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Morning Fog. December 3, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Here’s a quick black and white photo of a typical morning fog in the Deerfield valley, as seen from upper Florida, MA:


Light posting tonight, I have an early morning planned. 😉

Reflections. May 9, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Here are some shots of reflected scenes, now that the wind has finally  died down.

From North Pond up in Savoy, red maple catkins viewed through an evening fog:

The muted forest amplified itself in the tannic waters:

Up the shoreline, three locals drank beer and waited indifferently for the fish to bite.  One of them, seeing my camera, put down his Budweiser and mooned me.  But I was too slow to inflict that horror on you, and just got this view of the “action:”

And lastly, a shot from this afternoon, of a sunken walkway at the edge of a pond in New Hampshire:

It was far less foggy, but the composition caught my eye.

I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed finding them.




A day In The Saddle. May 3, 2012

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I got skunked in my efforts to show my photos to a chef/owner of a restaurant in Amherst this morning, and spent the hours ’till my next appointment driving around West-Central Massachusetts in a foggy drizzle.

I guess I could have just gone home, but the atmospherics of the day spoke to me, and I listened.  It’s a weakness of mine, you see.

So, here are a few shots from my rambles.

An orchard in the mists of South New Salem:

A lone maple along a farm road in Northfield MA:

…and the dazzling roots of a golden birch up in Savoy, positively glowing in the dim light of a drizzly May afternoon:

I hadn’t set out to photograph trees, but apparently that’s just what I did.

Those shots were, in order, from Elliot with two degrees of lens swing to get the apple trees all in focus; my 16-35mm L-series lens to capture the maple from my running boards; and Allie, my 24-105 zoom for the golden birch, with heavy polarization and a hand-held 3-stop ND filter.

More from this day after I get some sleep.


Wet Paint. September 23, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Well, it’s officially autumn, and the weather here in Southern New England is emphasizing that point by turning gloomy even as it paints our trees with surreal colors.

Yesterday (yeah, I know, “not officially autumn,” but close enough) I finished work in Plainfield as a persistent light rain slowed to a drizzle, and I snagged this shot of a bog with a floating sphagnum mat:

I liked the tableau enough to work it with Elliot, to an end that is considerably better than this blog format allows you to see.

Anyway, I got inspired, and came home from work through Southern Vermont (another “close enough” moment) and was delighted to be dogged by showers interspersed with fogs.  The West Branch of the Deerfield river parallels this stretch of road, and though it Taketh Away a good many of the culverts and bridges along this stretch of the road, it also Giveth some lovely views:

My work was complicated by my desire to show the place as still beautiful despite the ravaged river bed;  many otherwise lovely shots would have conveyed more of the latter rather than the former, but my intention here is to let the world know that Vermont is still, and perhaps more than ever, worth visiting – your dollars, from gas money to lunch to lodging will be appreciated.

This section of Route 100 is, um, “CLOSED,” but if you pass that sign you might notice the smaller sign saying “to trucks,”  because there’s a dirt road reach-around up ahead.  I went for it, and basically had a lot of road to myself:

The colors aren’t yet anywhere near “peak,” but the fog between showers caught my eye.

Right where the actual detour kicked in (and yes, it turns to dirt before it’s over,) the Deerfield dodged southward through a deep gorge, disappearing into a snag of pines and fog as the light took a turn towards night:

A mile farther east the river would roar back to the road, eating Readsboro’s lunch and bridges in a span of 24 hours.  Road crews are still working on that, but a passable roadway isn’t far off.

Except for the first one, these shots are all from Ollie, my 24-105mm tele lens.  Nice piece of glass, that boy.

Chickley In The Rain. August 19, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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It rained on the way home from work today.  I paddled eastward over the hills through darkly photogenic fogs, but it was coming down too hard to get out and shoot.

I kept going till I was nearly home, then took advantage of a lightening in the gloom to snap this shot of the Chickley river along Route 8A:

It was an atmospheric scene, but my kit was getting wet pretty quickly, so I beat it.

Random Summerage. July 6, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Got a longer cord and ditched the wireless connection for now, so I’m back.

Here are some random/assorted shots which have come in since last I posted.

Cat-tails “flowering,” with the male pollen head fat above the still-green seed head:

Thistles in a nearby field:

A honey bee putting the love on a milkweed flower:

An unexpected sight on a picnic table by Rowe Pond:

His Lady was throwing a ball out into the pond for her pair of Golden retrievers, who were happily swimming around amongst a flock of geese while I played with this cutie.

