Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 21, 2013

Maine Discoveries

Each morning on my vacation in Maine, I would take a walk on the expansive beach. At Hills Beach, I think I’ve mentioned before that when the tide goes out, it goes WAY out:
Hills Beach, low tide
Low tide allows for long walks and exploration. The tide times lined up beautifully for most of the week for me to wander the sand bars and make simple discoveries.

Fun Footprints
I was focused on these gull footprints ambling up a little incline in the sandbar, and made the happy discovery when I later looked at the photo of the sparkling water in the upper right corner.

Here is a better view of the somewhat “steep” sandbar:
sand dollar haven

This particular sandbar turned out to be a great place for discovering these:
sand dollars
I just love sand dollars. I took home 4 this year. I’m trying to decide what I could do with them to display them.

Continuing down this sand bar, I noticed a noisy group of gulls flocking in one particular area.
snowy egret 3
I figured the fishing must have been good that day and watched them happily dipping in the water and calling out. Suddenly my eyes caught something just a little bit different in this group. Did you see my discovery?
snowy egret 2
A snowy egret! (There are actually two of them in the first shot) This is a new-to-my-camera bird. I’ve of course heard of them before, and may have seen them at some point, but I’d never been close enough to get pictures. I sat down on the sand bar and happily snapped away.
snowy egret 4

snowy egret 1

snowy egret 5

I guess you wouldn’t call these other birds discoveries, since I have photographed them before, but I’d still like to share them with you. I have a bit of a history here on the blog with attempting to photograph birds of prey. I was surprised one morning while eating my breakfast to see a small hawk swoop down right in the neighbor’s front yard:
beach hawk

It landed on the fence and seemed to be chasing a rather cheeky squirrel who didn’t seem afraid. Here’s the squirrel on the lower rung of the fence, and the hawk is on the ground to the lower left of the shot:
Cheeky squirrel & hawk

I also visited with my friend the great blue heron, who I always seem to find hanging out in the same spot near the tiny harbor around the bend from the beach.
great blue heron

One evening when I had taken the camera outside to capture those beautiful colors I showed you in the last post, I saw the heron wading in one of the tide pools. Most of my attempted shots of it came out too blurry due to the fading light. I did get this one of it taking flight, which I think could have been very lovely if I knew how to do it correctly:
heron take-off
I would have loved for the edges of this bird’s silhouette to have been more defined so that you could see it more clearly, but that is beyond my photo editing skills, if it is even possible with this shot.

Discoveries old and new – hope you enjoyed exploring Hills Beach with me.


  1. It’s beyond my skills as well (not that I have great editing skills), but it’s still a lovely shot. That’s something I’d like to learn how to do correctly, too. I have similar shots of birds in flight at sunset. I spotted the egrets right away! They are such beautiful birds, and I noticed when I’ve seen them around here that they like to blend in with the gulls and other shore birds. The sand dollars are a wonderful find (I’m pretty sure they’re treasure). Thank you so much for the lovely walk on the beach. 🙂

    Comment by Robin — August 21, 2013 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Robin. Sand dollars definitely feel like treasure when you find them.

      Comment by Karma — August 23, 2013 @ 7:57 am | Reply

  2. What a wonderful morning walk – peace, quiet, and great photo ops! The last photo would have been perfect if only the heron was higher, against the golden sky, but it’s a fun catch as it is.

    Comment by Carol — August 21, 2013 @ 1:19 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Carol. I agree – why couldn’t that heron have set that shot up a little bit nicer for me? 😉

      Comment by Karma — August 23, 2013 @ 7:58 am | Reply

  3. Its a beautiful beach..I like the coastline, esp. during the low tide.. It seems the day was sunny. was it too hot? I love the feeling of humidity and the salty-ness..

    Comment by sonali — August 22, 2013 @ 1:01 am | Reply

    • Thank you Sonali. No, the temperature was never too hot during the time we visited. There is almost always a wonderful salty breeze.

      Comment by Karma — August 23, 2013 @ 7:59 am | Reply

  4. Oh what a beautiful walk..makes me long for Maine. I love the snowy egret!

    Comment by trish49 — August 22, 2013 @ 7:18 am | Reply

  5. What gorgeous photos! Next time I vacation, I’m going to take a long walk like that… with my camera… with batteries!

    Comment by Tamara Eckstadt — August 22, 2013 @ 8:29 am | Reply

    • Thank you Tamara. A battery check is always vital before a vacation!

      Comment by Karma — August 23, 2013 @ 8:01 am | Reply

  6. These are wonderful discoveries! And is that a lighthouse in the distance, in the photo of the very steep sandbar? I don’t remember ever seeing sand dollars here, so I must ask my husband (a beach boy from way back!) if we have them here. They look so interesting and I’d love to see how you decide to display them.
    This beach is simply glorious and very different to our beaches here in Australia. I’ve really enjoyed visiting your Maine beach, thank you Karma. 🙂

    Comment by Joanne — August 22, 2013 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

  7. Thank you for taking me to Hills Beach! I forgot you were in Maine! I have to go read older blogs now. Love the sand dollars…and of course the birds! 🙂

    Comment by dawnkinster — August 23, 2013 @ 9:23 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Dawn. I’ve been home for a week now and I am still pining to go back!

      Comment by Karma — August 24, 2013 @ 8:47 am | Reply

  8. I, too, love the birds in Maine. We saw many of the same birds that you came across. This year we stayed in the Scarborough marsh area which is a bird favorite.

    Comment by Becky Sue — August 25, 2013 @ 9:02 am | Reply

  9. We have Sand Dollars on some beaches here in Nova Scotia. We also have some pretty fabulous low tides on the Bay of Fundy.

    Looks like you had a wonderful holiday.

    Comment by sybil — August 29, 2013 @ 6:07 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Sybil. I did, and it always goes by too quickly.

      Comment by Karma — August 30, 2013 @ 7:12 am | Reply

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