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A Venture Into Black and White. October 29, 2012

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A quick shot of Susan at a horse farm in Stockbridge, MA:

I’ve been following the work of a few B&W photographers, and they’re affecting the way I look at things.

Meanwhile, Back On Nantucket… February 2, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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…Our weekend, continued.

The village of Nantucket is a beautiful bit of Old New England:

…gone kinda commercial.  The cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks and buildings are quaint, but geared toward raking in the tourist bucks.

This time of year we were spared the crowds:

In fact, we were spared the burden of having anything be open.

So we sprung for a rental car and hit the road.

We headed East to ‘Sconset (it’s actually Siasconset,  but The Locals don’t call it that) across the island “highlands.”  This is an interesting bit of terrain which makes a passable Serengeti:

Our innkeeper told us that, last year, someone had placed life-size cut-outs of big game out there, to the assumed delight of us tourists.

I think that’s pretty funny.

But onward we went, stopping at Sankaty Light just north of ‘Sconset:

This big boy was moved in 2007, back from the edge of an impressive but eroding sand dune cliff.  Here Susan gives it a bit of scale:

The sand cliffs here dwarf the Cape cliffs at Marconi Beach.  Susan considered the dive:

…but in the end, thought better of it:

We settled for a nice long walk on the beach:

…amidst the driftwood…

…and occasional messages in the sand, this one obliterated by a wave a second after I captured it:

Here the shifting sands swallow anything which sits still long enough to succumb to the work of wind and water:

…while spitting out the unpalatable cast-offs of a struggling coastal population:

As the afternoon waned, we headed back to Nantucket Village in time to catch another low tide, my personal favorite time to be on the beach:

Tiny tableaus told of battles fought and lost,

and of past glories now bleaching in the surf and sun:

What a tale was told there, of life and death, beauty and dissolution.

There were lessons to be learned by wiser minds, but then, we had a ferry to catch.

So, off to the Lady Martha:

…away from the dock:

…and back across the Sound, this time chuttering against the wind, so ‘scuse the shaky shots -with the sun setting over Nantucket Sound:

…and off to the southeast, a trail of warm memories:

…albeit grainy as all get-out.

Anyway, that’s it from Nantucket.  I hope you enjoyed it a fraction as much as we did.

G’Night now.

Caught! December 9, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
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…by Susan very early one November morning, fiddling with a graduated filter up on a ladder in Windsor:

I was rushing toward a sunrise and didn’t even see her take this picture with her cell phone, but I’m glad she did – I spend a lot of time behind a camera, and it’s interesting to see what that looks like.

Thanks, Susan!



Ruby Tuesday – The Chrysanthemum Show! November 8, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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Spent Sunday afternoon at Smith College, diggin’ the Mum Show with Susan (she has all the best ideas! 😉 )

There were more kinds of Mums than I’d ever imagined!  Here are a few shots from the day.

Cascading mums, trained on screens which are rolled down a bit every couple of days, making for a wall-size display:

Pink Mums:

Red Mums:

Yellow Mums:

Orange Mums:

There were lots of people there, it being opening day, but still, I was surprised to run into Rod Stewart:

Heheh, sorry about that…

My favorites, though, were of a variety called “Wind Dancer:”

They came in lots of colors, but I was partial to these butterscotch ones:

And of course, where there are flowers, there ought to be honey bees:

Couldn’t get her to sit still for me, sorry…

Before we left Susan took a little time out to enjoy the goldfish in the Orchid Room:

…and I took a little time out to enjoy Susan by the goldfish pond!

OK, so they’re not all ruby shots, but I thought enough of them were to pass this off as an RT post!

Besides, there’s plenty more Rubyliciousness over at Mary’s!


Rainy Day Bouquet. September 30, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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It’s been raining all day here in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts; this little bouquet of sunflowers from Susan’s garden brightened my return home:

I hope it brightens your day as well.  😉

Fire! September 28, 2010

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We’re driving through the predawn darkness, velvety, thick, silent.  I’d like to catch a sunrise, and Susan would like to catch me doing so.

I have a spot in mind, up in Windsor where spruce forests crowd ankle deep around cool bogs and tall grasses wave from rolling fields, having overgrown and outlasted carpets of Spring wildflowers.

But we’re late.  I strain forward in my seat as if to beat the spinning of the Earth.  The blackness cupping our headlights loosens its hold and phantom spruce spires appear against a graying sky.

Damn! It’s a lot more overcast than I had hoped – high clouds are a plus when shooting sunrises, but these look to be a bit much.  I begin to doubt the wisdom of getting up at 4:30 and hope I’m not dragging Susan along on a fool’s errand.

