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At The Rowe Fen. June 13, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Uncategorized.
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Up in Rowe, MA sits a fen, or basic pH bog, which hosts many hundreds of Northern Pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea.)   I’ve been there uncounted times over the past years to photograph them, with varying degrees of success.

Well, you know, one doesn’t improve by being satisfied with where one’s at.

So today I went back, arriving in late afternoon to find wonderful light slanting through the treetops.

Blue Flag irises separate the fen from the gravel road, and though they were nearly gone by, they were still worthy of a photo:

There’s an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail lighting on the iris just left of center, though it’s hard to see at this size.

In the grass at the fen’s edge, I got this shot of a sluggish butterfly, which looks something like a black Swallowtail, though it’s wings lack the definitive posterior points:

That could be a sign of old age or disease, as the wings tend to deteriorate with age.

The Northern Pitchers were gorgeous in the warm afternoon light, glowing as though illuminated from within:

Their totally unique flowers were red as roses and ripe with last night’s rain:

Before packing up my kit, I got all Artsy-Fartsy and took a couple of 1 second panning shots, hoping for something impressionistic.  While the results of this sort of experimentation aren’t that predictable to me, they were close to what I’d hoped for:


The first shot in this post is from Elliot, the rest are from Gizmo with a 2X Tele-Extender, giving an effective focal length of 800mm, albeit without auto focus or image stabilization.  I used Live View/mirror lock-up and a two second delay to get steady shots.

Up next:  some animal shots, which have been piling up embarrassingly in my to-post pile.

More Signs Of Spring. April 27, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Driving through Rowe the other day, I checked out the fen where I’ve photographed Northern Pitcher Plants before.  A week before it was graced with a thick layer of snow-ice, a reminder that winter lingers a little longer in the high country; now it was not only ice-free, but sporting some impressive frog-egg masses!  I resolved to return for a photo before the eggs hatched, and yesterday I did just that.

The Rowe Fen, with Frog Eggs:

I’ll have to visit regularly to see if I can capture a hatch.

Northern Pitcher Plant. June 2, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Another shot from the fen up in Rowe, this one of a this-year’s flower along side last year’s dried stems:

Its “pitchers” barely protrude above their mossy home, which may have saved them from the killing freeze of this past month.

We’ll talk about their carnivorous tendencies later; for now, we’ll just dig their affect.

More Of The Fen. July 3, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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I love this place.

And at the risk of being redundant, I go by here every chance I get, and if the weather permits, I stop and set up shop.

Last weekend I got here mid-morning and was treated to a disparity of light, with the sun’s slanting rays making the sphagnum moss glow against the deep shadows of the surrounding forest:


The northern pitchers were in full flower:

yellow pitcher blossoms

…and their translucent tubes were all but pulsing with back-lit vascularity:

pitcher tubes

These passive insectivores have some stiff competition for the fen’s insect population, including the patient:


…and the quick:


Dozens of these little fellers darted about in precise arcs, lighting only briefly on the curving leaves of water irises, who were in turn a show of their own:


I’ll doubtless be back to see how the scene changes with the seasons.

Ruby Tuesday: More Carnivorous Edition! June 15, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Ruby Tuesday!.
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Well, ok, the insectivorous edition.  Gotta get up pretty early to get the jump on you folks, eh?

Up in Rowe there’s a little fen (alkaline bog) filled with Northern Pitcher Plants (Sarracenia purpurea ) and water irises:

irises and pitchers

The pitcher plants are astonishing, being simultaneously fleshy and otherworldly and vibrant in the late afternoon light:

pitcher flowers

Blood-red sepals unfurl to reveal delicate chartreuse interiors:

pitcher flowers

I think they’re pretty cool.

Thanks to Mary over at Work of the Poet for this rubylicious meme!