07.29.2014 Harvard Pond Sunrise

It’s a quiet start to my day and workweek.  It’s going to be a lovely day here in the neighborhood.  I hope the same is true for you.

Harvard-Pond-Sunrise-051814-600WebThat’s it for me.  Quiet.  :-)

Posted in Landscape, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

07.27.2014 Rainy Day Dream Away

It’s just a title in my head…and a song.

However, it has been a rainy day for the most part and I got out for a few hours this morning before the downpour.  I didn’t want to be a mile in the woods when the sky opened, so I stopped at the roadside lotus pond to see if there were dogbane beetles or frogs.  I didn’t see any beetles, but there was Fergus giving a really nice profile pose on a rock.Bullfrog-Full-Profile-072714-600WebI knew it was risky, but I wanted to see if I could get a shot from above.  No go.  I must have looked a bit like a predator and off he hopped.

It was a bit breezy and I looked at a flower spot, but they were swaying too much.  The next option was Poor Farm Swamp and this dead tree has always interested me.  But color Poor-Farm-Swamp-Tree-1-072714-600Webor monochrome?Poor-Farm-Swamp-Tree-072714-600WebThe weather guess is more rain tomorrow.  I hope later in the day.

Oh yeah…about the title:

Posted in Black and White, Closeup Photography, Intimate Landscape, Landscape, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

07.24.2014 Brickyard Dew Drops

I’ve done a Google search but have not been able to come up with a story revealing why or how the Brickyard Conservation Area got its name.  I’ll keep looking and eventually I will be able to tell you.  My guess is that the suspense is not killing anyone.       :-)

Brickyard is where I looked for and found the Monkeys, Deptford Pinks and the Canada Lilies.  It is also where I found this dewy intimate.Dewy-Grass-Intimate-072014-600WebThere were drops clinging to everything and everything seemed attached to everything. Picking out the pattern I wanted to capture was a challenge.  It wouldn’t take much to disturb the drops as I gingerly coaxed some of the blades in the background to stay behind other blades to the side until I was done.

Some of you will recognize this:Spittle-Bug-bubbles-070712-800FB-NSNWell, here is the individual responsible for such artistic bubble creations. While looking around, which is what takes up the most time in a large meadow, I came across this spittle bug.Diamondbacked-Spittlebug-072014-800WebThis is a Diamondback Spittlebug ( Lepyronia quadrangularis) delicately employing surface tension to our delight.  I am pretty sure that is a dew drop on its back and not part of the bug’s camo.  BTW, up is up.       :-)

And to my surprise, this next one is an Oriental Beetle ( Exomala orientalis).  I’ve seen them often with a golden brown pattern.  On this day I learned that they can also be black.Oriental-Beetle-black-072014-800WebI am sure that is enough for now.  Thanks for looking.



Posted in Patterns in Nature, Insect Behavior, Nature Photography, Abstract, Intimate Landscape, Closeup Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

07.23.2014 It’s all about the light

Monday morning at the bog.  Since I am now a retired (semi) guy, I have three day weekends with Mondays being the new Sunday.  I saw a photograph of a White-fringed Orchid on Facebook by a friend Sunday evening and decided I would use my morning to visit the bog and see them for myself.

It’s an hour drive from home to Hawley Bog and I did not think I’d get there for sunrise, but because of the tree line, I managed to be on the boardwalk just as the sun was rising into the tree tops.Hawley-Bog-Sunrise-072114-600WebI’ll get up a few minutes earlier next time.  Then maybe the sun’s rays will be going up into the sky over the rising mist.

Although I was there for the orchids, I also was hoping for a nice Pitcher Plant shot and this one stole the show.Pitcher-Plant-Flower-072114-600WebI loved the warm morning light on the flower and used a small handheld reflector to help spread the glow underneath the bloom.  A polarizer helped control the glare on the left side.

And to complete the story, I mentioned I was there for the orchids.  They weren’t quite as open as I would have liked, but maybe this weekend a return trip will find them more fully blooming.  By this time the light was kind of in between the sweet magic hour warmth and the later strong sunlight, but still not too bad.White-fringed-Orchid-072114-600WebI hope you’ve enjoyed the bog light.  Next post might find us some bugs in the spotlight.

Posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Landscape, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

07.21.2014 Hey, Hey, we’re the Monkeys


Here are two Monkey-flower images.  Personally, I don’t see the monkey’s face, but that is how it got its name.  Do you see a monkey?

Monkey-flower-1-072014-600WebIf you see it then you have a much better imagination than I.  :-)Monkey-flower-2-072014-600WebThanks to Inspector Clouseau, whenever I hear “Monkey” this comes to mind.

I hope my two images entertained, but if not, then I hope Clouseau’s incompetence did.     :-)

Posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

07.20.2014 Moody Bridge Oak

I set out this morning with visions of Monkey-flowers dancing in my head.  Before I headed to the spot where I often find them, I took a left turn and drove into Hadley as it was fair fogged and I have had this image in my head for a while.  I say “this image” but I am not totally sure it is quite what I visualized so I will continue to revisit this when there are other fogs.

I also had the idea that this would be a Black and White photograph but when converting it the color combination created a flat set of tones and expanding the range created more contrast than I was looking for.  A different rendering may produce what I was looking for but that will be another day. So color it is.Moody-Bridge-Maple-072014-600WebThe monkeys are on deck, waiting for their turn at bat.  Maybe they’ve got next.


Posted in Landscape, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

07.18.2014 Deptford Pink

I am catching up here.  Some of you have already seen this image on Facebook, but I neglected it during my full moon posts.  It seemed short shrifting to shoehorn it in, so I’ve been keeping it at the ready.  Hopefully this weekend will see a lot of new entries, but for now here is something from two weeks ago.

Every time I find out that a favorite flower is an alien, it comes as a bit of a disappointment.  I am not sure why as they have been here longer than I, but something seems a bit more connected when the plant is native.  However, as I am all about showing the beauty of flowers, among other things, and it doesn’t matter in that respect whether something is a “weed”, an alien, invasive or native, here is Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria).Deptford-Pink-2--070314-600WebThis one is just a tiny bit immature, like me, and probably was fully developed with the nice purple/pink anthers on display later that day.  At any stage, this is a lovely flower which I look for every year.  It is also fairly small, measuring approximately 3/8″/9.5mm in diameter.

Posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Uncategorized, Western Massachusetts, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments