09.23.2017 More Fog

No matter the weather, every morning starts a beautiful new day…some more than others, though.  🙂

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09.22.2017 Heron on a snag

As promised, here is another shot of the preening heron a bit later as the fog began to dissipate..

Posted in Animal Behavior, Fauna, Nature Photography, Quabbin, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

09.21.2017 In a fog

Two of my happy places are Quabbin and in a fog (both physically and metaphysically).  On this particular day, I was making images of Quabbin Tower and trees in fog.After that I turned to photograph some other trees and while doing that felt like I was being watched.Later, as I was heading home, I passed a beaver pond along MA 9 in Ware and noticed a Great Blue Heron preening on an old tree snag. The Canon SX60 on a bean bag draped atop the car window provided the length needed for this. Although, every time a vehicle sped by it took a while for the car to settle down…much like from a boat’s wake.

There’s one more GBH shot from this date and spot that will appear at another time.

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07.19.2017 The Sun does indeed also rise.

That Hemingway tie in would indicate some sort of philosophical post.  Wish I could but unfortunately only have 2000 words worth of imaging to share.

Monday started quite well.

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07.17.2017 Sun, fog, and a tree in Brickyard

Shortly after the July 3rd Brickyard foggy sunrise previously posted, I went looking for some Canada Lilies.  I didn’t find any there but came across a foggy scene with a tree filtering the sunlight creating a bit of a starburst…actually if you look closely there are several little ones near the larger.

Posted in Amherst, Landscape, Nature Photography, Sunrise, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

07.15.2017 My Holy Grail of Larvae

I think most everyone is aware of the decreasing Monarch Butterfly population.  As far as their caterpillars are concerned, I saw nary a one for the last three or so years and maybe one or two adults total during that time.  So when a Facebook friend posted a shot of a four acre meadow in the Fanny Stebbins Wildlife Refuge (part of the Silvio Conte National Wildlife Refuge that stretches along much of the Connecticut River) in Longmeadow, MA, filled with milkweed, I headed down there the next day, Monday, July 10, in hopes of finding a caterpillar amongst all those plants.  It was quite wet after a rain and I got soaked to the skin up to my hips and after looking at a few hundred milkweed plants, I decided it was a no show.  Just as I turned to leave….BINGO!!!!  And just about at eye level although I was so wet that being on my knees would not have got me any wetter.  I was quite chuffed, as some of my British friends would say. From here I decided to go for an environmental look since I had the 15mm macro with me.Unfortunately we were looking into the sun which was pretty bright at this point, but my little 12″ reflector helped brighten the larva. I wanted it even larger so got literally 1 inch away and captured what I was looking for.The effect of using a wide-angle macro so close still gives the impression of some distance so you’ll have to take my word for it.  I left a very happy boy. On the way home I thought “Wouldn’t it be funny to get home and find one on my own milkweed?” I looked but didn’t see any.  Still overjoyed.

Later that evening I did my daily search on the plants out front of the house and…As you can tell from the size of the leaf veins, this guy is tiny…maybe an inch long tops.  That crumb on the lower right is evidence that he’s been chowing well.  I looked again the next morning and…This is the last I have seen of him or her.  I am hoping that the caterpillar dropped down to molt between instars and just hasn’t been where I could find it.  They are pretty toxic to birds etc but anything is possible.  I hope he or she survives somewhere.  As for catching some glimpses…chuffed.  🙂

Posted in Butterflies, Closeup Photography, ecology, Insect Behavior, Insects, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

07.03.2017 The waiting pays off-Brickyard Sunrise

I planned on photographing some Canada Lilies  this morning (they were nowhere to be found) but my initial plan was sunrise over a foggy meadow.  When I arrived the fog was quite strong over the trees and horizon but I waited as there was the slightest glow hinting at something to come. Patience paid off.Just as I visualized it. This is a three shot HDR to control the sun without blowing it out and capturing the gentle light on the foreground grasses.

I don’t know whether you can tell how wet this scene is, but I did get soaked to the skin.  The only part of my outfit that stayed dry was my lower legs and socks which were inside my muck boots.  Well worth it and the sun got everything nice and dry this afternoon in anticipation of tomorrow morning…which will be foggy once more.

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