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Amherst Orchid Show, 2013. February 27, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Uncategorized.
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7 comments

My yearly intro to Spring is this presentation of the Amherst Orchid Society, incongruously held in neighboring Northampton.

This year I was less zealous than in the past; in lieu of my usual 400 photos, I took less than fifty, most of which were entirely serviceable despite being hand-held at 1/30th of a second or longer, and shot at ISOs of 4000 or higher.

I hope that means I’m becoming a bit more discriminating, though I suspect it speaks more to my becoming lazy as I get old and fat.  😉

Anyway, here are some orchids:

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A close-up:

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…and some paphiopedilums,  all relatives in the “Lady Slipper” family:

Paph !

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…as well as some more ornate sprays, which I haven’t a clue about:

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This was a fun outing – it’s late enough in our New England winter so that flowers make me smile!

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Enjoy these in the knowledge that Spring is on its way.  🙂

A Bog Pond Outing. February 13, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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6 comments

Way up in the hills from my valley home sits the town of Savoy, and a big patch of Savoy Mountain State Forest (parts of which are found in other adjacent towns.) It’s a land of boreal forests and wind-swept ponds, usually frozen long before their valley counterparts.

This past weekend I got up there with my sweetie Susan for a few hours of snowshoeing.

The weather was perfect, cold enough for physical effort but not so windy as to risk exposed skin. We strapped on our ‘shoes in the pull-off at the pond’s spillway, she learning about the bindings of her new shoes, me trying to adjust mine to a pair of felt-pacs which I usually don’t wear with them. I spend a majority of my outdoor time in steeper terrain and generally use a stiffer, more technical boot.

The skies were an amazing shade of blue, with high clouds doing a choreographed dance across the firmament:

FB Sky Detail

We headed across the pond, marveling at the sculpted snow, breathing deep the cold, clean air:

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Susan took to her snowshoes without a hitch, and was having a great time:

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Heheh!  🙂

She took this photo of me in my element, the Great Outdoors:

At Bog Pond

We’re both so packed full of warm accessories, I have boobs!

A great white birch along the shore looked spectacular against the deep blue sky, and I couldn’t resist snapping this one off:

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We took a little detour into the mixed shoreline forest, here captured in a black and white image which I hope conveys the quiet weight of the winter woods:

Savoy Forest B&W

I took the B&W aesthetic back out onto the pond, capturing this image of a waiver of ghosts rising from the wind-tortured snow:

A Waiver of Ghosts

..and this one of a very low sun illuminating the underbellies of some interesting wind-sculpted features:

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I’m amazed at the difference between these two images, with shadows defining the first and light delineating the second.

My apologies to those of you who already saw some of these on Facebook, but this forum serves as a more accessible record for me, rather than just being a point in the torrent-stream of Facebook.

This was a beautiful afternoon of being outdoors and sharing that with my sweetie. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed the excursion.

Dinner With TCR! February 5, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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8 comments

Well, at long last, a reprise of a popular installment here at LBT: my dinners!  😆

Actually, I’ve long been focused on other things, but tonight I ran into the proverbial Wall, and just needed a break from churning my works.

So I threw together some odds and ends which I expected to enjoy in solitude, but unexpectedly liked the looks of them, and decided to go Global with my fare.

So here it is, a picky-plate of healthy and savory tidbits:

A baguette topped with a purée of white beans, lemon juice and way  lots of garlic:

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…topped with white anchovies and roasted red peppers, and paired with a salad of organic baby greens, onions, grated Romano cheese, Kalamata olives and toasted almonds, moistened with a red wine vinaigrette.

I’m eating it as I type this, and loving every second of it!

Ice Carvings! February 3, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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8 comments

Here are a few shots of ice carvings from this weekend’s Greenfield Winter Carnival.

A chubby penguin over on the west end of town:

Penguin

Cute, that.

A unicorn right in the center of town:

Unicorn

Careful with that chisel, Eugene!

This was my favorite, a little polar bear carved by Sue O’Sullivan of Royalston, MA:

Polar Bear

…with two chainsaws, a chisel and an electric iron. Who knew?!?   🙂

Not in the judging was this professionally carved swan, donated to the event to get people psyched:

Swan

I did everything I could to get a clean shot of this, including laying in the mud, but urban environs aren’t conducive to clean backgrounds… guess that’s why I’m a nature photographer!  😆

The Winter Carnival went on all weekend, but I only got these few “drive-by” shots. The sponsoring Greenfield Recreation Department is happy to have people photograph for free, but I can’t be that guy.

Hey, a man’s gotta eat!

Eagle Street. February 1, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
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9 comments

A view of downtown North Adams which always catches my eye:

Eagle Street

My preferred shot would be with my 16mm lens from the middle of the road, but I’m chicken to go stand out there with my back to oncoming traffic…