Photographs by Frank

22 April 2017

Recent Meanders/Photos

Filed under: Early Spring,Landscapes,Monadnock Region,the White Mountains — Tags: — Frank @ 7:15 PM

On Monday, I meandered home from Peterborough via Temple, Wilton, Lyndeborough and Francestown… I know, it was not exactly the direct route!

On Tuesday I meandered through the western White Mountains… Kinsman Notch and Franconia Notch.

On Wednesday, I had an errand to attend to in Warner… I meandered back home stopping in Bradford Center to make some photographs using my camera obscura.

Here are some of the photographs I made:

White Mountain Landscapes

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Kinsman Notch #1
Kinsman Notch #1
Kinsman Notch #2
Kinsman Notch #2
Baker River in Franconia, NH
Baker River in Franconia, NH
Mount Layafette
Mount Layafette
Untitled (White Mountains)
Untitled (White Mountains)
Franconia Notch Ridge Line (east side, detail)
Franconia Notch Ridge Line (east side, detail)
Owls Head Cliff above Oliverian Pond (Haverhill, NH)
Owls Head Cliff above Oliverian Pond (Haverhill, NH)
Beaver House in Early Spring
Beaver House in Early Spring

Roadside “Attractions”

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Early Spring Hydrant
Early Spring Hydrant
Temple, NH
Temple, NH
Homeland Security? (Bristol, NH)
Homeland Security? (Bristol, NH)
Iron Bridge Detail (Franconia, NH)
Iron Bridge Detail (Franconia, NH)
Iron Bridge Franconia, NH)
Iron Bridge Franconia, NH)
Benton, NH
Benton, NH
Somewhere along the Lost River Rd.
Somewhere along the Lost River Rd.
Monoxide Manor (Sugar Hill, NH)
Monoxide Manor (Sugar Hill, NH)

With the Camera Obscura

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Town Pound, Lyndeborough Center, NH
Town Pound, Lyndeborough Center, NH
Church, Lyndeborough Center, NH
Church, Lyndeborough Center, NH
Town Pound, Bradford Center, NH
Town Pound, Bradford Center, NH
Church, Bradford Center, NH
Church, Bradford Center, NH
School House, Bradford Center, NH
School House, Bradford Center, NH

 

28 April 2015

Suppertime Visitor

Filed under: Early Spring,Mammals,Monadnock Region — Frank @ 11:00 AM

I arose from the dinner table last evening, took a look out the front door and noticed that we had a suppertime visitor.

This “fellow” was rooting around for supper in the leaves on the inside of the stone wall down by the road; I am unsure as to what it is eating.

Of course, I took the camera and headed out the door. Porcupines are pretty easy to photograph. Their sight is not particularly keen so if one moves slowly on can get pretty close. I stopped and set up the camera/tripod about twenty or thirty feet away.

I made eleven exposures before I was noticed. At this point the critter ambled down across the road and into the woods.

I do not believe that concept of “hurry” exists in the porcupine universe!

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Porcupine #1
Porcupine #1
Porcupine #2
Porcupine #2
Porcupine #3
Porcupine #3


4 April 2015

The End of March

Filed under: Early Spring,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: , — Frank @ 12:00 PM

Spring is trying mightily to arrive.

The weather has been “changeable”. Some days are warm; some are distinctly chilly. The skies are brilliant blue one day and slate gray the next. The snow and ice are hanging on but also rapidly diminishing.

Spring will be here any day week.

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Sap Bucket #1
Sap Bucket #1
Sap Bucket #2
Sap Bucket #2
Sap Bucket #3
Sap Bucket #3
Bald Mountain from Willard Pond
Bald Mountain from Willard Pond
Early Spring Wetland
Early Spring Wetland
Rye Pond
Rye Pond
Gregg Lake
Gregg Lake

 

27 March 2015

Spring Thaw — Signs of the Times

Filed under: Early Spring,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: , — Frank @ 12:00 PM

Spring is trying its damnedest to sprung.

These days, the daytime highs are mostly above freezing and we are even getting a few nights with temperatures just above freezing… other nights the low temperatures are in the teens. This means that the sap is running and there are signs of activity around the local sugar shacks.

There is still much snow on the ground. However, it is rapidly receding, especially on the south facing surfaces. The lakes and ponds are still well iced over but puddles of water (or hard, clear ice depending on the temperature) have appeared on top of the old crusty snow.

Along the roads, there are also (literally) signs of spring.

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Eva's Marsh
Eva's Marsh
Birch Pond
Birch Pond
Sign of the Times #1
Sign of the Times #1
Sign of the Times #2
Sign of the Times #2
Sign of the Times #3
Sign of the Times #3
Sign of the Times #4
Sign of the Times #4

 

13 March 2015

Town Meeting Day

Filed under: Early Spring,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: — Frank @ 12:00 PM

Mid-March… A time of great change in southern NH.

