Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Photos

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Photos from recent hikes.  Please visit often.  This section is updated often.

Closeup macro images captured using Little BigShot Image Amplifier, a macro lens for compact point & shoot cameras.

a man can not dream of nor invent anything as beautiful as the simple, effortless artistry of the natural world . . and when he tries, invariably he takes a natural theme and embellishes it beyond recognition, assuming that he somehow is more artistic than the basis from which he formed the embellishment.
david w runyan II, 2012
Cute Little Killer
This arachnid is in the family: Daring Jumping Spider, of which there are thousands of sub species.  They are typified by the two large eyes flanked by two smaller eyes.  The species, though capable of producing silk, instead stalk and pounce their prey.  Even if you don't like spiders, you must admit that this little guy has a cute face.
Another Day, Another Frog
And not just any frog but the truly amazing Eastern Wood Frog.  
What makes him so amazing?  Well, he's a chameleon in that he has the ability to change his skin color to blend in with his surroundings, which is why he appears green in Summer and brown in Autumn.  
Another amazing fact about this frog is that he hibernates through Winter on dry land by freezing his body until his heart beat and breathing cease (self-cryogenics) and when he thaws in Spring, his heartbeat and breathing resume.

Foliage Update
Things are progressing nicely here in northwestern Massachusetts.  Not many trees displaying at the moment but what we do have for color is both rich and vibrant.
This image was captured at Tully Pond, in Tully Village, North Orange Massachusetts.
I think we're 6-8 days from peak, so I'll be quite busy for the next few weeks, attempting to capture and present the unique New England autumn.

Sky Surprise
Dramatically beautiful sky scenes such as this one used to be fairly routine but over the past 18 months or so, they've been scarce for some reason.
Nevertheless, this morning was an exception and the lake surface happened to be calm, so I was treated to a mirror image effect in addition to the great colors.

Such a Pretty Assassin
This glamorous girl is known as the Cross Orbweaver, and when one considers that she's limited to only two colors, one can't help but realize that nature can begin with simplicity and conclude with intricacy.

Happy Monarch Morning! 
Ironweed is in bloom, and Monarchs derive nourishment from that plant.  So, if you see Ironweed? . . . grab the camera!

A Lovely Strangulation

Daddy Long Legs Spider
Here in new England, these marvelous animals are called the Daddy Long Legs Spiders, while in other places, they are known as Harvestmen.  The scientific name is Opiliones.
But no matter what you might call them, they are amazing to observe.  Despite having 8 lanky legs, they remain graceful and swift as they make their way through the unpredictable tangles of the underbrush.
They are silent and graceful and instinctively seem to know how to pose artistically as they live out their lives.

I met a surprisingly cooperative frog today, who stood still for a photo shoot from a distance of 3 inches.  A bit unkempt he was, but handsome nonetheless.
Since he was being cooperative, I attempted a facial closeup.
 I pushed the envelope and tried for a macro of his eye . . . and got it.

Like much of the nation, New England is in a serious drought, and to underscore the extent of it all, here are comparison shots.  The first image is Handsome Falls today, sporting its drought cascade, and next up, an image of the normal flow over Handsome Falls.

I don't normally have such good luck with dragonflies, but for whatever reason, this little lady posed patiently for me sufficiently long to yield a few good shots.

Catching the beauty of the natural world is oftentimes simply a matter of taking time to be there.  Such was the case on this particular morning as I attended sunrise at Bassett Pond in Quabbin Wilderness.  After sunrise, I walked down the Old Hagersville Road on my way to a meadow to shoot dragonflies when suddenly, the pathway was illuminated by misty sun rays. 

The Blue Curl wildflowers are up!  That means August has arrived.  These little beauties host lavender loops with a sheen, and purple spots in the lower petal.  Delightful little beings.

Introducing Vinny!
Vinny is a Violet Dancer damselfly.  The little bugger parked himself on my knee for about 3 hours while I was fishing in a boat with my sons.  I grew quite fond of the little fellow.  Can't say I've ever had such an encounter with an insect.

Liquid Crystal

I haven't yet found the identification of this dragonfly, but what a wonderful shoot it was.  A bit drizzly so the dragonfly roosted, giving me ample time for several shots.  The wind also cooperated, dying down frequently so no motion blur.

Dragonfly fills the frame with zero zoom.
5x zoom to get closer to his face and his clasping feet.
8x zoom just for fun and to see if 8x was even possible.
8x zoom on his tail section.
8x zoom on his clasping feet.

Azure Bluet Wildflower

The place I call Trillium Falls, along Briggs Brook
Quabbin Wilderness Massachusetts.
Trillium Falls, Side Profile

My Favorite Recent Sunrise, Silver Lake, Athol Massachusetts

A Fallen Tree I Met Today
 Cascade along Buckman Brook with tree debris.  Thousand Acre Forest, Athol Massachusetts.
Tiny Wonder

A Fallen Leaf I Met Today

Nature is at it again; creating for herself and for us some charming ice sculptures along the banks of her streams. These particular bits of Nature Art were found along the banks of Middle Branch Swift River in the Quabbin Wilderness.
Talk about Silver Bells! And notice please, the internal oxygen cyclones.

Another fine bell formation
Ice Snoopy . . . complete with a tiny scarf. The upper cyclone looks like a Christmas tree!

Sunset behind Tully Mountain, as viewed from Bearsden Mountain Road in Athol Massachusetts.

We had an unusual 18" snowstorm in October this year. Here are some shots of that rare event.
In this image, we're looking at a corner of Silver Lake. The scene was pretty enough, but a bit of snow feel on the lens and created that little fairy bubble hovering over the water. Luck, not skill at all . . . but I'll take it!

Some scenes from Tumbling Brook, Bearsden Wilderness, Athol MA. 
A secret place this Tumbling Brook, tucked in a pathless ravine with dozens of gorgeous cascades along her path.
I call this one, Round Rock Cascade

I call this, The Slate Falls.  It's the point where Sudden Stream meets Tumbling Brook in a grand entrance, rolling over black slate ledge.  Such a primeval feeling to this ravine.

This is the one I call, Carom Cascade.

The series I call, The Satin Staircase

The one I call, Angel Rock Cascade

Fanning Falls

Little Spout

 African Daisy with cupped petals . . . such a mesmerizing flower!

The blue metallic variety of the Cuckoo Wasp. This fellow has no idea how beautiful he is . . . but I sure do!

Now here's something I've never seen happen before. When I reeled in my line, I discovered this salamander, who hitched a ride on my rubber worm! The large-mouth bass didn't care much for the white worm, but the salamander seemed enamored.

Blue-Eyed Grass Portrait

A more intimate view.

Northern Star Flower side profile.

 Head on
Snowflakes are the photo subjects which fascinate me the most.  They are extremely difficult to capture, but their amazingly intricate designs make the effort a small price to pay in the end.

Final Falls in the Doanes Range, creating a mid-winter opera window.

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