Photographs by Frank

3 January 2012

“Our” Beaver Swamp

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region,Winter — Tags: , , — Frank @ 6:00 AM

We, and our neighbors, share the back of our lots with a beaver or two. The beaver swamp runs roughly north-south for about half a mile and we live at the southern end. There are two dams and two lodges. Last summer I spent a lot of time stalking odes in the marsh and around the deep water near the southern dam and lodge; these are probably on our property (although its hard to say for sure).

Yesterday afternoon, I headed out to photographed this wet land from the northern dam. In the afternoon, the light is better in this direction and as I headed out I was hoping for some dramatic clouds as the weather broke.

I was well rewarded for a mile-and-a-half (round trip) walk and the ninety minutes or so that I worked the scene; staying until the light in the foreground faded. The temperature was about thirty degrees and there were three or four brief periods of snow. The wind was blowing which meant lots of changing clouds. All of that sounds worse that it was, dressed properly and thoroughly engaged in “the moment”, I did not feel cold at all.

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Warning… photo geek talk ahead! Proceed at your own risk!

The right equipment really helps. Both of these images were taken with a graduated neutral density filter. I have had a couple of these filters for years. In the past, I often left them at home and ended up regretting not  having  them with me. The reason? No room in my backpack. I recently bought a much larger (and better fitting) backpack. This time I had the filter with me!

While on the subject of gear… On Saturday I put a winter coat on my tripod. Aluminum tripods make for good heat sinks and thus very cold hands (even with gloves on) . Thus the winter coat!

My tripod’s winter coat consists three pieces of foam pipe insulation of the appropriate diameter and a bit of duck tape. An eight foot length of the pipe insulation cost $3.49  at the hardware store. Less than 10 minutes after I got home, my tripod was fully clad with insulation on the upper sections of  each leg and ready to go. I even had enough left over for a fourth leg! Come spring, I’ll remove my tripod’s winter coat and store the pieces away until the following winter. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find them again!

1 Comment

  1. You are having TOO much fun! I can’t wait to watch my email account come to life with multiple postings when you officially retire!

    Comment by Just Joe — 3 January 2012 @ 1:02 PM

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