My name is Gale Davison. I am an artist and retired LCSW living in Waterville, Maine. I am writing to ask for your support of the Pine Tree Amendment, LD 489, Resolution, Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Maine to establish a right to a Healthy Environment.
My favorite place in Maine is out on wilderness trails because when I am out on them I can hear the birds sing, feel the fresh air on my face, and see wonderful things I like to photograph to share with others.
I’m worried, very worried that American beliefs in the efficacy of profits will endanger the health and well being of Mainers to thrive as individuals and communities.I’m anxious about the loss of habitat for wild plants, animals and fish. I fear that current practices of using fossil based fuels for heating and cooling,plastics for food storage and packaging, and allowing extractive industries to mine Maine’s water and other natural resources will perilously impair my grandchildren (and yours) to enjoy healthy lives free of cancer and other medically based disabilities over their lifetimes.
I am EXCITED about the Pine Tree Amendment because it would establish a foundation to protect the health of the people of Maine by granting them the right to a healthy environment. It would protect the many businesses that rely on the wild quality of Maine’s soils, rivers, and forests. It would benefit the ecological habitats of Maine helping our plants, insects, birds, animals, and fish proliferate.
I want you to vote YES on LD 489 for me, my children, my grandchildren and all the people in Maine.
If you read my post in June you can see I’ve updated my Balance Poem. I’ve also printed it on 17 x 22 inch San Gabriel Fiber Semi-Gloss Paper (Red River Paper). It will be framed and exhibited at Selah Tea at 177 Main Street, Waterville, Maine from mid September until mid November. Give me some feedback here about what you think about this new way to present my work. Thanks!
White feather, dropped or shed. Trace of an invisible presence, now gone, balanced between the water’s surface and the sky above.
Seen up close. It floats so sweetly hanging by barbed threads grasping a pickerel weed.
From afar. It drifts in a galaxy of blue rippled water inside a pickerel grove habitat for waterfowl and their prey. From whence it came, Loon, swan, egret. Does it matter?
Closer still. A moon-like drop of water magnifies silver lines curving into the meniscus at the water drop’s edge.
This keepsake memory of more than “sight seeing” to quietly absorb this non-human environment, water not asphalt, loons not English sparrows, air without the fumes of car exhaust but living smells of lake ecology, This is enchantment.
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for
Framed Print: $350 (pickup in Waterville, Maine)
Paper Print with no mat: $200 for 11×14 image on 13x 19 paper (mailed in tube)
I went out to the Kennebec Highlands to find Painted Trillium with my friend Glenn LeBlanc. We found a nice section of the trail with many to choose to photograph. I haven’t finished editing them all but here is a teaser.
It’s gardening season and every year at this time I work on converting another section of my lawn into naturalized flower gardens. The benefit for me is having flowers at my yard-tips for photography. I don’t have to drive to public gardens to find excellent specimens and I can cut them to bring them into better lighting conditions for my camera. These ox-eye daisies spread into my lawn and I leave them to grow undisturbed until June.
The no-mow movement is growing and there are many articles and seed resources for learning how to do your conversions and finding seeds to do it. You might want to check out a great article from the NRDC [National Resource Defense Council] on converting lawns.
Earth Day 2021. How do you want to celebrate today’s holiday? Will you take the day off from work? Will you travel to someplace special? Will you take the time to get out into your yard? Will you delete all the Earth Day sales and requests for donations from your email folder? Will you create your own set of sacred rituals to honor the Earth and all animals and plants life that co-inhabit our world?
I went out into my gardens with my iPhone to record the surprise snowfall on my spring flowers. The upright daffodils of yesterday have been pressed to the ground by the weight of the light but heavy crystals of early morning snow flurries. At times the wind blew the snow through the yard as though it were a true winter blizzard. It looked as though nature was streaking the view of my yard with “white out” to erase the details beyond my windows.
Yes! I’ve been wanting a solar powered lamp post for years and I’ve finally got one. It saves electricity and I don’t have to remember to turn it on before I leave when I’ll be late getting back home. Its hours of operation match the duration of the nights in every season. Nice!
I walked the Kennebec Messalonskee Rotary Centennial Trail in Winslow Maine on Veteran’s Day. It was an unseasonably warm day. The sun was hidden behind a glaze of clouds but shone brightly nevertheless. The colors were wonderful. I had my iPhone with me to capture the feeling and colors of that day. I like it so much I’ve turned it into a card and it’s been published in my Etsy Shop; the shop was opened on November 9th. This image is in the Thanksgiving/Fall section.
The caption above is also on the back of the card.
The 2020 Yarmouth Art Festival is usually held in St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Yarmouth and 30% of proceeds benefit the church. But this year it will be online and available to the public to view and purchase framed pieces of photography or paintings starting October 19 and ending October 31. Pickup from St. Bartholomew’s will occur between November 4-6.
Three of the ten images I submitted for inclusion were accepted. Members of the Waterville Area Art Society were encouraged to submit pieces and I am happy that I am one of three members whose work was accepted.
Monhegan Lighthouse Dawn II pictured above was taken at 5am or so in June 2019. I would have loved to have returned again this year but dare not with Covid-19 risks still present despite the low numbers in Maine.
Feather Drop pictured above has already sold once before this year. It is from a kayak trip into the Belgrade Marsh in August 2019.
Stars in the Kelp is an image I re-edited and reprinted this year. It was originally taken in April 2019. There are several different renditions of it including one in B&W. One of the earlier versions sold at Longfellow’s Cabin Fever Exhibit in February this year.
