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I’m Told It’s Hot Out West. June 8, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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As folks in the Southwest have noted the excessive heat out their way, I’m gonna post a couple of photos of cooler times, in hopes that it’ll provide some degree of vicarious relief.

Warning: these shots show some skin, though nothing which isn’t common to both sexes.  So while I can’t imagine the level of prudishness which would deem these unacceptable for a general audience, I’m kinda noodling here while you decide whether or not you want to scroll down and see what the shiz is.

Both clairz and my long-time e-friend Paul have commented on the heat in their Southwestern abodes, and since I’m a firm believer in the power of vision and images, I thought I’d post a couple of pics from a few years ago, when I got high and got down and got cool.

Photos courtesy of the Pagan Sphinx,  who found them in a box and had no further use for them.  They weren’t particularly good then, and were just now re-photographed from the originals, so the quality isn’t there, but the spirit still is.

That’s enough dallying for the feeble to have gone away, so here goes:

Me climbing the ice route, Victoria’s Secret on Mount Peak in Charlemont:

And yeah, it’s a full-sized ice climb, though I eschewed the security of a rope in favor of the alacrity of a solo ascent:

There are times, after all, when motion trumps a good pose.

So if you were hot before, I hope you’re a bit cooler now.

Dent de Lion! June 6, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death, macro photos.
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Ah, the lowly dandelion, bane of the Chem-lawn crowd, delight of de little ones.

“Do you like butter?  …Oh yes, you do like butter!!”

It’s so ubiquitous as to be nearly invisible to the average passer-by, to the extent that I have no photos of its fulsome blossoms from 2010.  And as I chose not to spend all night looking for the photos which I know I do have, I’ll cut right to the chase:  it’s the ghost of the dandelion which most captivates the child in us all, its gossamer globe glowing in whatever light encounters it:

…its stem popping crisply as it’s picked, bleeding sticky whiteness where your pinky meets your palm, and then, held up close to amazed eyes, a new universe unfolds with a complexity and clarity worthy of Edwin Hubble or Carl Sagan, presaging Buckminster Fuller by a million years:

If one needs proof that there is a God, one need look no farther.

And then, with a mighty puff from a child’s tiny lips, this earth-bound constellation explodes in a super-nova of delight, to be scattered on the wind, to begin again its miracle to the wide-eyed delight of some other child.

They’re going to come in waves throughout the summer, Dear Friends.  And when they do, pull over, get a little bit sticky, and send them on their way.

Another Near-And-Far. June 6, 2010

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Again, a juxtaposition of related yet different things found adjacent to each other in the natural world.

Tonight’s example of such, a bloom of blue flag irises:

…set against a second-line of Northern pitcher plants, whose flowers are dutifully marching toward their demise and rebirth, as all good flowers do:

Proof, I suppose one could say, that what we see is largely dependent on what we’re trying to see.

There must be a lesson in that.

Summer Wildflowers. June 6, 2010

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Summer is a time for wildflowers which grow in open spaces.  Roadsides run riot, and fields flower furiously between mowings.

Here are a couple of early examples of that.

Ragged Robin rages in a high meadow in Windsor:

That one is courtesy of Elliot, my Canon TS-E lens, and exhibits relative clarity from about ten feet to infinity despite being taken on a windy afternoon, thanks to a fair degree of tilt and shift.

This next one, a field of buttercups up in Ashfield taken the next day, is courtesy of the same lens without the shenanigans, that is, no tilt or shift, just a straight-on shot, as there was nothing in the foreground which needed a close focus:

New England isn’t the best venue for a T-S lens, as it’s not particularly planar – one is much more likely to find suitable subjects on the plains of the Midwest or in the deserts of the Southwest.

But we make do with what we have, don’t we?

Up In Savoy! June 5, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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A flotilla of fluffy fledgelings guarded by a goose and gander:

Taken from the shore of Bog Pond up in Savoy.

Enjoy!  🙂

Self-Portrait. June 4, 2010

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On the way to photograph my friend Tim and his friend Mark rock climbing at Farley Ledge, I stopped at the French King bridge, route 2’s transit of the Connecticut river.  It’s an iconic structure, impossibly tall for these parts,elegant to the casual passer-by, terminal to those so inclined, and there have been many.

I stopped to photograph passing pleasure boats (my ex and younger daughter being among the river’s guests on this day) and got nothing worth sharing, though of course I still will:

…this being a shot of a kayaker about to brave the wake of a fast moving pleasure boat which appears not to care a whit about its impact on the world around it.  Shore erosion as a result of speed-induced wakes is a major concern on this stretch of the river, as is the impact of power boats on human-powered watercraft.

And as I hung out waiting for photo ops I noticed my own silhouette on the river’s surface far below, and snapped this image:

…See me there?  I’m leaning over the bridge rail, and made a bump on its shadow.

Anyway, I was on my way to photograph some friends rock climbing, so that will get posted next, or at least soon.

Near And Far. June 4, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos, Politics and Society.
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A buttercup:

…and a solitary sprig of Blue-Eyed Grass:

Two examples of vastly different entities coexisting in a harsh world.

Would that we could learn from them.

High Ledges. June 3, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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The High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary tops a tall hill in Shelburne, and is a great place to spend a few summer hours.  It’s beautiful this time of year, with the mountain laurels starting to pop, and an idyllic view:

…overlooking the village of Shelburne Falls, with the Bridge of Flowers in shadow at the left:

That’s a way tele shot, and cropped to boot, but the people on the bridge are very differentiable in the full-sized original.

Hats off to Gizmo.

I hiked the trails looking for Lady’s Slippers, and found plenty:

The rare yellow ones, sometimes plentiful, had gone by, so you get the pinks.

I wandered the woods, taking a chance on this fun little loop:

Pay no attention to those pesky signs, I’m sure this is a fine place to hike alone, miles from medical help.

This trail brought me past a bog where pitcher plants were blooming:

…and there were small animals, some disturbed by my passing, including this baby porcupine which waddled along the trail ahead of me, muttering (I swear!) ’till it hung a quick left and climbed a tree:

Sorry ’bout the picture quality, but I was set up for wildflowers, with mirror lock-up, manual focus and a two second delay, and this all happened pretty quickly.

So up the tree he went:

…then off to home I headed, relaxed and smiling from a good walk in the woods.

I hope you enjoy it too!

In Our Dooryard. June 3, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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Poppies and irises sway in the breeze of an early summer day:

Just a quick shot to let you know I’m still alive.

Northern Pitcher Plant. June 2, 2010

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Another shot from the fen up in Rowe, this one of a this-year’s flower along side last year’s dried stems:

Its “pitchers” barely protrude above their mossy home, which may have saved them from the killing freeze of this past month.

We’ll talk about their carnivorous tendencies later; for now, we’ll just dig their affect.