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The Bridge In Red. July 13, 2012

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Shelburne Falls’ Bridge of Flowers is a constantly changing gem of beauty.  It yawns and wakens with the first snowdrops and crocuses and evolves throughout the warm months and into late Autumn, resolving into a clattering of improbable dry forms thrumming in the winter winds.

Right now it’s a blessing of colors the whole rainbow come down to light on an old trolly bridge for us to marvel at.

And I do, with ridiculous regularity.  I tell myself I’ve got too many thousands of Bridge photos, but if the light is right I just can’t help myself.

Thank God I’m not paying for film and developing!

Anyway, here are some reddish shots from the bridge:

That’s the reds; other colors to follow.

From Cows To Horses… July 8, 2012

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A horse up in Hawley:

This sweetie was fighting the good fight against flies, which bother the Great Beasties to the extent that if horses could commit suicide, I’m sure many of them would.

This one’s from Ziggy, my Sigma 50mm macro lens.

Dairy Cows, . July 8, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death, Politics and Society.
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Dairy cows lined up behind a fence, expecting (demanding!) to be milked:

The farmer showed up on schedule ( these grrrlz were a bit ahead of him,) dropped the electric fence, and lead a bovine parade up the road to where their udders would be relieved of their burden.

These local dairy farmers work really hard for their bread, with NO days off, obscenely early and late hours, and not a lot to show for their Herculean efforts.  Consequently, they’re dwindling in numbers, and soon, if we don’t all pay attention, all of our dairy products will come from large corporations.

Monsanto manufactures the BGH which makes these shy beasties produce more than the normal amount of milk, but also makes them prone to infections.  Hearing of problems with their genetically-modified milk producers, Monsanto commissioned a study, which concluded that their Bovine Growth Hormone injections for dairy cows resulted in a significant amount of blood and puss in the milk we drink, the milk we feed our little children.  Monsanto addressed this problem by buying the study and burying it.

I’m not gunning to ruin anybody’s day with this kind of news, but rather trying to help us all understand what we’re up against, and how directly it affects us and our families.

Support your local farms, lobby the FDA for tighter controls on GMOs, and resist corporate take-over of our daily lives.

Your children thank you for getting aboard this train.

Thanks to Elliot for this shot; I got the swing wrong and missed the focus on the Dear Ones at photo right, but got a really productive depth of field right down the middle.  I see hand-holding “snapshots” with a tilt-shift lens as kind of a crap shoot which sometimes achieves my goals, sometimes comes close, and sometimes falls flat on its face.  In this case I came close, and the result is more than acceptable.

Independence Day, Shelburne Falls, Masaschusetts. July 5, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death, Politics and Society.
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We The People would like to wish our Country a Happy Birthday.

Out here in the western end of Franklin County, we do this with a parade, humble by some measures, but proud by ours.

It starts with a Color Guard of flags:

…enjoyed by local families:

Hey, we’re all having fun here!

…followed by a double handfull of veterans:

…one band:

…a Cub Scout den, who were to be the beneficiaries of the Chicken Bar-B-Q to follow:

…one “float,” promoting another event in a different town (mine):

…two horses:

…one bagpiper:

That’s Eric, a local producer of lots of pastured lamb.

Let me interrupt this parade to say that We The People were thoroughly enjoying this right-sized spectacle.  Families lined the curbs (can you spot the brothers?)

All were welcomed, people and pets:

Big people and Little people:

Yeah, that’s a repeat, but it tells the story…

There were displays of patriotism:

…and of skill and daring:

…and of Just Plain Cute:

There was a long line of classic cars, from which I culled this shot:

…and every piece of fire-fighting equipment in West County, God forbid that anything choose today to burst into flames:

Here, a little family digs (or doesn’t) the sirens of the passing fire engines:

…while kids wait for the candy tossed by every passing vehicle:

The parade wound through town, ending up at the local elementary school for a Bar-B-Q which benefitted the local cub scouts:

Great grilled chicken and fixings:

…and the happiness of a full belly:

So, a nice day and an unwieldly-long post about something which is only locally relevant.  I can’t help it; the local sights push all of my buttons, and seem to my provincial eye to be worth sharing.

BTW, this was shot with such a variety of lenses that I won’t bore you with the details.

The July Full Moon. July 4, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Taken Tuesday night, a bit too late for the landscape:

That is all.

Horses, The Jumping Kind. July 3, 2012

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I stumbled upon this equestrian gathering at the fairgrounds in Northampton the other day, wandered in and snapped a few off before moving on.

One from Gizmo, hand-held at 400mm:

And some shots from Allie, my 24-105mm L-series zoom:

This one is cool for having all four off the ground, a testament more to the speed of the horse than the height of the jump:

And finally:

In that last shot, the horse and rider had just cleared the jump at left at high speed, wheeled and attacked this jump while still making the turn.  I don’t know if that’s considered “good form,” but it sure was exciting to watch!

Cut Flowers. July 2, 2012

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Or, more precisely, flowers to be cut.

Down in Montague MA, at a field managed by Red Fire Farm, workers are tasked with harvesting cut flowers:

Elliot (my Canon 24mm TS-E II tilt-shift lens) managed the front-to-back focus, while a hand-held Singh-Ray graduated filter managed the top-to-bottom dynamic range.

I’m shamelessly naming names here, in the hope that these big companies which make my tools will someday send me schwag.  They do it for others, I depend on their products… sounds like a reasonable wish to me!  😉

Farm Scenes. July 1, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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A horse grazes by a barn in Montague, MA:

An uncommon silo for these parts, made of concrete “boards:”

The tensioning bands made a cool pattern on the ridged and grooved surface:

I know that this is a less-than-inspired post, but I’m feeling pressed, both time-wise and financially, as  I focus my efforts on getting Ralph Munn Photography to meet my financial needs, and blogging has become a very secondary part of my time allocation (Facebook thinks I’m dead.)

This is not necessarily a bad thing; there are signs of progress on the photography front, which I may take to bragging about as they become more robust.

Meanwhile, thank you for your forbearance.  You’ve been a supportive e-family to me as I’ve delved ever deeper into photography as a means of expression (a prime example of which this post is decidedly not!)  I hope to do better by you in future posts.

 

Another Question Answered. July 1, 2012

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Q:  Why did the chicken cross the road?

A:  Don’t ask a turkey.   They don’t cross  the road – they OWN  the road!

I waited a full five minutes while this proud Tom wandered back and forth across a country road, demonstrating his mastery of time and space, and his disdain for All Things Automotive:

Musta been because Gawd made him so beauteous!

Well, hey, I bet his Momma thinks so!  😉

Checkin’ Me Out. July 1, 2012

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A gray squirrel in Shelburne Falls pauses on her rounds to check me out:

Of course, I’m not complaining; I was doing the same thing to her!  🙂