Deb and I started our annual Camden/Hartstone Inn adventure on Friday after a snowstorm mop-up. As usual, a photo-taking slant overshadowed the weekend agenda.

A stop in Rockport Harbor produced some typical subjects in atypical poses. The Iceland gull took a classic pier piling pose for me, while a red-breasted merganser emerged from the depths after hunting for fish or tasty crustaceans.

Next we drove to Rockland for lunch and a walk on the breakwater. On the walk out to the breakwater lighthouse we were graced with the opportunity to observe and photograph a long-tailed duck and a horned grebe, which displayed a remarkable red eye.

At the lighthouse, looking back, we were struck by the beauty of the Camden Hills bathed in the beginning sunset light. Two more surprises awaited us on the return jaunt. First, was a loon eating a razor clam … series attached. This was new to me, I’ve never seen a loon eat a razor clam .. who knew? Then, on the foot path which passes behind the Samoset Resort we caught, in the late afternoon sunlight, a small flock of Canada geese taking flight over the retaining wall into the sky and clouds.

A pleasant evening at the Inn with our friends Ed and Marcia sped the day to a close. Chef Michael greeted us early morning, then set about preparing a great two-course gourmet breakfast. I let the Canon rest in the overcast and lightly snowing day, while the four of us visited Renys in Camden, Green Tree Coffee and Tea in Lincolnville, Farnsworth Museum and the Brass Compass restaurant in Rockland … so much to do, so little time.

Next, a two-hour nap and a five-course gourmet meal … the best. Especially when enjoyed with our friends. Chef Michael, knowing my propensity for imaging waterfowl, apologized for serving me duck! I told him, “No problem, I’ll get past it with pleasure.” What a fantastic end to a wonderful day.

Sunday morning saw a spectacular sunrise over Camden Harbor. My image does not do it justice, it was a further reward for time well spent.

Although there was not enough light for capturing images, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with some loons, bufflehead ducks and lots of mallards.

Deb and I frequently visit Camden throughout the year, but our long weekend stay at Hartstone Inn with our friends always starts the new year on the right foot.

Man … I really rambled on this time. Thanks for hanging in there! Our Maine wildlife is a companion to whatever outdoor adventure we choose, let’s be mindful of all we have been blessed with.