Photographs by Frank

12 July 2021

Barns, Flags, Vanes, Etc.

Filed under: architecture,Landscapes,Summer — Frank @ 8:30 PM

I had business in Newport (NH) today. I headed north via Hillsborough, Windsor, Washington, and Goshen. My return route took me through Unity, Lempster, Marlow and Stoddard.

Although the light was drab and it rained lightly on and off the entire trip, I made photographs on both legs of the trip.

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Barn with Flag (Windsor, NH)
Barn with Flag (Windsor, NH)
Sugarhouse with Flag (Windsor, NH)
Sugarhouse with Flag (Windsor, NH)
Barn with Flag (Goshen, NH)
Barn with Flag (Goshen, NH)
Barn (Newport, NH)
Barn (Newport, NH)
Shed (Unity, NH)
Shed (Unity, NH)
Firehouse Vane (Unity, NH)
Firehouse Vane (Unity, NH)
Bandstand Vane & Swallow (Unity, NH)
Bandstand Vane & Swallow (Unity, NH)
Bandstand Bunting (Unity, NH)
Bandstand Bunting (Unity, NH)
Polaris and Santa (Unity, NH)
Polaris and Santa (Unity, NH)
Schoolhouse (Lempster, NH)
Schoolhouse (Lempster, NH)
Schoolhouse Interior (Lempster, NH)
Schoolhouse Interior (Lempster, NH)

7 July 2021

Wednesday Olio

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region,Summer — Frank @ 11:00 PM

I have had my eye on the barn with the flag painted on it for sometime. However, there has been a large RV parked next to the barn for months.

Yesterday, as we drove back from dropping off our little camper for service, I noticed that the RV was gone but I did not have a camera with me. This afternoon, I headed back with the camera to make the photograph I had in my head for months.

The rest of the photos in this set were also made this afternoon and evening as I wended my way though life.

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Barn Flag
Barn Flag
Day Lily
Day Lily
Grass Seed Head
Grass Seed Head
Flower Shop
Flower Shop
Semaphore
Semaphore
Still-life in Window Light
Still-life in Window Light
Untitled
Untitled
A Man and His Dog
A Man and His Dog

5 July 2021

Yard Odes

Late this afternoon, I spent two hours roaming the yard looking for odes. It was mostly sunny and the temperature was in the low 70s. I was interested to see what odes would be out and about after a number of cool, rainy days.

I headed back inside a few minutes before seven. I had lost the light at ground level and the mosquitoes were making their evening appearance.

The number of odes were small but their was a nice variety of species present. The most common dragonfly present was the spangled skimmer. I saw roughly half a dozen individuals; all female. The most common damselfly was had a metallic green abdomen. They were reminiscent of the sprites, but I don’t think that that is what they are. Again, I saw roughly a half dozen. For all of the other species, I saw only single individuals.

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Spangled Skimmer (female)
Spangled Skimmer (female)
Eastern Pondhawk (imm. male)
Eastern Pondhawk (imm. male)
Butterfly (ID Needed)
Butterfly (ID Needed)
Damselfly (ID Needed)
Damselfly (ID Needed)
Calico Pennant (female)
Calico Pennant (female)
Calico Pennant (female) with Mites
Calico Pennant (female) with Mites
Damselfly (ID Needed)
Damselfly (ID Needed)
Spreadwing
Spreadwing
Damselfly (ID Needed) with Prey
Damselfly (ID Needed) with Prey

29 June 2021

Gregg Lake Loons 2021 – Update

Filed under: Birds,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: , — Frank @ 1:00 AM

Today was hot (90 deg. F plus) and humid. Late this afternoon, I headed down to the lake to see if I could photograph the loons on Gregg Lake. The chicks are about three weeks old.

The loon family moved out the the main part of the lake when the chicks were only two or three days old. This makes photographing them much more difficult as they have a large area in which to roam. Shore-based photography was not going to work. I needed to use a kayak and Big Bertha is too unwieldly to use while afloat.

Instead, I headed out my 300 mm lens and both a 1.4x and a 1.7x teleconverter. I am able to hand-hold the camera with the 300 mm lens attached. Big Bertha requires a tripod.

The converters gives me roughly 400 mm and 500 mm of magnification, respectively. This turned out to be plenty. I used the 1.4x converter for most of the photos but did try out the 1.7x near the end of my outing just to see how it would work.

Adjusting the ISO so that I could keep the shutter speed at or above 1/1000 second allowed me to get adequately sharp photographs while hand-holding the camera in a bobbing kayak.

The loons are not bothered by the presence of the kayak but I tried to keep my distance and did not approach them closer than roughly 150 feet. For the most part an adult and the two chicks just hung out in one area and the adult spent some time fishing.. Thrice the adult brought a small fish to the chicks but I did not get a good photograph of feeding behavior today. The chicks spent significant amounts of time with their heads in the water as the adults do when fishing, but I only saw two or three short dives by the chicks,

Eventually the adult made a series of calls and the family headed off around the edge of the lake at a decent clip. I followed them for a bit but then thought better of chasing them as they moved along so I headed to camp. The loons eventually headed out into the middle of the lake.

As I headed back across the lake on the way home, I encountered the adult and two chicks again and watched as the second adult met up with them. By then it was almost 7:30, so I did not watch them for long before continuing on home.

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Adult and Two Chicks
Adult and Two Chicks
Two Chicks #1
Two Chicks #1
Two Chicks #2
Two Chicks #2
Adult and One Chick #1
Adult and One Chick #1
Adult Loon
Adult Loon
Adult and One Chick #2
Adult and One Chick #2
Two Adults and Two Chicks
Two Adults and Two Chicks

19 June 2021

On The Way Home, Redux

Filed under: Landscapes,Summer — Tags: — Frank @ 11:00 PM

Wednesday morning I met my friend Bill in Keene for coffee and then I had lunch with my friend Al, also in Keene. I took an indirect route home via Sullivan, Marlow and Stoddard.

Of course I made a few photographs on the way.

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Odd Fellows Hall (Marlow, NH)
Odd Fellows Hall (Marlow, NH)
Gazebo (Marlow, NH)
Gazebo (Marlow, NH)
Town Hall (Marlow, NH)
Town Hall (Marlow, NH)
A Fine Summer Afternoon (color)
A Fine Summer Afternoon (color)
A Fine Summer Afternoon (IR)
A Fine Summer Afternoon (IR)

13 June 2021

On the Trip Home

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region,Summer — Tags: , , — Frank @ 10:34 PM

This morning, I headed to Brattleboro to see what was up at the Vermont Center for Photography’s “tag sale’. Not that I need much in the way of ‘photo junk’, but I like to support the VCP and can always find something that will be useful. I came away with a few books, some mats and developing trays.

On the way home, I meandered and made some photographs. I made a few with the camera obscura but mostly, I made infrared (IR) photographs. It was a bright sunny middle of the day… good for IR landscapes and not much else.

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Town Hall, Chesterfield, NH (camera obscura)
Town Hall, Chesterfield, NH (camera obscura)
Mount Monadnock (Camera Obscura)
Mount Monadnock (Camera Obscura)
Mount Monadnock (IR)
Mount Monadnock (IR)
Mount Monadnock & Pasture (IR)
Mount Monadnock & Pasture (IR)
Mount Monadnock & Newly Mowed Hayfield (IR)
Mount Monadnock & Newly Mowed Hayfield (IR)
Harrisville Mill Building #1 (IR)
Harrisville Mill Building #1 (IR)
Harrisville Mill Building #2 (IR)
Harrisville Mill Building #2 (IR)
Lake Skatutakee (IR)
Lake Skatutakee (IR)

9 June 2021

Gregg Lake Loon Chicks in 2021!!!

Filed under: Birds,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: , — Frank @ 7:36 PM

Yesterday (Tuesday, 8 June 2021) evening we received a report that a loon chick had been sighted… right on schedule! Joan had estimated that the chick were due around the 10th.

This morning we headed down to the bridge to see what was up for ourselves. We arrived at about 9:15; the temperature was in the mid-70s and there was a high, thin overcast. We did not have to work very hard to find loons. There was an adult with two chicks hanging out in the area between the two bridges. The distance was pretty much ideal for photography.

After a short interval the second adult arrived, with fish in beak, to feed the chicks. We observed feeding three more times in the two hours we watched. One adult and the chicks stayed within a small area between the bridges the entire time we watched. The other adult made forays into the main part of the lake to hunt.

As the morning progressed it became sunnier and warmer. Eventually we decided that we had spent long enough and headed home. It was about 11:15 and 85 degrees when we packed up.

If things follow the same pattern as last year, there will be a short window of easy photographic opportunity while the chicks and one adult stay on the north side of the road, near the nest site. Eventually, when the chicks are big enough, the whole family will move to the main part of the lake for the remainder of the summer*. At that point they will be ranging widely and one will need a to photograph from a kayak. I did not try this last year, but I just might try this year.

I made 788 exposures in the two hours! Many are what we photographers call ‘similars’. With up to four critters (in this case) all doing their things and not taking direction from the photographer (to say the least!), the best strategy is to make lots of exposures and to sort out the best frames later.

I processed about 10% of the frames but will only show you eleven. As I said, the rest are ‘similar!

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Adult and Chick #1 (2021 Loons)
Adult and Chick #1 (2021 Loons)
Adult and Two Chicks (2021 Loons)
Adult and Two Chicks (2021 Loons)
All Aboard! (2021 Loons)
All Aboard! (2021 Loons)
Feeding Time! (2021 Loons; extreme crop)
Feeding Time! (2021 Loons; extreme crop)
Adult and Chick #2 (2021 Loons)
Adult and Chick #2 (2021 Loons)
Nap Time! (2021 Loons)
Nap Time! (2021 Loons)
Two Adults and Once Chick (2021 Loons)
Two Adults and Once Chick (2021 Loons)

This sequence of one of the feedings deserves its own gallery! And yes… that fish did slide right down the gullet of that tiny bird!

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Feeding Sequence #1 (9:52:09 AM; 2021 Loons)
Feeding Sequence #1 (9:52:09 AM; 2021 Loons)
Feeding Sequence #2 (9:52:10 AM; 2021 Loons)
Feeding Sequence #2 (9:52:10 AM; 2021 Loons)
Feeding Sequence #3 (9:52:11 AM; 2021 Loons)
Feeding Sequence #3 (9:52:11 AM; 2021 Loons)
Feeding Sequence #4 (9:52:21 AM; 2021 Loons)
Feeding Sequence #4 (9:52:21 AM; 2021 Loons)

* UPDATE on Thursday (10 June) afternoon: The loon family has been spotted on the main part of the lake already.

30 August 2020

Late Season Odes — Opportunities

This morning. as I headed out the door to go for a walk, I noticed a meadowhawk perched on a flower just outside the porch door. I successfully resisted the urge to get my camera and headed out for the walk.

Shortly after my return home, I was sitting in my chair rehydrating when I hear Joan call from out in the flower bed where she was working “Perched Darner! Perched Darner!”. As quick as I could I headed out the door, camera in hand but as is usual with darners (they do not stand still for long… ever) the perched individual was long gone.

It turns out that as Joan worked on cleaning up the flower bed she was disturbing lots of small insects and creating her own mini-feeding swarm in the process. There were at least there or four darners making regular passes over the beds and carefully veering around us as we stood there. In addition to the darners, there were also a number of autumn meadowhawks also taking advantage of the bounty.

Darners are very frustrating to photograph. They spend the large majority of their time in flight; even eating most prey while on the wing. Every once in a while, when one does perch, it is their habit to hang vertically from a branch or twig quite near the trunk of whatever plant they chose. (They are big and heavy as odes go and prefer good sturdy shrubs for perching.) This often makes for very cluttered photos.

In all today, I saw three perched darners. The first was in such deep shadow in a rhododendron that the photos are not worth showing. I never got close enough to the second to even make a photo. However, I was able to get a pretty typical photo of the third darner. I was able to make exactly three exposures before it took flight again.

