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Yellowlegs and low tides

On a recent trip to Eastport Maine, my good friend Roger showed me around. Obsessed as I am, all I wanted to do was look for birds and painting reference, and he was most obliging.

We visited about six different spots in short driving distance from Eastport. We even crossed the channel from Lubec to Campobello Island (Canada).

The tide was low. As you can see from the seastack in the photo above, we were on the Bay of Fundy, with the largest tide differential in the world at 38.4 feet. The summer flocks of razorbills, puffins, scoters, and guillemots had moved on. But at Mill Cove we found a long strip of seaweed of the most intense cadmium orange color. Bordering another seaweed mound I spotted this lone greater yellowlegs. His legs perfectly matched the color and shape of yellow seaweed among the strands of green, Payne’s gray, and burnt sienna. I finished the painting yesterday. Check it out here. Eastport is a charming town, completely unspoiled by the usual hordes of tourists. Roger’s block (where he runs a cozy b&b) boasts a nice collection of galleries, a whale-watching tour service, and some fun places to eat—even a local brewery. I will be back. It’s an inspirational place.

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