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Welcome To… Spring??? March 20, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013, the first official day of Spring:

Blog Spring

Another shot taken through my kitchen window.

This is unlikely to last, the sun being higher in the sky these days.

But who’s to say this will be our last wintry blast?  😉

 

Spring, Almost… March 19, 2013

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Today, Monday, is two days short of the official start of Spring.

But this is Massachusetts, where we don’t care about no stinking calendar.

So the day began with our yard threatening to “green up,” the grass nearly bare of snow.

While making breakfast, I snapped this shot of deer grazing out past our slumbering garden:

Blog White Tails

…taken through an unfortunately filthy window, as Winter tends to render them before a real Spring cleaning. I didn’t have the proper lens on hand, so this is a severe crop of a larger photo. All-in-all, I’m satisfied with the result.

I spent the bulk of the day loading split wood onto the porch in anticipation of the predicted winter storm, then bombed off to Berkshire county to deliver a framed photo to my friend Tim. I was pleased by his reception of the piece and humbled by his refusal of the Good Friend Discount.

Thanks, Tim. I’ll remember that.

On the way home the weather caught up to me, and by the time I hit Charlemont it was snowing:

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We’re expecting 10″ or more, and judging by the way it’s coming down, we might not be disappointed!

Just Another Sunset… March 8, 2013

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…from this past Tuesday evening in Hadley, MA:

Tuesday's Sunset

That’s courtesy of my Canon 16-35mm L-series lens and a hand-held three stop reverse-graduated filter.

Taken along a back road behind Trader Joe’s. I’d have posted it sooner, but I was busy getting set up for my show at the AACC on Thursday.  🙂

Upcoming Art Opening/Reception! March 2, 2013

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I just “finished” installing a show of my landscape photography at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce in Amherst, MA.

I put “finished” in quotation marks because I hung the photos, but expect to be back for a second look at their arrangement, and may yet move things around. I also have a lot of work to do on labeling and leveling and creating informational pages before the official opening on Thursday, March 7th as part of the monthly Amherst Art Walk.

I’m thrilled to be part of this event, as it puts a slice of my work in front of a whole new (and larger) set of hearts and eyeballs.

Here’s how the layout looked when I left it tonight, subject to minor changes before Thursday:

AACC FB

I’d be pleased to see any of you who are “local” at this event, and urge you to stop by as you wander about town (there are several nice Actual Galleries in the immediate vicinity, so you’ll get to see a lot without walking a lot.)

Stop by if you’re so inclined!

Amherst Orchid Show, 2013. February 27, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Uncategorized.
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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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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:

Bog Pond_7517

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:

_MG_7607 B&W

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.

Children Of The Corn. January 31, 2013

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A flock of birds forages for food in the fields of Hadley, MA:

Cowbirds, Hadley

Their precision flying was fun to watch but difficult to capture; this shot was at 1/2500 sec and still  lacks clarity!

Pressure Ridges… January 27, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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…form in the frazil ice on the Deerfield river:

Pressure Ridges

Sunset in East Charlemont, courtesy of Elliot.

Strangely, we’re heading for a fifty-degree day on Wednesday, followed by a return to winter temps. I’m hoping this will lead to some uncommon visuals.

 

Brrrrrrrrr! January 23, 2013

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Well now, this  is winter!   🙂

We got a fresh inch of snow overnight, not enough to shovel, just enough to freshen up the older snow pack. And with a daytime high in the ‘teens assuring clear, crisp air, it seemed like a good time to scout some river scenes.

I headed up the Cold river a bit after noon, beneath blue skies and scuttling clouds:

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The valley is still a tangled mess from Irene, but winter disguises her scars.

I’ve always liked the way tumbling rivers look when they rise up around snow covered rocks, saturating their marsh mallow hats, turning them into emerald slushies, washing them down river like slow moving ghosts. This cold weather grows the well-anchored ones into wonderful ice islands:

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Quartzite cobbles complement the color scheme, wavering from below the fast-moving surface:

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A faster shutter speed captures the kinetics of the flow:

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The wind was brutal, and after an hour of walking the river bank, my fingers had had enough, despite my beefy gloves, and I headed back to the car, noticing on my way down river that the moon was rising. At the car I put Gizmo and his little buddy Tele on the box and got this:

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I packed it in, cranked the heat and ran a few errands.

My day ended with a drive home along the Deerfield river, where I snagged this shot of the frazil ice building it’s tortuous tangle as the sun disappeared behind the near hills:

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That one’s from Elliot, with a degree and a half of tilt and a hand-held three-stop graduated ND filter. It took me all of fifteen minutes, by the end of which my tripod had frozen into the river, my fingertips were wooden and I had wind-whipped tears frozen to my cheeks.

Good thing I spent all those years climbing ice, or I wouldn’t have enjoyed that one bit!  😉

Well that’s all for now, friends. I have 909 shots from last weekend’s climbing competition to process, so I’m off to work!

Horse In Snow. January 20, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Here’s a shot I took a few days back, of a horse up in Stamford VT, just over the border from Clarksburg, MA. I posted it on Facebook (yeah, I’m being sucked over to the Dark Side) but neglected to blog it:

Blog Snout

That’s the “fun shot,” but as serious photographs go, I like this one better:

Stamford Horse, Blog

This beautiful boy was hanging out way over by yonder barn when I called him in by gently, almost silently, telling him how beautiful he was.

Yeah, he might have just been curious about a movement over by the road, but then, there’s a LOT of movement over by the road.

And it makes great sense to me that animals would have retained many senses and sensibilities which We Humans have allowed to atrophy in favor of a more precisely communicable language.

To date, conjecture about animal communication has spawned a dearth of research, but provides grist for the mind-mill of musings about what exists beyond the horizon of our conscious appreciation.

I realize I’ve been largely absent from the blogosphere for the past week; I’m trying to build a photography website (no it’s not yet ready for viewing,) and the “common wisdom,” if one can conceive of such a thing in the Tea Party Era, is that a Facebook presence is key to any kind of commercial success, which I’m sorely in need of. So I’ve been posting more stuff there than here, for which I apologize to my faithful readers.

In defense of my slacker blog ethics, though, I’d like to point out that this is my 1800th post at Little Bang Theory. Thank you, friends, for keeping me going this long and far!  😉