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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:

_MG_7516

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:

_MG_7594

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.

The Mists Of May. May 4, 2012

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This past week has been cold and rainy, putting my gardening plans on hold and sending me out in search of the mystical images which arise in these conditions.

Here are a few which fall into that category, all from Bog Pond up in Savoy, MA.

A mat of peat and associated shrubs floats in the mist on a foggy evening:

Shoreline shrubs frame the view:

While Autumn is widely regarded as the Northeast’s colorful season, I’m a fan of the subtler colors of Spring, which are startlingly fresh and vibrant if one opens their mind to them:

…and then, the light levels dropped and the scene faded to gray.

And so it goes, and so it goes.

The Elusive Honey Mole! January 23, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Tracks of a large honey mole* punctuate a couple of inches of new snow up at Bog Pond in Savoy:

“Honey mole,” you ask?

Why, yes…  Honey mole!  🙂

* OK, the back story:

Years back, when our daughters were Wee Beasties, my In-laws Maria and Fernando came to visit (they had retired back to Portugal.)  When Gina and her Mom came back from a day out (if I’m remembering that correctly; I bet Pagan Sphinx will remember) and I got home from work, the Grrrlz were all excited.  “Daddy, Daddy, Vovo Frenando saw a Honey Mole in our garden!” they squealed.

“A “honey mole?” I queried, not having heard of that one before, and wondering how Fernando would have known about it.

Fernando came in and explained that yes, it was a “honey mole,” and a BIG one – he held his hands about 18″ apart to indicate its size.

After getting a fuller description from Fernando, it became clear that he’d seen a woodchuck  – and that “Honey Mole” was his broken-English approximation of “animal.”

Sadly, Fernando has passed on, but every time I see tracks in the snow I think of him and smile.

Thanks, Fernando.

Bog Pond, Savoy. December 14, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Jeez, these short days barely give a guy a chance to pull out the box after work!

Still, if one can think of a spot to get to in the next half-hour of light, one might snag a shot which works.

Tonight I scurried up to Bog Pond in Savoy State Forest, where the ice was trying to form:

Not much happening there, except for the slow passage of time.

That one’s courtesy of Elliot, with about three degrees of tilt, and three hand-held filters in the face of a frost-nipping breeze.

I can dig it in retrospect, but at the time my fingers demanded that I cry.

Good thing I’m bigger than my fingers.

Bog Pond, Savoy,MA. January 12, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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I got up to Bog Pond this afternoon, where I had previously photographed the sastrugi in my last post, mostly because I thought I’d missed an opportunity to walk around and see what the winds had wrought, knowing that we’re about to get a fair snowfall over the next twelve hours (it’s already begun,) and that the place would be significantly different tomorrow.

My walkabout proved to be uneventful and only minimally inspiring from a photographic point of view, but I found the solitude to be almost spiritual; the ice was highly textured and unexpectedly three dimensional, while the thin snow, carved into wind-scoured ridges and troughs, crunched and whined beneath my boots and ski poles.  I half expected a sudden glimpse of wildlife going about its business, perhaps a bear or big cat scavenging for a snack, but was disappointed on that count.  It may be that their superior sensitivity to things like the incoming storm had driven them to shelter, or more likely I was just too clumsy and noisy to earn an invitation to join to their polite society of locals.

In any event, I took a few photos, such as this one of the floating vegetative mats of leatherleaf, bog cranberries and other such things which make up the unique flora of Bog Pond:

The ice itself was a riot of cracks and crazes  and lumps and bumps of undiscerned origin:

By the time I took this one I’d been trouncing around on the Bog for at least an hour and had learned what  I needed to know – stay out of the yellow spots, which were soft enough to be preying on the snow above them, and stick to the smoky blue patches.  Failure to adhere to this rule resulted in wet boots and slowed progress, neither of which was a good thing here in the high country, where getting it right means getting home with all one’s fingers and toes intact.

Tonight we’re going to get a nice winter storm and, if the internets are to be believed, a healthy heaping of snow.  I hope they’re right about that – it will be beautiful!

Thanks again to Elliot for these shots; I don’t think I’d have gotten them without his ability to lay down a plain of focus on my surrounding reality.

Sastrugi. January 10, 2011

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Sprigs of goldenrod stand vigil as wind-whipped waves of ice particles reveal resistant ridges in this snow drift on the eastern shore of Bog Pond in Savoy State Forest:

Thanks to Elliot for this perceptual shift.

 

 

 

 

Up In Savoy! June 5, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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A flotilla of fluffy fledgelings guarded by a goose and gander:

Taken from the shore of Bog Pond up in Savoy.

Enjoy!  🙂