Fort Foster Allure

By Bill Moore

There’s something alluring about Fort Foster in Kittery Point, Maine . . . and I can say that honestly because over a six-year span I’ve been there hundreds of times, and as many as five times in a single week.


Because the place is always different. The slant of the sun on the old fortifications, the adjacent pier, the solitary (and recently renewed) old Life Saving Station and a short distance away, the Whaleback Lighthouse. And while I photograph all of those things, its Mother Nature who always makes it interesting, from high sun days with spectacular sunrises and sunset, to this Saturday morning climactic event.

I got there at 5:15 in the morning. It was starting to snow. When I left just over two hours later, my solitary footprints on the way from the gatehouse to the Piscataqua River had been overrun by hundreds of others, including dogs that love the place as much as their human guardians.

I went looking for ice, but it soon became clear that snow would cover whatever ice there was (and because the temperature had gone from minus-18 on Friday to 24 on Saturday morning, there wasn’t much ice to be seen}.

Instead, as the snow continued to fall, there was a brilliant contrast between the black rocks on the beach and beyond the mudflats, and I concentrated on the black and white . . . and that’s what you see here.

The first is something I call Runaround Sue, a collection of rocks that gives me the impression of a running woman, black on white. That is followed Red Contrast, an object on the beach of undetermined origin . . . but with a splotch of red – and in a black and white world, red always stands out. The final image is merely a look back at the end of my stay through the canopy of trees that extend from the gatehouse all the way to the river . . . just to give you a bit of context.