Maine Land Stewards

 
 

“The Earth is given as a common for men to labor and live in.” -Thomas Jefferson

 Just a quick post to share a photo of my stewardship colleagues…  We took a day most recently to, together, paddle the Cold Stream in Passadumkeag.   …as means of most important comradery and to complete an annual site check of our nature preserve bisected by the waterway.   It’s home to some rare plants and mussels, and the Tomah mayfly – sometimes referred to as a living fossil.  The nymph stage shows greatly expanded, wing like structures on the abdomen that are reminiscent of characteristics seen in fossil mayflies from the Carboniferous era.  The streams and adjacent wetlands were magnificent, and we sure did have lots of fun on this prefect fall day.  It’s difficult work, but someone must do it!

A+

Dan Grenier

National Audubon at Hog Island - Eric

 

Eric

 

“...the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.” ― Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Eric works as a land manager and steward for the National Audubon Society, and he is surely a favorite with all visiting the island due to his intimate knowledge of Hog Island and Muscongus Bay and willingness to share with all interested.  Unfortunately, he was not too excited about having his photograph taken.  I understand.  It's not a natural thing for most.  ...but he's integral to National Audubon's operations, so I had catch him somehow.  Here is my best representation of Eric presenting a geology lesson to the group on a nearby island in the bay.   ...not too bad a photo, huh? ...and maybe most appropriate considering Eric.  Thanks, Eric, for your stewardship of our shared natural heritage and for helping to make my time on Hog Island fantastic.

Olympus OM-2N 35mm SLR + Zuiko OM Auto-W 21mm f/3.5 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2017 Artist in Residence
National Audubon Society, Hog Island
http://daniel-grenier.com

National Audubon at Hog Island - Ted and Kimberly

 

Ted and Kimberly

 

"A good teacher, like a good entertainer, first must hold his audience's attention, then he can teach his lesson."  - John Henrik Clarke 

A candid shot of Audubon staff instructor, Ted, and program participant, Kimberly...  Ted's workshop focused on biodiversity in the intertidal, including the smaller, less obvious life  found within the water column. 

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film
 
~Dan Grenier
2017 Artist in Residence
National Audubon Society, Hog Island
http://daniel-grenier.com/

National Audubon at Hog Island - Michele

 

Michele

 

"Photography takes and instant out of time, altering life by holding it still."  ~Dorothea Lange

Here is a candid photo of Michele, a science teacher, exploring the biodiversity found in the shallow waters off of Hog Island.  I’ll have a more formal portrait to share of her sometime soon and will take opportunity, then, to write a bit more about her.  …but in the interim, I thought it would be fun to post a different kind of image.  Since my project intent was to create formal portraits of Audubon staff, volunteers, and program participants, one of my challenges was to convince people to take part.  This is not easy!  …but Michele always was open to making a photograph.  Thank you, Michele.  Your patience meant much.

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film
 
~Dan Grenier
2017 Artist in Residence
National Audubon Society, Hog Island
http://daniel-grenier.com/

 

Acadia Pathmakers - David

 

David

 

"A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it." – Irving Penn

I’ve mostly wrapped up my 2015 AIR work from Acadia National Park, but digging through my negatives I ran into this one of David.  David, his crew, and I spent a couple of days together on the Hunter Brook Trail.  They were completing some path enhancements using dirt, rock, hemlock timbers, chisel, hammer and lots of muscle. I have nice memories of these guys and David in particular.  He’s a big friendly personality, and within minutes, one feels like they’ve known David like a forever best friend.  He’s an inclusive sort and ensured that I was part of the group ribbing and general conversation. 

Besides sharing the details of the project he, Tyler, and Kyle were implementing, he talked lots about community within the Trail Crew, but also from living and working in and around Mount Desert Island.  David has great respect for his friends working as fishermen, and for the challenging path they follow to provide for themselves and their families.  In fact, David shares his extra hands pulling traps with them on his days off.  He is a workhorse without question.  He also talked with great admiration for his wife and her dedication at improving island community.  She works as a school teacher on Swan’s Island, population 332.   …access to Swan’s Island is by the State ferry system out of Bass Harbor.     

