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Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. November 30, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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So now we know:  roughly 70% of enlisted folks would be fine with it’s repeal, allowing the same gay and lesbian service persons who now serve along side them to do so without violating their oaths of service by lying about who they are.

The media are all over this, and rightfully so – it puts to rest the obstructionist tactic of, “let’s wait and see what the military thinks of this idea!”

But then, 70% isn’t 100%, is it?  And the “Left Wing Media” is giving considerable credence to the 30% of enlisted people who oppose the abolition of DADT, mostly Marines (God bless them) and other Front-Liners, without passing judgment on them, ’cause you know, everybody’s opinion counts.

Well, I’M passing judgment.   The idea that a small contingent of homophobic bigots might hold back the advancement of civilization makes my stomach convulse.

Let every just, fair-minded man and woman point an accusing finger at those who stand in the way of full equality for our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers who love someone of their own gender and howl, HOWL, “Not on my watch, not while I breathe, Not Ever!

We The People have spoken, as have the Generals and the Administration.

So be it.

One More From The Shore! November 28, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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This is the last of the North Shore photos, I promise.  I think.  Until next time.

I mean, until I either

a) get back there or

b) find more shots worth sharing.

Here’s a random stray one taken near Portland Head Light:

I kinda liked the geometry of that one and didn’t want to lose track of it before I shared it with someone.

An earlier visit to Bray’s Beach, south of Gloucester in the Magnolia area, found high surfs pounding an otherwise placid beach:

The locals were taking it in stride, whether reading on beach chairs while swaddled in blankets, or practicing yoga between snorkeling adventures:

Lizz and I got to Rafe’s Chasm this past weekend.  It’s a (relatively) spectacular little slot in the Massachusetts shoreline, a 60-foot cleft in the trademark golden granite characteristic of this part of the coast:

The right side in this photo is accessible, the left is posted as Private Property.  I didn’t go there, but I resented the convention that The Filthy Rich (hereafter referred to as The FFR, you can fill in the blanks) get to “own” such magical pieces of OUR coastline.

Just sayin’.

Oh, and across the head of this great crevice, a couple of feet to my left as I took that shot, there was a very nice steel fence, not some eyesore, but a piece of art built exactly for its circumstances.  It pained me to give credence to the claim of ownership, but as I wasn’t alone and didn’t want my impetuosity to adversely affect others, I was a good boy and went no farther.

From below Rafe’s is like a piece of the Southwest dropped on the New England coast:

The fence blocking passage is just below that fancy stone gazebo at the top, which comes complete with a video surveillance camera, in case one forgets whose Earth this is.

Down by the water there was barely a sign of civilization, thanks to the convoluted shoreline – the expensive homes weren’t far off, they just weren’t visible.

And again it looked like the desert Southwest to me, set incongruously against a deep blue sea:

Not exactly my stereotypical vision of southern New England, but there it was.

I was hoping to have found a place to photograph a full moonrise with a lighthouse in the shot, but wasn’t sure I was far enough south on the coast to do that.  Turns out I wasn’t, and a band of clouds obscured the actual moonrise anyway so that it wasn’t visible at all until it had long since cleared the horizon:

I was disappointed not to have gotten to use Gizmo on the lighthouse shot,  but glad to have spent the wait-time a Rafe’s Chasm rather than somewhere else.

On the way out I took this shot at Lizz’s suggestion:

Good eye, that woman!

I’ll end this sea-tryst with a sunset shot from my first Eastward foray to this spot, looking south toward Boston:

That was a great evening of power and magic, and I’m happy to be able to share it with you.

Peace from The Coast,


Tidal Pool Art. November 28, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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This time of year, the “color” on the coast north of Boston is mostly localized in the tidal pools and puddles which festoon the granite shoreline.  Here are a few shots which I found interesting.

A typical stranded puddle:

Yeah, I know, it’s no coral reef, and if you live in or visit the Tropics, you’ll be rightfully underwhelmed.  But I’m experientially challenged, and easily impressed.

A closer look:

…and a self-portrait to round things out:


– CR

Light Houses. November 27, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Here are a few shots from North of Boston.

Portland Head Light:

…with rose briers:

…with rose hips!

Out to sea, another light stood on a wave-ravaged rock:

It all seemed pretty exotic to this hill-town guy.

Farther south, we stopped at Gloucester to check out their harbor light.  It was cool:

Lizz found some interesting rocks to photograph:

It seemed very much like someplace other than Massachusetts.

Then we headed south to try to catch a moonrise – more on that next time.

Till then, G’night.

Encased. November 26, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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It rained last night, and as the temperature hereabouts was just above freezing, all we got was wet.

