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Evening Along The Deerfield. August 8, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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This evening’s skies looked like they might light up, so as the light grew low I headed down to the river.  First stop, the Route 8A bridge in the center of Charlemont, where the setting sun danced on the waters of the Deerfield river:

The light was nice, but the color wasn’t there.

After a few shots, I packed it in and headed eastward toward home.

But as often happens when  I pack it in, the light began to shift, and the colors bloomed, and soon I was accelerating past my driveway, heading toward a riverside view in East Charlemont which regular visitors to this site might recognize.  As I drove the eastern skies lit up, and I hit the binders just in time to get these takes on the fading light reflected in the river:

Our river is unusually low for this time of year, and the bones of its bed are exposed to whatever voyeurs happen by.  I’m embarrassed for it, and wish the roadside weeds would dress it more decently in its diminished state.

But that’s just me being anthropomorphic, feeling Nature in a way to which I haven’t a right.  It is what it is, and it isn’t really my business.

Still, I hope this is a passing phase.  My river can’t stand very much of this without losing a good deal of what it once was.

Under Threatening Skies. October 23, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Politics and Society.
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Saturday’s Errand Gone Wild  found me driving through the fertile plains of Hadley and Sunderland, long famous for producing some of the finest broad-leaf tobacco on the planet, coveted for use as wrappers on expensive cigars.  While a whole lot less of that crop is produced here now days, there’s still some production, though it seems to vary from year to year.  This year, this particular field didn’t get a tobacco crop, but it looked interesting to me under tumultuous skies:

I took that from the roof of my vehicle, hand-holding two crossed graduated filters as I held my breath, as though that detail might negate the effects of a buffeting wind.

The clouds at left were piling in like they intended to unleash a torrent on me and Elliot, and as I turned to appraise the situation, this shot was framed in my mind, and shot in situ:

Elliot pulled both of these shots off commendably, even though I was rushing like crazy to avoid the impending deluge.

But the deluge never materialized; instead, I got to drive up Mt. Sugarloaf and snag this photo of the spottily-illuminated valley below:

Taken from Deerfield, looking into Sunderland across the Connecticut river.  I had hoped for more color, but autumn wasn’t its usual vibrant self this year.

At least the end-of-day light was nice.

A Big Disappointment. October 21, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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I saw these pumpkins on a doorstep in Deerfield recently, and as they were waist-high to me and looked way  too big to bake or carve, I stopped and pulled out my photobox:

The homeowner came out as I was skulking up and down the street and lamented that this year had been pretty abysmal – his best efforts (displayed here) were only around 800 lbs,  as contrasted with last year’s crop which topped out around thirteen hundred pounds.

As disappointments go, I’d have to classify that as big.   😉

Note to self:  Go back there next year.  Not every year sucks this hard!

In Deerfield. October 19, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Along the Deerfield river.  At a flower farm.  These rows weren’t harvested, I don’t know why:

Black Eyed Susans and purple Coneflower on the plains of Deerfield.  Black Eyed Susans are biennials, perhaps that figures into it.

Elliot was instrumental in getting that shot.   I liked the way my eye was drawn into the scene, and was pleased to see the results of considerable (8 degrees) objective lens tilt in capturing that sensation.

Digging Out From Irene. September 14, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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We’re recovering here from the floods, hitting it hard in order to get cleaned up before winter.

A commercial flower grower in the town of Deerfield took it hard, lost many acres of effort, and the top-soil as well:

The Deerfield river has retreated into its channel behind me, while a four foot deep gash separates these remnants from the rest of the field.

Major earth-moving equipment collects acres and acres of river sand from the fields where fertile topsoil used to be:

It’ll be years before this mess gets back to normal.  And that’s assuming another such flood doesn’t happen again in the meantime.

I’m not putting a lot of cash down on that bet.

A May Moon. May 26, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Last night, up in the Deerfield river valley:

It’s a day short of “full,” but tonight is likely to be cloudy, so there we have it.


G’Night. April 11, 2010

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Yesterday evening, on my way home from running errands, I pulled over on Route 2 to attempt some sunset photos, simultaneously phoning Susan before I lost service (it’s sketchy in these parts,) when she mentioned that the eastern sky was an unusual shade of blue up in Conway, a dozen miles from me.  I turned around and saw that it was indeed so where I was as well, and took this quick shot:

Route 2 and the Deerfield River in a strange light.  I did nothing to the color in this shot, just brought the brightness up a tiny bit.


This Morning. November 4, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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On the way to work, along the road down to Shelburne Falls.  Mist rising off the river, courtesy of Elliot’s eye for infinite depth of field:

SF Morning

…and a waning Hunters’ Moon set against a Florida (MA) hillside:

morning moon

…by way of Gizmo, my 400mm accomplice.

They’re both pretty close to raw, as I haven’t time to do much polishing.




Random Rain Shots. July 5, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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From this past week.

Zoar Gap on the Deerfield River:

zoar gap

A farm in fog:

horse in fog

A butterfly alight on hawkweed:

butterfly on hawkweed

We’re depending on these guys and others for pollenatiion this year, as most of the blooming season has passed in the rain, which bees don’t much care for.

And sphagnum moss, loving the interminable wetness, puts out some cool little structures:

moss structures

I thought these were berries or flowers or something, but recently I was told that moss has no such parts, it predating the development of sexual structures in plants.

All I can say is, they sure look like little berries to me, unwrapping from the terminal leaves of their respective stalks:

moss structures

More research is called for, I guess!

It Was A Dark And Windy Day… May 3, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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No, it’s not the opening line from some cheesy Gothic romance, it was my trip afield with camera in hand.

Today was a river of low light and gusting winds, and the combination of long exposures and moving subjects produces blurry photos, almost no matter what one does. So don’t look too hard at this batch or you’ll get a headache right in back of your eyes – you know the one?

A dogwood by the Deeerfield:

I seldom allow man-made objects in my nature shots, but somehow this cable guard rail adds context to what would otherwise be a boring composition.

Here are some rafters passing, their motion imparting a dynamic element to this shot – it’s one case in which the blur portrays something other than Wino’s Shake:

And finally a stop beneath a road-cut where a dense bloom of white flowers shared a sloping ledge with verdant moss, the color of which I’m totally incapable of reproducing for you:

Someday, maybe.

This was a thirty second exposure, and though my subject stood pretty still in the stiff breeze, there was probably a good deal of camera shake. Sorry it’s not clearer, ’cause this was a really beautiful scene. If it’s calmer tomorrow I might go back and try again to show you what it looks like.

Now I’m off to a Western Mass Climbers’ Coalition dinner/fund raiser, where the grub always satisfies and the band always rocks – who could ask for more, eh?