Lupine Season in the Western Mountains of Maine
Explore the lupine filled scenery surrounding the Rangeley Lakes Region of Maine.
Lupine season in the Western Mountains of Maine is always a fun time of year to photograph some colorful images around the region. Here in the Rangeley Lakes Region, you will typically start seeing them bloom around mid-June. This year, they started blooming about a week later than normal after an extended winter/spring season. This time of year undoubtedly my favorite time of the summer to shoot as I favor having a lot of color in my photo's. Here are a couple of my personal favorite spots to shoot lupine in the region.
Height of Land
One sure stop for some amazing scenery is Height of Land. This scenic turnout along Route 17 just a few miles before the Oquossoc Village provides a panoramic view of surrounding mountains and Mooselookmeguntic Lake. There are also patches of lupine around the overlook that provide a nice contrast to the skyline. This past weekend, I was able to capture the above image during the evening well the sun was setting. This shot had its challenges. I was aiming for a compressed shot as I like to draw the mountains in closer in the background but also retain a good portion of the lupine in the foreground. This patch of lupine is next to the guard rail on the southern entrance, being low to the ground, you can only move back so far to compress the shot but it ended up coming out with the right amount of compression I had in mind. If you walk around the overlook you can find different patches to shoot at different angles. There are also many different types of flowers that blossom later on in the summer as well.
Perhaps one of my favorite areas to photograph the lupine in the region is Saddleback Mountain. With the base of the mountain being a higher elevation than in town, the lupine tend to bloom a week later on the ski slopes and extend their stay through the first week of July. The 4,120 foot peak of Saddleback and the 4,041 foot peak of The Horn provide a great backdrop to the lupine below. Above is a photo from Snow Pond just above the Rangeley Chair to the left. The entire pond is surrounded by lupine, and if the water is clam, can display some awesome reflections in the water.
One of my all time favorite captures was during lupine season on Saddleback (pictured above). Astrophotography has always intrigued me and after seeing a couple of my photographer friends photograph the stars with the lupine, I was interested in capturing one myself. This shot was extremely challenging in that not only did you need a clear, moonless night for the Milky Way, but you also had to have that occur during the short timeframe the lupine are in bloom here. After many attempts, the weather finally cooperated during a moonless night near the 4th of July and I was finally able to get the shot around 2 am. This shot was taken just in front of the base lodge at Saddleback. The exterior lights to the lodge happened to be on and it illuminated the lupine enough to capture this image all in a single 25 second exposure.
Another lupine area of town to see is Mingo Springs on Proctor Road just off of Route 4. There is a hiking trail that takes you through a sea of lupine around the property. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you may see deer roaming through here as well as other animals. If you travel up towards the country club, there are lupine along the road as well with some of the Kennebago Range in the backdrop. Another unique aspect is the bird houses placed around the lupine fields.