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Hawley Bog. January 26, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Up in Hawley, Massachusetts sits Cranberry Bog, A.k.A. Hawley Bog, which is the highest elevation acid bog in the State.  It’s an expanse of floating mats of sphagnum peat, harboring large communities of leatherleaf, bog cranberries, laurels and azaleas, as well as some less common species of plants and trees.

I got up there today in poor weather and worse light, just in time for the beginning of the snow:

…which is expected to turn to sleet, then rain, later today.  It didn’t make for great pictures, though the abundant towering spruce snags standing ghostly guard over the pall were impressive:

While this light isn’t conducive to landscape photography, it’s sometimes good for capturing details, rendering them in richly saturated hues.  Such was the case with these Northern Pitcher plants, Sarracenia purpurea,  which love to grow in the sphagnum moss:

They aren’t well served by this year’s thin snow pack; time will tell how they do going forward.

All of these were taken with Ollie, my 24-105mm L-Series zoom, on the box.  I really didn’t want to change lenses in these conditions.


Change Is Coming. September 15, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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No, unfortunately, not the political kind we voted for.  I meant the seasonal show Mother puts on for those of us here in the Northeast.  I’m afraid a maple fungus will diminish the colors this year, but there will, at least, be something  to look at.

Hawley Bog, up in, um, Hawley:

…with cotton grass waving in the breeze.

More views of the boardwalk floating on the delicate bog mat:


Both shots courtesy of Elliot, thank-you very much.

There’s a possibility we’ll be getting a frost this weekend (!) so stay tuned – this could get good in a hurry.  😉

Hawley Bog Sunset. January 22, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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My planned excursion to Hawley Bog this morning didn’t happen.

When I woke at 5am with plans to be driving at 6, it was five degrees F out, and being alone, it didn’t seem prudent to go snow-shoeing around off-trail, crossing snow covered streams (some of them deep) to get to where I wanted to be.

I’d have gone with my usual Partner In Crime Lizz; it’s a totally different game taking chances with a capable friend close at hand.  But alone, uh-uh.  My desire to live life fully includes both intensity and longevity.

Hell, I’m just gettin’ good!

Besides, it was so friggin’ cold out, and my bed was nice and warm.  🙂

So, all you folks get is the previous night’s sunset, snagged during my recon for the morning shoot which didn’t happen.  It wasn’t a promising evening for a “keeper,” as thick clouds were moving in and the Magic Hour was slipping away, but I got across the first major stream and set up Elliot in about three feet of snow.  To get a fallen tree in the foreground and the jagged spruce snags on the skyline, I applied a degree and a half of tilt, focused on both and waited for a break in the clouds.

And waited, and stomped around, and waited some more.  My watch said it was now or never; the sun was setting, and that would be that.

Then, as these things are wont to happen, the horizon cracked just enough to allow me a few dim shots, of which this one had the most to offer:

I had to bring the levels up in Photoshop, but hey, that’s what the kids do these days, and if us Old Farts want to stay in the game we’d better learn to do it too.

Anyway, I had to have something to show for the effort of breaking a trail in for the ‘morrow, and I do mean “breaking it in;” the whole thing was a latticework of icy brush and boughs bent to the ground and linked in luminous lace.  It was a beautiful pain in the ass, and I’m happy to have salvaged something from the evening’s work.

I’ll be back there in the light, if I can manage it while the icework lingers.

Images From My Day. May 11, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Got to Hawley Bog by mid-morning, in time to feed the black flies. Yes, it’s May here too, and May means Mayflies, blackflies, les mouche noires. Voracious little bastards who will find a way through any discontinuity in your clothing to exact their pound of flesh (well, ok, a “pound” is exaggerating a bit, but they take a piece away and leave a bloody hole, so I’m not fond of them.)

But I got down on my belly and I took some pictures anyway:

I don’t know what kind of plant this is, but it was valiantly attempting to erect a solar collector above the saturated plane of the sphagnum moss, and Little Plant, I Salute You!

Then off to deliver Ultimate Spawn to her Mom’s house for a couple days, with a return trip through pastoral Shelburne. Here’s a view of a mowing field with violets erupting in a sea of dandelions:

…and along the way, a patch of Marsh Marigolds in a wetland, with a guest thinning out the pollen:

It was a beautiful day despite the bugs.