/platte-river-scene Mon, 21 Oct 2013 14:00:42 GMT
Delaps Cove Pool https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/9/delaps-cove Delap's CoveDelap's Cove

Water picture at Delaps Cove Wilderness Trail on the Bay of Fundy. The light blue ripples reflect an opening in the forest where, during the spring runoff, this stream rushes toward the Bay tumblng into a 40 ft. waterfall . But as fall closes in, the stream's pools become shallow and meditative. Spell broken by swimming dog.



contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/9/delaps-cove Sat, 07 Sep 2013 11:44:04 GMT
Solo walk on a foggy morning https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/8/a-solo-walk

Early morning, Mavillette Beach, just as the fog lifts. Voila! Columns of basalt dominos encrusted with barnacles and eons of tidal wash appear. A geologic sculpture unveiled. How long has it rested there? One source says 40,000 years and counting. Nothing like a walk through the Earth's Pleistocene past to get your life into perspective...


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/8/a-solo-walk Fri, 30 Aug 2013 01:26:03 GMT
Bella Gone: March 15, 2002 - August 19th 2013 https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/8/bella-march-15-2002---august-19th-2013

IMG_7175IMG_7175 How many times did we walk
together along the shores of a Fundy river
against the lonely winds of Dentabella
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and you jumped about
full of the voltage of the tide's movement?
My wandering Bella, sniffing away
with your collie's tail held high,
face to face with the ocean's spray.

Sleep in peace, my friend. 









contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/8/bella-march-15-2002---august-19th-2013 Tue, 20 Aug 2013 21:25:00 GMT
The blue, blue distance https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/8/writer-to-imagrapher

Along the Annapolis River Often, after a moment like this one, when I stood on the dusk-varnished shoreline watching the little town in the blue, blue distance, I leave the spot carrying inside my mind a mere sensory residue: the scent of sweet mud, the sweep of a salty breeze and the buzz of katydids. Sensation and imagery come together in an almost inevitable way, and remain deep inside us for decades. The brain that propels the mind, that propels the camera, after all, is deeper than the sea and wider than the sky, isn’t it? I think Emily Dickenson wrote some such...sans the camera part. She was a poet as well an imagrapher too.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/8/writer-to-imagrapher Tue, 13 Aug 2013 22:37:41 GMT
Eugene's Barn: Two Views https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/7/eugenes-barn A vet named Eugene built this small barn nearly 40 years ago. He and his wife came up from Rhode Island, built a house and bought a large swath of surrounding pastureland for their 18-year-old daughter, an equestrian. On the way up to join her parents she died in a car accident. The couple closed up the house, returned to the states and never returned. Eugene's barn, worn but steady, lives on.

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/7/eugenes-barn Sun, 28 Jul 2013 03:36:00 GMT
Pond at Pretty Marsh https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/5/pond-at-pretty-marsh Pretty Marsh, Maine

The ocean waters around Mount Desert Island, depending upon the light and current, can appear a tranquil marine green to tropical azure blue. Often the waterview is best observed from a bicycle parked behind statues of conifers rooted deep within the pine-needled floor.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/5/pond-at-pretty-marsh Sun, 19 May 2013 12:41:45 GMT
Reflections at Asticou https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/5/reflections-in-a-garden-pond Pond at Asticou Gardens

The impressionistic reflections of a scene are sometimes more appealing than its upright form. Here at Asticou Azalea Gardens there's a perfect balance of natural and human-made beauty; a place where East meets West. The bungalow in the distance, though, seemed to blend better into the landscape through the water's mirror. 



contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/5/reflections-in-a-garden-pond Sun, 19 May 2013 12:33:36 GMT
Aunt Betty's Pond and Flying Mountain https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/5/flying-mountain

Aunt Betty's PondAunt Betty's Pond Wonder Land Trail as tide recedes...Then Flying Mountain.

