The Wilderland Maine Project
A Visual Narrative of the Kennebec River Watershed
kdb Dominguez. Artist . Photographer . Curious Naturalist
Wilderland.Maine, a four year study
My original ONE year Artist Immersion Climate Change Project turned into a four year study! I have fallen in love with this 10 nautical miles of the Kennebec River and its Watershed. Over the four years I have noticed more king tides, humid days, hotter nights, and lots of erosion on the shoreline due to record breaking storms. It has been wonderful to get into the outdoor rhythm of our natural world. Getting up with the light is a gift. At that time of day the stillness and gentle quiet still hovers in the landscape. Watching a a new day unfold as the light gets brighter by the moment is pure magic. It is the reverse at the end of the day, winding down to a blue hour and stars shining brightly in the Maine sky.
I observed the comings and goings of our migratory birds at the marsh, forests and the edge of the sea. The bees, butterflies, dragonflies and other insects were wonderful to watch, photograph and observe . The connections of the plants, flowers and grasses are perfectly timed for pollination from certain insects, birds, and other pollinators.
Winter, which lasts almost 6 months this far north is always spectacular, especially in February; I like to say "The North Pole has come to visit!" It is a month filled with ice sheets, frozen rivers and creeks, the beaches are icy, frozen sea foam and a place to go snowshoeing, on a good day. Sometimes the ice sheets are just too big to tackle! The blowing snow is loud and so cold you cannot believe it. My eyes get kind of frozen and taking images is the biggest challenge!
These are few thoughts about the last four years. Stay tuned as I do my post work and go through my 1000's of images. Look for Exhibit/Experiences, Slideshow Presentations, Books, Paintings and Illustrations I am so excited to tell the story of this place I call Wilderland Maine. If you want frequent updates, please follow me on Facebook. Click, Like and follow!
Thank you for being interested.~ kdb
I have just completed my fourth and final year of The Wilderland.Maine Project.
A visual narrative of the Kennebec River Watershed from the Merrymeeting Bay (Butlers Head) to the Gulf of Maine (Popham Beach). I have been out documenting most everyday, regardless of weather! The goal was to create a baseline that could be studied, 30-50 years from now to help understand the breadth of this watershed and how quickly our natural world can change. It is funny how projects often have their own life forces, what began as a visual project (Photographs and Paintings) has morphed into a study of the natural world and the connections plants, animals and the earth depend upon for balance and sustaining a healthy environment for humans and all other living things. This Project has helped me to understand intricate details of nature I never would have noticed, had I not made this my "Job" for the past 4 years. I am so happy to have done this good work, now it is time to organize the images into a form that can be studied, today and many years from now.
My future projects are many. I am working on a book and nature guide, and a special learning/teaching series called Eye Spy, Nature Doodles.
I am also looking forward to giving slideshow presentations and sharing my findings and images of this very special place in the natural world. I will have several Exhibits/Experiences, that integrate the components of this Project. photography, paintings and an onsite studio with maps and found objects on a table of curiosity! These are a few of the things I will be doing in the upcoming year.
To all of you who have purchased Art, Paintings and have been angel investors, I thank you. Without you I could not have accomplished the result I had dreamed about on that spring morning in 2014.
Art & Science.
In the spring of 2014 I was reading an article published by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Their studies have shown that the Gulf of Maine is heating up 99.9 percent faster than any other ocean in the world. What does that mean, besides change is eminent? It means that our fish, and living creatures and plants may also change, shift and adapt to a warmer environment. This is not a new concept, in 1955 Environmentalist and Writer, Rachel Carson wrote "Curious changes are taking place, with many animals invading this cold temperate zone from the south and pushing up through Maine and even into Canada." So it goes. Life, the earth and every living thing are in a constant state of change. This is when I decided to create a project that would involve going out most everyday and documenting this watery world with my camera for a full 12 months. I like to think that I am creating a photo document that can be studied 30-50 and 100 years from now. I believe having a visual record is important. Going out and recording history has been my forward motion motivator, even when the North Pole came to visit this past February. What a magical world this place I call the Wilderland.
The work spotlights how fragile and diverse our eco-system is. This area is unique because of the rivers, streams ponds, lakes and creeks that flow, along with the tides. The focused area for this project is the reaches of Phippsburg and Georgetown, the 10 nautical miles form Bath to the Sea. The landscape in this region features estuaries, mountains, hills, salt marshes, bogs cliffs, crashing waves, islands, rock outcroppings and sandy shores. This is one of many slices of the Maine Coastline that features a rich and varied natural environment.
Scope of Project
To document day by day, week by week, month by month until a full year has passed. Paying attention to the nuances and bold strokes of each season. Photographing, painting and writing about each day, week and month.
Area of Study
The reaches of Phippsburg and Georgetown feature ponds, lakes, creeks, rivers and estuaries that also feed into the Kennebec and where the river meets the sea. This project focuses mostly on the reaches from Bath down to the the Atlantic Ocean. The Kennebec River and shoreline from Bath and 10 nautical miles south to the mouth of the Kennebec. Wilderland.Maine is a project of passion. The mighty Kennebec River ends its 168 mile journey at the shores of Popham Beach. This river travels from the North Woods at Moosehead Lake through cities and towns until it finally reaches the Gulf of Maine. Many Creeks, Rivers, Lakes and Ponds share their water along the way. As it reaches the shore along the Gulf of Maine it brings many things, branches, tree trunks and sometimes even whole trees! Unfortunatley It also brings detritus, garbage and pollutants. Over the past many decades we have learned to be more responsible and much of the pollution that used to flow to the sea is a thing of the past. But with the Oceans heating up and higher water levels things in this part of the world are changing at a very quick clip.The Wilderland Basecamp is located down the reach on the way to Popham Beach.