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Truck Patch. June 7, 2012

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On my way home from a photographic art showing in Amherst, the brooding skies cried out for a photograph.  I took rural roads home and drove slowly, looking for a foreground to pair the clouds with.

I settled on a farm field in Sunderland, planted with cabbages and corn:

Another one from Elliot.

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Under Threatening Skies. October 23, 2011

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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.

Sunderland, MA. October 22, 2011

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A Saturday morning errand in Hadley turned into a circuitous ride home through North Hadley and into Sunderland, and a pre-planned, productive day devolved into a swivel-headed odyssey in search of Beauty.

I hate  it when that happens.

But happen it did, and nothing got crossed off my “to do” list.  Instead I mudded around on farm roads, keeping an eye out for folks who might own the place and appreciate me asking if they minded.  [As kind of an aside, people almost never mind me photographing their places, but they always  mind me not asking.  Ask, and you shall receive permission.]

I pulled off a side road at a gone-by field of asparagus, liking the low light and the threatening skies, and ran into the owner.  Ed not only pointed me toward a particularly photogenic part of his property, but offered me as much butternut squash as I wanted.  It was sitting in a wooden crate and not going anywhere soon enough to pay him for the trouble.  I accepted his offer with heartfelt thanks.  [That’s how asking permission works.  ;)]

His asparagus fields had taken on that golden hue which autumn brings them:

I liked that view of the barn, and this one of an impudent Jimson weed bearing its strangely spiny “fruit” amidst the asparagus:

These seed pods give it the moniker “Spiny apple,” but they’re not at all apple-like.  It’s incredibly toxic stuff, damaging livestock which eat it and people who think its vaunted hallucinogenic properties are worth that damage.

I continued north as clouds massed threateningly, heading toward Mt. Sugarloaf.  It was across the river in Deerfield, but very much dominated the scene in Sunderland:

These three are Elliot’s work; he likes the planar places.

More from Sunderland soon.

Falling Waters. June 17, 2011

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It’s been a rainy week here in Western Massachusetts.  Not full-on rainy, but rather, storms blowing through most days:

Lots of these anvil-shaped summer storms, lots of morning fogs.  Lots for the farmers to be thankful for as the planting season swings into high gear:

Streams which are frequently dry this time of year are cascading down from the hills:

…turning things pretty verdant:

Those last two shots were taken on Mount Toby in Sunderland; the next two are of Black Brook in Savoy:

…on a rainy afternoon after work:

Beyond the forest’s edge, the flowers of the fields soaked it up, exploding in riots of color:

…with daisies reaching up past red and yellow hawkweeds and clovers, toward the eventual sun breaking through steely skies:

If we get a modicum of sun over the next few weeks, this will be a stellar growing season.

But then, this is New England, so we’ll get what we get.  😉

Thanks to Elliot for most of these shots, and Ollie for the rest.

 

 

 

Down By The River… February 21, 2011

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…I shot my camera.  Got this photo of trees reflecting in the Connecticut up at the Montague/Sunderland line:

…and this one, of a New Age Tobacco Barn in Hatfield at sunset:

Both of these venues have potential for some interesting photographs, and will bear watching through the seasons and in various weather.

Enjoy.

Balloons. December 7, 2009

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I guess I better post these photos sooner rather than later, as there’s snow on the ground now and likely more where that came from, so they’ll look a little silly when the rest of my world turns white.

Last weekend, from the top of Mount Sugarloaf in South Deerfield, Massachusetts, looking south toward Amherst and the University of Massachusetts:

It was a good night for flying, and the balloons were out:

I didn’t have the lens I wanted for this, but then, one can’t have everything.

Another shot:

This one really does convey the feeling of floating above the reality of a Western Massachusetts landscape.  I’m kinda fond of this photograph.

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Anyway, today it’s turned white; winter’s coming.  I feel it.  I see it.  I’m looking forward to it, consciously, perhaps mostly because of its inevitability.  I find myself to be not inclined to fight the passage of time, but rather to experience it as an external aspect of life which might or not be appreciated, as the observer chooses.

I choose to appreciate winter.  Doing so extends my participation in the world considerably.

On The Plains Of Sunderland April 16, 2008

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…It’s greening up.

Cool.