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Today’s Ramblings. October 9, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Spent some of this afternoon’s filtered light chasing photos, driving slowly and scrubbing the roadsides for images. The air was heavy, the light was low and the Little Things were glad to have their hands on the shutter release.

These are a few of the shots they made me take.

Gone-by asters beneath an old maple:

Bittersweet takes charge of a hedgerow beside a barn:

Fading ferns surround a few brilliant maple leaves:

…as turning vines adorn a stone wall:

All of these are courtesy of Elliot, who loves to lay his mojo down for any and all voyeurs.

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch… September 5, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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…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!

Crawford Notch. October 7, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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The rest of Saturday was spent scoping out venues for if/when the rain might stop, knowing full well that it probably wouldn’t (due to the miracle of radio weather reports) and meeting back up with my friend Lizz for dinner at The Moat, a smokehouse-microbrewery in North Conway where everything is recommendable.  I had a huge plate of nachos with smoked-meat chili and ate every last bite, though that determined effort resulted in an ungainly waddle back to my car.

Afterward I noodled my way back up Crawford Notch toward Bretton Woods, where I’d last seen the headwaters of the Ammonoosuc.  I noted a few nice scenes along the way as prospective shoots for the morning, keeping my eye peeled for places where I might sleep without being told to “Move along” by official types (this section of the White Mountain National Forest has lots of campgrounds and expects people to use them, but I’d rather spend my limited bucks on quality glass.)  I settled on the AMC Lodge at the top of the notch, parking directly beneath a sign declaring “For Lodge Guests Only,” cracked the windows to allow my vapors to escape rather than fogging my windows (that’s how they getcha!) and snuggled into my sleeping bag for a comfy night out.

At first light I zipped back down the Notch to a view of Mount Willard which I hoped would capture some of the dawn’s drama:

That’s a flank of Willard on the right, where both Lizz and I have passed many a winter’s day plastered to exhilarating ice climbs, though never together.  It’s funny how we met much later and now have this completely different relationship.

A bit farther down the road I stopped at Silver Cascade, hoping to beat the crowds I’d seen lining the roadside the evening before, and succeeded in snagging this shot despite the continuing wind and rain:

Again, the rainy skies sucked, but the scene was compelling enough to get me to do the bungied-umbrella-thing, and I liked what I was getting.

Then a moose wandered up the road, and with a quick change of lenses (to Gizmo, dontcha know) I got this furry portrait:

I also took one with a bit of panning, generating this sort-of impressionistic rendering of Said Moose:

…and all without paint under my fingernails!  😆

A ways farther down the Notch, Lizz had shared a spot with me with some nice foreground details, though the dramatic background was now lost in the drizzle:

This was how the day went, with foregrounds dancing in the wind and backgrounds obscured by rain and clouds.  The great spruce-clad wall of Mount Webster should have risen from this scene, but only its foothills framed these New England asters:

Each of these shots required a laborious construction against the elements, and none of them really approached their potential – the conditions were just too poor, the atmosphere too full of crap to deliver the images I’d come this far for.

Well, you don’t know if you don’t go, so I went, and I got what I got.

Next up, the ride home.


New England Asters. September 27, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Just as the local goldenrod fades to golden brown, the New England asters kick it down for a little late-summer color:

Our local asters come in a variety of colors including some wonderfully prolific lavender and white ones, but this intensely magenta variation really floats my boat.

Another seasonal standout, albeit  invasive to some degree, is the Virginia creeper which has gotten overly comfortable in these parts:

Its intense autumn reds nearly pardon it for smothering its host trees, as it did to this little specimen in Windsor.

Thanks to Elliot for his fine work, most evident in the first shot, where there’s good depth-of-field despite the stiff breezes of the season.

A Late Summer Palette. September 20, 2008

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

There’s an urgency to the blooms of September and October; they know they’re doomed, doomed I say, if they don’t attract a pollinator, like, toute-de-suite!

So they exude a warmth, an intensity lacking at other times of the year, they glow, they vibrate a bit, they clench themselves tightly before releasing in a flood of color, briefly witnessed, remembered through the long winter, hoped for in the dark days leading up to Spring, King of the Seasons, a template for the continuance of our faith in you, Mother Earth, our trust in you, Father Sky, our grounding in the dependability of change.

Thank you, Mother Earth, Thank you Father Sky.

And Thank you, my Readers, for bearing with me as I think out loud about what is and what isn’t.

Courageous Little Asters… October 31, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death, macro photos.
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…clinging to their color, not desperate, but resigned

to failure in the face of frosts first mild, then insistent,

then murderous in Nature’s way, the way it should be, the way it must be.

Their seeds slipping from the faltering grip of their purple womb

and drifting off to dream a frozen dream

of Spring.