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The Remains Of The May. May 29, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Before it goes, May has a few things to say, “captured,” as the kids say, along the way.

Delicate ferns  cling to a shale wall over a stream in Bernardston:

Disoriented Dentinum  adjust to life on a toppled log:

I like the almost-fractal nature of that little scene, with the little shelving fungi resurrecting their inverted progenitors by abandoning their past and seeking the light.

Hey, just a cosmic  sentiment to go with a trippy photograph of mushrooms.

Here’s another shot of the Natural Bridge gorge in Clarksburg:

That one is interesting to me despite a lack of context; there’s no obvious scale, leaving it open to a viewer’s interpretation.

A couple more from the flatlands down below Northampton.

Puddles on Harrowed Ground:

…and dandelions, albeit gone by, at dusk:

Meanwhile, back up in the hills, a local farm settles in for the night, oblivious to the fire in the sky above it:

And, of course, a sunset/moonrise to end the day:

Barton’s Cove on the Connecticut river, from the Erving side.

Well that’s about it for May, though  I won’t promise that something else from the files won’t pop up if it catches my fancy.

See Y’all in June.



Changing Seasons. May 26, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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One of the more subtle signs of seasonal change here in the Northeast is occurring right now – the parade of woodland wildflowers is fading as the fully leaved trees shade them out.

Not to worry, though; the flowers of the marshes and meadows aren’t likely to be far behind, and in fact are beginning to make their presence known in the form of Hawkweed, Pussytoes and Daisy fleabane.

So before they’re entirely irrelevant, here are a few parting shots from the family of flowering friends found in the forest:

Trout Lilies:

…by the thousands!

Sessile Bellwort:

Wild Ginger, with its unassuming red blossom hiding in the detritus:

I uncovered that one for your viewing.

…and this rare yellow version of the common Purple trillium:

I’ve not seen one of these before, and at first assumed it was a true yellow trillium.  But those aren’t reported to grow north of the Carolinas, and don’t really look like this; they have heavily mottled leaves and a somewhat differently shaped blossom.  I now think this is a mutation of our local purple variety.

Oh, and the Lady’s slippers are out:

I’m hoping to get some good shots of these before they go by.

So there they are, the “late bloomers” of early Spring (!)  There will be a few more before I totally move on, but this is probably my last big wildflower post until the Summer flowers come in.


Tilt-Shift World. May 23, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Here are a couple of shots I snagged on Saturday, down in the Connecticut river valley.  The weather was unsettled, with passing thunderheads and intermittent winds, but toward evening the air grew still enough to break out Elliot and my big rubber boots and head out into the wet fields of Hadley.

Here’s some wild mustard beneath a big cumulus cloud:

It wasn’t really planar enough for a great tilt-shift composition, but I took it anyway and cropped it square.

I know, that’s cheating, but hey.  I’m a cheater.

And this one I really like, and will probably make a print of; it came out crisp front to back, and the composition, albeit not classical, appeals to me:

The light was getting low, and I thought the shadowed foreground lent a measure of symmetry  to the sky.

Both of these involved hand-holding a reverse-grad filter to get the balance the way I wanted it, the latter one with very limited polarizing to get the irrigation ditch to light up.

Anyway, I hope you like them.

G’night, now.

Scat! May 23, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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Found along the trail, on a hike with Susan B (who loves bones!) – a present left by I-don’t-know-what, perhaps a fox or coyote or bobcat:

The largest of these bones was perhaps a quarter of an inch long, and probably used to belong to a mouse or vole.

Susan was delighted – now, how cool is that???  😆

The Edge Of Night. May 23, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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A thunder storm moves over Hampshire County as twilight gives way to night:

…and that’s all for now.

The Rapture, Redux! May 20, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death, Politics and Society.
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Here’s a little something I posted to this blog back in October 2007.  It seems appropriate to revive it now, in case any of you are planning on not being around after tomorrow evening’s Scheduled Big Event.

By the way, this isn’t quite exactly safe for work.  But then, nothing worth reading ever is, is it?

My apologies to those of you who read this back then and figure, despite the protestations of Jacqueline Susanne, that  “Once is indeed  enough!”



Prepare to be Raptured.

You know… Raptured. As in “Taken bodily up to heaven.” Zoomed right up, all naked and shit, ’cause you won’t need your clothes up there. It’s not too hot, not too cold, it’s just right!

Well, not all of you, of course. ‘Cause some of you been bad, real bad. And only Good People get Raptured up to heaven. True Believers and all. Says so in The Bible.

Well, not exactly in The Bible… but it’s in a book somewhere, so you know it’s true. In fact it’s in a BUNCH o’ books. At last count, well over sixty-five million of ’em. “Left Behind,**” they’re called.

(** At this point I should probably put a little “Parental Advisory” in here for those of you who are reading this at work. Especially if you have a Self-Loathing Full-Blown Bitch for a boss. The title of this post ought to give those of you who know me ample warning… scroll slowly, if you dare scroll at all! ‘Nuff Said.)

Now where was I… Oh yeah, 65,000,000 books, each likely purchased for a Good Christian Household, and since you know how those people are, we can safely multiply them books by, oh, about 8.2 kids per household, which brings us to, lemme see… five hundred thirty-three million people. Yup, five hundred thirty-three million people who, if they play their cards right, keep their pants on (’till they’re Raptured) and don’t talk to faggits, stand a pretty reasonable chance of getting Raptured up to Jesus, warts and all, but not with their clothes, because remember, they won’t need ’em.

