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Bash-Bish! July 30, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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In the southwest corner of my state, where Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York meet, the Taconic Mountains are host to our State’s highest waterfall:  Bash-Bish Falls, tumbling a total of two hundred feet and culminating in twin eighty-foot  falls.

I hit it on a recent weekend, and wasn’t surprised to find nearly a hundred people recreating by the cool water and the thundering falls, even though, as the locals say, “It’s two hours from anywhere and four hours from anywhere important:”

BB1

It was indeed pretty, but I wanted pictures of just the Falls, as they might have looked before the people came and rearranged the furniture.

It took a bit of doing, but by maneuvering myself into some, shall we say, “interesting” positions, I was able to get a couple of clear shots, one a straight on portrait:

Bash-Bish

…and the other taken from below:

BB From Below

I lost the sun before I could get that last shot, but I dug the geometry of the scene nonetheless.

Anyway, hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed taking them!

🙂

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Some Days Are Better Than Others. July 28, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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Just in case you’re having a bad day, remember – It Could Be Worse.

I found this over at Bailey’s Buddy:

Enjoy it, then go say “Hi” to Jay!

A Few Views Of Queen Anne’s Lace. July 28, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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This flower really is a weed – it’s everywhere in these parts, nondescript, long and leggy and waving in the breeze.

But through its many forms and stages, I always find its umbel interesting, for its constellation of parts:

whole QAL washed

…and for its structural genius, with an array of solar collectors arranged in fractal iterations:

QAL side washed

…for the detail in its center, the blood-red blossom where Queen Anne’s needle missed its stitch:

QAL red spot

…for its angelic blush on first opening:

curled QAL

…and for how it Plays Well With Others:”

QAL and chiclory

But that’s another post.

More Damned Moss! July 27, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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If a rainy season is good for anything other than rice and ducks, it’s moss.

Here are some close-ups and crops of some local moss which looks to be livin’ large!

Dig this palette of greens:

three greens moss

This is sphagnum moss in its many forms and colors, sometimes cool and green, other times burning red:

inside red moss

The newest growths of sphagnum moss are nearly gelatinous, not having differentiated a skin layer; every cell directly transpires to the outside world.

It seems to be in this tender stage that moss is most eager to explode, producing phalanxes of spore pods on a mission to Go Forth and Multiply:

lime sporogonia

The moss-watching has gotten a little easier this year, as I caught it early and have followed it through changes which I hadn’t known happened, but which are starting to make sense.

More to come as this story blossoms.

Manchester By The Sea. July 26, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Cape Cod Bay is framed by two really different geological features.  South of Boston, the great sweeping dune-scape of Cape Cod proper arcs out into the North Atlantic, its shifting sands increasingly impermanent as the bulk of Boston recedes into a backward glance.

North of Boston it’s a different story.  Here the ancestral highlands meet the sea in proud swells on a peninsula of pink granite, evocative of the best of Maine’s coast.

This is the part of Massachusett’s coast which intrigues me the most.  I try to get there once or twice a year, preferably in the warmer months, as I’m a pansy when it comes to swimming in freezing water.  And if I’m going to drive three hours each way, I’d like to actually, um, go swimming.

So this past weekend Slim and I made the pilgramage to Manchester By The Sea, a lovely little tourist trap with upscale shops, a beautiful beach of silky sand stretching between promontories of pink permanence, and on this particular weekend, an Arts Festival which had the place hopping and the parking lots pretty full.

But once the logistical difficulties were surmounted, the result was just as I remembered it – a beautiful beach, peopled but not crowded:

susan by the sea

Slim was game to explore the interface of sand and stone, where the shore line broke off into the kind of scene which made me reach for my camera.  At the southern end of the beach an island populated only by gulls framed the scene:

MBTS south end

…while to the north, a promontory of granite marked the pasage of innumerable sailboats in this blue-blood paradise:

MBTS north end

After a month of mostly rain, the weather was perfect and we had a lovely day, feeding each other sashimi as jealous gulls hovered overhead.

