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A Wooly Bear! October 19, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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Hey, there’s one now!

This little thing will become a beautiful Isabella moth.  But for now, it’s only cute as a button!

Hope you like it, and see you again soon.  😉

Ruby Tuesday On The Deerfield River. October 18, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Ruby Tuesday!.
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Autumn in New England + Ruby Tuesday = Just Too Easy!

At the risk of being clichéd (but with a promise to keep it brief,) here’s a single Rubylicious shot of the Deerfield river in Shelburne Falls:

That’s ivy and Virginia creeper on a light pole on, you guessed it, the Bridge of Flowers.

And a promise being a promise, that’s it for now.  If you want more of The Ruby, please visit Mary over at Work of the Poet!

Along The Cold River. October 16, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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So this morning I headed out before sunrise, not expecting to catch a glorious dawn, but rather to get some fall colors without the direct light of the sun on them.

I needn’t have rushed; as soon as I left the driveway it began to rain, the wind picked up and I considered turning around – but hey, what else was I going to do at this time of day?

So I went up the valley through blowing mists to see what I could see (kinda like the bear going over the mountain!)  And this is what I saw, through repeated moppings of the lens.

The Cold river from the Black Brook bridge:

Sorry ’bout the uniformly gray skies here, but it was what it was.

A closer look at the river:

A little farther down river, at the State Forest campground, the trails were deserted:

A picnic area seemed to have gone to sleep for the season…

…with only me and the moss there to enjoy the silence:

Those last two were courtesy of Elliot, one for perspective and one for an attempt at foreground/background focusing.  Given the low light level, I thought the result was satisfactory (with room for improvement.)

Then it was back to the farm for a late breakfast by the wood-stove, two of the simple pleasures of the season.

Have a nice weekend.  🙂

 

 

Getting The Garden In. October 15, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in macro photos.
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That is, harvesting everything which might not survive the predicted weekend weather, cold rain ending in wet snow and high winds.

The chard and tomatoes were the big picks, with hot peppers and celery being covered at night and left for a bit longer;  our Brussels sprouts will actually benefit from this weather.

The big surprise was an uninvited guest who rode in on a sprig of fennel:

A Black Swallowtail caterpillar eyes his next meal.

But I was eying it too, so he got a ride back outside.  😉

“I’ll Light The Fire…” October 15, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Friday Kittehz Blogging.
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“…With two cats in the yard…”

Enkido and Frank noodling around in their outdoor pen/climbing structure.

A reprise of Friday Kittehz Blogging, at which I have been slacking for lo these many months.

Have a great Friday evening!

This Bud’s For You! October 13, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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I got these shots yesterday evening on a hit-and-run mission.  The light was running low and the wind was blowing, so I ditched the tripod, bumped up the ISO and dove right into the hearts of some of the season’s last flowers, concentrating on shallow depth of field and complimentary background blurs.

The resulting images are a bit different from what I usually aspire to, perhaps a bit more like art and less like documentation of the natural world.

I hope you like them.

Roses:

Dahlias:

A variegated blossom, didn’t catch the name:

Another I don’t know, but whose sexy bits beckoned:

…and lastly, a view down the slender throat of a morning glory:

Maybe it’s just me, but I find there’s something especially sensual about these very personal views of flowers which are merely pretty when viewed from a more respectable distance.

Li’l Bits ‘O Heaven! October 12, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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As much as I’ve lamented the lackluster autumn foliage season this year, I’m happy to say that there are some spots making reasonable displays of color.  Here are a few shots which I took this past week.

First, a ride through Upper Buckland gave nice views of the hillsides on the east side of route 112:

There are some nice country homes out that way ; too bad they have to suffer with such unfortunate views:

😉

Closer to home (from my yard, in fact) Gizmo (my 400mm lens) was able to snag a few shots of isolated snippets of the surrounding hillsides in the last long rays of the setting sun, when the colors were optimized against the growing shadows.

Hemlocks stand guard over a hillside of maples helplessly ablaze with the last light of day:

White pines wind their way toward the valley bottom as their bedtime approaches:

…but are forced to huddle together as they’re surrounded by phalanxes of fiercely yellow ashes and cherries:

Meanwhile, stoical oaks stand above it all, unmoved by lesser trees’ rush to color:

They’re rock steady, those old oaks!

There may be a few more foliage posts left in this season, but things are fading fast, and time will tell.

Peace, Out.

Ruby Tuesday – Autumn Up Close. October 11, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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Here in New England, autumn is a time when garishly-colored garments become camouflage; bright reds and yellows and oranges melt into the background as the local hardwoods compete in a Queen For A Day pageant of ridiculous colors.

Well, usually.  This year has been pretty subdued; a dry summer and early frost turned things uncharacteristically brown, and it’s likely that seasonal visitors were underwhelmed.

But still, if one looks closely enough, there are snippets and bits of color as bright as Disney, but rendered with a veracity which only Nature can provide.

Here are a few macro shots from this past weekend.

Sphagnum moss set against a bright Ruby maple leaf:

A detail from the heart of a purple aster:

…with the Ruby being propitiously provided by a red maple leaf in the background.

And then, my personal favorite, a tiny blue aster blossom set against a sugar maple leaf:

…I know, the colors of these three shots fight amongst themselves, but they all followed the theme of the meme, so they all got past my editor.

I’m gonna have to talk to that guy…

For more Rubylicious  photos, visit Mary over at Work of the Poet.

More From The Festival Of The Hills! October 10, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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Here’s a brief tour of last weekend’s festivities in Conway:

The “welcome wagon,” in front of the Field Memorial Library, built by a local-boy-made-good:

The library is a visual anomaly in this little hill town of one story wood-framed buildings, but when a local-farm-boy-turned-department-store-mogul builds his home town a library, you just say, “Thank you.”  😉

The town hall is the only other “modern” building in sight, and the gateway to the festivities:

This is basically an agricultural fair in the old New England tradition, with displays by local farms:

…these being organic goodies from our CSA.

There’s fresh cider from local apples:

…Did I mention that it’s fresh?

And lots of food from local restaurants and crafts from local artisans:

But the real excitement is provided by Six Flags Over Conway – witness the Giant Swing:

…the Slide of Death:

Mountain Climbing for Those Who Dare:

…and of course, what country shindig would be complete without… a rodeo!

While some might express their disdain for such reckless pursuit of excitement…

(I was going to title this one, “Llama Lifts a Leg” until Susan pointed out that it’s an alpaca, which doesn’t alliterate as easily…)

…none could be other than impressed by feats of Herculean Strength such as the Ladies’ Skillet Toss:

And let me tall ya, these grrrls could hurl!

All kidding aside, this was a great day of family fun, with all proceeds going to benefit scholarships for the town’s students.

That alone was plenty of reason to go and drop a few bucks.

Whooo Am I? October 7, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Why, I’m a Great Horned Owl, visiting from a raptor rehabilitation center in Conway, Massachusetts:

Cool bird, that.  Taken at the Conway Festival of the Hills this past weekend.

More on that event later.