flying_mountain Flying Mountain in Acadia National Park was named by the Wabanaki Indians, since the mountain appeared to have flown off nearby Acadia Mountain. A trail across its summit takes you through a cedar and hemlock forest ascending and descending via log and granite steps. Exposed ledges overlook Somes Sound to the east and the ocean offshore islands to the south. On this day, the forests seems to ring with the song of red-eyed vireos. My favorite part of the journey descends to Valley Cove, with its lovely granite boulders and seaweed-strewn beach where long ago British warships used to dock for shelter.  The seaweed in the foreground, I later learn, is Acrosiphonia arcta.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) Acadia Aunt Betty's Flying Mountain National Park Pond https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/5/flying-mountain Sat, 18 May 2013 21:20:49 GMT
Post-Winter Garden https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/4/winter-garden Fire moss and lichen on a granite boulder under monochromatic skies. This glacial erratic  dominates a hilltop meadow, radiating with early spring essence. The plants take their nourishment from the soil and water lodged in the fissures. A solitary leaf, the colour of cinnabar, drifted in from a nearby alder patch. Come early summer, the boulder's surface is often littered with hollowed out mussel and clam shells, deposited by seagulls. 


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/4/winter-garden Mon, 15 Apr 2013 12:07:47 GMT
Wise Old Birch https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/4/wise-man-birch



Betula pendula

Birch Soiree
Betula pendula soiree


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/4/wise-man-birch Wed, 13 Mar 2013 12:30:00 GMT
Vanishing Point https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/2/vanishing-point Vanishing Point

Sometimes when the tide is out and the sun is masked by an incoming storm system from the northeast, the marshlands take on an otherworldly quality. The channel, where buffleheads and black ducks foraged only an hour before, now embodies a beautiful, geometric desolation. In composing the shot, I wanted to capture, in particular, the converging of the landscape's dominate lines.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/2/vanishing-point Sat, 09 Feb 2013 23:02:06 GMT
Sheer Abandon https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/2/sheer-abandon  

  This is why I like hanging around with Bella the angel dog...

IMG_4893 IMG_4895 IMG_4894 IMG_4896


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/2/sheer-abandon Wed, 06 Feb 2013 17:26:04 GMT
February Thought https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/2/gray-blue-light Grey Light

When I take this shot the NE winds are unrelenting and I think:  February is a single thought, layered with grey-blue skies, a hazy mountain sculpture in the distance and stitchings of fence posts marching across pensive fields. I wrap my scarf tight around my face and charge home.

...there I meet a gathering of birch waving glad tidings in the wind. 



contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/2/gray-blue-light Sun, 03 Feb 2013 20:04:00 GMT
Swallows' Barn https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/1/swallows-barn Apart from the swallows that nest in its crossbeams in the spring and the certain colonies of field mice and squirrels, the grey barn sits hollow and solitary within the dying farmland. A man from Germany bought it many years ago then abandoned it along with the house nearby. He'll never return some say, isn't that ashamed? And so it goes...but the swallows don't mind.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2013/1/swallows-barn Thu, 10 Jan 2013 02:13:56 GMT
Blizzard Conditions https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/12/blizzard-conditions Silver Sky 10 a.m., wind NNE 50 mph...It's wild and beautiful out there; first real winter storm of the season. A good day for reading Walt Whitman and waiting for the calm, silver light to follow...


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/12/blizzard-conditions Sun, 30 Dec 2012 14:12:01 GMT
The Return of the Light https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/12/solstice Solstice Winter Solstice, Morning, December 21, 2012


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/12/solstice Fri, 21 Dec 2012 12:46:00 GMT
Autumn Sunset Near The Storage Barn https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/12/end-of-fall end of fall-2

There is a trail that leads from the tidal river up a gentle hillside where I can view the entire valley. From there it meanders to a beautiful red spruce grove before I turn to the property's western edge. If I time it right, I'll find the outbuilding and solitary window full of amber light. This scene and the scents of fallen leaves evokes Elizabeth Barrett Brownings sweet poem, Autumn.

How there you sat in summer-time,
May yet be in your mind;
And how you heard the green woods sing
Beneath the freshening wind.
Though the same wind now blows around,
You would its blast recall;
For every breath that stirs the trees,
Doth cause a leaf to fall.