The local birds, as they begin the mating season, are much more vocal than they were only a week or two ago. A few early robins have appeared.

And, the landscape is beginning to thaw… very slowly!

With the thaw, glacial erratics and stone walls begin to throw off their winter blankets of snow*. The thaw also brings with it maple and mud seasons as well as town meeting.

Yesterday was Town Meeting day in Antrim. I took a walk along Brimstone Corner Road yesterday afternoon. I went a little earlier than I might of if I had not needed to get to town meeting. Thus, the light was not perfect.

Signs of the early spring were every where… especially under foot!

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On the Road...Literally
On the Road...Literally
Untitled
Untitled
Mailbox #1
Mailbox #1
Mailbox #2
Mailbox #2
Emergence #1
Emergence #1
Emergence #2
Emergence #2
Maple Abstract #1
Maple Abstract #1
Maple Abstract #3
Maple Abstract #3

* There is no sign of ground yet… except where Joan shoveled the snow off the patch of the garden where the peas will be planted in a week or two. The peas don’t get started inside. However, there has been much recent activity (and mud) in our mudroom as many other seeds have been sown in small plastic chambers. Another sure sign of early spring around here!!!


 

9 May 2014

Mackerel Skies & Spring Birds

Filed under: Amphibians,Birds,Early Spring,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: , , , — Frank @ 11:00 AM

About 9:30 yesterday morning, I headed out to run some errands. When I got to the lake, I noticed the mackerel skies over the north end of the lake and the nice, soft light. I stopped to make a photograph or two.

As I walked back to the boat launch where the truck was parked, I noticed the birds in the trees along the road and the turtles basking in the sun.

The section of road that runs along the beach and up to the bridge seems to attract many insect-eating birds. Later in the season there will be many swifts and swallows present, but yesterday I saw mainly Eastern Kingbirds.

There were also  red-winged blackbirds and grackles present. The male red-winged blackbirds were very vocal singing their distinctive “conk-la-ree” song repeatedly.

When I got back to the truck, I decided that the errands could wait. Switching from landscape mode and wide angle lens to wildlife mode and “Big Bertha” , I  headed back towards the bridge photographing all the way.

An osprey also appeared briefly. It hovered near the bridge looking for prey and made one, unsuccessful plunge into the water before heading off. A couple of days ago, Joan and I observed an osprey exhibit  the same hovering behavior by the bridge. I guess that I’ll have to plan to spend some time  down there just to watch for ospreys!

About 11:30, I headed back to the truck and my errands.

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Mackerel Skies #1
Mackerel Skies #1
Mackerel Skies #2
Mackerel Skies #2
Eastern Kingbird #1
Eastern Kingbird #1
Eastern Kingbird #2
Eastern Kingbird #2
Common Grackle
Common Grackle
Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird
Osprey Hovering
Osprey Hovering
Painted Turtle
Painted Turtle
Painted Turtles
Painted Turtles

8 May 2014

White Mountain Landscapes

Filed under: Early Spring,Landscapes,the White Mountains — Tags: — Frank @ 7:00 AM

Last Saturday, I arose early and headed north. The impetus for the trip was the annual meeting of the NH Society of Photographic Artists. This weekend-long event was held at the AMC’s Highland Center in Crawford Notch.

I got a little distracted making photographs on the way north, but I did make it to the afternoon session of the meeting. The meeting was held in a room which contains a collection of spectacular photographs by Bradford Washburn, a well-known mountain photographer. One of the speakers was Tony Decaneas, an associate of Washburn’s who printed many of his later prints. Tony told some wonderful stories about Washburn.

The  NHSPA is a lively and welcoming group. This was my first encounter with them since joining a couple of moths ago and I had nice chants with a number of  members.

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Tuckerman's Ravine
Tuckerman's Ravine
The Alpine Garden
The Alpine Garden
Mount Washington (from Pinkham Notch)
Mount Washington (from Pinkham Notch)
Mount Isolation, Tuckerman's Ravine & the Alpine Garden (l to r)
Mount Isolation, Tuckerman's Ravine & the Alpine Garden (l to r)
Mount Washington (from Crawford Notch)
Mount Washington (from Crawford Notch)
Frankenstein Cliffs (Crawford Notch)
Frankenstein Cliffs (Crawford Notch)
Mount Field & Mount Tom (from Crawford Notch)
Mount Field & Mount Tom (from Crawford Notch)

Spotted Sandpiper and Song Sparrow

Filed under: Birds,Early Spring,Monadnock Region — Tags: — Frank @ 7:00 AM

Yesterday afternoon, Joan and I headed down to the public beach on Gregg Lake. Joan was intending to do a little beach maintenance and I was intending to photograph the odonate nymphs she would disturb while raking the beach.

Our plans were nicely disrupted by the sight of a small bird foraging along the waters edge. The bird turned out to be a spotted sandpiper and it was clearly feasting on dragonfly nymphs. I spent about an hour and a half observing and photographing this bird… moving ever closer as time progressed. I was so engrossed, that I did not even notice Joan leave for her meeting in town!

