Friday, February 7, 2020

Winter Res

One of the challenges for mid-winter photography is taking pictures on a gray day. In some respects, cloudy days can be beneficial for photos, reducing the harsh contrast that a sunny day might force. On this particular outing, the sun did manage to make a very subdued showing towards the end of my route.

As ice melts, the reservoir surface is constantly changing due to the ice patterns and the different ways winter light hits the surface.

Here a few glimpses of the res from this day.

Tree Reveal



Ice Melt



Res on Ice



All photos © 2020, all rights reserved.  Contact philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Farm Pond and Cushing

Cushing Memorial Park's perimeter walking loop is a favorite among locals, I suppose for its convenience and simplicity. It is paved, which is normally a detriment, in my view, being less "natural." Yet in the winter, the town seems to plow most of it after storms, so the paved feature provides a place to walk when other more woodsy trails require extra dedication to be able to access.

Just across the street from Cushing is an area called Farm Pond. One can walk along the edge of Farm Pond using a portion of the "Aqueduct" trail system, which is a cooperative between the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA), City of Framingham, and MassTrails. It is not paved, and though it is currently winter, I took these photos when the snow had melted just to the point where the edge path was passable wearing ordinary hiking boots.

In this first photo, I'm looking across Farm pond, at the ice, the ducks and other birds, the freight train, and the urban skyline.

The Scene Across Farm Pond



Here's a slightly different view. Notice the ducks have a relatively circular pool of water within the ice in which to swim and fish.

Duck Pool



The next several shots are taken slightly further away from the water's edge within the strip of land between Cushing Memorial Park and Farm Pond.

This small stream is completely filled with green plant material.

Green River



There's a very healthy grove of trees that always seems to pull me in and encourage me to look skyward.

Shadows in the Sky



Here are some patterns in the bark of those trees:

Bark Chips



Try to find the tiny dark sideways (virtually perfectly formed) heart in this next one. Then look slightly above and to the left. You may see people.

Bark Islands


These next two photos are near a small church within Cushing Memorial Park.

Winter Respite



For those that like red and blue...

Red Globes



Finally, this is a window on the back of that church. I'm not exactly sure why there's a green patch near the bottom of the glass. I don't think it's a plant. The photo shows exactly the way it looked. It sets off nicely against the glowing gold.

Mottled Glass



All photos © 2020, all rights reserved.  Contact philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A Cape Cod Beach

We spent a few mid-December days on the Cape as a mini-vacation. The weather turned quite cold and rainy for a good portion of our visit. After a mid-storm walk on the beach one day, we enjoyed a second walk along the same (Dennis) beach the next day, after the wet weather broke but the wind had picked up. That's when I took these photos.

This is my last post of 2019.

Happy New Year, everyone!


Beach Rocks




Long Shadows





Long Shadows 2





Storm Mostly Over





True Grit





Toward the Dunes





Heading Home on a Cold Windy Beach Day



All photos © 2019, all rights reserved.  Contact philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Fritz Glass

When we recently visited the Cape, we went to Fritz Glass, which is a glass blowing shop in Dennis Port. We met Fritz himself, who was busy making colorful candy dishes for the holiday season. His shop allows visitors to watch the glass blowing process, and that is what we did. Fritz has been blowing glass for many years. It was great to see someone so skilled at his profession. His glass is beautiful.

Here are some photos I took, both of Fritz making the glass, and of some of the finished product. See fritzglass.com to learn more.






























































































All photos © 2019, all rights reserved.  Contact philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Cardinals in the Snow

We have a flowering pear tree that produces berries that Northern Cardinals, at least, seem to really like eating.

After a recent snowfall, the Cardinals were quite easy to spot, their bright red color contrasting nicely against the snow.

I decided to try to photograph them through the window, an effort that is not always rewarded with particularly sharp pictures. They were approximately 50 feet away through the glass.

While both a male and a female Cardinal were present, the photos below are only of the male. I like the muted colors of the female as well, but none of those photos were quite blog worthy, perhaps partly because she was hidden behind branches.

These are taken with my 300mm (600mm equivalent) zoom lens at 258, 179, and 240mm respectively. The first two are cropped in post, the last is not.


Snackin' in the Snow




Bird in Winter




Happy in the Trees


All photos © 2019, all rights reserved.  Contact philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Tyringham, Massachusetts

According to their mission, "The Trustees of Reservations preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts."

One of the Trustees' properties is "Tyringham Cobble," located, naturally, in Tyringham, MA.

This type of "cobble" when used as a placename in New England, New York, and New Jersey is basically a quaint term for a rounded hill. A friend of friends, who enjoys local hiking, recommended we hike there. We had asked a question similar to "If we were to go on only one local hike in Western Mass, something in the under five mile range, where would you recommend we go?" Tyringham Cobble was the the very informed response: many types of interesting terrain along with pleasant scenic views can be enjoyed over a relatively short distance. A portion of the hike is on the Appalachian Trail.

We were fortunate to get a wonderfully sunny fall day to explore the "cobble."  All photos in this post were taken on November 6. Despite the somewhat "after peak" fall date, there was still some foliage to admire.

Between the Trees





Pinkish





Warming





Cotton Candy





On the Way Down




As an aside, just before arriving at the turnoff to park our car for the Tyringham Cobble hike, we drove past a unique place called "Santarella." It was *so* unique that we just had to stop, take a few pictures, and find out more about it. A sign, seen on the property, provides some additional information:
Santarella is the historic home of the sculptor Sir Henry Hudson Kitson, who lived and worked here until his passing in 1947. He spent over 20 years transforming the carriage house of a colonial homestead into his sculpting studio, creating the incredible rolling roof using handcut asphalt shingles of different colors to mimic the surrounding hills in the fall. In addition to the roof, Kitson added many other whimsical architectural details, and maintained a beautiful, exotic garden with the help of his full-time gardener, Awoki.
Santarella is a private residence and is not open to the public. We host guests for vacation rentals as well as for weddings and special events. Detailed information is available on our website. Rental enquires can also be made by phone:
(413) 243-2819 http://www.santarella.us

Here are three representative photos I took of the "residence":


















All photos © 2019, all rights reserved.  Contact philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Autumn Leaves After the Rain

All photos in this post were taken the morning after a night with rainfall. The cloudy weather added a pleasant ambiance to the mood. Several of the photos are of spiraea (also spelled 'spirea') and smoke bush (aka 'smoketree').

Wet Spiraea #1





Wet Spiraea #2





Garden Clump





Single Smoke Bush Leaf #1





Single Smoke Bush Leaf #2





Single Smoke Bush Leaf #3





Smoke Bush Leaf Tongue





Fall Curve





Yellow-Green Veins





Smoke Bush Leaf Team





Wet Spiraea #3





Wet Spiraea #4



All photos © 2019, all rights reserved.  Contact philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.