Wednesday, September 30, 2009

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

I shot this at noon last Friday. I could not believe how wonderful the light was at mid day. This bridge is the longest operating covered bridge in Vermont at 271 feet. It crosses the West River just outside of Brattleboro, VT.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

I probably shouldn't show you these.

This sub was being tugged into the Navy Shipyard in Portsmouth, NH. I was taking a sight seeing cruise on the Tug Ally Too. We were surprised to see this coming at us.

Yes, folks, there were USCG boats, Navy boats, the two big tugs, police boats and a lot of people with guns. I wasn’t too sure if they would appreciate a big telephoto lens pointing at them, click-click-click, so I played it cool, not worrying too much about getting the best shots. But hey, for a guy that came from Colorado, this isn’t something that I saw every day.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Visit Watery Wednesday

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shots from the Dock Side, The Westward

The Westward has been in Gloucester for several weeks getting some maintenance done.









This is a shot I took of the Westward out at sea.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cleaning Nets, A gull gets a trophy.

Last week I showed you fishermen cleaning trawler nets. Today I'd like to show you a shot that I snapped of a juvenile Herring Gull that got a trophy.


©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Getting it was one thing, keeping it will be another!

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Butterflies

I didn't have the best butterfly season. I was saved in early September by visiting the Ipswich River Audubon property in Topsfield where they have a butterfly garden set up. Here are the species that I shot that day.

Painted Lady
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Clouded Sulphur
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Great Spangled Fritillary
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Pink-edged Sulphur
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Giant Swallowtail
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse




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Below are some photos I took of my home town on the 25th of September. Be sure to have a look.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Can you ever really go home?

I grew up in a small town, so small, the dogs used to have to wag their tails vertically. That didn’t seem to matter much, when you are young and your bodies are small, the world is a big place. Even if that world consists mainly of a couple of counties and a piece of another state.

I grew up in a time when you made your own fun. For me that was spending my time in the woods just exploring. You see, back then, boys were expected to be in the woods. It kept them out of the way. Dad used to say, “why don’t you boys go play in the traffic?” when we were bothering him. Yah, dad, what traffic?

This was before bicycle helmets were invented, penny candy meant you got two pieces of candy for your penny, Bazooka Joe was two cents and it really hit hard on our allowance when it was raised to a nickel.

We had toys such as darts with real metal tips, played with toy guns and built forts in the trees. Our friends had barns and tractors. We built dams in the brook, played baseball, caught lightening bugs in jars at night, after dark, without parents near by. Yes, we were boys, we got dirty, lost in the woods and played outside until dark.

Somewhere along the line, we became teens and discovered cars. We got through high school and went our separate ways. Some stayed, I went north to attend the University, go married and headed out to L.A. to get our first jobs. I lived in L.A. for three years (yah Toto, I wasn’t in Kansas any more) then Boulder Colorado, Tennessee and now Massachusetts.

Now I live five hours away from my childhood home, Wells, VT. Friday I had a floating day to take off, the weather was perfect and I got a bee in my britches and headed across Rt 2 over to Brattleboro and picked up Rt 30 to visit my old stomping grounds to find out, can you really go home?

Well here it is. These are some of the landmarks that I think of when I think of my home town. This shot was taken from the top of Lake Hill, over looking the Little Lake. Behind the lake in the picture is Pond Mountain which overlooks the village.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

At the outlet of the Little Lake is a damn that raised the level of the lake. This spash of color was nice because it is still a little early for the fall colors.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse


Down in the center of the village is the library. It was open so I decided to see what it was like inside.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

I went in and except for a little extra seating, it is exactly as it was when I was school. I had a great chat with the new librarian.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

This is the Episcopalian church where my family went on Sundays. It was built by the first bishop in Vermont. Take a look at the top windows. They are not windows, but are painted to look like windows. This church was actually struck by lightening once, not in the steeple, but in the back along the chimney.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

It’s not hard to see that this building is the grammar school. This is where I went to school from the third grade through the sixth. Back in the day, there were six grades in three rooms.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Today, the school has been extended in the back. I was shooting the building late in the afternoon and was fortunate to be able to talk with one of the teachers and one of the sixth grade students about student life, the state of the school and life in Wells. The huge piles of wood chips you see are the remains of the ash and maple trees that we played under when I was young. They were taken down two weeks ago. Sad, but hey, they were old 40 years ago when I when to school there.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse
I felt strange driving through my old home town with Massachusetts plates. How ironical! I’ve become a leaf-peeping flatlander. My time was short, I had to get back down to Brattleboro and meet up with my brother and his wife.

Scenic Sunday

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cape Ann Dragons

I’m just fascinated at what wonderful photographic subjects these dragonflies are. In this post, I’m showing some experiments. The first three are Meadowhawks followed by a Common Pondhawk feeding on a fly and a Blue Dasher finishing a meal.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cleaning Nets

After the fishing is done, the catch is off-loaded and the boat is docked, the work isn't done. It's time to clean and mend the nets.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Bath Time for the Goldfinch

There is something about birds taking a bath. As soon as one starts...
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

and really gets into it...


everyone has to join in.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Time to rearrange the feathers.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Get behind the ears.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

There! Cock-of-the-Rock!
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

About the pictures. As my followers know, I do not live in a place where I get a lot of song birds. I have gulls and eiders in my yard. So finding these birds bathing along the banks of the Ipswich River was a real treat for me. In all of my time photographing birds, now measured in decades, this is the first time I’ve gotten decent photos of American Goldfinch.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Migrating Peeps

I had a great time shooting Portland Head Light and Cape Elizabeth light. On a little beach, there were some sea vegetables washed up by an earlier storm. This is a boon for migrating shore birds because the washed up seaweed holds sea lice, invertebrates, attract flies and all kinds of high protein goodies that fatten up our little friends.

I had a condition like this happen a year ago on Eastern Point and I have gone back several times month to try and find the same conditions without success.

When it does happen, what I like to do is find a rock to sit on and just chill out for a while watch the flock. I’ll snap some pictures towards them, point my camera a other things and just let them know that I’m cool. I don’t try to be “real still” or “blend in” or anything like that. I don’t wear camouflage, hide in blinds or set up blinds. No, I’m out there sticking out like a sore thumb.

Sooner or later, they will settle down and they will approach me at their comfort level, usually at about 10 feet at the minimum, although when I was in my 20’s, I had three Black Turnstones walk up to within six inches of my feet while I was sitting on a rock on a jetty.

This is when I get into the “Zone”. Those of you who are wildlife photographers know what I’m talking about. This is when your co-workers think you’re nuts, your lodge buddies are wondering why they didn't black-ball you and your spouce starts calling the layer. Yes folks, this is the photographer’s “Zone”. Just me and the peeps. Don’t bother me. Don’t hold dinner and no, I’m not answering that text message. I’m in the “Zone”.

Semipalmated Sandpiper


Semipalmated Plover


Semipalmated Plover


Semipalmated Plover


Least Sandpiper walking towards me.


This Least Sandpiper settledown to do a little digesting about 15 feet away. This was the end of the shoot. Whoo-hoo, what a thrill!


After 15 minutes, I had the shots I wanted and as fascinated as I was, these guys need to put on fat and get through the migration. The fact that they will not come closer than 10 feet means that I'm still an intrusion.

So I went back to the car and took a few more shots of the lighthouse and headed back to home.

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