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A Local Farm. January 9, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Along the way yesterday, I came across a cool local farm.

OK, I didn’t exactly “come across” it – I hoped to get a few photos of this place, a very organic mix of buildings and animals along a dead-end road in Buckland.

Well, as it happened, I ran into the owner, who gave me a tour!  🙂

He had hogs in a little barn right off the road:

Hog Farm

Quite a few of them, from full-grown to this year’s model:

Hogs and Barn

They were cute up close, in a swineish way:

Snout

Gotta love that snoot!  🙂

…and cattle, including this painfully skeptical one-ton bull:

Skeptical Bull

Normally, one wouldn’t cross the fence to visit such, but his Farmer-Dude assured me he had been bottle fed by his Momma, and was gentle enough to approach.

This side-o’-beef licked and slobbered my pants into the next wash as I scratched his coarse head with one hand and snapped this photo with the other:

Bull's Eye

I dug it, though I stuck to my car seat on the way home.

There were also sheep, cute little buggers too, but when I tried to take their photo, their Guardian Llama reared up in my face:

Llama Alarm

Word had it he’d lost several of his little charges recently to coyotes, and he wasn’t in the mood to humor strangers.

I had a great time talking to the farmer, a kindred spirit who wasn’t shy about proclaiming himself to be a Socialist (!) in this land of hicks and hippies.

This was a cool interlude in my day, weaving between hill-town hicks and the hippy peace-niks.

Ah, Life in the Berks!  🙂

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Resident Evil. September 26, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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On my way through Buckland today (yeah, the Lion’s Mane Buckland) I rounded a bend in the road to see a startling splash of color leaping skyward.

Of course, I slapped on the binders and pulled off the road to investigate.

It turned out to be an infestation of Virginia creeper, an invasive vine which I spend countless hours trying to keep out of our trees and lawn, though I know it will still be there long after I’m dead.

Oh well.

Anyway, the drizzle and gloom which make sane folks want to stick their head in an oven are like Mana form Heaven to us crazy photographers, saturating (literally) scenes with intense colors and an immediacy which is otherwise rare.

I assembled a tripod and umbrella and affixed Elliot to the box with six degrees of swing to snag this shot:

The swing gave me tack-sharp elements from center foreground through the distant right edge of this image, passing through the Main Event along the way. And a hand-held graduated ND filter allowed me to expose for the beautiful variety of ferns in the foreground without blowing out the sky.

For all of its negatives, Virginia creeper is dependably brilliant in its fall coloration, for which I appreciate it.

Thanks to Elliot for snagging this one.

Rising Waters. March 8, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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It’s a sure sign of Spring’s approach when the Deerfield begins to rise, and though it’s not really in “Spring Flood” stage, it’s certainly up from a couple of days ago.

The dam at Salmon Falls:

…and looking upriver from the Buckland side:

Up close it’s a swirling miasma of mists, making one grateful for the railing at the overlook:

That’s a far cry and a deep shudder from the idyllic swimming hole of Summer.

And yet, above the tumult hovers a reminder that there’s beauty in everything, if one looks at it in the right light:

It’s hard to believe the high country is still so tightly gripped by Winter, but it is!

More on that, next.

 

Li’l Bits ‘O Heaven! October 12, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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As much as I’ve lamented the lackluster autumn foliage season this year, I’m happy to say that there are some spots making reasonable displays of color.  Here are a few shots which I took this past week.

First, a ride through Upper Buckland gave nice views of the hillsides on the east side of route 112:

There are some nice country homes out that way ; too bad they have to suffer with such unfortunate views:

😉

Closer to home (from my yard, in fact) Gizmo (my 400mm lens) was able to snag a few shots of isolated snippets of the surrounding hillsides in the last long rays of the setting sun, when the colors were optimized against the growing shadows.

Hemlocks stand guard over a hillside of maples helplessly ablaze with the last light of day:

White pines wind their way toward the valley bottom as their bedtime approaches:

…but are forced to huddle together as they’re surrounded by phalanxes of fiercely yellow ashes and cherries:

Meanwhile, stoical oaks stand above it all, unmoved by lesser trees’ rush to color:

They’re rock steady, those old oaks!

There may be a few more foliage posts left in this season, but things are fading fast, and time will tell.

Peace, Out.

Summer At The Falls! June 8, 2008

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Yeah, it’s ninety degrees and humid, so a trip to the Shelburne Falls “Potholes” is in order.

But on days like this it’s crowded where the Cool Kids go…

So EP and I head around to the Buckland side, from whence we could see the fun, but still have our peace and quiet, She with her Summer coursework:

Me with my Summer reading:

And despite being in gloriously full sun, we were delighted to be cooled by the finest of mists, subtle enough to allow reading and taking photos, along with a gentle breeze generated by the Falls themselves:

We stayed ’till we got hungry, then hit our local organic co-op for some fresh pasta and retreated to our kitchen.

But that’s another post, isn’t it?