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Cold! Northern Maine cold!

January 10, 2018

Day 10 of the Gentle January photo challenge presents the prompt:  COLD!

Last winter, I spent a good part of the month of January with my sister on her organic farm in Northern Maine near the Canadian border.  It was a January that brought snowstorm after snowstorm. We spent most days shoveling snow and “feeding” her wood stoves. My honey spent many days helping us out too. The snow and wind blew so hard we could barely holler to each other outside but I have to say, we all enjoyed the majority of it. We would shovel the path to the chicken house, and to the driveway, and around to make sure we could get wood, and then we’d put our feet up by the wood cookstove and chat, warm our toes, and drink something yummy.


It was a tough time in my sister’s life as she had just lost her beloved husband. It was also a special time for my sister and me as we hadn’t spent this much time together in years and years. The silver linings, and small blessings.


Day 6 / Water and I, we go way back

January 6, 2018

Day 6 of Susannah Conway’s Gentle January photo challenge presents me with the word, Water.

Water and I, we go way back. I was born a Scorpio, and when I had my chart read years ago, I was told I was a triple threat, Scorpio.  So, in all reality, I may have been born a mermaid.  I have so much to say about my relationship with water, from when I was a little girl and visited the sea one week out of the year but dreamed about it for the other 51, to craving the ocean water for almost 20 years while I lived in the mountains.

Maine waters

Water is part of me, and I am a part of it. Water and I are forever fluid, and changing, sometimes smooth and calm, and other times restless and wild.  Changing, and moving, and flowing…






My home

January 2, 2018

My Home….

For the past 6 or 7 years, I have chosen to not live in one home, stay in one place. After my divorce, I couldn’t come up with one place I wanted to “be.” I wanted to be everywhere, or at least have the opportunity to be everywhere. For many years, my car was a comforting place that felt most like home.  I have lived in many homes owned by other people, and mostly with their belongings. My belongings are in storage except for the few clothes I own, my camera and computer gear, and a few books.  Truthfully, most of the time I love it that way. There are times when I miss seeing my girls’ artwork that I have framed, or my mother’s special plates. But I like to travel light.

Northern Maine farm

I have been fortunate to find really neat places to call “home.”  I often live in “winter rentals” along the coast of Maine which allows me to afford to live in homes and cottages I would never be able to afford otherwise.  In this gypsy life, I have lived in a sweet cottage by a dog friendly beach and the best bakery, I lived in an apartment over a lighting store, in a Victorian home full of books and art from around the world, a ski house in the Western Maine mountains, a Northern Maine organic farm with my sister, and now in a little cottage right on Casco Bay. My home is wherever I am at the time. My home is always open to my friends and family, and my home is right here in my heart and will follow me wherever I go.  My home….



Beginning the New Year with “Gentle January”

January 1, 2018

Gentle January….a photo a day.  Today, January 1


I AM….in no hurry to get from one place to another, from here to there. I rather like the journey. #gentlejanuary2018

maine woods, aroostook county, maine, journey,

maine woods



The Unsung Maine: Fiddle-Playing Gypsy

July 13, 2017

Fiddle-playing gypsy

She tells me she would have worn her gypsy outfit if she didn’t think I might think she was crazy. Are you kidding me? She had me at gypsy! In a tiny Northern Maine town, with her backyard overlooking Mount Katahdin, this gypsy-spirited woman makes her life exactly as she chooses. She has lived on this farm for many years, first in a tent, then a stock trailer, and now in a tiny house which once was only a basement. She fills it with her art, and her animals that are not yet old enough to live outdoors. Everything is as neat as a pin and has its own place, an ability I envy as I’d love to live in a tiny house but I am not organized or a neat knick. I am invited into her home through a common friend, another horse lover, as she is. I feel honored that she is wiling to share this world she has created with me.

Each piece of art has a story

Made from a birdhouse gourd

Gorgeous artwork

vignettes of color



artistic succulents


Each horse has a name

spotted goats

Her several acre farm is home to special chickens, spotted goats, sweet kittens, and many horses. She shows me around explaining how it all came to be, and there is a story behind everything. I love it. I already know we are kindred spirits. The cat named “Kitty” follows us everywhere. What strikes me is that it’s not a perfect farm, or perfect house, or perfect land, or a perfect life. I think life has not been easy for her here. She has to work very hard maintaining it all. But, alas, she has retained, no not just retained but flourished, her creative and child-like gypsy spirit. She tells me that being poor may have helped her become creative, but I think the opposite. She has to fulfill Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs all by herself, and she still has the energy to be creative. This concept interests me greatly. I think she is ambitious, and has set her purpose to live a full, rich, creative, and independent life in spite of life’s imperfections.

She shows me her art, which is everywhere inside and out. It is succulents growing in and on work boots, it’s redesigned clock innards to look like an owl, its an old wooden chest full of unicorn fantasy objects that she has collected for children. And the colors! Color is everywhere! Then she introduces me to all of her animals, collecting eggs from the chickens, helping a goat who has poked its head out of a fence, and talking to her horses and calling them each by name, as we walk around the farm. She loves them all.