Thank you, David, for letting me feel like part of your crew and for sharing so much about yourself and life in and around Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.   …and for all the good things you are doing to improve visitor’s connection to the park and nature.  With my greatest admiration…

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens+ Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park
http://daniel-grenier.com/

 

National Audubon at Hog Island - David

 

~David

 

“Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.” ~ Plato
 
David participated in the educator’s week session held by the National Audubon Society on Hog Island, and it seemed that each time I turned around he was there engaged and involved in conversation.  …and he was contagiously excited about sharing, learning, and teaching in general terms.  David, without question, is most eager and enthusiastic about math, science, and engineering. Yes, yes, yes astronomy! What struck me about him in particular, but really all participating in educator’s week, was how articulate he was expressing his thoughts and questions, and how he framed his words to make you excited and equally engaged.  It just makes sense that David teaches.  I also noticed that he naturally connects people to others with similar ideas and interests in attempt to make things happen. How cool! Anyway, I think David’s easy personality shows here.  It’s impossible not to like him, huh?  David, thank you for bringing positivity to the world and for helping others be better people.  Please know that I am inspired from our time together.  Much respect.
 
Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film
 
~Dan Grenier
2017 Artist in Residence
National Audubon Society, Hog Island
http://daniel-grenier.com/

National Audubon at Hog Island – Meghan

 

Meghan

 

"In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks."  - John Muir

It was educator’s week, which is a learning session on Hog Island where teachers come for inspiration and to learn and share practical approaches for developing environmental education curriculum.    Audubon staff on this day was holding a massive afternoon group workshop along the shoreline at low-tide.   …which meant wet and muddy feet in the flats.  Megan, a school teacher by vocation, was enthusiastically engaged in the species identification happening along the water’s edge, and I noted her fantastic attire that placed her perfectly for a game of hoops or a morning digging clams.  Fortunately, she was willing to make a photograph with me within a salt marsh adjacent.  She’s a rockstar, huh?  Thanks, Meghan!

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2017 Artist in Residence
National Audubon Society, Hog Island
http://daniel-grenier.com/

 

National Audubon at Hog Island - Outside Lies Magic

 
 

“GET OUT NOW. Not just outside, but beyond the trap of the programmed electronic age so gently closing around so many people…. Go outside, move deliberately, then relax, slow down, look around. Do not jog. Do not run…. Instead pay attention to everything that abuts the rural road, the city street, the suburban boulevard. Walk. Stroll. Saunter. Ride a bike, and coast along a lot. Explore…. Abandon, even momentarily, the sleek modern technology that consumes so much time and money now…. Go outside and walk a bit, long enough to forget programming, long enough to take in and record new surroundings…. Flex the mind, a little at first, then a lot. Savor something special. Enjoy the best-kept secret around—the ordinary, everyday landscape that rewards any explorer, that touches any explorer with magic…all of it is free for the taking, for the taking in. Take it. take it in, take in more every weekend, every day, and quickly it becomes the theater that intrigues, relaxes, fascinates, seduces, and above all expands any mind focused on it. Outside lies utterly ordinary space open to any casual explorer willing to find the extraordinary. Outside lies unprogrammed awareness that at times becomes directed serendipity. Outside lies magic.”
—John Stilgoe, Outside Lies Magic

Linhof Technika large format field camera + Schneider-Kreuznach 150mm f/5.6 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 320 black and white film

Dan Grenier
2017 Artist in Residence
National Audubon Society, Hog Island
http://daniel-grenier.com

 

National Audubon Society at Hog Island – Martin and Kathleen

 

~ Kathleen & Martin

 

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Kathleen and Martin participated in the raptor focused session held by the National Audubon Society on Hog Island.  They had both been to the island before, but the last time the weather was not in their favor.  Given their return, it still left a lasting impression.  They both had been pulled in via the osprey, but it was clear from our conversations that their interest had spring boarded into natural history, ecology, and ornithology.
 