I am thrilled to be included in this year’s Yarmouth Art Festival!
Let me know which one of these prints you like best.
My attention was not on my photography during the early months of facing the Covid-19 pandemic.
April looked bleak not only for the lack of spring colors outdoors but because the spread of Covid-19 had reached Maine and Governor Mills had, compared with other states, proactively shut us down with stay-at- home orders, before our cases of Covid-19 ever reached problematic numbers for our hospitals to handle. Masks, physical distancing, sanitizing our hands and prohibitions of events where congregate gatherings could occur were the new norms for Maine. My husband and I hunkered down and prepared to be house bound through 2021 because we were in the vulnerable cohort.
We didn’t know how bad it would get as we watched the news about first Italy, then NYC’s overwhelmed medical care systems flounder as they rushed to meet the needs of community transmitted cases of infections. People were dying in record numbers. Tractor trailers were being used to store the dead. Sick people lined hallways of hospitals. First responders were getting sick in stunning numbers and calls for PPE were not being adequately fulfilled. We were scared for them. We were scared for ourselves.
Advice about how to protect yourself from infection focused mainly on washing hands and disinfecting surfaces but I had read enough about historical pandemics and assumed the real vector of transmission was more likely from the aerosol spray from our breath, exacerbated by lack of ventilation (to diffuse enough tiny particles) and the amount of time spent breathing sufficient quantities to overwhelm our body’s immune system. Nevertheless we had groceries delivered at first and washed them. In the beginning grocery shelves were sparse or empty of many foods, but especially facial tissue, toilet paper and any OTC medications related to cold, allergy or flu.
My plans to continue my photography business were suspended with a “wait and see” attitude.It took me awhile to move beyond the shock of an understood necessity to shelter-in-place and the new reality of a changed world. In my fright about how bad things could get with interrupted supply chains I decided, like many others, to grow vegetables this year. Once the gardens were in place I plannedto hone my photography skills by practicing my art in local venues, particularly my yard and teaching myself how to use Photoshop.
At the very end of April, still waiting for spring, I tried to entice the crows to visit my visible back yard by dumping my compost onto my raised beds behind the kitchen. I had been using a compost pile on the other side of my garage which was out of sight. They would visit it, and perch in the trees above it, but I couldn’t see them from any of my windows.
I was thrilled to see a gorgeous grey fox sample the offerings but disappointed it did not return. I had the 24-105 lens on the camera and grabbed it in time to get off a few shots through the screened windows of my kitchen nook. Most of the shots were out of focus due to motion blur. I feared spooking it with my own motion behind the window. But the one below was good enough to crop.
A few days later the crows sat in the maples dotted with red flowers in bloom. I saw that the red buds contrasted nicely with the crow’s black feathers.In my mind’s eye it was more dramatic but the camera doesn’t blur the red background as the brain imagines it.
The image at the beginning of this blog is the one I chose to edit for this post. I cropped it, and took the white smudge from the garage out of the image, brightened the reds and deepened the blacks in the crow’s feathers. I could do more to it but it suffices for right now as a record of how little work I was doing with my photography during April and May. I wasn’t shooting or doing much editing because I had decided to use my months of waiting to see how the Covid-19 pandemic impacted Maine by working on my yard to improve my flower beds and grow vegetables.
I ordered six yards of compost to improve my soil as I dreamed of lush vegetables and flowers growing through fall. I moved a lot of soil around!
I had already emptied my raised beds of left over perennials and planted them in my front yard. Lupines, Black-Eyed-Susans, and Forget- Me-Nots. I topped off the raised beds with 10 wheel barrels full of new compost. My deck is falling apart so I had to move all the heavy planter pots off it. My original plan was to fill them with vegetables too.I filled them with custom mixed soils to suit the needs of tomatoes, squash and cucumbers. The two pots in front were planted with Waltham Butternut and Taybelle Acorn Squash seedlings. They were supposed to grow up the cattle panel and meet pole beans planted on the other side.
The empty planter in the front was supposed to become a solar powered water fountain to entice the birds to land all over the garden. I imagined mammoth sunflowers growing up through the black trellis in the foreground and planted seeds to accomplish my vision.
A beautiful iridescent Blue Bunting visited my bird feeder at the end of May. It was another grab shot but I am happy to have a record of it to remind me of moments of serendipity. Evidently it was just traveling through to somewhere else because we didn’t see it again. It likes heavy brush and I cut mine down this year in hopes of being able to walk out into the woods behind my house without the need for bushwhacking.
So ends the first half of 2020 and my field notes to date. Not many photos. Not many trips beyond my garden’s edges.
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Please say something and like it so I know you’ve been here and read this. Also, I do want to know your thoughts. What did you do during these first few months of Covid-19? Did you garden? Did you improve your home? Did you get out for hikes in the wilderness?
The unique sand at Pemaquid Beach consists of crushed garnet crystals which create fascinating picture patterns from the ebb and flow of tidal waves. Distinctive texture is provided in the sand’s natural canvas much like an “artist’s wash” for capturing designs of stones, seaweed and shells. It’s an alluring combination for any aspiring artist.
It has special meaning for me because my parents met there in 1949. We visited the beach while on our yearly vacations to spend time with family in the area during my childhood.
I’ve only recently made special trips to record nature’s artistic designs in the sand and used them to create a collection of 28 novel images available as 5×7 blank cards, 11×14 or 16×20 mounted prints or similarly sized framed wall art now on display and for sale at the Framemakers at 46 Main Street in Waterville, Maine.