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Dinner With TCR! January 19, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.

Tonight, fresh raviolis of goat cheese and roasted tomatoes, but rather than employing four quarts of boiling water to prepare them, I simmered them in one quart of organic chicken broth, and not a drop got poured off or strained away.

They made a hearty bed for the greens I topped them with, rainbow chard and Too Much Garlic®, sautéed ’till a little browned:


‘Twas guuud!

Random Shots. January 19, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.

From this past week.

A horse farm in Cummington:

cummington horse farm

Yet Another Red Barn:


A waning half-moon:


Here’s a different way of looking at barns, with a more austere palette, and perhaps a larger dose of realism:


And later, pink clouds at sunset:


Oh, and along the way, a country church:


Almost forgot that one.

Totally Beyond. January 18, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Uncategorized.

This is the kind of thing which reaffirms my belief in the impossible, and rekindles the wonder of being alive.

Bela Fleck, reinventing the banjo, to our everlasting benefit:

The sound quality isn’t great, and it ends abruptly, but it’s none the less virtuosic, and I dig it.

A lot.

Bay Watch. January 17, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.

North of Boston:

beach rocks

and out to sea:


That’s about the last of the ocean shots from that trip east.  I’m looking forward to going back.

Federated Church. January 17, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.

One evening this past week, illuminated by street light, still carrying it’s Christmas message:


I got a lot more out of this shot than I hoped for, with about a twenty second exposure.

Here’s a salvageable mistake, or a lucky accident, depending on how you want to look at it – I wanted a more fully frontal view of this church, with its illuminated window and the tree out front, but to get it I had to set up in the road, in the east-bound lane of route 2.  Because it was right near the center of town, traffic was slow, so I took a chance.  I set up my tripod, got the camera roughly set, and moved out into the road.

It would be another twenty-second exposure.  I released the shutter and stepped back to wait.

At ten seconds a slow moving bus appeared from around a corner; at fifteen it was time to go.  Regretfully, I picked up the still-open camera and headed over the snowbank as the bus passed and the shutter closed.

At that point I considered the shot ruined, but actually, the fifteen seconds of still exposure created a pretty strong background for the accidental lights of escape:


…and I find the result interesting.  I wonder if I could do line-work over images with this technique…

A Leftover Moon. January 16, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.

From last Sunday, I think.

Anyway, it’s a moonrise on a winter weekend night:


It was pretty fast moving, so I only got a few shots off before it was just a bright light in the sky.  This, I think, was the best of them.

Oh, and here’s another one I liked; I caught a piece of pine in it, I think to good advantage:

ruddy little moon

Somehow the back-lit pines retained their green, and that’s the part of the photo I like the best.

Lost In Boston! January 16, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.

OK, this doesn’t happen to me.

I navigate by the sun, the moon, the stars, with an innate affinity for The North and The West which seems to originate from my medula oblongata, near as I can tell.  And when that fails, I’m a wizz with maps.

But this past Saturday, as I left Nahant on a mission to photograph a particular bridge on the northern edge of Boston proper, I had a couple of handicaps.

Firstly, I didn’t know what street/route the bridge was on, nor its name.

And secondly, I didn’t have any moon or stars to navigate by, as the evening had become entirely overcast.

Add to that my increasingly relevant far-sightedness, which doesn’t allow me to read a map in dim light without dime-store glasses (which render me unable to drive,) and I’m betting you can groc my dilemma.

So I managed to embed myself into downtown Boston without a plan for finding My Beloved Photo Op, other than rubbernecking and praying.


If you’ve ever driven in Boston, you’re either clicking out of this clusterfuck or rolling on the floor laughing ’cause I’m an idiot.

C’est la vie.

But anyway, there I was, Hellen Kellering my way through a city which was laid out by goats.  I spent a lot of time in heavy traffic, trying to read obtusely oriented street signs in the dim light:

boston traffic

Pardon the three second hand-held shot through my filthy windshield, but I wasn’t getting out to clean it right at this point.

Now I’m no quitter, and I pursued this course for close to an hour, operating on the assumption that Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right, but Three Lefts Do.  Which would work like  a charm in Phoenix, but falls flat as a ninety-year-old tit in Boston.

Trust me on this one.  It’s the only place on Earth where you can find one way cul-de-sacs (and I have.)

Eventually I noticed a kiosk labeled, “City Map,” and being a map guy, yelled “Eureka!” ..but to no avail.  Parking in Boston is a non-starter, and worse than that in winter, when many “spaces” are lost to snow banks.  So I drove on, quite a bit as I remember, ’till I found a parking space within eyeshot of such a kiosk, and made my way back to it armed with a complement of recently passed street names.