Oh! like that wind, is all the mirth
That flesh and dust impart:
We cannot bear its visitings,
When change is on the heart.
Gay words and jests may make us smile,
When Sorrow is asleep;
But other things must make us smile,
When Sorrow bids us weep!

The dearest hands that clasp our hands, —
Their presence may be o’er;
The dearest voice that meets our ear,
That tone may come no more!
Youth fades; and then, the joys of youth,
Which once refresh’d our mind,
Shall come — as, on those sighing woods,
The chilling autumn wind.

Hear not the wind — view not the woods;
Look out o’er vale and hill —
In spring, the sky encircled them —
The sky is round them still.
Come autumn’s scathe — come winter’s cold —
Come change — and human fate!
Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound,
Can ne’er be desolate.



contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/12/end-of-fall Wed, 12 Dec 2012 12:37:00 GMT
Theatre of the Skies https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/12/return-of-the-starlings Birds on a Wire Skate the Sky

''Starlings,'' I recall one ornithologist writing, ''do nothing in moderation.'' These acrobats of flight skate through the late autumn sky, dipping and rising in one frolicking mass, opening, fragmenting and closing. Ubiquitous and noisy, the flocks sway and swirl over Dentabella over and over. The chorus above stayed around the fields for a week, lining the telephone wire and shrouding leafless birch trees.

The year was 1890 when an eccentric drug manufacturer named Eugene Schieffelin entered New York City's Central Park and released some 60 European starlings he had imported from England. In 1891 he loosed 40 more. He hoped to introduce into North America every bird mentioned by Shakespeare. Skylarks and song thrushes failed to thrive. Not so the starlings! A long history to eradicate the birds ensued.

From my living room perch, this irrepressible, iridescent unit seems afraid of nothing.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/12/return-of-the-starlings Tue, 04 Dec 2012 12:57:35 GMT
Shagbark Maple in Fog https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/11/red-tree-in-fog


I painted a landscape recently where I tried to capture the depth of a hillside barn by painting in values of dark to light. It doesn't always happen that way in nature, but for someone relatively new to painting it's a wonderful guide. The exercise also helps sharpen my eye as a photographer. I took this late October image right as the morning sun broke through the fog, exposing the silhouettes of fur trees in the distance. While the lone shagbark maple radiated, I was more drawn to the dark green in the foreground fading to a pale crimson and leading my eye to the haunted tree line.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/11/red-tree-in-fog Mon, 05 Nov 2012 01:44:11 GMT
Liberty Point, Campobello Island https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/10/campobello

Liberty Point, the southern most tip of Campobello Island, New Brunswick, on a wickedly windy day. Campobello is one of several principal islands in the western Bay of Fundy. Its rich history includes the Native American Passamaquoddys, early French and British settlement and of course the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt's 34-room summer "cottage".


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/10/campobello Mon, 08 Oct 2012 20:00:19 GMT
Lubec Mornings at Catherine's Place https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/10/lkj Catherine's View

Sunrise over Cobscook Bay in Lubec, Maine, the eastern most point in the U.S.  Lubec and Campobello Island are linked by the FDR bridge and share an intriguing, if not ambivalent, international history. Like most rural maritime towns, its folks are friendly, curious and proudly independent. I stayed in a cottage on the outskirts of town. The eastern sky light, with its soft pastel glow spanning the marsh, greeted me each morning, along with the scent of the sea and sparrow song. 

Down the road I found an old tracker, left to rest. The autumn nostalgia evoked by the scene warranted a black and white treatment.

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/10/lkj Mon, 08 Oct 2012 13:32:31 GMT
White Birch at Campobello https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/10/campobello-lubec Campobello Again

On a drizzly morning hike around Friar's Bay on Campobello, I flashed upon this grove of white birch behind Hubbard's Cottage (next door to Franklin and Eleanor's cottage). The stark upright geometry of the trees with their crown of gold leaves and emerald sweep of understory, stood majestic in the monochrome light.


 Just a few yards away I was taken by the abstract melancholy of Hubbard's pier and boardwalk with the turquoise house in the distance. 

