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Warwick In Winter… January 7, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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…on a January afternoon:

That’s an hour or so east of home, up by the Northfield line.  Lots of gravel roads and not many houses.  The forest here runs up into New Hampshire and down into The Quabbin Reservoir, so there’s a lot of wildlife of the larger variety.

No jobs, though.

Later, – R


Today’s Bridge. April 17, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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I’ve been working on the replacement of a bridge over the Middle Branch of the Westfield River:

The bridge is resisting collapse with a decided lack of enthusiasm, and I’m sure even that level of cooperation with human designs is grudging and finite.  So The State is replacing it, and I’m doing the layout.

Despite the hour-in-each-direction drive, I love this job.  This branch of the Westfield cascades down a narrow valley, coursing between vertically-laid planes of the native schist, carving smooth fin-like boundaries for its deep green channels.  And every short ways, the surrounding hills add their contributions to the flow:

And wildlife is abundant – I’ve seen deer, wild turkeys and a very large otter on my drives to and from work, as well as hawks and vultures (those cuties!)  Still waiting for a bear, though.

Coexistence. April 14, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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I seldom drive anywhere without my camera, and it’s usually on the seat beside me, with the white balance and ISO set for the prevailing conditions. I do this because if the camera is in its bag in the back seat, I can be certain that Sasquatch will dash across the road in front of my car, probably with Jackie O over his shoulder.

So yesterday, as I noodled my way home along every little dirt road I could find, I rounded a bend in the road and came across a scene which made me turn off the engine and coast to a quiet stop.

I sat still for a bit, hoping no other cars would come along. I had been seen, but apparently I was less interesting than the grasses and seeds at the evening’s buffet.

Slowly I slid out of the car with my camera in hand and made my way across the wet gravel on my elbows and knees, keeping low enough to be hidden by the remnants of stone wall which snaked along the tree line between the road and field. I barely noticed the wetness as I propped myself up against the base of a fat old maple and checked the exposure – damn! So dim, it would have to be a quarter of a second, and hand-held, with me shaking like an adolescent boy about to get some.

I braced the camera against the tree, exhaled and took the shot:

The young doe grazed serenely amidst a small flock of wild turkeys, with the proud tom walking in slow circles around her, occasionally fanning his tale in a gesture of self-satisfaction while the hens blithely ignored him.

It’s far from crisp, but it still makes me smile 🙂 .