Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nothing New Under The Sun?

There may be nothing new but if you haven't already seen it, it is as good as new. This flower was new to me this morning. It's a Deptford Pink according to my Audubon guide. I thought when I spotted it that it must be related to the Maiden Pinks I'd been photographing in my back field but there are distinct differences so I had to look it up. I don't recall ever seeing this variety before and I'm quite certain I've never photographed any of them before. So I end the month of June with a 'new' flower.

Canon SX50, Lightroom & Photoshop CC

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Into the Mists

Yesterday I did one of my lean-to maintenance hikes. I adopt a lean-to in the Adirondacks that is about 4 miles in from the trailhead. The adopter does clean up and minor maintenance to the shelter and the adjacent camping area. My friend Rick went with me.

The forecast was for a 30% chance of rain and I had hoped it would hold off until late in the day so we started early. The photo above was made at 7 AM looking across the Plains of Abraham so we knew as we drove in the Loj Rd. that we would see rain and we did. I think I can safely say we got all of the 30% that was forecast, about half of it in one 15-20 minute downpour. Fortunately we were at the lean-to when the downpour occurred so, although we got wet, we didn't get drenched.

This is my 22nd year as a lean-to adopter. It allows me to 'give back' as they put it, a way to contribute to the welfare of the Adirondack wilderness that gives me a lot of pleasure, not to mention a lot of photographs. It also gives me a sense of ownership over what is actually public land, a proprietary feeling of concern for preserving it for future generations. Part of that proprietary feeling is a sense of indignation towards those who willfully disrespect this gift of nature.

That indignation got exercised yesterday. There is, and has been for several years now, a ban on campfires in the High Peaks area. The first thing we discovered on arrival at the lean-to was an elaborate fire pit built by digging a hollow in the ground and placing a ring of rocks that had been taken from the stream around the edge of the pit. There had been a No Fires sign on the front post of the lean-to but it had been cut away around the nails that held it and apparently burned in the pit along with tin cans, glass and other trash that any fool should know doesn't burn, leaving a charred and ugly mess for Rick and I to haul out.

We bagged up the trash and dismantled the fire ring, returning the rocks to the stream along with the stash of firewood that the builders had piled nearby. We delivered a new register (the old one was falling apart) and headed back out by 11 AM taking a detour to Rocky Falls on the way. I'm sure I've posted pictures of Rocky Falls before but here's another. It was a good day to be in the woods, but then, it's a rare day  that isn't.
The panorama at the top was stitched from 4 frames. All photos were made with a Canon G11.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Out Standing in my Field

A photo of a bumble bee on some Cow Vetch. The field is really coming alive with wildflowers. The former owners mowed the field every year with a brush hog and not much grew there last year. I spread some wildflower seeds Monday to encourage even more variety. If I start to get trees and shrubs where I don't want them, I'm remove them selectively rather than just mowing everything. I'm not a big fan of mowing where there's no real reason. Back when I first retired I spent the first summer taking walks along the country roads around where I lived and photographing the wild flowers along them with my first digital camera, an Olympus 4040. Part way through the summer I discovered that the sides of the road had been mowed by the town highway department and wrote this:

In The Shadow of a Goose

Two weeks ago there were wildflowers
on the shoulder of this country road,
and as I walked along that day I stopped to photograph
Queen Ann’s Lace, Mayweed, and Bladder Campion.

Purple clusters of Vetch and
pink trumpet blooms of Bindweed
climbed the tall grasses
reaching for the sun.

Then the highway department came through,
a big tractor pulled a huge mower
that cut anything smaller than your thumb
leaving in its wake a mass of mangled green.

Now, the grass is getting tall again,
almost as tall as it was, and ragweed is thriving,
but the wildflowers are gone from the roadside.
It’s neater now, everything the same height and all green.

The wildflowers are still in bloom of course,
just over the fence, in the farmer’s field.
Here on the public right of way,
things are neat and orderly, not wild.

Off to my right a dozen or so geese rise from a wetland.
They fly across the road, between me and the sun.
The shadow of a goose passes over me,
over the fence and over the wildflowers in the field.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

More Wildflowers

More flowers from my back field. These are Maiden Pinks. I first spotted them while driving the tractor and from that height they looked like a pink version of Blue Eyed Grass. The blooms are a similar size and there are no obvious leaves off the sides of the stems. Upon closer inspection though there are significant differences aside from the color. Photographing flowers this small on a breezy day is a challenge. I'm laying down in the field with the tripod legs spread out horizontally, I get the distance, framing and focus just right and just as I'm ready to trip the shutter a breeze makes the flower bob wildly in and out of the frame. Patience! It settles down and I refocus, perhaps readjust the framing too and try again. Sometimes it takes several tries. Occasionally I discover after getting the images into the computer that they are all slightly blurred but it works often enough and I keep doing it because I like the results when it works.

The Rough Bedstraw was another new wildflower out in the field yesterday (the white flower mixed in with Blue Eyed Grass below) and on the way into the house I photographed the Chives blooms (bottom photo). They aren't wildflowers but I like any flowers.
All were made with a Canon 7D, 18-135mm EFs lens and extension tubes. The images are copyrighted. If you wish to share them with others please respect my copyright and refer them to the URL here. Do not repost without permission.