Thursday, July 30, 2009

Maine in July

Last week, I was very fortunate to travel to Maine with a friend who is an excellent writer. Coming from different perspectives, our conversations were very engaging throughout long hours in a car and pelting rain 5 out of the 7 days! Our goal was to explore this vast state by sea, land and air. We took cruises showing us whales and puffins. Pete Salmansohn and Stephen Kress are with the National Audubon Society, working very hard to support seabird conservation and research. Members live on Eastern Egg Rock, a very isolated island off the coast of Maine, with no "comforts of home". By day, they spend their time in small observation boxes monitoring the wildlife. Sleeping in tents at night can be difficult to say the least with the rainy weather and the ceaseless cacophony from the birds. I was so impressed with their dedication. Visit in order to learn more.

Our next venture took us to Acadia National Park where the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast can be found. From the top of Cadillac Mountain we looked out onto amazing vistas (even in the rain) and there is easy access by car. There are over 120 miles of hiking trails and a car loop for those who would rather travel with more protection from the rain! Here you can see the quintessential views of Maine...the rugged coastline with the crashing waves. It was truly awesome.
Fall would be such an amazing time to be there. Ed Heaton, an excellent photographer and friend, is running a Creative Composition Workshop here from October 8th - 12th. To learn more, visit

Last but not least, be sure to go up in a piper airplane with the guys at the Maine Coastal Flight Center, . They will take you over Cadillac Mountain or show you the famous lighthouses of Maine. They have several trips to engage you above the clouds and will provide you with the "inside information" of the sights!

Rain or shine, Maine was a wonderful spot to visit!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Longwood Gardens - Engagement Photographs

While photographing the newly engaged Julia and Jason (see previous blog), I could not leave before visiting the colorful water lily gardens of Longwood Gardens. This is one spot I can easily loose track of time while I photograph away!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Longwood Gardens - Engagement Photographs

It was such a pleasure to do the engagement photographs for Julia and Jason. Both love the outdoors and Longwood Gardens was the perfect spot. Photographing in the Conservatory was as good as having a huge soft box.

They were great fun to be around and just radiated happiness. In fact, while we were photographing, a gentleman watching the interactions, couldn't resist commenting about how much we were enjoying ourselves. He was so right!

Best wishes Julia and Jason!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Philadelphia at Night

Philadelphia is a beautiful city at nightfall.

Northern Liberties

Driving along Spring Garden, I did a quick U-turn in order to get this shot. I was drawn to the colors, artwork and thought it conveyed the fun of Northern Liberties!

At the turn of the century, this area was settled by many from Eastern Europe. Presently, revitalization has brought many artists, musicians, and restaurants into the area. For the latest news from Northern Liberties, just click on the link.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Memorial Hall, West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia

While driving through West Philadelphia's Farmount Park, I could not resist photographing this stately and elegant building, the first example of Beaux-Arts architecture in the United States.

It was designed by Fairmount Park Chief Engineer, Herman Schwarzman for the Centennial of 1876. President Ulysses S. Grant presided over the dedication ceremony. It is known for its distinctive dome with the poetic symbol of the United States, Columbia, adorning the top. The figures at the end of the main facade symbolize industry and commerce. In 1877, it served at the city's first Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Source: Wikipedia, The Fairmount Park Organization)

Memorial Hall is now presently home to the Please Touch Museum.

Lenape Indians, Churchville Nature Center

After exploring Independence Hall on the 4th, I wanted to go back even further in history and show respect for the Lenape Indians who originally inhabited Pennsylvania. The Churchville Nature Center has recreated an entire Lenape village for people to experience the ways of this great tribe. When I first arrived, I met Maryanne who was carefully tending to the garden she created. She was putting down two shells and filling one with water and one with cornmeal for the spirits who are tending her garden. As a sign of thanks, she ends by saying, "Wanishi".
I then met Marge, tour guide extraordinaire! 40 years ago, to help her son with a school project, she researched the customs of the Lenape Indians and then continued learning their ways with her other sons. Marge now shares her years of knowledge with others, guiding tours and leading craft demonstrations. I only included a few of her fascinating facts. There is so much more!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July - Sunrise to Sunset

Independence Hall is where it all began. Before all the throngs of people descended, I wanted to take in these historical sites in the quiet of sunrise.

Peddler's Village in Bucks County hosted a celebration that evening. While waiting for the fireworks, it was as if nature knew it was going to have competition to draw gazes upward and provided an explosive sunset!