Monticello is located on the Northern Branch of the Meduxnekeag River in Aroostook County, Maine, and is made up of about 38 square miles of rolling hills and beautiful farmland. Starting from a small pond to the West of Monticello, the Meduxnekeag River winds 35 miles through the beautiful woodlands and farmlands of Monticello before crossing the border into Canada, where it joins its confluence, the Meduxnekeag in Wakefield, New Brunswick. Once you get off of the I-95 interstate in Houlton, you take a left and drive 10 miles north, enjoying the potato fields in bloom during mid-summer or the crisp feel of the snow-covered landscape in the winter. An old rail bed provides access all over the County for more secluded views with miles and miles of ATV and snowmobile trails.
Summer in the County can get very hot and humid, with temps getting up into the 90’s with dew points well into the 60’s making for some hot and sticky days. During the fall you can enjoy cool temps and a landscape that looks like a patch work quilt of yellow and orange. Winters can get brutal with snowstorms of over a foot of fresh snow at a time and temperatures hovering around 0 degrees for weeks- and sometimes dipping down to well below zero.
On this day in mid-winter, the temps had warmed up a bit to around 30 degrees as a snowstorm dumped a good solid foot of heavy, wet snow overnight. Traveling to work from Houlton to Presque Isle that morning, I through my Nikon D7100 in my car in hopes for a photo opportunity as the storm cleared out. Once I got to Monticello the sky started to set off with some beautiful colors, so I pulled over on U.S. Route 1 and used the Meduxnekeag River as a leading line to the sunrise. The trees along the river were beautifully coated with fresh snow, and the sky was full of color as the sun rose over the horizon. I focused my Tokina 11-16mm lens and set the camera to ISO 500 with an aperture of f18 to keep everything sharp and a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second and began photographing the winter wonderland that mother nature had painted. As the clouds were moving, they covered the sun, and the beautiful light was gone almost as fast as it came. What a morning!
Aroostook County can provide photographic eye candy year-round. Whether you like to canoe or kayak the river, hike the orange and yellow forests of fall, ski, snowshoe, or snowmobile in the winter. You can always find something magical to photograph around The County.