Martin and Kathleen came to “Audubon Camp” this year as part of their honeymoon.  Yes, they marked this special life moment by being together in this uniquely Maine place focused on nature-based learning.  One has to admire their interest and desire to be connected to the natural world.  

Congratulation, Martin and Kathleen!  Thank you for your example and for making this photograph with me.  Warm wishes you way.

Linhof Technika large format field camera + Schneider-Kreuznach 150mm f/5.6 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 320 black and white film

Dan Grenier
2017 Artist in Residence
National Audubon Society, Hog Island
http://daniel-grenier.com

 

National Audubon Society at Hog Island – Cleo, Kristi, and Julia

 

-Cleo (left), Kristi (right), and Julia (middle)

 

"It's around the table and in the preparation of food that we learn about ourselves and about the world." -Alice Waters

This is Chef Cleo and sous support Kristi, and Julia.  They are, without question and for obvious reason, the most loved on Hog Island.   ...and let me say that Cleo and her crew make sure that nobody goes hungry.  Prior to each meal, time is taken to describe what was is being served, how it was prepared, and when local sources were used (something that is stressed from the kitchen).  Cleo provides options for alternative diets, and again, goes out of her way to ensure that all leave content.  This may seem like a small thing, but it's not.  Though not voiced direct to me, it's clear that the food experience at Hog Island is thought out to make sure that all are in the best place to connect with nature, to learn about Maine island ecology, and about their place in the world.  Eliminating any food concern is clearly weighed integral by Cleo, Julia, and Kristi for larger Audubon programmatic success. Very neat.

Thank you, Cleo, Kristi, and Julia, for your kindness, for taking care of me during my time on-island, and for helping to provide for my exceptional experience with National Audubon.   We made a nice photograph, huh?  I love it!  Much appreciation.

Linhof Technika large format field camera + Schneider-Kreuznach 150mm f/5.6 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 320 black and white film

Dan Grenier
2017 Artist in Residence
National Audubon Society, Hog Island
http://daniel-grenier.com/

 

National Audubon Society at Hog Island – The Sherrie and Trudy Show

 

~Sherrie and Trudy

 

“Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.”
― Gary Snyder

A quick note to say hello and share some news and a photograph…  I’ve been selected this year as an artist in residence with the National Audubon Society at Hog Island. How cool, huh?  To this end, it’s my intent over the next several months to share with you some of my photography from my project.  It’s a continuation, in many ways, of my most recent stuff – creating environmental portraits documenting the individual and their connection to unique natural surroundings in Maine. 

As many of you might guess, I’m using black and white film and large and medium format cameras to create these photographs.  It’s a purposeful choice tied to the dynamics involved with using these larger formats that near-forces the photographer to contemplate and concentrate a bit more on each individual image.  Yes, this will prove more labor intensive and time consuming for me than other options, but it is my hope that this helps make a more intimate visual experience. …and thus for this photographic process to equate to an expression and communication of my own personal experience; a means to further hone my own way of seeing and describing the world around me by embracing process.  While you’ll get to see some digital content via negative scans, my true end product will be a portfolio of fine silver gelatin enlarged prints made in a traditional wet darkroom using the negatives, an enlarger, light sensitive silver coated paper, and chemicals.  Timeless. 

Okay, I also want to introduce you to Sherrie and Trudy.  They are both instructors at National Audubon’s Education Camp on Hog Island, Bremen, Maine.  You can tell from their picture that they are both cards. …but you know, aces.  I’ve had time to follow them both around and observe their field instruction, and it’s something to watch.  In fact, students referred to them as “the Sherrie and Trudy Show”.  Nothing short of entertaining…  …but subtly tied to their package of fun is relevant information on topic, example, a spirit of inquisitiveness, openness, and safe space to ask and learn.  Awesome in the truest sense.  Oh yes, welcome to the show!  Thank you, Trudy and Sherrie.  Big smiles.