But up The Trail from here, in the incongruously named town of Florida, it was a decidedly different scene.  Trees bent double under a winter’s weight of ice.  Below them, the ground-level denizens held their breaths beneath a transparent blanket as if striking a pose:

This little blossom of Pineapple Weed, usually found in summer, was just coming out in this environment of Nine Months of Winter, and wasn’t likely to be pollinated this time ’round.  Guess that’s how it goes up there in the hills.

So winter’s coming, and with it, a whole new aesthetic.

I’m psyched.  😉

Burnett Pond. November 24, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Got out to Burnett Pond in Savoy the other evening, a spot not quite visible from the road, but nonetheless worth a visit or two.

The ice is just beginning to form up there (Savoy’s a “hill town,” whereas I live in the Deerfield river valley) and I found a few views worth setting up for.

Here’s one, perhaps my favorite [who in God’s name leads with ‘their favorite??’ ], a reflection of ice forming beneath a nascent sunset:

The pond was still enough to see past the coalescing ice to its shallow shoreline bottom:

…to the wind-whipped ripples of golden sand beneath a textured slurry of water in-between states:

Finally the sunset did its thing, coloring the sky in hues of citrus and garnet:

It’ll be colder tonight, and at the risk of boring you, I’ll be up way before dawn in search of ice.

A November Moon. November 23, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Here’s a quickie before I hit the hay, Sunday night’s full moonrise over my town in the Berkshires:

I know it’s a lot like other moon pics I’ve posted, but hey, we only have one moon!

Hope you enjoy it despite the (monthly) repetition.   😉

Sea-Side Saturday! November 23, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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I went back East this weekend for the third Saturday in a row – a record for me, as I’m more of a mountain-type guy, but hey, one mustn’t be narrow, eh?

So I packed up Friday night and, at the invitation of my friends and local housemates Lizz and Holly, spent the night at their place in Arlington with the intention of catching sunrise on The Coast with Lizz.

We got up a bit after 4am, and I have to say, I’m glad Lizz was driving (she always does!)  I swilled a cup of coffee from the first place we encountered which was open, but that didn’t prevent me from drifting in and out of a pleasant stupor as we headed east, then north.

Our first stop was a lighthouse known as “The Nubble,” and our timing was close to perfect – the first hint of light was growing in the East, allowing us to pick our way down the rocks and set up just above the rising tide.

It was still dark enough to get some really long (15+ second) exposures, and we did:

I was pleased at the way the waves came and went and left their ghosts on the jagged rocks.

The sea itself was magnificent as the sky grew radiantly red.  I played with my graduated filters, then did virtually nothing to these two shots in post-processing:


As the dawn progressed the colors were swallowed by thickening clouds, muting the landscape of crashing waves and tortured granite:

But alas, it was friggin’ freezing out there, with the wind lashing at out coats and tripods so that we had to hang on to everything:

…and as the light flattened, we bundled ourselves back into Lizz’s truck and trundled off to a big breakfast at a place which came highly recommended, and proved to be worthy of every word spoken on its behalf.

Man, that was a great way to wake up!

I’ll have the rest of the day’s catch up soon – right now it’s getting late, and I have another 4am wake-up scheduled, this time for work at a bit of a distance from home.

G’Night!  😉

Icing On The Pond! November 21, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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A fringe of ice appears along the shore of a pond high up in Savoy:

December’s coming, and with it, I expect we’ll see an end to this aesthetically challenged Season of Brown.

I’m looking forward to it!

At The Coast. November 17, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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I spent last Saturday on Boston’s North Shore, in the general vicinity of Gloucester.  It’s a beautiful piece of the planet, juxtaposing the pink granite seaside escarpments more commonly associated with the Maine coast with the population pressures inherent in a locale within easy driving of one of the Northeast’s great cities.  The result is a blend of the power of nature and the control of polite society, with expensive homes commanding ocean views which, truth be told, ought to be there for us all:

The “No Trespassing” signs frankly fried me, and I thought of the 70’s pop song “Signs,” wherein this sort of economic privilege is challenged by a populist sense of fairness.

Still, the coast had serious photographic possibilities for a hilltown boy, and I snapped away, tilting lenses and shifting perspectives in an effort to milk the learning curve:

Grasslands give way to seaside granite under a waxing gibbous moon.

There was a storm out to sea, and the waves generated by it were substantial:

I noted many locals lined up along the seaside drive to enjoy the show, and deduced that it wasn’t an average evening of sound and waves.

And they were right – it was an “event.”  The incoming tide pushed waves up and over this twenty-foot chunk of sea-stained granite:

I got thoroughly soaked as this wave crested its puny granitic constraint and crashed down on my perch:

Yeah, I ran like a baby-child as the salt water doused my kit, and may have lost a few minor appendages to my photographic quest.

Anyway, this coming weekend will host an intersection of full moon and lighthouses and low tide, which I have an unpopular affinity for, so expect to see some of that as the weekend comes and goes.