Making the unseen visible

Checking in on the Boothbay Register timelapse webcam of the 2014 Fishermen’s Festival in Boothbay last weekend, we were captivated by a webcam that caught the 2013 blizzard. (Yes, we know, it’s nearly May – but the Atlantic Coast is holding onto winter, as if it’s saving the best weather for your summer stay!). In the span of the 48-hour storm, the webcam captures hardy souls venturing in and out of Brown’s Wharf, the pickup trucks, the evidence of plows and a sidewalk snow-shoveler as regular as a metronome. But what’s more fascinating is the way the ‘invisible’ sweep of the wind is made visible. While everything else covers up after the plow has passed, one intersection stays gray and as a line of white is pushed out of the way by the wind.

Here at Spruce Point, a 48-hour webcam would capture pre-dawn lights as the office and kitchen prepare for the day (especially now, in the weeks before opening, as the new kitchen and culinary team get organized for the season.) Looking east, we see the steady path of a lobster boat, chugging to meet the rising sun. Trucks and vans come up our drive with mysterious loads headed for garden beds and housekeeping closets. And slowly green tinges the tips of the hardwoods and edges of lawn as spring moves heaven and earth to greet the day.

Like that snow-sweeping wind in dock square, what this imagined vision reveals is the unseen progress of the tide at our feet. The current ripples on Linekin Bay. A thin edge of bright water rims the shore. And hidden surfaces uncover, shiny with the expectations that come of emerging from the depths.

Soon, a timelapse of our dock would capture the migrations of a colorful flock, alighting and departing from Brightline, whose own progress across the harbor would seem earnest and devoted to her task. Clouds and sails would reflect on the water. Burnt Island light would be a sundial, marking “the hours that shine;” and the silent tide, like memory, flows on.