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

Dan Grenier

2017 Artist in Residence

National Audubon Society, Hog Island

http://daniel-grenier.com/

 

 

Acadia Pathmakers - Kate

 

Kate

 

“A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it.” – Irving Penn

Kate oversees the Artist is Residence program at the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park and served as primary contact for all things during my project. …but as a long time staff for the National Park Service, she wears many, many hats. Most notably, Kate is an educator, and after spending time with her, I quickly realized that it is her passion to ensure all walk away feeling more connected to this special place. Given her tenure, I also learned fast that her attention is in high demand at Acadia because quite simply she’s the best. The line of people waiting to speak with her outside of her office serves testament! Kate truly listens and considers what you are saying, which seems to be the rarest of commodities. Yes, she is the greatest of sounding boards. She also quickly provides solutions to issues and follows up to be sure all is okay. She also has given me great flexibility with time, project direction, and learning on-the-fly, ensuring that I was growing with my effort.  I’m fortunate to have her as a mentor.

Kate, thank you for listening and providing opportunity. I appreciate all of your time, patience, and guidance and for making my time at Acadia fun and rewarding. Your friendship, inclusiveness, and overall example mean much and more than you could know.

With my biggest smile and utmost respect,

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Acadia Pathmakers - Gary and his crew

 

Gary and his crew

 

"You see something, and you really see it, and then you must spend your life to get other people to see it.  And that's been my story all my life."  ~June Leaf

This photograph has a group snapshot feel, which falls a bit outside of what I was going for with my project.  Still, I believe that it proves to be the most important photograph of the set because it successfully includes Gary, the Trail Crew Superintendent, seen on the far left.  Without question, Gary’s long-term vision for the trail system, funneled through the crew and stewarded over decades, equates to that experience, which for many is Acadia National Park - A near-Zen minimal viewpoint connecting people to nature in a most subtlety Maine way.  Stewardship and sense and importance of place equate to a relevant chain of history...  It seems so obvious to me now, but had not completely occurred to mind until shown via granite, chisel, wood, dirt, rock bar, muscle, never-ending drive, smarts, and ingenuity.  Thank you Gary and the Acadia trail crew for all that you do to protect and share this bit of our natural heritage.   We are all in your debt.

With the greatest respect,

Linhof Technika large format field camera + Schneider-Kreuznach 150mm f/5.6 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 320 black and white film

~Dan Grenier

2015 Artist in Residence

Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Acadia Pathmakers - Chris

 

Chris

 

“Poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.” ~Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook

Chris brilliantly serves as a supervisor for the Acadia Trail Crew.  Our paths crisscrossed as I made my way between the various group trail projects, and each time we overlapped, he took time to check in to be sure I was ok, and most notably to ask what I’d seen or experienced in the park. On the worksite, he appeared all business, setting up the crews with high wire lines for moving rocks and lining out pathway end course with orange forestry flagging, taking into account visitor experience, ecological integrity, and overall work efficacy for the crew.

Near the end of my time in Acadia, Chris and I had lunch together sitting on flat rocks in a dry stream bed along the Deer Brook Trail.  We primarily talked about school, art, and the environment, which most genuinely lead to Chris sharing that he likes to write poetry as much as trail building.  I’m guessing that both connect to place, people, and nature, which seems perfect from many angles. Humble, genuine and real, this is Chris.  I learned this winter that he is serving as Acadia National Park’s first poet laureate throughout 2016, the centennial year for the park and the National Park Service.  Yes, perfect.  Congratulations, Chris!

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens+ Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Pathmakers - Mike

 

Mike

 

“A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other's lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves.”
Wendell Berry

 

I met Mike leading a group on the Cadillac Cliffs Path, a spur trail off of the main artery leading to the summit of Gorham Mountain. We made some small talk, and he introduced me to his crew. They were getting ready for break, which gave me opportunity to have all of Mike’s attention. We walked the areas where the crew were working, and he pointed out some specific technical concerns, which seemed primarily focused on getting park visitors safely through the complex mountainside terrain, while ensuring the path would remain stable for the long-term. As Mike talked about his work, his walking pace quickened, and he lit up with excitement. He first described the obvious fun associated with moving large boulders across the landscape using pulleys, wire rope, and other mechanical advantage, and then the physicality tied to dry stone masonry in extreme locations such as this.  I can say firsthand that it’s near sensory overload to experience the loud cracks, metal-to-rock sparks, and burning tinder smell left in the air as crew swing sledge onto rock, making smaller crushed material to incorporate into the trail (as means of structural stability and drainage and likely many other uses beyond my understanding). Pretty neat.

Mike then eloquently outlined how the trails at Acadia National Park serve a much larger role than just public enjoyment, having equally important historical and cultural significance. These trails have been here for some time with some paths even pre-dating Euro settlement. In function, all of the crew’s rehabilitation and maintenance efforts equally consider this with the ecological.  Mike stated that the crew looks for and studies historic character-defining features when working on a trail, going to great lengths to use similar construction materials and approach to ensure historic integrity as part of their work. …and what struck me was how Mike sees himself, his crew and other colleagues, and their effort and connection as the newest part of the story playing out on this Maine natural area. You know, this is inspirational given today’s collective short attention span.

Lastly, I walked away thinking that Mike is someone exceptional. There’s a confidence about him on the trail that comes across based on what I’m guessing is lots of trial and error, having his hands in the dirt, by building thick calluses with the sledge hammer and rock bar, and by having to frequently make quick and accurate decisions. He is clearly tied to and cares about his crew and the work they are accomplishing in the park. Mike seemed at ease in his surroundings and had grasp of and could articulate a much bigger picture occurring around him.  Smart. Yes, he sets a motivating example for sure.

Thanks, Mike, for taking time for me and for the education. You’ve made Acadia National Park someplace bigger for me for sure. Much respect…

 

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens+ Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

 ~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

 http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

 http://daniel-grenier.com/

Pathmakers - Acadia Youth Conservation Corps

 

AYCC 2015 Corps Member

 

"It is not bigness that should be our goal.  We must attempt, rather, to bring people back to...the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility...and of individuals working together as a community, to better their lives and their children's future."  -Robert F. Kennedy, in his 1966 speech "Rebuilding a Sense of Community"

 

Another photo from the Youth Conservation Corps...  And one more reminder that 2016 is the centennial of the United States National Park Service.  Get out to visit your favorite park and appreciate!

 

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

 

~Dan Grenier

2015 Artist in Residence

Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Pathmakers - Roger

 

Roger

 

"The land belongs to the future...We come and go but the land is always here.  And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it - for a little while."  ~Willa Cather, O Pioneers!

Another photograph of Roger that I think came our nicely...

Happy 100th birthday NPS!

http://www.nps.gov

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens+ Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Pathmakers - Roger

 

~Roger

"In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a Leitmotiv." ~ Henry Cartier Bresson


I ran into Roger on the Deer Brook Trail. There was a lot of commotion occurring with some crew running up hill to tie loose ends on a trail section near-complete, while others headed down hill to help align the next big unit of work.  But Roger was clearly anchoring the main site, and this left a subtle impression on me.  In the middle of all of the bustle occurring around him, he quietly pushed on, aligning boulders with rock bar to create a solid, level walking tread to keep people's feet dry and to help protect the soils along Deer Brook from erosion.  All of Roger’s effort came stamped with discreet purpose and his own dependability and placidity.  Even with just my short time around him, I could never imagine Roger with much of a complaint.  I observed several instances of crew members looking for extra hands to help with their individual tasks.  Each time they went to Roger.  He always stopped without objection, and with a kind smile, walked over to assist taking measures, to provide some extra muscle moving rock, or to safely guide the specific activity.  …and then back again to his own work.  The dominant reoccurring theme at Deer Brook was Roger going about business in his own quiet, understated way, which to my eyes was reflected back in the seamless utility and beauty of the crew's trail improvements.      


Happy 100th birthday NPS!
www.nps.gov


Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film


~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/