Friday, April 5, 2013

Jonathan Fisher House

Parson Jonathan Fisher homestead

An earlier photo in deep snow, taken 3 March, 2009.

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 001

The yellow house is a well known landmark in Blue Hill, Maine. The home, which is now a museum, belonged to the town's first Congregational minister and was, in fact, built by Parson Jonathan Fisher with the help of his neighbors. The frame went up in a day in 1812 and the house was completed in 1814.

The parson was a stern shepherd who preached a rigid code of behavior and unquestioning devotion to God to his flock, but he demanded far more of himself than he did of his parishioners. Jonathan Fisher was a builder, architect, draftsman, artist, inventor, writer, scholar and more. One can still see the imprint of his personality in his home today.

I have wanted to photograph the interior of the Parson Fisher House on a winter's day for a long time. The project I envisioned was a study of the natural light, to capture the essence of the rooms as they were long ago. I imagined the parson and his wife, Dolly, looking through the same windows feeling just as anxious for spring as I am now. New president, Amey Dodge, kindly gave up a morning to let me in with my camera.

The house will not open until mid July so many artifacts are still packed away for safekeeping. Pink insulation board covers the fireplaces and green rug pads are scattered across the floors. I touched nothing and simply set up my camera, shutter release cable and tripod. The conditions were challenging and, by mid morning, the sun was already higher than I would have liked. To complicate things further, fast moving clouds obscured sunlight and I had to rapidly change settings throughout the shoot.

The following photos are from my project. Clicking on the photos will take you to Flickr, once there, please click on the photo again to see in Lightbox and once more on Fullscreen to experience a March morning at the Jonathan Fisher House.

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 030

Jonathan Fisher's self portrait.

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 002

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 005

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 008

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 009

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 010

Jonathan Fisher's study.

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 011

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 012

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 014

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 017

Upstairs hall with partial view of Jonathan Fisher's bedroom.

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 019

Looking into the children's bedroom.

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 020

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 021

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 023

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 024

Desk made by Jonathan Fisher.

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 025

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 018

Stairs to the attic, a space that was often used for visitors while Jonathan Fisher lived in the house. Rustic and unfinished, there is little to see today apart from a collection of shoe forms in many sizes.

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 028

Parson Jonathan Fisher House ~ March 027

The Fisher House Journal provides additional views and more information on past projects at the museum.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Maple Sugaring Sunday

Sap Line

Maple Sugaring Sunday, held on March 24th this year, brought out large crowds of Mainers touring the sugarhouses and sampling the best maple syrup in the country. While other parts of the world are enjoying crocuses and daffodils, we are definitely into sap! The above photo shows the sap line at Ducktrap Valley Maple Farm in Belmont, Maine.

Inside the Sugar House ~ Boiling Maple Sap

The owner of Ducktrap Valley told us how he had spent all winter building his sugarhouse in anticipation of tapping 75 trees which he hopes to increase to 175 someday. I hope he realizes his takes 50 gallons of sap to produce a gallon of maple syrup. Liquid gold!

Muddy Country Road

Our next stop was Bradstreet Maple Farm, a much larger operation, in Searsmont, Maine. It was a long squishy walk through slippery mud past pretty farmhouses to the sugarhouse.

Pretty White Farmhouse

Bradstreet Maple Farm Sugarhouse

At last we reached the sugarhouse! Inside the sap was boiling and young folks were serving waffles with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup to all the visitors.

Sugarhouse Workers


The air was thick with steamy fragrance.

Stirring Boiling Sap

We are told the sap inexplicably stopped running for about 10 days and started to flow again just in time for Maple Sugaring Sunday. Perhaps it was due to the twelve inches of snow and unseasonable weather we experienced the week before.



This batch of sap is almost ready as it is brought to a final boil.


...and at last!

...and my favorite way to enjoy this delectable treat? I will wait until July when I can sprinkle fresh wild Maine blueberries on vanilla ice cream with Maine maple syrup!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 1

"Pushing Tin"

Just for fun, an old shot from the archives, taken 27 April, 2011 watching landings and departures in San Francisco. I've zoomed my old Canon Powershot to the limit and the photo is straight out of the Photoshop, or April fooling! Watching those planes reminded me of the movie Pushing Tin. Here's the trailer!

Older posts you might enjoy....