10.31.2014 Erratica

There are glacial erratics, so why not a stream erratic?  This is a shot from two years back at a favorite location in the Quabbin Watershed-Atherton Brook inside Gate 15 in Shutesbury.  Atherton-Brook-Cascade-with-erratic-042212-600WebI haven’t been back here this year so I am not sure if the rock is still balanced there or not.  Sounds like a good hike for the weekend some time.  With all the branches and chunks of ice that flow in the Spring one would imagine it received a bump or two at some point.

I hope the title didn’t cause anyone to send the children off to bed before opening this up.  :-)

Posted in Intimate Landscape, Landscape, Nature Photography, Quabbin, Water, Western Massachusetts, Western Massachusetts Waterfalls and Cascades | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

10.30.2014 Don’t eat a Amanita

Bad grammar but it has a rhythm.  :-)

Fungi are such interesting organisms and are essential to the ecology and success of plants.  The mycorrhizal association they have with plants is one of mutual benefit.  Fungi break down minerals and share them while plants offer food through photosynthesis.  Much as the honey bee is essential to our food supply,  mushrooms signal health in our soils.

Many mushrooms offer us tasty morsels, but not so most, if not all, Amanitas.  This one, Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric), is not the deadliest of them, but it can still prove fatal despite the good looks and is to be avoided.  However, we are always happy to see these pop up in the yard and this year we have a nice group of them gracing the yard below some hemlocks.Amanita-muscaria-102414-600WebEventually they will open fully into what we think of as toadstools.  The larger one here has done so, but the cap has split and isn’t all that attractive.  As a self-described intimate nature photographer, I did have to produce a portrait of one.Amanita-muscaria-102514-600WebI have seen some from European photographers that are brilliantly red all over the cap, but never around here.  Still, this is the brightest of the species I have seen so am quite happy with this.

Posted in Autumn Color, Closeup Photography, Fungi, Mushrooms, Nature Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 26 Comments

10.28.2014 Dawn at Owens Pond

Prior to my visit to Mount Pollux on the 27th (yesterday), I thought Owens Pond in the Wentworth Farm Conservation Area might offer a nice start to the day.  As I stood at the west end of the pond, it seemed unlikely that there was going to be anything special happening.  The sky was clear and the horizon had a dull glow. But there were clouds to the north and they were drifting across the sky to the southeast.  I was hopeful.

Two women walked by with their dog and asked what birds I was photographing.  I explained the situation and they wished me luck.  A short time later they returned just as some color was building under the clouds and joined me for a few minutes enjoying the show.

Owens-Pond-Dawn-102714-700WebAs with yesterday’s composition, I waited for the clouds to move to a better position.  A little more to the right would have been good but, as they drifted, they dispersed and did not satisfy as much as here.I have a few favorite spots to visit throughout the year.  Owens Pond is right near the top of the list.

Posted in Landscape, Nature Photography, Sunrise, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

10.27.2014 Mount Norwottuck from Mount Pollux

I wanted to try this image yesterday, but when I got to Mount Pollux there were people there.  The nerve.    :-)

So I was fortunate today that the Golden Hour light was similar and the color hadn’t changed much overnight.  In composing this, I tried to hide all the houses in the valley behind trees.  I also waited for a while until the clouds drifted to where they were balanced across the sky from edge to edge.  Little things that make a difference which I would not have thought about when first starting photography.Mount-Norwottuck-from-Mount-Pollux-102714-700WebHere is a different view from last year a week earlier.

This may have been my last hurrah for foliage.  Back to work in the morning and the color will fade in the next four days…..unless I head south.  :-)

Posted in Autumn Color, Fall Foliage, Landscape, Mountains, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

10.26.2014 Dean Brook and The Tree

After that wonderful sunrise yesterday, I headed to a favorite place that has been here before-Dean Brook.  I’ve grown quite fond of this tree and wanted to capture a few monochromes featuring it.  I hope you like them.


Dean-Brook-and-Tree-2-102514-600WebThat’s it from me…mum’s the word.

Posted in Black and White, Intimate Landscape, Landscape, Nature Photography, Water, Western Massachusetts, Western Massachusetts Waterfalls and Cascades | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

10.25.2014 Quabbin Valley Sunrise

This morning I decided to get a sunrise view looking south into Quabbin Valley from New Salem.  I was fortunate that some of the trees were still carrying a few colorful leaves and the sun lit the valley enough to help balance the shadows and highlights.

We had a couple of days of wet weather and the clouds cleared out last night.  I saw nothing but stars when I let Murphy out at 4:00 but, when bringing in the paper at 5:30, there were clouds moving across the sky and I thought I’d better get moving.  It was an unusual start as the clouds were getting some color more than an hour before sunrise and it kept building during the drive to New Salem.  I got there just in time.

Clicking the image gets you a bigger picture.


Posted in Autumn Color, Fall Foliage, Landscape, Nature Photography, Quabbin, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

10.24.2014 Partial Solar Eclipse from a friend


A friend from college days, David H. Hathaway, works in NASA’s Ames Research Center in California.  If you are interested in such things, here is his website related to solar physics.  The other day he had the good fortune to have relatively clear skies and a good view of the eclipse.  I mentioned to Jim that I would try to share his image and David said fine.Dave Hathaway's Eclipse photoThe sunspots are the source of what David says are the largest solar flares in ten years, but they are not coming in our direction.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 19 Comments