About a week ago (Tues., 14 Feb, to be exact), I headed to Keene to run some errands.*
I parked in the Gilbo Street lot.
As I returned to my truck, I noticed the nearby snow-covered skate park. Upon wandering over to investigate, I noticed the tracks of a single individual going into the park and over to a pile of stuff on the ground. The pile of stuff turned out to be a memorial for a Pabst-drinking skateboarder.
After photographing the memorial under snow, I pointed my lens at some of the nearby structures.
* I know… I’ve been a bit slow in processing these!
Thursday evening was the first session of the new Photo Salon at the VCP. I left in the early afternoon so that I would have plenty of time to meander and still get to Brattleboro by six.
My route took me through Troy, NH then down through Hinsdale and into Northfield, MA. I crossed the Connecticut River in Northfield and headed back north on route 142 into Brattleboro.
Despite the heavy overcast (and dull light) I added to my collection of “building tops” in both Troy and Hinsdale. I resisted the urge to add more as I passed through Northfield.
One has to have limits and thus far the building tops series is pure NH; I have also resisted the urge in Vermont!
Derelict trucks are another issue. I’ll photograph them where ever I find them.
These three and the “steam” shovel were sitting at the edge of a field along route 142 in Northfield (or possibly Gill).
Around noon today Joan’s cousin Liz called to say that there was a barred owl sitting, clearly visible from the dining room window, in a tree at the back of her house.
I did what any self-respecting wildlife photographer would do. I headed out the door headed to Liz’s house as soon as I gathered up my gear! Joan came along too.
These two photos were taken from Liz’s bathroom window with my 300 mm lens. The first was made through the storm window and the second after I raised the storm window. The owl was completely unperturbed by my raising either the regular window or the storm window even though it was maybe twenty five feet away.
Yesterday afternoon, I had an hour to kill in downtown Brattelboro, VT. I spent the hour roaming the back alleys along Main Street photographing the public art.
Here is the result:
Feels like a big city
When one lives in a town of 2600 souls
Graffiti both edgy and tender
Last Tuesday dawned cold and clear. However, by mid-afternoon the temperature was near 40oF and there was a thin, high overcast to soften the light.
Thus, camera in hand, I headed out for a walk around the edge of the lake. Because the sky was uninteresting, I concentrated on the intimate landscape.
A couple of weeks ago, I roamed the yard with a pair of scissors and a cardboard box and collected a bunch of “past prime” plant matter. My intent was to make black and white photographs of the brown stalks against a black background in my “studio” (i.e. a table in the basement).
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon actually making the photographs that were floating around in my brain.
* That’s Latin for “Old Plants”!
Joan and I try to get out on our snow shoes as often as possible. We don’t make it out every day, but I would guess we make it out three of every five days. Sometimes we go together, other times we head out independently.
Last Thursday, we headed out independently but more-or-less in the same direction… down to the lake. The skies were heavily overcast and thus the lighting was pretty flat.
It had been three or four days since the last significant snow. Thus, the tracks of the local fauna were beginning to accumulate again. It is always fascinating to see evidence of passing of various animals.
One knows that animals are traveling through the landscape all year long but the snow cover allows one to see this in great detail.
On Sunday, we headed out together. We drove the mile down to the bridge, buckled on the snow shoes and headed up Hattie Brown Road.
The show shoeing was easy as a snowmobile had packed down a nice trail the entire way; there was also ski tracks in the trail. However, we did not encounter anyone else in the three hours we were out.
The sky was a cloudless azure and thus, as the afternoon progressed, conditions were perfect for adding to my “Shadow Play” series.
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As usual, I also photographed the “landscape” while we were out on the lake on Sunday. I was hoping for some nice wind sculpted snow on the lake but there was not much to see in that regard.
However, I did make two “non-porcupine” photos that I thought blog-worthy.
Yesterday was the first day with above freezing temperatures since early January… the high was 33 degrees! The warm spell did not last long. It was 11 when I got up this morning and it is -1 (-15 with the wind chill) as I write this at about 8:30 PM. The low tonight will be around -10 without the wind chill.
We are down to about a cord and a third of wood… I suspect that we’ll be switching to oil in a couple of weeks!!!
Joan and I took advantage of yesterday’s warm spell by heading across the lake on snow shoes. Our main goal was to rake the three feet of accumulated snow from the roof of our camp. Eventually it will warm up and rain on the snow and that sort of weight is not kind to old structures. Thus the need for snow removal.
While I started the raking, Joan explored the various animal tracks in the snow on the lake. A coyote had walked along the shore of the cove and stopped to dig out and explore an animal carcass buried in the snow.
Another set of tracks ended at a small hemlock a few feet off the lake. Sitting about eight feet up in said tree was a porcupine doing what porcupines usually do while sitting in hemlocks… eating!
It is very common this time of year to find the snow under hemlocks littered with small bits of hemlock branches; a sure sign of a porcupine had a meal aloft. Hemlock seems to be their preferred winter food and they are messy eaters!
I was easily persuaded to exchange the roof rake for my camera and was able to move to within a dozen feet of the porcupine without any evidence of concern upon its part… it just kept on munching hemlock boughs.
Eventually, it descended the tree and headed towards me along the edge of the lake. It shuffled around for a short while and then climbed another, small hemlock a few feet from the first. It settled in to eat again about eight or ten feet off the ground. After some time it headed further up the tree and I decided that it was time to get back to the roof rake.
About a week ago, I headed “down back”. I was expecting fairly harsh light as the skies were mostly clear and light from a low angle in the mid-afternoon, just before the sun dipped below the ridge to the west.
My expectations were met and I was able to make a series of photos of the vegetation sticking up out of the snow casting shadows on the nicely textured snow. Every once in a while nature cooperates with the photographer and his visions!
A couple of days later we got another 10-12 inches of snow and although I have not been down back since, I am sure that there is not much emergent vegetation now!
My next vision involves shadows and wind-blown snow out on the lake. But not today (I think) as the mid-afternoon temperature is hovering right around 10 degrees (and some where around -5 with the wind chill).