jump to navigation

Sheep In Sheep’s Clothing. September 10, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

Among the livestock populating our local hills are lots of sheep. They’re a favorite of local farmers because they don’t have to be milked at the crack of dawn, 365 days a year, and because they produce something, namely their wool, which doesn’t require slaughtering them and starting all over with lambs. Here are a few shots of sheep from my ride home this afternoon.

A ewe at 800mm:

This ewe is trying to keep a fence post between herself and me, but I only needed one eye to call this a postable shot.

A mother’s life is never easy, and if nursing pasture muffins is a big part of it, it’s downright hard on the knees:

…and the udder, which is constantly tugged at:

I was surprised to find this crew of lambs at this time of year. Obviously, a lifetime of living in the country doesn’t make one a farmer!

At any rate, it was fun to watch the little ones cavort in the tall grass:

…until Momma called them back together:

…and lead them away from the gaze of the stranger:


Inclement Weather. September 8, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , ,

We have a weather system moving through our area, with a lot of moisture and substantial winds.

This season has been dry enough that I welcome the rain, and expect to tolerate the rest of the mess – the wind, lowland flooding, etc. It isn’t a disaster if Nature in general benefits by it.

I cruised a bit this afternoon, hoping to find a bit of lushness between the raindrops. Perhaps some plump moss, drunk and luminescent, or the first red leaves of autumn, richly saturated by the conditions.

The going was slow and the pickings scant; the recent bloom of mushrooms was bloated and toppling, and the moss was full but lacking the regenerative spark of Spring.

I headed to higher ground, hoping to find the beginning of our seasonal color change.

I wound my way westward around Mount Greylock, our state’s highest peak, and caught this view of a wind farm in Hancock:

A steep front was rolling in from the southwest, and I hustled up the Greylock road from Route 8 to beat it to the summit.

The mixed hardwood forest passed by uneventfully as  I crept up the mountain with Gizmo affixed to my camera; my last trip up this road had given me an encounter with an owl, and I wanted to be ready for another such event. I wasn’t so blessed, but still, the slow pace and attentive eye turned my uphill ride into an appreciative survey of my surroundings.

I still had Gizmo on the box when I arrived at the summit to find it in dense clouds, and took this telephoto shot of a snag protruding from the boreal forest:

As so commonly happens in a photographer’s world, it wasn’t what I went looking for, but it’s what I got, and I just say “Thank you” for that.

Another Shot From Maine. September 8, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , ,

One that slipped my editor’s noose, though I meant to show it to you. Portland Head Light from near the water line:

Some scrambling involved there, but no real climbing. Just an eye toward being inconspicuous and an efficiency with tripods and lens changes.

Courtesy of Elliot, with perhaps three degrees of swing, and a hand-held ND Grad filter.

This Week’s Garden. September 7, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Our vegetables (other than the greens and tomatoes and squash) are largely a memory, but our flowers are still powering my psyche. I prevailed upon my housemates to let them mature in place – cut flowers are nice, but I worship the view out our kitchen window as I do the dishes.

Zinnias and Lacinato kale in our garden:

…and the “volunteer” sunflowers which popped up early in the season, unprovoked progeny of last year’s planting:

They’re all nearing the end of their run as the nights court frosting temperatures, so I figured I better share them with you while I can.

Surfing Bedrock. September 6, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Back here in Massachusetts, the Potholes along the Deerfield river provide a venue for surfing the bedrock of Franklin County:

Boys defying the No Trespassing signs and exploring their world. I have a love for this place and a love for this process.

Portland Head Light. September 6, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , ,

On my way south from my visit with friends Mike and Cindy in Maine, I drove a couple of curlie-cues to take photos of Portland Head Light, the most photographed lighthouse in the world.

I wanted something a bit removed from the I-phone images which doubtless make up the mass of the action here, so chose to catch as much of the scene as I could with Elliot, my 24mm tilt-shift lens.

