06.20.2021 Silent Summer Solstice Sunday Sunrise

Posted in Landscape, Sunrise, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

06.20.2021 Summer Sunday-Indian Cucumber Root

As the name implies, the root, really a tuber, is edible and tastes like a cucumber…although I personally have not yanked one out of the ground to munch upon it.  I am relying on the report in good faith. The plant grows to between 12-36 inches and flowers in late spring and early summer. The fruits are berries which are dark red to purple and I have seen nothing to indicate they are edible. The plant is considered as becoming rare so pulling the roots is not encouraged.  Whether they are edible or not, the berries produce new plants so leaving them for the future is a good idea.

Indian Cucumber Root-Medeola virginiana is a member of the Lily family and the only species in it genus.

I’ve never photographed the berries but will try to remember to do so later in the summer. The plant is taller than shown here but I concentrated on the flower.

Posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

06.19.2021 Large-lace border

One of my favorite moths that I have seen a number of times over the years. This one is about 1″ in wingspan and I was lucky to find it in such pristine condition.

Large Lace Border-Scopula limboundata in my backyard.

Posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insects, Lepidoptera, macro photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

06.18.2021 Frog Friday-Bump on a Log Edition

Visiting Moosehorn Pond this past Saturday, I felt that I had struck out looking for the little green guys. I did find all those nice lily pads with their water drops, but I am always looking for frogs. I gave up and started driving away when I looked at a log I often see turtles sunning upon. There was a bump on that log and I thought it had bulging eyes. Sure enough, there was a frog.

I pulled over and walked back with the 100-400 and doubler which still left the frog small in the frame. Two side view frames later I decided to try to get a few feet closer as if that would have made much of a difference.  But in those few moments the frog turned toward me and I got one shot off before ker-plunk.  It was an overcast morning which turned out well for the shine on its head.  Too far away to powder its nose.

So how did the frog get so large in the frame without the pixels getting more noticeable  and the detail softer?  The most recent update of Lightroom (and Camera Raw) now includes Enhance, found if you right click the image and scroll down below Photo Merge) which uprezzes the file quite a bit allowing for, in this case, as greater crop.  It also allows much larger prints. Topaz Gigapixel offers a lot more in controls and choices but for my purposes as a macro photographer this does the job well…and comes for free with the subscription. What you see above is a huge crop.

Posted in Autumn Color, Fauna, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

06.17.2021 The day reflected in a snake’s eye

On my way to the car after the heron, some frogs, a turtle, and a plain nice day to be out, I stopped one more time to check Poor Farm Swamp Pond for what might be out there.  As I approached something moved and I saw this Northern Water Snake-Nerodia sipedon where it stopped just short of the pond’s edge. I noticed the reflection of the day with its blue sky and the surrounding trees in the snake’s eye and scales.

For snake-o-phobics, aka ophidiophobia or Indiana Jones one big fear, there is nothing lovely here. But the color and reflection I find attractive. These snakes are not at all aggressive although I would not poke one in the nose with a finger. Generally they will just move away if you get too close.

Posted in Amherst, Animal Behavior, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

06.16.2021 Lily Pads as Pacman

While at Moosehorn Pond on the same day as the previous water-lily shot, I captured a couple of pads with nice water drops that accumulated during the rain just prior to my arrival. I picked out a couple with some nice color.

As I walked along the edge I saw these and it struck me that it looked like one was eating leaves that floated by, sort of like Pacman.

It’s funny how some things occur to you even when they were not your own experience.  I never played Pacman or any other video games. I work with guys who sit and play games on their phones but it has never appealed to me as a way to pass time.

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

06.15.2021-2 Two-fer Tuesday

While looking for froggies for FFs to come, I saw this handsome Great Blue Heron across a pond, possibly Brickyard Pond, along the Norwottuck Rail Trail.

Great Blue Heron- Ardea herodias

I liked the pose but thought a little farther down the trail would be better.  The heron did not agree and as soon as I appeared a little closer from behind some bushes lining the path away he flew. I am happy to have this shot.

That is the same fallen branch that I posted a few weeks ago with four turtles basking. I was looking for frogs and turtles but settled for a heron.

Posted in Amherst, Animal Behavior, Fauna, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

06.15.2021 Mission Accomplished

Yesterday morning began with thundershowers before dawn and then more later in the morning.  Later for me, probably still early for most everyone else. We need the rain so no complaints.  But when I visited some favorite spots for mountain laurel-Kalmia latifolia over the weekend most were still tightly budded. I figured I had better visit some others elsewhere yesterday or by this weekend when I had my next opportunity to photograph them it might be too late.

Of course I did make more than this one image, but it is my favorite for the shoot.  Maybe some others later.  The overcast sky made capturing the white flowers less challenging and allowed them to stand out against a background that was darker than might have been otherwise. My first attempts at other compositions met with breezes but as I shot they disappeared allowing for a long exposure the dim flat light required.

Most were set back from the road and difficult to approach but the 180 and a doubler made composing much easier from a flat surface.

Posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

06.14.2021 Macro Monochrome Melding Monday

Sensitive Fern-Onoclea sensibilis

Also done on “Green Day” but tossed the color.

Posted in Black and White, Closeup Photography, Intimate Landscape, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

06.13.2021 Silent Sunday-Green Day

Posted in Landscape, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments