The Grrrlz Of Summer. June 17, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: buttercups, Canon 24mm f/3.5L TS-EII lens, Eugene D. Moran Wildlife Management Area, hawkweedm clover, irises, Lyme disease, tilt-shift photographt, Tyvek coveralls, Windsor
Summer brings the wildflowers out of the woods and into the meadows. There, they face the reaper’s blade, as most of the grasslands in these parts get cut and baled several times during the warm season.
So it falls to me to be attentive to the rhythms of the seasons, and of the farmers who wring a living from them; a week early and the blooms aren’t happening, a week late and they’re in the feed.
Today saw me taking the long way to everywhere, snaking my way across the Eastern Front of the Berkshires in convoluted lines, connecting every reflecting pool and flowered meadow I could think of that was remotely in between me and Mount Greylock, my intended destination for the afternoon. I was hunting, you see, for something to share with you.
Up in Windsor, I got lucky.
Good Old Windsor, high and wide and starkly beautiful, a no-bullshit place of wind and sky and visual gems tucked amidst the casually unremarkable vastness. This is one of the places where I first learned to get down on my belly and look harder.
Today, I beat the reaper, though just barely; every field I passed on the approach had either been hayed or had a tractor taking it down as I passed.
So I was pleased to top out on Windsor Mountain and find the meadows along Route 8A to be flush with flowers. At the Moran Wildlife Management Area I pulled over and suited up prior to wading out into the waist-high grass, donning a Tyvek coverall duct-taped at the ankles and dosed with DEET. I’ve been treated twice so far this year for Lyme disease, and now that I’m without health insurance, another go-around isn’t an option.
The sky wasn’t dramatic, but rather a patchwork of cotton-ball clouds in a deep blue firmament. Still, it provided a passable foil for the flowers below. Here blue flag irises and ragged robin punctuate a field of buttercups stretching over the horizon:
Across Route 8A hawkweed and clover held sway, barely contained by a stockade of spruces:
I love this place. Wildflowers in Spring, meteorological drama in Summer, and some of the wildest Winter scenes I’ve seen in the East.
Both of these are from Elliot, with my tripod splayed low to the ground in an effort to Freeze the Breeze. Between three and five degrees of tilt gave me acceptable depth of field without the longer exposures necessitated by smaller apertures, thereby mitigating the wind problem. And I brought the skies down with a two-stop hard-step ND graduated filter.
Then it was onward to Mt. Greylock, which I’ll save for another post.