Here’s the light through a scrim of beach roses:

…with rose hips vying for attention with the remaining blossoms.

Another shot, with lilies in the mix:

Elliot gave me some advantage here over the point-and-shoots and cell phones, extending my depth of field by a lot. I laid my plane of sharp focus along all the axes of the compass to get these photos, and hope the difference is apparent.

Wave-swept granite below the light:

…beautifully sculpted by the ocean and the seasons over uncounted years. I scrambled over fences and down the steeps to crab-walk along ledges to get a low-tide perspective:

Elliot was delightful in this setting. The verticality of the Maine coast played to his strengths, and hard swings of his objective lens got me what I was there for.

Here’s a classic Portland Head Light shot, but with goldenrod representing in the foreground thanks to Elliot’s contortions:

Thanks, kid. You complete me.  🙂

Á La Plage. September 5, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Action/Adventure, Love and Death.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ah, the beach. That sandy sanctuary that’s the soul of summer, that haven of heavenly heat. The place where children lose themselves in the sound of the sea and the fury of their imaginations:

There’s so much happening here. The water is teeming with people digging the last of the long days:


Boogie-Boarding boys:

Beach Bocce matches, apparently with different interpretations:

Paddle games:

…and people. Young people posing for the world to witness:

Older people still strutting their stuff:

…some sleeping in the afternoon sun:

…or flying kites in the gentle sea breeze:

…or fishing in the sea itself:

And of course, you’d be unwise to go anywhere near the ocean without an appropriate lifeguard:

I’m not a big beach booster, preferring instead to scramble on rocks, but I enjoyed this shoot. The parade of people was intriguing, and the effect of having a particular lens on and trying to see the world at its proportions was a challenge. Most of these shots were from Gizmo with a 2X Tele-extender for an effective focal length of 800mm, and most are taken using a tripod. The resulting photos look like close-ups, but I didn’t have to get in peoples’ faces to get them. I like that, both because I don’t like insinuating myself into strangers’ days and because getting in close to people affects their behavior, which isn’t what I was there for.

At any rate, these are the shots I got at Olgonquit Beach in Maine this past August, on my way home from my visit to Cape Elizabeth.

Frank. September 5, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , ,

Frank is an independent-minded fellow, and very grudgingly sat for this portrait:

He’s since made it clear he’s not inclined to do so again, and I want to respect that.

So thank you, Frank, for sitting this one last time and allowing me to bring your beautiful visage home.

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch… September 5, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , ,

…shorter days and cooler nights are leaving a mark, and the wetlands are the first to show it. Here, Ostrich ferns (the ones with the delectable fiddle heads) turn gold and brown amidst the asters and lustrife which still bloom:

Soon the temps in the high country will dip to the point where swamp maples sequester their chlorophyll and show their true colors.

As much as I love summer, I just can’t wait!

Cast Away! September 5, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
Tags: , , , ,

…or at least, set aground on an island off the coast of Maine for an afternoon outing with friends Mike and Cindy.

We landed on a little beach a mile off shore, and pulled the boats up above the high-tide line:

Mike and Cindy making it look exotic.  😉

This was a really cool island, typical in that it had a rocky coast, some fields and forests:

…and had been farmed in the not-too-distant past, so that the fields were still defined:

We hiked across the highlands to the opposite shore:

…to where the sea has tormented the rocks into fantastic forms:

The sea dominates here, and high tide markers are gathered from bits of flotsam:

We felt alone with the gulls:

…though we weren’t really; others had the same plans for their afternoon:

Beached boats said as much.

I managed to find island details unsullied by the passing of such as me. A wild coast:

Butterflies on the last thistles of summer:

Sea-worn granite baking in the sun as orange lichen finds a foothold:

It was a wonderful afternoon of sun and surf and solitude, capped off by the hike back to the boats:

…and an easy passage back to the mainland, with the wind at our backs.

Thanks, Folks!