Thursday, June 26, 2008

Purple Martins in Flight

I wanted to try my hand at capturing the acrobatic skills of purple martins. The males are iridescent steel blue above and below. The females are bluish black above with mottled brown below.

Purple martins almost exclusively exist in man-made martin houses placed in open fields near water. They are a joy to have around.

I hope you enjoy these shots.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sunset over Gloucester

Tonight we had a great weather pattern set up. Usually when I go out at sunset, I’m in the wrong place, don’t have enough time or just can’t get the image. Tonight was different.

When shooting at sunset, I always look around. Facing the sunset, behind me were a partial rainbow, dramatic clouds and unbelievable lighting caused by the nasty weather getting pushed out by cooler, dryer air. No matter where I was, there was something to capture. Always look over your shoulder when the sun is setting. Look to the left and look to the right. These picture were all taken within a 200 yard radius.

©2008 ShootingMyUniverse
©2008 ShootingMyUniverse
©2008 ShootingMyUniverse
©2008 ShootingMyUniverse
©2008 ShootingMyUniverse
©2008 ShootingMyUniverse
©2008 ShootingMyUniverse
©2008 ShootingMyUniverse
©2008 ShootingMyUniverse
©2008 ShootingMyUniverse
©2008 ShootingMyUniverse

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pairing Wine with Lobster and How to Cook a Lobster

Click to enlarge. (c)2008 ShootingMyUniverse

We live in an area were lobsters are fresh, plentiful and relatively inexpensive. We picked up two 1-1/4 pound lobsters, some little neck clams and decided to open a bottle of Riesling. This will make a good posting for our wine blog Smells Like Grape.

Buying Lobsters
When purchasing lobster, make sure that they are still frisky. If they are frisky, their tails will flop back and forth when they are picked up. In other areas of the country, the tails should at least tuck back under if they are pulled straight. If the tails are limp, you don’t want them. Lobsters can be stored in a moist paper bag in the refrigerator for a few hours without harm.

Cooking Lobsters
The secret to boiling a lobster is to get a large pot tall enough to hold your lobsters. Bring the pot to a rolling boil. Take your lobsters and plunge them into the water head first and cover with the lid. Be sure that there are no little children around that could get scalded.

Boil the lobsters 10 minutes for the first pound and one minute more for each additional pound. Just so there is no confusion, ten minutes and thirty seconds for a pound an a half lobster. Two pound and a half lobsters in one pot will receive the same ten minutes and thirty seconds (not 11 minutes) cooking time.

What's lobsters without some clams?
We picked up some little neck clams to go with the lobster. We only had a dozen so the easiest way to cook them was to take a shallow frying pan. Place the clams in the pan with some chopped up garlic. Clams should be closed before cooking. Clams that are open are probably dead and should be discarded. Fill the pan about one third full with water and bring to a simmer. They should be opening up after about five to seven minutes.

Wine with Lobster
We tossed a couple of ears of corn in the lobster pot three minutes before the lobsters were done. While the lobsters are cooking, wedge some lemons, melt a stick of butter and pop open the chilled Riesling.

Life is good. You can read about the Riesling on Smells Like Grape
Visit SmellsLikeGrape for additional wine and lobster ideas.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Eastern Point Lighthouse

Click to enlarge. ©2008 ShootingMyUniverse

Eastern Point is a rocky outcrop in East Gloucester, Massachusetts. This lighthouse has many moods.

Click to enlarge. ©2008 ShootingMyUniverse

These two fog shots were taken a year ago when the DCB-224 beacon was still used. Earlier this year, the beacon was replaced for a modern light.

Click to enlarge. ©2008 ShootingMyUniverse

In this photo you can see the green moss forming on the north side of the the light tower.

Click to enlarge. ©2008 ShootingMyUniverse

Standing on Dog Bar Breakwater at dusk on a cold March day with the sunset to my back. I often wonder about the storms that have hit the breakwater. The breakwater is about ½ mile long and makes for a pleasant walk. In the summertime you will find fishermen all along the granite structure.