I could learn to like that.  😉

Dinner With TCR! July 23, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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We ought to be full-on into the Hundred Yard Diet season, but with all this rain, it’s been slower than usual around here.  In particular, my garden is languishing (should have planted rice 😦 ) and very few of our local mushrooms have popped.  Go figure – one might think the rain would be great for ‘shrooms, but apparently they need more sun/heat than they’re getting.

Today’s bright spot was finding a nice little clump of Sulpher Shelf, Laetiporus sulphureus,  on the way home and slicing it into a stir-fry of Chinese cabbage, red onion, red pepper and LOTS of fresh ginger, and serving it over Basmati rice:

stir-fry

I’ll be watching for more of these babys, ’cause…

‘Twas Guuud!

Canadian Thistle… Oops! July 22, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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3 comments

Lately I’ve been taken by this thistle,*  which seems to be more prevalent this year than in years past:

The REAL Canadian Thistle

Turns out it’s Crisium arvense,  Canadian (or Canada) thistle, and its proliferation isn’t likely to be just a matter of me noticing it – entire on-line forums are dedicated to sharing tips on its eradication.  Apparently it grows from root “colonies,” thrives on being cut, and produces seeds which are both plentiful and viable within a couple of days of the appearance of flowers.

Still, it’s beautiful, so enjoy it from a distance, ‘k?

Edit:

*  This photo was inadvertently inserted, um, by me, instead of the correct one above:

Canadian thistle impostor

I was trying, as yet unsuccessfully, to identify it (it’s not a thistle) and got them mixed up.  Sorry!

Ruby Tuesday: The Late Edition. July 21, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Ruby Tuesday!.
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…But perhaps, “better late than never!”

We’re back to the endless rains, atypical at best for a New England “summer,” and the only bright spots in this environment are the wildflowers.

So without further whining, here are a few I found with Ruboid Tendencies.

This is a little Who-Knows-What:

pink bonnets

Found at roadside, with myriad half-inch flowers on knee-high creeping vines.  The flowers look like Beach Pea, but the leaves are long and lanceolate, and the stems have flat “wings” running their length, which doesn’t at all sound like my guide’s description of beach pea.  Any ideas?

Here’s a shot of part of a just-unfurling (or past-mature and in-curling?) umbel of a Queen Anne’s Lace, with its distinctive Ruby central flower cluster:

curled QAL

The complexity of these compound flower heads blows me away – they’re nondescript as drive-bys, but mesmerizing through a decent macro lens!

And finally, an Irresistibly  Rubylicious Rugosa Rose:

Rugosa rose

Found wild in a pasture, as they are wont to be; they and their many close relatives defy ruminants and flourish in these parts.

Thanks to Mary over at Work of the Poet (“Hi, Mary!”) for this delicious Ruby meme – go there and browse the many other blogs who participate in this weekly rubyfest!

Shelburne Falls on a Summer Day. July 17, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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4 comments

So at last, in mid-July,  Summer has arrived.  The rains have taken a break, and the river has returned to a normal Summertime level after raging for most of the month of June:

SF dam

The temperature has broken 80 degrees F here for only the second day this year, and benches in the shade are finally getting some use:

A Cool Place to Sit

That’s outside a local glass-blower’s shop.  Inside it’s considerably warmer:

glass blowers' shop

There’s an artisan hard at work in there, if you can find him!

The Bridge of Flowers is in full bloom with its Summer blossoms:

BF1

BF2

That’s a good thing – the wildflowers in the meadows are almost all as tall as me (no great feat, they say) and won’t stand still in the ceaseless breeze, which makes them hard to share with you.

This too shall pass.

I’m off to a weekend adventure at Jaeger Fest (not the “shots-of-” kind, but the “Fred and Leah” kind,) with old friends and new ones, eating ’till we burst and playing music into the wee hours of the night!

See you all later, ‘k?

Dinner With TCR! July 11, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Uncategorized.
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Here’s a use of roadside booty – Wild-Caught Chanterelles with red onion and poblano chilis in a cream sauce, served over fresh linguini:

chanterelles and poblanos

‘Twas wicked good!

🙂