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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.

 

Road Trip, Part II. June 25, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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So where were we…

…oh yeah, coming down Mount Washington in thick clouds and high winds.

We got down below the swirling cloud cap and the worst of the winds and started seeing some Alpine flowers, not the sub-arctic rarities we had hoped for, but hey, we’d come this far for photos, so we stopped to get what we could.

Along the road we found Bunchberry:

Lapland Rosebay:

Labrador Tea:

Mounntain cranberries:

…and Diapensia:

These are showing their little red buds, but haven’t quite blossomed yet.

In an ideal world, these would have been captured as tilt-shift photographs with expansive mountain views, but given the still-high winds, that was not to be.

This time.  I’ll be back.

By now Lizz and I were ready for breakfast, so down to town we went.

Stay tuned for Part Three.  🙂

Bog Pond, Savoy,MA. January 12, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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I got up to Bog Pond this afternoon, where I had previously photographed the sastrugi in my last post, mostly because I thought I’d missed an opportunity to walk around and see what the winds had wrought, knowing that we’re about to get a fair snowfall over the next twelve hours (it’s already begun,) and that the place would be significantly different tomorrow.

My walkabout proved to be uneventful and only minimally inspiring from a photographic point of view, but I found the solitude to be almost spiritual; the ice was highly textured and unexpectedly three dimensional, while the thin snow, carved into wind-scoured ridges and troughs, crunched and whined beneath my boots and ski poles.  I half expected a sudden glimpse of wildlife going about its business, perhaps a bear or big cat scavenging for a snack, but was disappointed on that count.  It may be that their superior sensitivity to things like the incoming storm had driven them to shelter, or more likely I was just too clumsy and noisy to earn an invitation to join to their polite society of locals.

In any event, I took a few photos, such as this one of the floating vegetative mats of leatherleaf, bog cranberries and other such things which make up the unique flora of Bog Pond:

The ice itself was a riot of cracks and crazes  and lumps and bumps of undiscerned origin:

By the time I took this one I’d been trouncing around on the Bog for at least an hour and had learned what  I needed to know – stay out of the yellow spots, which were soft enough to be preying on the snow above them, and stick to the smoky blue patches.  Failure to adhere to this rule resulted in wet boots and slowed progress, neither of which was a good thing here in the high country, where getting it right means getting home with all one’s fingers and toes intact.

Tonight we’re going to get a nice winter storm and, if the internets are to be believed, a healthy heaping of snow.  I hope they’re right about that – it will be beautiful!

Thanks again to Elliot for these shots; I don’t think I’d have gotten them without his ability to lay down a plain of focus on my surrounding reality.