A trio of shots from down on the farm – a recently hayed field greens back up:

A barn window watches over some Dianthus,  Northern bedstraw and Sensitive* ferns:

*Thanks to jomegat in comments – TCR

…while ’round back, a curious herd is skeptical about my intentions:

And of course, the requisite shot of evening back down along the river:

That’s the last few days’ haul, such as it is, and I’m off to bed.


And The Fog Rolled In. April 25, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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It rained all day today, not hard, but enough to keep the views at bay and my camera in its case.

Then, approaching home, it lightened up a bit and as I drove along the Deerfield river a thick fog came rolling down the valley.  I’d been waiting for a fog with a venue in mind for a photograph, so I ducked into the East Charlemont boat ramp to turn around, and stumbled onto a pair of geese gliding silently out of view:

I hustled down to Gardner Falls, actually a dam downstream from the village of Shelburne falls; I wanted to set up below the dam, not much above the upstream water level, and see what that looked like in fog.  As the fog bank rounded the bend like the ghost of a great snake, it looked like this:

This was just a “test shot,” but this place has potential; I can see getting there before sunrise to catch sky reflections, or keeping an eye on it when the Autumn colors come in.

At any rate, I’ll certainly be back.

Still Rainin’, Still Dreamin’. March 7, 2011

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A foggy, rainy day ; a train stopped on a siding along the Deerfield:

Where it’s been, where it’s bound, I don’t know.  I’m bound for bed.

A Weekend In The Whites, Part I: Road To The Sky. July 5, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Lizz (Frau B.) and I went to the White Mountains of New Hampshire the last weekend of June, with hopes of finding Mount Washington’s Alpine Garden in bloom.

I love the Whites, which sport many peaks around four thousand feet high:

…and a bunch of wild rivers cascading over beds of granite:

The mountains are rugged enough to attract technical climbers from around the world, with magnificent sweeps of granite like the thousand-foot East Face of Canon Mountain, which Lizz and I have each climbed countless times in both summer and winter:

…though sadly, never in each other’s company.

Perhaps one day soon we’ll right that wrong.

And while Westerners might scoff at the Whites’ paltry elevations, the confluence of several major storm tracks over this particular patch of real estate makes for some of the most extreme conditions on Earth.  Mount Washington, for instance, held the record for land-based wind speed measurements for many years, the Big Number being 231mph, at which point the anemometer blew away.

That’s windy.

Anyway, the prospect of finding arctic flora blooming on the wind-swept upper expanses of Mount Washington prompted us to put our prides aside and take the (expensive) Mount Washington Auto Road to a high point and commence hiking from there, something which we had both previously eschewed in favor of the long hike up, but at this point (and age,) it seemed like a better use of our time.

We drove up Saturday afternoon to scope out the parking, as we expected to be photographing in the wee hours of Sunday morning and didn’t want to have to nail the logistics in the dark.  I drove, and didn’t get very far before disappearing into dense clouds, windshield-wiper clouds, as the road wound steeply upward.  There wasn’t a guard rail in sight, not the whole way, just a sickening void to my right, no pavement markings (and for a ways higher up, no pavement) to differentiate the road to the summit from the road to hell, and each time a pair of dim downward-bound headlights appeared through twenty feet of atmospheric pea soup I pulled closer to the edge of this precarious lane-and-a half, recalling a time out West when such an encounter had removed both my and their side-view mirrors.

With the exposure to my right growing to three thousand feet, I didn’t relish a repeat performance, and I white-knuckled it to the summit and back down, with a break at the top to regain my composure and do a bit of wiping up.

These shots, taken on the way down on Sunday (when the weather was better,) give a little sense of what the drive was like.

A professional van bombs nonchalantly up an accomodating section of road, where widely spaced boulders would either keep one on the road or accompany you on your last tumble:

…with the requisite clouds rising up from The Great Gulf which separates Mount Washington from Mounts Jefferson and Adams.

And then, of course, there are sections where nothing but nerves divide you from eternity:

This was tons of fun with the visibility down to a couple of yards.  I didn’t envy Lizz’s powerless position as passenger, though our roles were reversed on Sunday when these shots were taken.

Higher up, at least on Sunday, we found ourselves above the clouds, with the gentler upper slopes belying the terminality of erring onto the non-existant shoulder:

That, my friends, would be a helluva role-over.

And across the way, rising above the early morning atmospherics, the insular Mount Adams poking at Heaven:

That last shot was taken from the trail; more on that to follow.

Another Version, Dour But Honest… May 5, 2010

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…of bluetts along the Deerfield, after a rain, the light low, the fog rising, bands of feldspar standing out in lightning relief against the rounded rumps of Mother Earth’s schist:

I’ve taken some of the color out of it, the form and contrast saying more to me than the ordinary greens of its grasses and shrubs.

This is a gift from Elliot; I hope you like it.