Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Peak experience

with 33 comments

Many people have their peak experience in Acadia National Park atop Cadillac Mountain. Not high even by Appalachian standards, the 1529-ft. summit of Cadillac Mountain nevertheless provides a view of the land and sea for miles in all directions, as we confirmed on the afternoon of June 9th. Because dozens of people were wandering about, I had to work quickly at times when a scene momentarily cleared. In contrast, one thing up there I didn’t want to exclude is this prominent boulder:

Smaller boulders adorned the mountain as well:

Look at the natural grooves in the top layer of rock:

And here’s a closer look at one of the many rocky surfaces covered with lichens:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 14, 2018 at 4:49 AM

33 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Love these forms and colours Steve!


    August 14, 2018 at 5:08 AM

  2. Lots of erratics there. I think you visited the most famous one on one of the Bubbles.

    Steve Gingold

    August 14, 2018 at 5:27 AM

    • Yes, we did hike up to see the precarious Bubble Rock. I had an easier time getting pictures of the erratics shown here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 14, 2018 at 8:45 AM

  3. I really like those subtle colours in the lichen. 🙂


    August 14, 2018 at 6:16 AM

  4. This is a peak experience for me. I can finally say, “I’ve been there.” (And I tasted wild blueberries, for the first time, on the mountain.) After the trip to Cadillac Mountain we had a stop over for a popover at Jordan Pond House. The day was beautiful, as it is in your images, but there were only a few other people about. Lovely images, lovely memories.


    August 14, 2018 at 7:17 AM

    • I’m happy to have piqued your interest and awakened lovely memories. Now we’ve shared an American place. Good for you to have been there on a clear day, as we were, and to have avoided crowds, as we didn’t. In fact I couldn’t take the picture I wanted to from the shore of Jordan Pond because a family was having a picnic on the spot where I needed to stand.

      At first I didn’t understand your reference to popovers, but in searching just now I see that popovers are an item on the menu at the Jordan Pond House Restaurant. We popped in to use the bathroom but didn’t stay to eat because we were still stuffed from a big breakfast at our hotel.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 14, 2018 at 9:00 AM

  5. You got to the ‘pique’ ahead of me, but I’ll still say that I would have been piqued had you not given us a peek at this peak. The view’s so nice, and once again there’s that glorious, smooth water to complement the textures of the clouds, rocks, and vegetation.

    I couldn’t help thinking of the similarities between that place, Enchanted rock, and the Willow City loop. While I’ve not yet been to Enchanted Rock, the views from the loop can be just as appealing. The elevation of Willow City itself is 1,713 feet, allowing for some nice views from the road. The granite rocks there aren’t as impressive as these boulders, but they’re covered with lichens that look remarkably like these.

    Now, if only we had some water to go with our rocky cliffs.


    August 15, 2018 at 7:38 AM

    • How could I not give you a peek at this site, a Cadillac among mountain views? (Actually Cadillacs have gotten poor reliability ratings in recent years, if Consumer Reports surveys are accurate.)

      I’ve been to Enchanted Rock several times and even once took an out-of-state visitor there, but somehow I haven’t been able to get excited about a return visit after all the scenic places you’ve seen in these pages over the past four years. Still, in the late fall I may give it another chance. I’ve also driven the Willow City route a couple of times, in the spring when the wildflowers make it so attractive.

      And yes, central Texas could use some more water. The rain last weekend didn’t amount to much in Austin, and Lake Travis has dropped to 8 ft. below average for this time of year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 15, 2018 at 8:30 AM

  6. What are those boulders doing there? Are they doing it right now? It sort of makes one wonder. Seriously though, I do wonder how they got there.


    August 16, 2018 at 10:16 PM

    • Good question. They seem to be what are known as glacial erratics, boulders carried along by glaciers and then deposited far from where they originated once the glaciers melted. I’ll probably show a picture of an even bigger one in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, you can read more at


      Steve Schwartzman

      August 17, 2018 at 7:09 AM

  7. Great shot of that boulder… love the colours of the lichen 🙂


    August 19, 2018 at 3:12 AM

  8. I love the colors, patterns and texture of the lichen, and those boulders were quite impressive too. I get very restless in areas where there are a lot of people. It can be exasperating trying to get a decent shot sometimes.


    August 19, 2018 at 7:36 AM

    • It sure can. When we visited the Canadian Rockies and Badlands last August the swarms of people made enjoying many of the scenic places difficult. On the visit to Acadia two months ago we were fortunately still on the early side of the worst traffic, which I suspect would be happening now. Even with lots of other people around, we got to enjoy many places, and in every picture I’ve shown from that trip nature appears without any people.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 19, 2018 at 11:23 AM

  9. Great Shots Steve!! Always love “seeing” through your eyes with your images!

    Reed Andariese

    August 19, 2018 at 9:21 AM

  10. Beautiful shots. Thanks for sharing this perspective.

    Birder's Journey

    August 19, 2018 at 10:48 AM

  11. Amazing write-up!

    Half Glass Full

    September 25, 2018 at 5:24 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: