09.29.2014 Day of the Gentian

I have a hard time leaving the house in the afternoon.  Yard work to do or even a football game to watch.  Since the Patriots are playing tonight, that made it a little easier.  But basically, the momentum was my desire to photograph a Greater Fringed Gentian (Gentianopsis crinita formerly Gentiana crinita) with the petal spread a bit.  Despite arriving at 3:30 the sun was already sinking below the tree line and most of the blooms were closing shop for the day.  I found this one among the many.  It would have been ideal if all the petals were overlapping nicely, but I’m not complaining.

As was the case the other day, the background color is provided by dying plants…..again, I am not complaining.  :-)Fringed-Gentian-2-092814-600WebAnd a peek inside.Fringed-Gentian-1-092814-600WebFor those of you who follow the “rules”, it’s a no-no to have the stem in the corner.    ;-)

Oops!!! In my excitement at this post, I forgot a title, so you just got the date in your email notice.  My bad.  :mrgreen:

Posted in Autumn Color, Closeup Photography, Flora, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

09.28.2014 Snagged On Harvard Pond

My neighborhood was as thick as pea soup this morning which made me think it would be like that everywhere.  But it was just in random spots as I found out passing by the Quabbin and heading to Harvard Pond.  There was light fog in the distance, but pretty clear close at hand.  Similar to the shot from a few years ago that you see in the header at the top of the page.  So I decided to try something with this snag which is a small bit from a tree that is lying in the pond with various parts protruding above.

My first impulse was to isolate it and make a black and white study of the shape and reflection.Harvard-Pond-snag-in-monochrome-092814-600WebThere were a few trees on the shore to the left of that image which were bright red and just being illuminated by the sun rising over the trees.  I thought it would be nice to try an angle that would bring those trees’ reflection into the picture.  There is a lot of growth along the edge of the pond, and I literally had to straddle a large pine with the tripod and wrap myself around that tree to line this up.  I could have just got in the water, but the lower angle would have introduced another part of the fallen tree and got in the way.  But I stayed dry and I hope the shot was worth it.  Harvard-Pond-snag-with-color-092814-600WebI am headed back up that way this afternoon to try for a few more Fringed Gentian shots.  Another Facebook friend told me of a site that is half as far as yesterday’s and I am going to give that a try.

Posted in Abstract, Black and White, Central Massachusetts, Fall Foliage, Intimate Landscape, Landscape, Nature Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

09.27.2014 Moderate success

With the assistance of an acquaintance on Facebook, I found me some Greater Fringed Gentians (Gentianopsis crinita formerly Gentiana crinita).  I learned pretty quickly that they close up overnight or on cloudy days and are only opened when exposed to the sun…..so I had to settle for a dewy bud, but I think you can make out the fringe. I did wait until the sun hit them and gave it some time, but I think they need to dry off and warm thoroughly.  I didn’t have the time to wait this time around.  I am not sure if I can get there tomorrow afternoon when they would be fully open, but I may try.  Next year I will need to visit them a week or so earlier as most of the early blooms were faded and I didn’t care for their appearance in  one of the clusters.Fringed-Gentian-bud-092714The background is browned and drying ferns.

For David and anyone else who wish to consider me crazy, I drove for an hour and about 35 miles for this shot early this morning.  :-)  I am thinking of buying a few plants and raising some in the yard.

Posted in Central Massachusetts, Closeup Photography, Flora, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

09.26.2014 And now for something completely different

Here is another from a few weeks back, but a little less usual than my regular endeavors.  It is ok in color, but I prefer the tonal effects in monochrome.Moosehorn-Pond-stump-082314-600WebWhat do you see here….besides the tree stump?

Have a great weekend everyone.  :-)

Posted in Abstract, Black and White, Intimate Landscape, Landscape, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

09.25.2014 Butter and Eggs

Mmmmm…sounds like a delightful start to the day and it was.  To be clear, I had my usual bowl of sticks and twigs with fruit and milk, a glass of OJ and a handful of supplements.  The Butter and Eggs followed a bit later.

I guess that’s about enough silliness..  I am talking about one of my favorite wildflowers.  Linaria vulgaris is a late summer blooming member of the Plantaginaceae family which, as you may guess by looking at the image below, holds the snapdragons as well.  It is always an exciting time for me when I start to see them along roadsides and other less than lush fertile areas where it is considered a non-native invasive.  Invasive or not, I am always pleased to find these.

One from this past August that I neglected to share back then.

Butter-and-Eggs-080914-600WebAnd one from last year.Butter-and-Eggs-090813-800WebI like this one although I obviously missed a bit of the upper bloom.

And, for anyone interested, here is the system I have on order with Puget Systems.  Based on my experience with them so far, and the recommendations of several online friends, I think I am going to be pleased.  Everything is hand built with quality components, one at a time, and the unit is tested extensively before shipping.  If it is hard to read, click it for a better look as is the case for the other images as well.Puget-System


Posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

09.24.2014 Silver-rod (Solidago bicolor)

When Goldenrod isn’t golden well then it’s Silver-rod. At North Common Meadow in Petersham-a Trustees of Reservations property.

The flower

Silver-rod-2-600WebThe whole flower

Silver-rod-3-600WebAnd nothing but the flower.

Silver-rod-091914-600WebOuch.  New computer on the way.  My present computer just sits and stares back at me rather than processing as it should.  It could be worse, I suppose.  I’ve only seen the BSOD twice.  We recovered but……

Posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Nature Photography, Trustees of Reservations, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , | 24 Comments

09.23.2014 Welcome Autumn

For the first day of Autumn, I offer two shots of the same scene.

Along the upper limit of the Quabbin are two ponds….The Spectacles-North and South.  Seen on a map they appear, at least to someone’s imagination, as a pair of spectacles.Untitled-1Screen capture from Google Maps

The water is actually much more widespread in South Spectacle Pond than seen in the map…all that area with no trees is really water, but rather shallow, I guess…or maybe the Google Mapsmobile came by during a severe drought. There are some small islands with various wetland plants that flood during higher water in the Spring.South-Spectacle-Pond-092214-600WewbAdding a little length to the glass yielded a nice taste for what is to come as the days pass through the season.South-Spectacle-Pond-2-092214-600WewbI’ve learned of a spot where Fringed Gentian was blooming a week ago.  I can’t get there until this Saturday, but I will go and hope some are still fresh and lovely.

I’m tired…can you tell?  :-)

Posted in Autumn Color, Fall Foliage, Landscape, Nature Photography, Quabbin, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments