Maine Conservation Corps

 

Maine Conservation Corps

"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do." -Pele

Here is a photograph I made of a fantastic group devoted to conservation and environmental stewardship of our shared natural heritage. They just helped me out with some hand remediation work at an old stream crossing in Township 5 Range 7 near the Maine-Canada border. ...lessening erosion potential by skillfully stabilizing a bank by manually putting in riprap. We got lots of work done, but also enjoyed the conversations, each other's company, and the special location. ...but maybe not so much the biting moose flies! Thanks crew for all your effort installing the new "rock wall".

A+

Dan Grenier

Hasselbald medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens + Arista EDU Ultra 400 black and white film

 

Obituary - Dolores Grace Grenier

Mom recently passed away. She was an amazing person, and I’ll miss her much. Here is the obituary that my sister and I wrote:

Dolores (Dee) Grace Grenier, aged 81, passed away on Sunday, April 28, 2019 at Clover Healthcare, Auburn, Maine. 

Dee was born on February 16, 1938 to Harmen and Grace Towsley of Baldwinsville, New York. She attended Charles W. Baker High School, Class of 1956, Baldwinsville, New York, and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Home Economics from the SUNY Oneonta, Class of 1960.  She taught home economics for many years at both the middle school and high school level in Watkins Glen, New York; Bloomfield, Connecticut; and Rumford, Maine.  She was particularly proud of the work that she developed on the first curriculum for New York State for the mentally challenged.  Her final teaching position was in the Functional Life Skills Program at the HOPE Association in Rumford, Maine. 

There were several common threads woven throughout the fabric of her life.  Dee had clear core values.  She promoted inclusion for all.  It was her job to empower those without the social skills to learn how to interact in appropriate, relevant ways.  She believed that the educational environment was also an important teacher.  She worked tirelessly to create a classroom that sparked creativity and stimulated thought and growth.  Her cooking and baking were a way to cause people to gather and create community. 

Dee is survived by Donald J. Grenier, her husband of 54 years, her daughter and son-in-law, Jacque and Joe Russo, her son, Daniel J. Grenier, and grandsons, Noah Grenier-Farwell and Vincent and Gavin Russo.  She will be laid to rest with her mother at Greenlawn Cemetery, Warners, New York.  In lieu of a service, please send cards and/or flowers to 440 Pine Street, Rumford, ME 04276. 

- Dee 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 – 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 - Debbie

 

-Debbie

 

“There's not a word yet, for old friends who've just met.” - Jim Henson, Favorite Songs from Jim Henson's Muppets

I’d like to introduce you to Debbie.  She was a participant this summer in a raptor focused education session at the National Audubon’s Hog Island in Breman, Maine.  Debbie and all of the participants in the raptor program opened my eyes to lots, including the online world surrounding a pair of nesting osprey on the edge of the camp.  You see, there is a webcam focused on these osprey, and people across the country watch nature’s drama unfold in real time for this pair and their young living in Muscongus Bay.  I was completely unaware of this nature based cam culture and how enthusiastic and involved people can be in what seemed to me such abstract distance.  Who knew?  While program emphasis on Hog Island was on osprey, participants, like Debbie, learned much more about birds of prey and their critical role in the mid-coast environment.  ..and what was really fascinating from my outsider view, was watching how Audubon staff used the osprey as a pivot to open a larger natural world for course participants.

Debbie and I talked lots during down moments of camp programming and quickly became great friends.  She came knowing lots about osprey and was super happy to have opportunity to relax in Maine and re-center.  I really enjoyed learning about her river and mountains in Georgia, and chatting about life, books and music (She’s a massive David Gray fan!).  While I’ve only known Debbie for a short time, she feels like a friend I’ve had forever. I think she looks pretty chill in this photograph we made.  It’s one of my favorites for sure.  Thanks, Deb!

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 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 - Heather

 

Heather

 

"Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." ~Walker Evans

Heather, I can say without hesitation, is the best.  She plays an administrative role for the trails crew in Acadia National Park, keeping all of the field season chaos corralled. Her attention and help during my residency proved invaluable, introducing me to everyone (literally) and making sure I had room to bring as much inclusiveness as possible into my project.  We checked in near daily where she aligned me to crew locations and who I should first look for once I arrived onsite.  She also upfront keyed me into some worksite expectations and crew culture.  Let’s just say that when working with Heather (and the crew overall) a bit of sarcasm, friendly ribbing, and levity go in hand with a hearty chuckle and true assistance and guidance.  It would be difficult not like Heather because she is one hundred percent engaged in supporting the team and also attached to each colleague personally.  …and just fundamentally thoughtful and kind, which makes a combination that’s magic to be around and work with.

Thank you, Heather, for helping make my experience with the crew and at Acadia happen.  It means much and more than you know.  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/

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/

Acadia Centennial Art Show

"Lobster Boat at Schoodic Point"  ~Phil Barter

www.bartergallery.com

Hey folks,
If you find yourself in Winter Harbor this month, please stop in at Hammond Hall to see some great art that celebrates Acadia National Park (including one of my own silver prints).  I hope to see you there!

schoodicartsforall.org

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


www.schoodicinstitute.org
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/