Pier, Campobello Island

Again, the same desolate pier appears from another angle. A pale rose horizon appears as the tide recedes.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/10/campobello-lubec Mon, 08 Oct 2012 13:25:57 GMT
Dog walks https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/9/trees

Meet Tobe and Bella, my constant walking companions. Ten years ago, a friend phoned me after my dear black lab died and told me he'd found two abandoned border collie pups. I wasn't looking for another dog, but felt we could maybe find a home for them. We drove up to an old mountain-top farm and there they were, two black and white balls of fur, tucked between some hay bales inside a dilapidated barn. The place was strewn with beer bottles and old chicken cages. I placed the pups in a cardboard box and brought them home. Tobe yelped the entire drive, but Bella just beamed. They've been with me ever since. Mostly border collie, with a quarter Newfoundlander, their temperaments are sweet but demanding. They are clearly herders by nature yet have the spaniel's love of water and woods. They live the unexamined life with great aplomb and no guilt. What a gift!


tobels, summer'12




contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/9/trees Tue, 18 Sep 2012 12:49:30 GMT
Mavilette Beach https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/8/mavilette Low tide, Mavillette Beach Geology Art St. Mary's Bay, NS

contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/8/mavilette Tue, 21 Aug 2012 01:39:57 GMT
Staddles for hay https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/7/staddles staddles

Many, many decades ago the farmers used to harvest the salt marsh hay to feed to their cattle or oxen. Using large scythes, they'd the cut the hay in the morning, then stack it on platforms called staddles to keep it dry and above the flooding tide. Once the ground froze, they'd remove the hay by oxen cart. The other afternoon while walking the dykelands at high tide, I spotted this row of ancient staddles, their beautiful geometry, eroded but intact.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/7/staddles Mon, 30 Jul 2012 11:51:36 GMT
Eugene's legacy https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/7/eugenes-legacy

A vet named Eugene built this small barn nearly 40 years ago. He and his wife came up from Rhode Island, built a house and bought a large swath of surrounding pastureland for their 18-year-old daughter, an equestrian. On the way up to join her parents she died in a car accident. The couple closed up the house, returned to the states and never returned. Eugene's barn, worn but steady, lives on.  


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/7/eugenes-legacy Sat, 28 Jul 2012 14:33:04 GMT
Morning grazers https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/7/morning-grazers Dentabella grazers

Cow with curious calves in the distance grazing the marsh early this morning as the fog lifted.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/7/morning-grazers Sat, 28 Jul 2012 13:56:45 GMT
Old Dyke Road https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/7/dyke-road  

Blue Flags on Dentabella The Old Dyke Road starts at the beginning of an historic marshland where I live then ends up here, near an old cemetery cradling the graves of those who once farmed these lands centuries ago. It's a haunted and enchanted place, ringing with echoes. Image captured late in the day, winds from west, rain showers followed shortly thereafter.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/7/dyke-road Tue, 10 Jul 2012 00:23:42 GMT
Janina https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/7/janina Janina unplugged

The other day I was meandering around town taking photos for a promotional website I'm doing. Then I spotted Janina. We met about five years ago when I cast her as the lead in a play I was directing. She's a phenomenal actress with the breath and depth of a Tennesssee William's character. After all, she was born and raised in New Orleans and has lived a life full of creative, serendipitous and worldly-wise predicaments. The play, by the way, won the Festival's People's Choice Award.

