A recent trip to Boothbay Harbor in Maine provided my wife and me with the opportunity for a boat trip to Eastern Egg Rock Island, an Audubon Society run sanctuary for Atlantic Puffins. The day was beautiful, a little cool out in the ocean, but more important was the number of Puffins that made themselves available to us to photograph. They are uniquely colorful looking creatures, only about ten inches in length.
No one is allowed to land on the island, except for Audubon employees and volunteers, so we had to shoot from the boat. Subsequently, the distance and the rocking of the boat made photographing a bit challenging at times. Still, with a little bit of luck and assistance from the Puffins, we got the shots.
Hancock, Vermont is a small town with a population of 323 people, as of the 2010 census. A couple of years ago we did a road tour of Vermont starting in Burlington and traveling in a circular route to various spots where we planned to stop and photograph. Hancock was not on the list; it was a town that happened to be on the route we were taking. Sometimes the unexpected happens and it works out.
Hancock was named after John Hancock, the prominent patriot and statesman who also served as President of the Second Continental Congress. Among other functions, Hancock twice served of Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. John Hancock was arguably the most prominent signer of the Declaration of Independence, so much so, that the phrase “put your John Hancock on that paper” became a common alternative for signature.
While on our road trip, we stopped for a few minutes and took a some photos of Hancock’s “downtown” area. The above photograph of Hubbard’s Country Store, located on Route 125, was closed. I later found out it went out of business a few years ago. The original owners, Earl and Mamie Hubbard, sold the business to Bill and Irma Perry who ran the store until it closed. In 2013, the store was auctioned off. The winning bid was made by Jonathan and Sara Deering.
Inside, the place was a mess with the floor buckling and parts of the ceiling coming down. In early 2014, friends and neighbors began to help Jonathan and Sara renovate the local landmark. I took the above photograph in late September 2015. From the outside, it still did not look like any improvements were made. The new owners and their friends though were hard at work inside. The revitalized store finally opened in 2016.
Maybe, we’ll get back there some day and see the revitalized store.
Windows let us see. They let light, air and the sun come into our lives. In art, windows have been used by many artists as a framing device, as a means of a way to make us look. Over the years, I have used windows as my own tool of expression. Below are a few example…
New York City
Church Window in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee
Smoky Mountain of Tennessee
Yellowstone National Park
Ghost Ranch , New Mexico
Last week we took a drive down to the George C. McGough Nature Park which includes the Largo Bird of Prey and Exploratory Nature Center. Inside the Nature Center, at the front desk, we were introduced to Lucy, a Screech Owl who has become the Center’s official greeter. Visitor’s love Lucy and I got the impression Lucy liked all the attention she receives.
Unlike the other birds of prey at the center, Lucy is completely healthy. So you may be asking, what is she doing at the center? Why isn’t she out in the wild? Well, according to the volunteers we spoke to, Lucy was stolen as a chick from her nest by someone who decided the owlet would make a good pet. She was so young, her eyes were still closed at the time. When she eventually opened her eyes, Lucy’s first sighting was that of the human who took her from her natural home. This person began posting photos on their Facebook page which was discovered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. The owlet was confiscated and the individual was given a hefty fine. Lucy, who only knew humans, could not be released into the wild. She taken to the Largo Bird of Prey and Exploratory Nature Center where she is happy being among her own kind….people.
I photographed this egret at a nearby rookery a few years back and never did anything with it. Like so many photos, as you continue to shoot more and more, older works sometimes get buried and forgotten about. Originally shot in color, I finally decided it worked better as a black and white. Here is the final results.
You can see more of my work by clicking on John Greco Photography.
Back in January, we drove down to Sarasota to visit two local parks, Myakka River State Park and the Oscar Scherer State Park. Driving along State Rd. 72 on our way to Myakka, we passed by the Sarasota National Cemetery, 295 acres run by the Department of Veteran Affairs. We stopped and I took a few photos.
The cemetery is less than ten years old. Groundbreaking began in 2008 and the first burials occurred in 2009. Among the more than 15,000 buried there are Florida native, Rick Casares, Korean War Veteran, and professional football player in the 1950’s and 60’s. Casares played for both the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins in the NFL and the Miami Dolphins, then part of the AFL. Also buried there is Hal White, a World War II U.S. Navy Veteran who saw action in the Pacific, and was a major league pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Browns and St. Louis Cardinals.