You know, there are several streets on a map of Boston, and a simple “You Are Here” would go a LONG  way toward making these kiosks more user-friendly.

So, swallowing my maleness (figuratively speaking,) I asked passers-by, “Hello, where am I?”

The first couple I accosted were from Pennsylvania, and were just about to ask me the same thing.

The next was a kid from New Hampshire who didn’t know and didn’t care, but liked my camera.  A lot.

The third was a more helpful and ebullient gentleman, who explained it all to me in great detail, in what language I haven’t a clue.

This is Boston.

I looked around, feeling lost and defeated in my quest to photograph Whatever Bridge, and noticed that I was surrounded by a type of beauty which doesn’t exist in my rural world, divorced from nature yet somehow engendered by it, the branches of my boreal world rendered in rectilinear perfection, illuminated by surreal light:

glass atrium

…that’s a store of some kind, by the way…

I started walking, with camera and tripod over my shoulder, and came to a street scene which pleased me.

Now, perhaps there’s a way to capture this stuff more efficiently, but I’m a “nature photographer,” remember?  So I set up my kit on the sidewalk and, like a true denizen of The City, ignored passers-by as  I moved in for The Capture.  I assessed that it would be a thirty-second exposure, and spent some time evaluating the traffic patterns so as to minimize the interference from Passing Objects.

“Excuse me, what are you doing?”  …I heard, and turned to see a large man approaching, uniformed, flak-jacketed, laden with ammunition and pointing an automatic assault weapon in my general direction.

I believe I must have blinked some as I ran through the gamut of possible replys.

Gesturing toward my camera and tripod, I considered my options:  “Why, as any fool can see, I’m bakin’ a goddam cake!”

I refrained, on accounta I’m allergic to lead.  Instead, I fell back on What’s Natural, my Inborn Hick:

“Gee, officer, I ain’t never seen nothin’ so purdy, I was just takin’ a pitcher!”

Ouzi Man looked me up and down, a bit skeptically.

Oh, did I mention that I was in my underwear?

Yes, my fuzzy tights, with hiking boots, not exactly Haute Couture for city floks, but I was just driving through, you see, and hadn’t planned on getting out of the car.  And above that, a poofy down jacket I’d bought for my ill-fated assault on Denali, but that’s another post entirely.

Well, as it turns out, I was directly across the street from the Israeli embassy, and given the current situation in Gaza, they’d had some credible threats of bombings, and there I was, all spindly-legged and poofy-chested and looking like I was packin’ fifty pounds of plastic explosives on my little geek torso, and The Man was rightly concerned.

I asked him, wide eyed, if his gun was The Real Deal, and with obvious pride he confirmed my suspicions.

Then we both chuckled, him with amusement, me with relief that I might yet live.

After a bit more small talk, he retreated to his side of the street, and I took my picture:


That silvery building in the urban crease is what caught my attention, and what I set up for.

After that, I packed up and brailed my way westward to route 2, glad to be still alive, and glad to be heading back to the safe haven of the hills I call home.

A Sea Side Surprise. January 13, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.

This past weekend’s trip to the shore to capture a full moon was scuttled by weather coming in from the west – thick, gray blankets of weather.  So I noodled around on the shore of Nahant Island, waiting for the sun (such as it was) to set, and the lights of Boston to come on.

Hey, “consolation prizes” are cool.

Finally, at just about “sunset,” I left my safe parking spot to get a view of The City, but dang! the lights weren’t on yet.

I drove around the island a couple of times, then went back to my spot to wait.

And as I sat there, a thin slit appeared in the clouds on the Eastern horizon, and through the heavy haze… there it was!

I fumbled to assemble my 40D, Gizmo and my tripod, and managed a few quick shots:

nahant moon

'nother nahant moon

Like Frau B. says, “Ya don’t leave ’till it’s DARK!” 😉

Random Ruby-ness! January 13, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Ruby Tuesday!.

An attempt at a Ruby Tuesday meme, with Things That Are Red.

A garage in Nahant, MA. :


I’d have taken a picture of the house, but I was afraid Blackwater would show up!

The back side of the Shelburne Falls Glass Blowers, here in Western Massachusetts:

SF Glass Blowers

Things get considerably funkier when you leave the main roads…

Graves’ Garage:


A warning for Santa, perhaps?


Thanks to Mary at Work of the Poet for this ruby idea!

Seaweed. January 12, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.

With my Sigma 50mm macro lens:


…And That Is All.

Well actually, there’s more, but not tonight.