Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July 13: Summer Fog

This afternoon from the summit of Beech Hill you wouldn't have known there was a panoramic ocean view. Inland, you could enjoy the beauty of the Camden Hills just fine, but the bay was completely hidden behind a thick bank of fog. The southeast-facing fields rolled into woods which faded into a wall of white. I felt sorry for people from away who were missing out on what I consider one of the best bay views in the area. On the other hand, fog has a way of making a landscape more intimate by highlighting the foreground and hiding the distraction of what surrounds it. The wildflower-spangled sod roof of Beech Nut, the historic hut that crowns Beech Hill, was highly visible in all its midsummer glory, for example, as were the damp stones of its walls.

Fog mutes, distorts, and obscures the landscape in disorienting but interesting ways. Driving back to the office, I observed a small island of green rising from a sea of mist and cloud--a peak of Mount Megunticook floating within the fog. Later, in the day's last light, I was driving back from a meeting in Searsport and marveled to see the big rolls of hay wrapped in plastic looming under fog's wet shroud like guardians of the fields or strange, organic monoliths loosely arrayed throughout the mown rows. And even as I drove through patches where it appeared to be clear all around me, a blank, swirling backdrop rose in the distance where rolling green mountains should be.

Mountains disappear.
Hay bales form shadowy ranks
within fog's embrace.

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