Archive for the ‘grass’ Tag

Back Whence It Came   6 comments


Back Whence It Came

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Tree. Wood. Ore. Metal. A wagon forged by the hand of a man. All will decay. Nothing lasts forever.

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We descended to the bottom of the trail shortly before 5PM, knowing our target. Placed near the equipment shed for the old Stone House, these wagons have been in place and deteriorating beautifully for years.

Unfortunately, since it was 5 o’clock, a few maintenance people were converging on the shed, parking their trucks in all the good spots. Problem. I didn’t think twice before walking up to one of them and jocularly saying, “You know, I traveled over 1,000 miles just to shoot these wagons.” Oh… you’ll move your truck? Why, thanks!

The guys were talking together, but surely also sizing up these people from ‘Away.’ One of them, an older gentleman in bright red suspenders who looked like a cross between Albert Einstein and Kris Kringle, was Frank. I know this because he had a huge sign made of welded pipe running across the back window of his pickup truck – his “Office”.

The sign said, “F – R – A – N – K

I asked him, “Are you Frank?”

“Nope. I’m Ernest,” he replied in a deep New England accent.

“Somehow I doubt that,” I said as we shared a knowing laugh.

And with that, we were introduced to Frank Eastman, a colorful local who has tended the grounds of the Stone House for several decades. After the other guys went home, we chatted with Frank for quite a while. He had worked with the Maine DOT for many years. We talked about how someone had once offered to restore the wagons for display, but Frank had declined, preferring to see them decay in their natural form. After a time, he felt comfortable enough to let us in on a local trail secret — a waterfall that most people don’t know about — and he asked if I could shoot it for him someday.

That’s for next year, when I’ll likely meet up with Frank again. Some people you just want to keep in touch with.

Another Way To Hide If You’re A Moose   6 comments


Another Way To Hide If You're A Moose

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Yesterday, we learned the first lesson of How To Hide If You’re A Moose. Since our friend’s technique wasn’t very effective, he decided to try a new tactic – hiding behind a big pile of road sand.

I hated to tell the poor guy that it still wasn’t working very well. The antlers were a sure giveaway.

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(Note: In all seriousness, we were just tracking the moose’s activity from a safe distance as he wandered around the location, browsing and looking at these two-legged creatures with idle curiosity. All moose images were taken with a 300mm lens.)

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One More for the Rhode Island Red   5 comments


One More for the Rhode Island Red

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C’mon, face it… Sometimes you just gotta scratch.

This is the final chicken image for a while, after All Natural Chicken and Jailbreak!. These little birds are challenging to photograph, so many of the shots from that day didn’t turn out well. The girls rarely stand still, and when they peck and scratch for food, they move incredibly fast, making a sharp capture almost impossible. And it started raining heavily… Some shoots just don’t go as planned.

I’ll look forward to getting out for more landscape images, soon. It’ll seem easy after chasing these kids around the lawn.

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Jailbreak!   6 comments


Jailbreak!

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Just prior to shooting the previous image, All Natural Chicken, an alarm sounded as several hens conspired to break out of jail. Hey, the scratch feed inside the coop wasn’t all that bad, but nobody can resist fresh lawn bugs for an afternoon snack.

The white bird, Little Miss Delaware, is such a goodie two-shoes. Evidently, she decided not to risk the escape. Or… was she the lookout?

Analysis of the surveillance camera footage have identified the culprits as (from L to R):

“Barbie” – an American Dominique.

“Little Miss Delaware” – a Delaware (She probably snitched on the others.)

“Red Girl” – Rhode Island Red

“EE” – An Easter Egger who lays colorful eggs.

If you see these hens on the loose, follow carefully at a distance and wait. I like mine over-easy.

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Mom Told Me to Freeze   11 comments


Mom Told Me to Freeze

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Each spring, we become aware of at least one momma rabbit who sets up her den somewhere in the yard. It’s predictable that at some point, we’ll see one if not several young bunnies exploring the new, glorious, nutrient-rich environment that we call “garden.”

This year has been better than previous years. We know of only one young’n – this one – and he seems perfectly content to munch on what’s left of our field of crimson clover. So far, he has bypassed all the good, human stuff.

Like the Carolina anoles, under the right circumstances a bunny can present a great photo op, as they freeze perfectly still when confronted with danger. In this case the danger was in the form of some big, two-legged galoot with a 300mm lens. While shooting, I told him that we have to learn to coexist for our mutual benefit.

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Work the Camera, Baby!   9 comments


An extreme closeup of a turtle after she deposited eggs in our backyard.

Work the Camera, Baby!

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Shortly after taking the picture of the turtle and hare featured in It Really Happened, I decided to get a closeup shot of the slower of the two. Getting brackets of the rabbit were difficult… they’re kinda skittish.

The best thing about HDRing this turtle is that she didn’t move much, and didn’t seem to mind the camera being so close. It’s very likely that she had just deposited a clutch of eggs near the deck, and was simply exhausted. Still, she worked the camera like a pro.

To get this shot, I mounted the camera upside down on a reversed tripod, hovering just over the grass. I used the Nikkor 18-105 lens at 105mm f/6.3 so that I didn’t disturb her too much and fired off 9 exposures using the Promote Control. Post-processing involved Nik Color Efex Pro, Alien Skin Bokeh, and other bit crushers.

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