Five Hundred Thirty-Five MILLION people, zoomin’ up to Heaven. Bet they’re gonna cast a shadow that’ll make your crops wilt!

And all of the Bad People will be left behind, just like the book title says. And all the Mother Rapers and the Father Stabbers and the Jews and the Faggits and the Lesbos and the Muslamofascists and the Filthy Hippies will be screamin’ and cryin’ and fightin’ over the Armani suits that the preachers in them Mega-Churches slithered out of on their way up to Heaven, and pickin’ up Gucci shoes and Rolex watches, which hopefully fell into the Gucci shoes when they greased off the Rapturin’ Preachers but probably didn’t because nobody who gets Left Behind is gonna be all that lucky, and they’ll be doin’ Gawd Awful things to each other and wishin’ to hell they’d kept their pants on and went to church a whole lot more.

And THAT’S what the stories in the “Left Behind” books are really about, the blood and guts, crash-and-burn part of the equation, ’cause you know, if they were about happy people floating around on clouds wearin’ nothin’ but shit-eatin’ grins, that would get boring real quick, and nobody would read ’em.

Plus, Good Christians aren’t into that peace crap. Peace is gay.


OK, so lets all try to turn off our Frontal Lobes for a minute here, suspend our disbelief, and buy into this Rapture scene. If you got Fox News at your house, turning it on kinda low in the background might help.

Now I’m lookin’ around (yeah, that’s right, ME. I’m still here, on accounta I’m a sinner. I’ve lied, I stole shit (once,) I coveted me some fine lookin’ little milfs, and if I stick aroung long enough I’ll probably covet me some gilfs, too! Hell, I even killed shit, if fish and frogs and flies count. And I can’t see how they wouldn’t.)

Hey, don’t look at me like that – you’re still here too!

So anyway, I’m lookin’ around, and besides YOU, I see most of my friends (awl riiiight!) and some hot lookin’ women I don’t know yet but you can bet I’m gonna, and there’s them Armani suits with the preachers still in ’em, and that Self-Loathing Bitch in the black dress with the front caved in, and she’s cryin’ ’cause she’s up to her flat ass in Birkenstocks and tie-died shirts that smell like B.O. and peasant skirts that smell like pussy and pachouli oil, ’cause all them mellowed-out squinty-eyed Peace-nik Hippies got Raptured and she didn’t, and my friends and me are tearin’ at the pile and findin’ all them cute little floral hippy backpacks and pullin’ out the bags of weed and the teakwood pipes and screamin’ and hootin’ and yellin’





A Rainy Week. May 20, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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It’s been raining all week, making cheery, blue-sky photography out of the question.

It’s a good thing I don’t mind the alternative!

I took another ride up Mount Greylock, which was shrouded in clouds and mist:

The road winds upward through boreal forests of spruce and mixed hardwoods, on this occasion appearing and disappearing through banks of clouds.  Because it had been raining on and off for a few days, the slopes were alive with Spring freshets:

…and blossoms of hobblebush floated like spirits among the maples:

Along the way, the forest floor was littered with wildflowers, trilium and trout lilies and Spring beauty:

A silent form glided across the road ahead of me, obligingly lighting on a branch not far away:

We watched each other for a while, then went on our separate ways.

As noodling goes, it was a good day for taking the long way home.

Dark In The Daytime! May 18, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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It was a tumultuous weather day at work today, one worthy of a photograph (like I need an excuse!)

Here’s a shot of one of the buildings of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, taken at mid-morning:

I find days like this to be charged with immense power, and wait for them with great anticipation.

Just sayin’.

A Sweet Surprise! May 17, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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I got out today after work for a bit (no! ) looking for more morels.  It was raining, not heavily, but as I crawled around in dense thickets of honeysuckle and briers I got plenty wet, and much muddier than one might aim for in an ideal world.  But hey, the “real world” compensates the curious with showers and washing machines, so it’s all good.

And in addition to a basket of nice big morels for my trouble, I also got a snoot-full of the beautiful essences of Spring, rich earth and clean greenery and the delicate perfume of nearby lilacs.

Oh, and there was one more Spring delight to top off my roadside stop – this little beauty, lying still exactly where it’s mother had left it:

They do that, you know, leave their fawns for a while with strict orders not to move,  a survival skill far more valuable than flight for such delicate creatures.  I was exactly that close and could easily have pet it, but didn’t – instead I walked in a broad circle around it, hoping to keep the mother at a distance, then beat feet back to my car to get my camera.  I was back in ten minutes, and this little sweetie hadn’t moved more than an eyelash.

As the gentle rain pattered on the leaves unfurling overhead, I felt blessed.

Thank you, Mother Earth.  Thank you, Father Sky.

Not Far From Here… May 15, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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…a crystal stream tumbles through a limestone gorge:

The cool waters run emerald against the pale tan of the geologic jumble:

If one dares to follow the rushing waters upward between the towering walls, one finds an emerald font tucked in the depths of a mysterious narrows:

Yes, this untrodden place is here in the Berkshires, despite its resemblance to the slot canyons of the Southwest:

On my next visit I’ll come better prepared to access and photograph this very cool place.  Until then, this is what we’ve got.