Ice, Sun dogs and Parhelic Circle

It’s been cold this February in Maine—by local accounts, we’ve had more ice in Portland Harbor than has been seen in decades, and the Coast Guard has been using it’s ice breaking ship to keep the harbor navigable. However, “navigable” is relative; smaller boats have not been able to escape the harbor due to the ice buildup, which has now even reached Peaks Island:

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View looking north along western edge of Peaks Island.

 

The cold weather means that small animals (such as a recently sighted mink) can even make the trek from Peaks Island to neighboring House Island (mink not in this photo):

 

 

View from Peaks Island to House Island at -20 C.

View from Peaks Island to House Island at -20 C.

 

Just the other day (Feb 16, 2015), on a frigid walk around the island with my daughter, we spotted a beautiful sun dog—an optical phenomenon caused by reflection & refraction through ice crystals in the atmosphere. The two opposite rainbow arcs are formed when the light refracts through a minimum deviation of 22 degrees:

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Sundog from back shore of Peaks Island, ME.

Sometimes, but apparently much more rarely, one can see a parhelic circle extending from either sundog part way around the sky. On this morning, the arc extended more than half  way around the sky, and I took this panoramic image before my iphone6+ battery totally tanked in the -18 C temperatures:

Parhelic Circle extending from a sun dog on Feb 16, 2015 on Peaks Island, ME

Parhelic Circle extending from a sun dog on Feb 16, 2015 on Peaks Island, ME

 

Tunk Mountain Trail, Maine

Tunk Mountain Trail, T10 SD


It’s been an unusually warm fall and winter in Maine, as evidenced by above freezing temperatures on January 1, 2012 when I went on a short 7.5km hike (round trip) with my 6 and 10 year old daughters. We hiked up Tunk Mountain, which has a fabulous view of the surrounding terrain. Tunk Mountain is just outside Franklin, ME, but is in T10 SD (I think that’s Maine speak for Township 10 South Division). There are few enough people living here that it’s apparently not worth forming a proper town.

Click on the image for a full size view.

Storm Cloud and Snow, Brooklin, ME

A gorgeous landscape in Brooklin, MaineOne of the great things about the ocean in Maine is that in the thick of winter, no matter how many meters of snow might be on the ground, you can walk at low tide along a beach as if it were summer (provided you can ignore the obvious temperature difference). A walk along the beach in Brooklin, Maine brought a view of this amazing house situated with a sweeping view of the ocean. The house, outbuildings and their careful placement in the landscape left me with the definite impression that I had left Maine and been transported to Norway or Sweden. A gorgeous spot with pretty nice lighting.

Single exposure 24mm f/13 at 1/80 sec; processed in Lightroom 3.3 and Silver Efex Pro 2.0.

 

Snowstorm!

Peter's Cove, Blue Hill, ME

Peter's Cove, Blue Hill, ME

A pretty good snowstorm hit the area today, and I made a quick and risky stop on a barely plowed road to make this image of  Peter’s Cove. There was no time for a tripod due to the poor road conditions, and due to the fact Peter’s Cove is at the bottom of a hill. Hand held for 1/25 sec at f/11, ISO 200 and 24mm focal length . A snow plow coming down the hill beeped at me and I had to abandon further shooting.

Blue Hill Hearth, Blue Hill, ME

After picking up my girls from school, we went to the Blue Hill Hearth for an after school snack. The bakery is in back of North Light Books, and serves a great variety of delicious baked goods, as well as soup and pizza.

Blue Hill Hearth
Blue Hill Hearth, Blue Hill, ME

Today, Liz (on left) and Molly were working and kindly let me photograph them as they worked,

Cleaning up, Blue Hill Hearth
Liz (on left) and Molly cleaning up.

and even posed for a more serious shot ( :-)  )

Liz & Molly, Blue Hill Hearth
Liz & Molly, Blue Hill Hearth

Meanwhile, Eva (left) and Rose were engrossed in reading about Charlie Brown and Snoopy while grazing on a tasty muffin:

Dining at Blue Hill Hearth
Dining at Blue Hill Hearth, January 2011