Royal River

For centuries we have poisoned and dammed the Royal River for our needs. It is time to protect the river and set it free.

From the time before I could walk, I have been in the outdoors and around rivers. As I've grown up, I have begun to foster a love for nature, especially the Royal River. I've realized that the river is not as healthy as it could be if it was free, and throughout this project, my aim was to learn as much about the river and its history as well as to educate people through this film. If you'd like to learn more information feel free to visit mainerivers.org and RRCT.org

Goranson Farm

For 40 years, CEI has invested in Maine’s food sector industries. CEI financing and business advising enabled Goranson Farm to purchase and install four solar trackers that offset nearly 90% of the farm’s electric bill, supporting long term viability and resilience.

This film follows Jan Goranson, a second generation farmer as she begins to pass her farm down to her sons and dives into her state of mind and advice for her sons that she wants to pass on.

Special thanks to Merritt Carey,  Michelle Smith and the rest of the staff at CEI.

Urban Ice Fishing

A week of slush followed by some cold weather firmed up ice on the small ponds and we took advantage of a sunny day for some urban ice fishing on Hinckley Pond in South Portland.

The temps were in the mid 20's and rising. We loaded up the car and headed to the big city to catch some brookies.

We made a quick pit stop at Johnson's Sporting Goods for bait and worms and Max kindly helped the owner fix her DirectTV claiming "I do this all the time."  I think Max was blowing smoke.  

We finally arrived at Hinckley Pond and hiked our gear down to the pond. A fine day ensued.

Creatives with Tom Pitzen

What do you get when you add Cement, Chisels, and Ceramics? Well, you get Tom Pitzen. Tom has been producing art in Gulfport, Forida, including construction, sculptures, and public art installations. I was able to sit down with him to talk about his career. 

“Growing up in high school I loved woodworking. My grandfather was a woodworker, my dad was a contractor. I had free reign of the wood and metal shop and I could pretty much do anything I wanted to do.”

Tom's shop is littered with tile and cement mix, and features a variety of sculptures that he's currently working on. Among those sculptures is a new art series for the City of Gulfport.

“I think the initial concepts are fun and exciting, but between the initial concepts and when it’s finally finished, it is a lot of work. So the most satisfying thing is when it’s done and I can just walk away.”

His sculptures are rough and have a sense of rawness. Tom's use of common materials in his sculptures, such as chicken wire, tile, and cement remind us that all great artists are also craftsmen.

Tom's enthusiasm and creative mindset make him an incredible artist and person. He left me with one piece of advice that really sums up Tom and his outlook on life and on art.

“A lot of students out of fine arts school think ‘I’m going to open a studio and I’m going to be famous’ and it really doesn’t work that way.”

There is no substitute for rolling up your sleeves and getting to work.

Ice Fishing in Maine

As the weatherman predicted, a blizzard hit Maine sending the entire state inside. This didn't bother a couple of Maine boys, though. Instead, we headed to Range Pond to do some ice fishing and filming.

Max Polstein, Liam Ireland, Teddy Norton, and David Jordan packed up the gear, rigged the lines and we headed off. The roads were covered in snow and there were no plow trucks in sight. Perfect conditions.

The winds were howling as we pulled up to Range Pond and unloaded our gear into the sled. 

Home Sweet Home on Range Pond

Home Sweet Home on Range Pond

We ambled across the pond to a peninsula about a 1/2 a mile away. We had had some luck in the past fishing there so we that's where we decided to set up our tent and gear.

Once our gear was set up, we began setting our traps. Max Polstein set off with his auger to drill holes while I shot some video.

As we finished up setting our traps, out of the corners of our eyes we spotted an orange flag pop up into the air. We sprinted over to the trap, but to our dismay, there was no fish on the line.

Liam setting a trap on Range Pond

Liam setting a trap on Range Pond

As we walked away, we got a hit. To our surprise, there was rainbow trout on the hook. As he has done hundreds of times before, Max took the line and set the hook. The trout splashed out of the water and onto the snow covered ice. As it hit the ice,  the fish threw the hook and slid back down the hole.  Nice job, Max.

Regardless of the lack of fish, everyone could agree in the car (driving home) that it was still a successful day.  After all, It's called fishing, not catching.

Winter Surfing in Maine

In Maine, a day off from school means a day on for surfing.  On Tuesday, I headed out with John Lane, Ethan Humphries, Nick Hutchins, Finn McLain and Jack Sharp. The swells were close to 20 ft high and the breaks were firing.

We packed up John's van with surfboards, wetsuits and camera equipment and headed out. We first stopped at Higgins Beach and checked out the waves. Unfortunately, Higgins Beach was a confused mess of whitewater and funky wave breaks so we decided to keep driving south. We checked out a couple more spots, but it was more of the same.

We then decided to take a risk and check out Old Orchard Beach. To our surprise OOB was perfect. We parked on the side of the road, gathered our things and got ready. To surf in Maine you need a certain amount of drive and grit and this group of dudes had it. Winter surfing to the common passerby is an unusual sight, but these guys embraced the weather here in Maine.

The weather was ferocious and it was really hard to stay warm. As I shot video from the beach, my hands were numb and my face burned from the 30+ knot winds.  In other words, a perfect day for surfing.

Finn checking out the swell out on the Coast

                                   The boys checking out the surf from the rocky shoreline

Nick and John caught back-to-back, head-high waves in the first 5 minutes of the session. Unfortunately, the winds increased and started to ruin the breaks.

After a short but sweet session, the boys rounded up their gear and headed home thinking about the next winter surfing trip.

You can find the photos from the surf trip on this link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/146339274@N02/albums/72157679549491365