We speed ahead as jagged silhouettes coalesce into twisted spruces and cat-tail bogs rendered in shades of Kansas gray.

And then, just as the trees part and a high meadow appears on our left, it happens – the monotone clouds turn pink, grow brighter, and burst into…


Fabulous flames fan out from the furnace of the Sun as it rolls over the horizon, forcing itself into the crack between Heaven and Earth.

We careen to a jostling stop on the sloping shoulder and I fumble with my tripod and change my camera settings.  Why am I never quite ready when this happens???

I get the shot, but just barely.  In a minute the land is lit and the palette changes to oranges and purples and the grasses green up.  Not that that’s a bad thing, just different:

Too soon, with little fanfare, the show is over and it’s morning up in Windsor.  The spiky phantasms become spruces and birches and swamp maples cloaked in their fall finery, their feet lovingly tended to by the last wildflowers of summer:

Across the road a gently bowed meadow of green grasses gone to rust cradles a blanket of morning fog, and through a growing break in the clouds we’re given the gift of a gibbous moon:

We stand silently watching ’till we’re interrupted by rude grumblings from our stomachs.

It’s time to go find some breakfast.

Back To Color! September 9, 2010

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Escaping the black & white world of gravestones (whew!) we return to September in Western Massachusetts.

Specifically, to these beautiful sunflowers Susan picked from her garden:

…and brought over to brighten my day!.  🙂

We both marveled at the complexity of that big yellow one:

It’s a little hard to tell in this small format, but the Raw file is spectacular!

As we move into harvest season there will be lots more things to be thankful for.

I’m looking forward to sharing them with you.  😉

An Inexpensive Date! March 21, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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On Friday it was $2 apiece to get into the bulb show, and Susan was in heaven.

On Saturday it was a walk up a dirt road and through unsigned pastures and farm lots, which undercut Friday’s extravagance by, um, $2 apiece, and Susan was again ecstatic.

I am such a lucky guy!

Behind an old metal-roofed barn we found an extremely roughly hewn three inch “washer,” torch-cut from plate steel, and an old rusted cotter pin, both of which will likely find their way into Susan’s collages of Found Object Art.  Then, rounding a corner, we came face to face with The Locals, who seemed baffled by our presence, giving us the “Whatchoo Lookin’ At” eye:

We were, in fact, looking at an old International Harvester farm truck, dazed by a konk on the noggin from a falling tree but, judging by her tires, far from dead:

I thought the black and white rendition afforded the old gal the dignity she deserved.

Susan, bless her impish heart, seemed to think this was great fun!

Farther up in the pastures, while enjoying a spectacular view, she found a large bone.  It was a sun-bleached bovine scapula, a gift which had her all but dancing in the fields.

Did I mention that I’m a lucky guy?


A Valentine’s Day Date. February 20, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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This comes late, I know.  But I’ve just recently returned to work, and hitting the road at 5:30AM  is a shock to the system, and some of the want-to’s need to wait ’till I get a chance to do them justice.

Anyway, this past weekend I took Susan to the Amherst College Museum of Natural History.

Talk about a cheap date.  She opted to skip lunch in favor of a chance to see stones and bones.

And of each, there were plenty.  Some bones:

A moose takes advantage of our subjugate perspective to lord it over a present-day elephant’s ass and a much grander mastadon’s curving tusks.

And here’s a wall of prehistoric mammals of various sizes:

That bottom one is a Big Boy, think “rhinoceros on steroids.”

Susan stood in the facing stairs, transfixed, for quite a while:

I’m guessing she was imagining their musculature, she being an Equine Massage Therapist, lost in their thick, coarse fur, waist deep in the grasses of a long lost veldt.

We marveled at the fossil record of a feathered Archeopteryx:

…Some long-gone fishies:

…and the rapacious maw of a Tyranosaurus Rex:

Susan was pleased:

Tomorrow we’re off to the Amherst Orchid Show, inexplicably staged in Northampton.

Film at 11.

While We Had Clothes On… April 21, 2009

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At Bella’s 100th, that is…

I so seldom wear Sunday-Go-To-Meetin’ Duds, I figured I’d get some evidence for the prosecution.

The Smooth Brothers:

The Smooth Brothers

…and in case you missed ’em:


(There’s a reason we don’t get invited to these things.  😉  )

And I was honored to be accompanied by my sweetie, Susan:

with Susan

You’ll be seeing more of this woman, I promise!