I found her this day chatting in Market Square with her friend David. She had just undergone surgery a few days earlier and learned of her terminal pancreatic cancer. Here she is, in classic Janina form, telling me the story of her ordeal. No need for a soundtrack.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/7/janina Wed, 04 Jul 2012 23:09:59 GMT
A biography of trees https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/6/cooper-beech Forest Through The Trees oak

I have been surveying the woods around the old shipwright's house and now see them mapped in my mind's eye. Some, like the cooper beech above span perhaps back to the 1800s, the lichened oak, some 50 years. Most though, like the pines, poplars and birch, are relatively young,  hopeful and full of birdsong. I have an old photo of the property as a farm, taken in the late 1800s. The sepia-aged image shows the house, fences and a barren landscape save for a few spruce trees and  THE cooper beach. All that has changed and it will undoubtedly change again, depending on the whims of its human caretakers. As for this caretaker, the woods around the house have become an intimate companion to me, and these photos are part of their biography.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/6/cooper-beech Tue, 26 Jun 2012 10:53:54 GMT
Iris means "rainbow" https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/6/iris-rainbow Iris Glow

From the center of my garden came a great, deep violet and white iris,
after the rain, backlit by shadows and an azure sky. 



contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/6/iris-rainbow Wed, 13 Jun 2012 23:39:26 GMT
Bodhisattva Day https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/6/bodhisattva-day Cornwallis River

Early morning and I'm driving over a bridge crossing the Cornwallis River. It's June 3rd and I'm heading to Halifax with friends for a special event. The light, the setting, seems half awake. There's a cool, gusty wind as I park my car and walk toward the spot that caught my eye seconds earlier. How do you catch the fleeting light? 

Later a friend writes to me quoting Ansel Adams, "Life is your art. An open, aware heart is your camera. A oneness with your world is your film."


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/6/bodhisattva-day Mon, 04 Jun 2012 12:00:00 GMT
May Light https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/5/may-light  

maple lane

The old shipwright's house, perched on a hillside facing the river, is surrounded by a garden of maples, beech and horse chestnut trees. Here the lane coming out from the house late in the day catches the sunlight from the west. There's a nostalgia for me about maple trees in May. The light streaming through their branches and their green-yellow hue evokes moments of anticipation and quiet conversations with dear friends from the far past.

"I love the lone green places where they be,
And the sweet clothing of the maple tree," writes the poet, John Clare. 


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/5/may-light Wed, 30 May 2012 11:58:52 GMT
Pickerel Weed https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/5/pickerel            

Pickerel Weeds & Rushes

Late one afternoon, as the sun broke through the clouds, I discovered this patch of pickerel weed backlit with a soft tremulous light. Pickeral is a beautiful wildflower that produces blue-violet flowers in the summer and attracts bees and butterflies. In the fall its delicate spikes turn gold and russet. My favorite places to come upon it are along the still-waters of the Tobeatic Wilderness Area in Nova Scotia and in Acadia National Park in Maine. Unlike the mountainous Acadia, the Tobeatic is formed by barrens, drumlins and eskers  skirting along slow-flowing waterways. Acadia pickeral, however, is much more accessible for photographic travels by bicycle.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/5/pickerel Wed, 16 May 2012 11:30:00 GMT
Incoming Tide, Minas Basin https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/5/incoming-tide-at-minas-basin Incoming tide

The great Minas Basin forms the eastern part of the Bay of Fundy and is its most dynamic region. Here you'll find the highest recorded tides in the world and an isolated, yet productive marine world of zooplankton, clams and the burrowing anthropod, Corophium volutator. The later attracts thousands of semipalmated sandpipers in late summer that loop, dive and skirt along the mudflats in perfect unison. The tides and turbulent currents wear away the soft, red rocks that enclose the basin providing a constant influx of fine silt and sand that is suspended in the swirling seawater.  A place of folklore and visual fascination, the basin is among my favorite places to photograph. There is something about the quality and depth of light and the soft earthy colors that remind me of Northern New Mexico. 

Dykes at Wolfville

Here I'm overlooking vast mudflats from the dykes at Wolfville.


Sandpipers at Blomidon, skating across the incoming tide


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/5/incoming-tide-at-minas-basin Sun, 06 May 2012 13:51:26 GMT
Shadbush Far and Near https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/5/shadbush-far-and-near Late Spring Grove

"The shad-bush in blossom is the first to show like a fruit tree, -like a pale peach- on the hillside, seen afar amid gray twigs, amid leafless shrub oaks, etc., before even its own leaves are much expanded," Thoreau wrote on May 10th, 1854 from Concord, Mass. He goes on..."I see where the farmer mending his fence has just cut one to make part of the fence, and it is stretched out horizontally, a mass of white bloom."