Meadowhawks, on the other hand, are pretty easy to photograph. They perch frequently and often on nice isolated stalks of vegetation.

There were plenty (a few dozen) of meadowhawks around both the flower bed where Joan was working and at other places in the yard. Most were mature males but there were a few immature males and females in the mix.

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Meadowhawk with Prey (immature male)
Meadowhawk with Prey (immature male)
Meadowhawk (female)
Meadowhawk (female)
Darner (Canada or Green-strip)
Darner (Canada or Green-strip)
Autumn Meadowhawk (male)
Autumn Meadowhawk (male)
Autumn Meadowhawk (male)
Autumn Meadowhawk (male)
Autumn Meadowhawk (female)
Autumn Meadowhawk (female)
White-faced Meadowhawk (male)
White-faced Meadowhawk (male)

19 August 2020

Odes at the Harris Center Property on Brimstone Corner Rd.

Filed under: Monadnock Region,Odontates,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: , — Frank @ 3:45 PM

Yesterday afternoon, about 3:30, I headed for a walk down the road on the Harris Center property near us. The weather was in the low 70’s and it was partially cloudy. Although at one point, I had to sit out a brief sprinkle under some hemlock trees. I got back home just before 6:30.

The pattern for this year held true. There were small numbers of odes present but a decent number of species to be found. The most common species were the meadowhawks, slatey skimmers and spreadwings (probably Elegant spreadwings, but possible Slender spreadwings). I saw about six of each. The meadowhawks were all in the old log landings along the road and were all yellow (i.e. either immature males or females). The skimmers were mostly male and found at the waters edge near the beaver dam. Although, I did see one female in a clearing along the road. The spreadwings were mostly in the stream flowing out of the beaver pond. I also saw two male eastern forktails (one immature) in the grass along the road just downstream from the dam.

Additionally, I saw very briefly a nondescript brown dragonfly that paused just long enough for one exposure as well as an unidentified damselfly and what I think was a male common pondhawk neither of which stayed around long enough for even a single photo.

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Meadowhawk (female)
Meadowhawk (female)
Eastern Forktail (male)
Eastern Forktail (male)
Dragonfly (ID?)
Dragonfly (ID?)
Elegant (?) Spreadwing (male)
Elegant (?) Spreadwing (male)
Slaty Skimmer (male)
Slaty Skimmer (male)
Meadowhawk (immature male)
Meadowhawk (immature male)
Eastern Forktail (immature male)
Eastern Forktail (immature male)
Slaty Skimmer (female)
Slaty Skimmer (female)
Blue Dasher (female)
Blue Dasher (female)

15 August 2020

Hattie Brown Road Odes

Filed under: Monadnock Region,Odontates,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: — Frank @ 8:00 AM

Yesterday afternoon about 3:30, I headed out Hattie Brown Road to look for odes. The temperature was in the low 80s and it was partly to mostly cloudy. I spent just about three hours in the field, arriving back at the truck at 6:15.

Walking down the well shaded road through the woods, I did not see a single ode. When I got to the spot where the road crosses the beaver-made wetland things began to get better. As I moseyed along this stretch of road, I saw maybe four or five male white-faced meadowhawks.

At the clearing past the wetland, I saw more white-faced meadowhawks , several male common whitetails (including four sunning themselves on a large granite boulder), a single male spangled skimmer and two female spangled skimmers.

I headed farther up the road into the woods again, but I did not go too far. I saw no odes. However, there were plenty of mosquitoes!

White-faced meadowhawks were, by far, the most common ode I saw this outing; numbering between one and two dozen. I only saw males. I found exactly zero damselflies on this trip.

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White-faced Meadowhawk (male) #1
White-faced Meadowhawk (male) #1
White-faced Meadowhawk (male) #2
White-faced Meadowhawk (male) #2
White-faced Meadowhawk (male) #3
White-faced Meadowhawk (male) #3
Spangled Skimmer (male)
Spangled Skimmer (male)
Common Whitetail (male)
Common Whitetail (male)
Spangled Skimmer (female)
Spangled Skimmer (female)
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