Eventually the traffic on the road, specifically a jogger, caused the bird to take off. I finally found the bird again out on “the point”, but figuring I had some good photos already and did not pursue it again.

Instead, I headed off to town to run a couple of errands. When I finished, I drove my Powder Mill Pond “loop”. There was lots of song bird activity at my various stops. However, I was only able to make photographs of the song sparrows in on place.

 

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Spotted Sandpiper #1
Spotted Sandpiper #1
Spotted Sandpiper #2
Spotted Sandpiper #2
Spotted Sandpiper with Prey
Spotted Sandpiper with Prey
Spotted Sandpiper #3
Spotted Sandpiper #3
Spotted Sandpiper #4
Spotted Sandpiper #4
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow

27 April 2014

First Photographs from My Semi-Permanent Blind

Filed under: Amphibians,Birds,Early Spring,Monadnock Region — Tags: , — Frank @ 2:00 PM

About a month ago, I spent a couple of warm days out in the garage constructing a blind from which to photograph. The blind consists of frame constructed from one inch PVC pipe and cover constructed from burlap cloth crudely sewn together with some twine. It is certainly not fancy but hopefully it can stay outside until late fall at least*.

This past Tuesday, I erected the blind “down back” near the edge of the beaver pond “down back” on our property. We share this pond and its associated wetlands with NH Audubon as the boundary between our lot and the Willard Pond Sanctuary roughly bisects this territory.

As luck would have it, Wednesday turned out to be incredibly blustery so the blind got a good test of its stability immediately… it failed miserably! I went down on Thursday to check things out and found that the blind had collapsed!

I knew enough to stabilize each joint with a small screw between the connector and the pipe. However, when I set up the blind I could not align the holes for the screws in a few of the joints. I plowed ahead anyway, figuring that I would get the last of the screws in another time.

Guess which joints failed in the wind? Every one that was lacking a screw… and none of the others! I went back, got the tools I needed and re-erected the blind securing all of the joints this time.

Early Friday afternoon, I headed down to try out the blind. Conditions were not ideal for photography… the light was harsh and fairly high over head, but I had to try it out. I took a chair and a water bottle along with camera, Big Bertha and tripod and settled in.

The first lesson I learned was how hard it is to stay alert in a  quiet, sunny spot.  After waking from my nap, the first critters I noticed were two painted turtles sunning on a log in the pond. I had suspected that turtles must be present but had never observed them here before… score one for the blind!

I could hear a number of birds (most commonly phoebes)  nearby, but only a very small number came into view. I managed to see and get a photograph of a  single phoebe.

A short time later, I heard the sound of great splashing about in the water. Scanning the environs, I finally found large plumes of water in the air, but the source was out of sight from my vantage point. A short time later a pair of mallards came into view. They swam about and bathed for quite some time.

At one point the pair of birds approached the log upon which the turtles were sunning. The male mallard decided that he wanted to perch on the log and immediately one of the turtles did the expected… it dove into the water. However, the second turtle held its ground and after a minute or so, the bird headed back into the water!

The mallards continued to bathe and preen for another five or ten minutes at which point they both suddenly looked in the same direction (to the north, or camera right). About thirty seconds later they both exploded into the air and were gone. I have no idea what they saw.

A few minutes later, I decided to head back up to the house**.  As soon as I stood up outside the blind the second turtle headed for the water… more evidence of the success of the blind?

Here are the photographs…

*I probably could have bought a commercial “pop-up” hunting blind for less that I spent on the materials for this blind. However, every commercial blind I have seen comes with the warning not to leave it sitting in the sun for long periods of  time. It turns out that the coated nylon they are made from is not stable to UV light and will fall apart with exposure to too much sun. Not very useful in my opinion.

**The blind faces to the west and the sun was getting low. Pointing the camera into the sun does not make for great photographs.  Generally, the blind will be most useful in the morning.


22 April 2014

Spring Progress

Filed under: Birds,Early Spring,Mammals,Monadnock Region,Wildlife — Tags: , — Frank @ 11:00 PM

After getting off to a late start, spring is progressing nicely.

The last of the ice on Gregg Lake  finally disappeared over the weekend, the daytime temperatures have been in the fifties and sixties and even though it has been getting down around freezing at night we have not been lighting the stove every evening.

The chipmunks have become active over the past few days and “new” birds are appearing regularly.

I spent a couple of hours down by the lake yesterday morning watching a trio of wood ducks wend their way around the lake north of the bridge. The female spent most of her time feeding. The males spent most of their time jockeying for position and posturing.

Yesterday evening, I watched a pair of loons fishing near the public beach. They were too far away for good photos.

Lastly,  chipping sparrows and juncos have appeared in small numbers around the feeders by the house. They are mixed with all of the “year rounders”.


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