Every spring I photograph this shadbush, or serviceberry. This medicinal tree is the first to illuminate the landscape in full glory. The contrast of its creamy white buds against the variations of spring greens, reds and yellows creates a palette so reminiscent of the early 19th Century.  On yesterday's walk, I found the tree above in near bloom and discovered its many beautiful colors and delicate leaf shape against a white sky. Shadbush near.. and far.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/5/shadbush-far-and-near Thu, 03 May 2012 16:28:59 GMT
Spring Walk https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/5/spring-walk Fiddle Head Prayer

I walk a trail most days skirting the marsh and leading to a lush understory beneath the canopy of the poplars. The furled frond of fiddleheads have sprouted between boulders and vernal pools. For now, they dominate this precious landscape. I took this image late on a cloudy afternoon accompanied by a symphony of peeper song. I call this spot Fairy Grove.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/5/spring-walk Thu, 03 May 2012 12:05:55 GMT
Two Old Apple Trees https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/5/shadbush-blooms

In a recent lecture for the National Endowment for the Humanities, writer, poet and philosopher Wendell Berry quotes his teacher Wallace Stegner in referring to people he calls "stickers," those who "settle, and love the life they have made and the place they have made it in." Berry's lecture, as is true of all his writings, gently commands your attention and your heart. His words often stir in me a fervor to take care of where I live and a stark understanding of how important a continuing connection to a place is to its health and sustainability. When I go through the deeds on this land, passed down to us from generations of farmers, there's no question that it gave sanctuary to and nurtured a long-line of stickers. Their signs are all around. I have no idea how long the two apple trees above have been there, nor if they were seeded as volunteers or intentionally. I do know that they've stood there a very long time, untouched. Two apple trees, two legacies. Historic records show that the first apple trees in Nova Scotia were planted here by the Acadian French around 1633. A French census of 1698 showed 1,584 apple trees distributed among 54 Acadian families. They lived and cultivated these lands for over a century building an expansive stretch of dykes along the tidal river to protect their farmlands and orchards. After they were deported by the English in 1755, the lands were inherited by successive waves of settlers - New England Planters, Loyalists from the Revolutionary War, and others...all them farmers, most of them stickers. 
contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/5/shadbush-blooms Tue, 01 May 2012 13:23:17 GMT
Poplars https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/4/poplars Winter Poplars

From the barn, head southeast, down a steep hill. Here lies a poplar grove deeply rooted and surrounded by a curvature of stone walls that long ago enclosed sheep or pigs. The handmade trail I've stitched through here with simple pruning sheers is short but full and resplendentThe wind quakes through the grove as I rest on top of a granite boulder tossed here eons ago now rooted and covered in a soft, gold moss.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/4/poplars Sun, 01 Apr 2012 15:54:16 GMT
Winter at dusk https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/3/winter-at-dusk  

The red barn atop the uplands anchors the landscape like an old friend. Its moods change with the light and seasons. For a few centuries cattle used to graze in the field below and their stalls on the eastern side remain hay-filled. Built in the late 1800s by a man named Weatherspoon, the barn is now used to store our farm equipment and that from the vineyard across the way.


contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2012/3/winter-at-dusk Sat, 31 Mar 2012 01:25:30 GMT
Variations on an Evening Sky https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2011/12/variations-evening-sky Dusk Light

5:57:38: In December I often discover the richest colors right at the threshold between dusk and dark. The temperature and the density of the air that time of year bring a clarity to the skies and a depth unlike other seasons. At this time of day, the shifting light needs sharp attention. These three photos were shot within a few seconds of each other directed towards the southern horizon.  Rain followed in the next few days.


Dusk Light 2

5:57:51: The horizon over the Annapolis Basin.


Dusk Light 3

5:58: Seconds later...



contact@andirierden.com (ABR Photography) https://www.andirierdenphotos.com/blog/2011/12/variations-evening-sky Tue, 13 Dec 2011 18:21:00 GMT