Over a lunch of soup she has made from her own chickens, we talk non-stop about how to live a life where we can spend as much time as possible, every day, doing the things we love to do. How do we do that and still pay the bills? Its the Universal problem of us free-spirits who love to do so many things, and have a hard time settling into one routine for very long. Is it possible? We think so.

Just before its time to leave, I ask her a question. Would she be willing to put on that gypsy outfit she thought of wearing but was afraid I might think she was crazy, so I could take her picture? Much to my delight, she says “Yes!” and quickly begins digging around in her closet. She tells me she has so many gypsy clothes but doesn’t wear them often here in Northern Maine. She comes out looking like a beautiful, barefooted, red-headed gypsy. Her corset is the gorgeous color of brass, her petticoat is a bright white, and her long skirt is the most beautiful colors and print I have ever seen. She has her prized bobcat skin draped around her neck. The one she shot after he got into her henhouse, and killed all of her chickens. She leaves her hair down, and we head outside to take a few photos. She turns to me and says, “I should have brought out my fiddle.” Wait, what? She plays the fiddle too? My mouth drops open as she begins to play for her animals…first for Kitty, then the goats, and then we let the horses out into a back pasture, and she runs along with them as she is playing. One of the tunes I recognize is from “The Last of the Mohicans.”

I think she is my “spirit animal.” The person I have always thought I am in my head. The personification of the person, that if life, and fear, and society had not had such a great hold on me, maybe I would be. But then I know…

gypsy player

beautiful music

the woods trail

helping one of the little goats

sweet friends

the audience

Kitty leads the way

those colors!

her gypsy outfit

the prized bobcat

playing for the horses

free spirit

The Last of the Mohicans

playing in the field

portrait of a gypsy

running with the horses

billowing skirt

artistic interpretation

gypsy necessities



Contrasts in Living

July 6, 2017

I haven’t written for a while and have really missed the getting down of words from my head to the paper. Life has been a whirlwind of movement, which it usually is for me this time of year. I leave my little winter rental for a gypsy summer…just the way i like it.

Sitting here on my sister’s 100 acre organic farm, I am looking at the windmill humming along and the pink peonies blowing in the wind. It’s quiet except for the occasional trucks that are cutting wood down the road. I have brought in the eggs from the chicken house and have them on to boil for our evening meal of hard-boiled eggs, greens from the garden, and whatever else we can dig up. No one goes hungry here but we buy very little from the grocery store. She has delicious canned raspberries from last summer that I mix with yogurt in the morning, and she has a yummy canned tomatoes, zucchini and onion mix from last summer too that we use for all kinds of dishes. She has started some of her own black, Negra beans on to soak and then cook on her little two burners, for a chili she’ll make tomorrow.

The pace is slow here.. We sleep till we feel like getting up, or the dog wakes us up, we have coffee and discuss what we will accomplish on this day ahead of us. We take a walk. I only go for about half the time as the horseflies drive me back home, and I am not in nearly the shape of my sister who is 10 years my elder. Then, we work on our list of things we want to do. When I first arrived a couple of months ago, we worked on creating our summer list which includes many things that need to be done around the farm; plant the gardens, clean out the chicken coop, sell some old wood stoves no longer being used, and then there are things we want to do for fun…plein air painting (maybe naked, if we dare), photographing local people and writing their stories, visiting my grandmother’s old home, and visiting another organic farm recently started by an old friend, and skinny dipping. I know, I know…but we are trying to stay in the free and easy mode, and heck, no one lives around us here anyway. We eat a late afternoon dinner and go to bed before the sun sets most evenings.

The hard part, is that this little farm isn’t really a place I can stay too long, although I adore this special time with my sister. My feet get itchy to keep moving, and the social part of me needs to be with friends, go to some noisy restaurants, and walk some city streets. So, I head south for several days. And it’s a culture shock, but I like it. I see things with new eyes, in a different way than I did before I left the city. I do some work photographing and meeting with clients, I visit with friends and family. It’s hard for her here as she is alone now that her husband passed away in December but she will go and spend wonderful time, about a half hour south, visiting her kids and grandkids.  She is trying to decide where to go from here…. does she stay on the farm that she and her husband created, or does she leave this beautiful, but chore-heavy farm and buy a little place in town. This is one of the reasons I think I am here…to provide some space for her to be here on this sweet farm, without being so lonesome, so maybe she can figure out what comes next. And to just spend time together..

After several days in the city, I head back north to the Northern Maine woods. I feel happy as I hit the dirt road that leads to my sister’s farm. Again, with the strong contrast from where I have been, I am able to see the this slow, rural world through new eyes. I appreciate the quiet, and the days that circle around chores, the sound of the hum of the windmill and the wind chimes, and the sun. She waves to me from the garden as I pull in.

Lots of love from this Northern Maine neck-of-the-woods.  Only one image, as I don’t have internet here on the farm, and this hot spot sure uses lots of data!  More soon…


If you would like to follow along on Instagram, I would love to have you! Nanette Faye

I don’t know where I’m going

March 29, 2017

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”

~  C JoyBell C

Maine rocks, gypsy, gypsy life, maine photographer, maine photography, not all who wander are lost, maine

Maine coast


If you’d like to see more of my work, connect with me, or inquire about a session, I’d love to hear from you.  Please follow me on FB, Nanette Faye Photography, and Insta @nanettefaye.  xo