Ducks (Nearly) Unlimited. February 14, 2011Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: ducks, Ducks Unlimited, Gizmo, hens, mallards, Mill River, Montague
After chasing a non-existent (well, perhaps “cloud-obscured” would be more accurate) moonrise this afternoon, I headed home through the back roads of Montague. It’s pastoral and fairly open there, with views of the Connecticut River. I figured if the light was right I might get lucky with a landscape photograph.
Crossing the much smaller Mill River I noticed movement off to my right – birds coming own through the trees to roost! I turned around at the next crossroad and went back, and sure enough, there were hundreds of ducks landing in the water and climbing out on the banks:
…with dozens more landing every few minutes. The clouds were thick but occasionally broken, and I waited for breaks of light – Gizmo likes a lot of light.
These birds were fun to watch, with their flashes of color and their ungainly walk:
Perhaps it’s the anthropomorphism prevalent in the advertising world, but they seemed to me to be talking to each other.
Here a passing Hen flipps off three too-cool-to-look Malards:
…And always, more birds coming in:
They looked like they were settling in for the night, huddling in pairs and little groups, tucking their heads under their wings; it wasn’t dusk yet, but perhaps they felt the weather coming in.
I headed for home, and it was raining before I got there.
To The Sea. June 25, 2009Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: baby swans, beaches, ducks, fog, gulls, Plum Island, rain, roses, surfers
I had planned to go to the White Mountains of New Hampshire this past weekend, to climb Mount Washington to its Alpine Garden, a plateau at about five thousand feet elevation, where plants generally found a thousand miles farther north might be found blooming in June, diminutive, hearty and a long way from the road.
But the forecast called for Suck, and I changed my plans.
I went to the beach instead.
Where the weather Sucked as well, but it wasn’t a lethal sucking, as the White Mountains are famous for, but rather a gentle sucking, as one might wish for when at the beach.
It was cool and windy and gray, with an insistent wind driving a fine mist horizontally, perfect for a first day of summer in the tropical paradise of Massachusetts:
The cheeriest thing about this scene was the Teutonic seawall separating Nature and Man, and the reassuring sense that Man wasn’t up to the challenge.
But as all clouds have their silver linings, the local surfers dug the wind-whipped world, ignoring the rain ’cause, hey, they’re soaked anyway!
I, on the other hand, was bummed. It was a long drive to come up with no photographs, but setting up in the wind and rain was hard to get psyched for.
So I sought out nooks and crannies in the seaside flora, trying to find a refuge from the wind without stepping in some college girl’s refuge from the wind;
Trust me, stay out of the bushes when you’re at the beach.
But there were copious roses and lots of poison ivy, two plants which hold their own in the Urban Wild, because nobody wants to mess with them:
Pretty flowers, atmospheric conditions not withstanding:
I struggled valiantly against the wind, then surrendered, crossing the road to the inland side to photograph a marsh:
and its stalwart inhabitants:
…including a few baby swans:
…whose Momma was busy trying to mooch food from us motorists. And a gull bathing with a fury:
He was funny.
But as much fun as this was, I missed the urgency of the sea, so after I indulged in a ten dollar clam roll I headed south to Plum Island, a bit of wilderness on Boston’s north shore.
The wind was stiff there as well:
…but the resident water fowl didn’t seem to mind:
The long, slow drive to the parking lot at the end of the dirt road deposited me in the company of hard-core fishermen, lost hikers and a rare glimpse of isolation just a few miles north of a major American city:
…with tall waves pounding the rocky shore as gulls scavenged the pools for stranded unfortunates. It was as desolate and pure as one has any right to expect, being this close to millions of fellow travelers:
Hey, when the wind blows, photograph rocks.
I have a few more from this junket which may see daylight, but then again, perhaps that’s enough of the Poorly-Lit Subjects for one lifetime.
Duck, Duck, Geese! June 18, 2009Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: ducks, geese
…reading right to left, that is. Seems the ducks are shyer than the geese, even the babies, and motored off as soon as I approached.
Love the gosletts, though.
A Blue Sky Day. April 14, 2009Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: butterfly, ducks, hawk, horse, reflections
Today was fair, warm and breezy, feeling a bit more like Spring than it has in a week:
It looked like it, too:
Small critters stirred as hawks eyed them with terminal intent:
When the wind finally died down, still ponds repeated the scene with startling clarity:
…as a mallard and his mate sunned and preened:
Finally, high clouds slipped in as the day ended, bathing upcountry farms in a warm light:
All in all, it was a relaxing drive home from a good day’s work.
Closer To Home. April 7, 2009Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: ducks, horses, maples, moon, oak trees, rivers, yadda yadda...
It’s been a mixture of nice Spring weather and gnarly, bone-chilling days here this past week. “Nice weather for ducks,” you might say:
A mallard and his very well camouflaged mate endure a steady rain with aplomb.
All this rain has the rivers rippin’:
…and the pastures beginning to green up:
…which, of course pleases even the most discerning of grazers:
The maple buds are popping just as the moon is waxing:
I’m hoping for some nice skies as the full moon approaches – it’s been a couple of monthe since the weather cooperated with that!