Click to enlarge. ©2008 ShootingMyUniverse

We see that the tower has been freshly painted and is stunning against the blue sky.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Iceland Gulls

We had a pair of Iceland Gulls hanging around this winter. They both were in the first winter plumage. They were always together flying around. On this rare occasion, they were on the beach and I was able to make these portraits on 11 March 2008.

Iceland Gull (c)2008ShootingMyUniverse



Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Inspiring Fitz Henry Lane

Fitz Henry Lane with Herring Gull. (c)2008 ShootingMyUniverse

Fitz Henry Lane was a 19th centry Gloucester artist painting in the Luminism style. The colors of the ever changing Gloucester Harbor are often subtle and stunning. I thought I’d put together a little group of photos to show the light conditions of Cape Ann that may have been Fitz Henry’s inspiration.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Timothy and a Tractor

It’s Springtime. Here are a couple of idyllic photos from a farm in Wenham, MA. Both of these photos need to be viewed enlarged.

Springtime in Wenham, MA. Click to enlarge.(c)2008 ShootingMyUniverse 

I really like the way the timothy bobs in the breeze. I decided to use a slower shutter speed to add interest. Hay fever suffers beware!
Timothy. Click to enlarge.(c)2008 ShootingMyUniverse

Monday, June 16, 2008

Gloucester Dories

The Puritan, Tenpound Island, Gloucester, MA. (c)2008 ShootingMyUniverse

Dories are small fishing boats with flat bottoms. These boats are built for work. They were stacked on the decks of the schooners here in Gloucester and lowered over the sides at sea. The dory would typically hold two men and could hold two thousand pounds of gear and catch fully loaded.

Today, you will see recreational dory rowers on Gloucester Harbor keeping the tradition alive.

Post Script, 22 June 08: The International Dory Races were held in Gloucester on June 21st. I have augmented the slide show to include some photos from the races. There are lots of recreational dory rowers in Gloucester. We also have a club of serious athletes that compete with a group from Maritime Canada. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Least Tern

The Least Turns started arriving in late May. Birds coming up from the south are on the friendly side and very gregarious. These tiny birds are very energetic flyers. They are shallow divers, plucking fry from the surface. But in early June, the nesting season is well under way and they become less tolerant of intruders near the colony.

My gear

11 Jan 2014.

My Gear running log has been moved to its own page! Check it out!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Welcome to Shooting my Universe

I was 16 when I bought my first camera. It was a Minolta XE-7. I began to spend time in the woods using my hunting skills to photograph wild life. The gun gathered dust while I tough myself to identify birds. When I was a senior in high school, I was the photo editor for the year book.

After studying at the University of Vermont, work took me away from my Vermont home and dropped me in Los Angeles. (“Toto, we’re not in Kansas any more.”) I became active in the El Dorado Audubon Chapter, Long Beach, California, serving on the Board of Directors.

A job opened up in Boulder Colorado in ’89 and took me from palm trees to ponderosa pines. I became active in the Boulder County Audubon Chapter, lead bird walks, worked on bird population studies, kept the county bird records, did Bird-a-thons and continued photographing.

In 1993 I entered my one and only photography contest at a local art museum. I had a stunning photo of a Western Tanager. It took second place behind a snapshot of three little bunnies in someone’s front lawn. Following the advice of another well know photographer, I don’t enter photo competitions any more. “You enter you photos in contests only to lose to pictures of kittens with hats falling out of a basket”. I presented the photograph to my mother and it remains one of her prized possessions.

Children came along and the cameras went on the shelf.

Work brought me out to Massachusetts in 2006. This is my first time living in Maritime New England. Now the kids are gone and the technology has changed. It seems that the digital world has made it easy to pick up photography again.

I’m just out walking about with my camera, shooting my universe. That's what I do.
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