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Posts tagged “mist






New year, new beginnings. Lots of stuff going on here right now. My father-in-law has been in the hospital since early Nov. That’s wearing everyone down. No idea if or when he’ll be moved to a nursing home or if he’ll recover enough to come home. Lots of stress and anxiety for the family around that. We’ve had his elderly sister, niece and grand-nephew visiting from Croatia. I’ve yet to see his sister but word has it she’s got some sort of nasty upper respiratory bug. Being here on a visa means no insurance and one more thing for Mom to worry about. Mom’s acute sciatica has run it’s course with the doctor-ordered physical therapy …. to no avail. Basically, they just put off doing what I’m sure they knew needed to be done and let her suffer for two months while trying to cope with her husband’s health problems. I’ve tried encouraging her to push for an MRI so they can move to the next step, which will probably be an epidural injection. She can’t stand or walk, so something needs to be done. Yes, getting her to and from the hospital (daily) has been a tall task.

The animals have all been great … thank goodness for small favors! Gus is fully into his “terrible tweens” and is a chewing machine. (Minor destruction of small abstract objects included) I was contemplating getting him into another basic obedience class … mostly for the benefit of proofing some of his training, but I’m not sure if I can juggle it with my schedule right now. The class I’m thinking about starts tonight, so I’d better decide soon!

I’m starting a new nutrition program with my long-range goals set on getting certified to coach the program somewhere down the line. I’ve been lifting weights and staying fit for 33  years, but like anything else you do long-term, my goals have changed and my routine has grown stale. I’ve been thinking about doing this program for a good four or five years and I’ve finally decided this is the year to take the steps in that direction. I’m doing the course as a participant first, because it’s my opinion that’s the  best way to learn it … from the inside out! With my own training and nutritional program needing some tweaks and new enthusiasm, this  should be a lot of fun. Besides, I don’t feel I can authentically help others unless I’ve walked the walk myself. So wish me luck … I hope to be in even better shape in just a few months!

Unless the weather takes a sudden turn in the right direction I don’t expect I’ll be posting as many photos. Certainly not landscapes. It’s been several weeks since we’ve had a photo-worthy sunrise and I’m not going to get out there at the crack of cold dawn unless I really think the payoff is going to be good. Of course that can change tomorrow, but be forewarned that a few days might go by with no new posts.

Green Christmas





It looks like it might be another a soggy, foggy Christmas this year.


IMG_5437_8_9_2 _tonemapped




Morning Fog lifts off a swamp.

Swamp Sunrise



This was a challenging spot to try and shoot. I was perched on a steep bank only a few feet from a busy and very foggy highway. Thick ropes of invasive vines wrapped around my feet and tripod, making it hard to move, and thorny brush ripped at my clothing. Broken bottles and discarded garbage lay scattered in the foreground. I hoped the sun would break clear through the fog. I’d seen several better views on my way to this spot, but none offered me a  safe parking spot for my car. Today, this will have to do.




Waiting for the fog to burn off.



Grape tomatoes ripen in the morning fog.


I’m actually starting to get waves of ripe cherry and grape tomatoes, but for awhile I didn’t think I would get any. The weather this summer has been abominable. We’ve had five weeks of  record-breaking heat and humidity and a good amount of rain. By that I mean to say that I have clumps of mushrooms growing in my yard. Anything that doesn’t thrive in the wet, hot humidity is starting to rot and flowers and veggies that have long since gone by are turning into a slimy black mess. I’ve tried my best to keep up with the chore of cleaning and clearing up beds that have stopped flowering or producing, but it’s kind of hard to get the job done in this heat, humidity and rain. The last few weeks I’ve been in an almost perpetual state of wet-to-the-knees and I think I’m going to develop a nasty case of foot rot if this nonsense keeps up. (Just kidding …. sorta) Needless to say, it hasn’t been the best of summers for anything, unless you’re crazy enough to count taking pictures in the fog a big plus! (Yes!)

The Cove


This is my 400th post!

Winter Thaw




It’s a bit of a misnomer to call this a January thaw since we’ve hardly had a normal winter thus far. We did get several inches of snow over the weekend, but just enough to create some work and cause a mushy mess this week as the temperatures started to creep well above freezing. Not that I’m complaining, mind you!  After last night’s dense fog (and my headache) burned off, the sun is (finally) shining and it’s just amazing what a little sunshine will do to lift your mood. So here’s to getting outside and soaking up a few of those warm rays!

Mystical Memories




 Tomorrow is the first anniversary of Tia’s death. I spent some time this morning looking over the small handful of photos I took of Tia the summer and fall before she died. Tia was so beautiful, truly a mystical horse. Sadly, I didn’t realize it was my last few months with her and I didn’t take nearly enough pictures to remember her by. On this foggy morning I happened to catch the horses snoozing in the dappled sunlight. Much to my surprise, also I discovered an abundance of spider webs. I took a handful of pictures of the horses before getting off on a tangent and taking lots of pictures of the spider webs. Looking back, I wish I’d concentrated more on photographing the horses, but hindsight is 20/20.



Nature’s way of trimming trees!

Hidden Treasure


We’re getting into my favorite time of year to take pictures. I love fall morning and late afternoon light. I know those are generally the best times to take photos anyway, but there’s something different about the fall light. I don’t know what it is, but I always seem to get better pictures and struggle a lot less when I’m shooting in the fall. And I love how the dewy mornings give me lots of opportunity to go web hunting.

Anyone who has been reading my blog for awhile knows I love finding and shooting spider webs. I don’t have a thing for spiders and in fact, I usually do my best to avoid them. But I love their aerial artwork and I enjoy the challenge of trying to photograph their webs. It’s not easy, and I often find myself ankle deep in water or mud or standing in nearly shoulder-high brush and weeds (amongst God knows what other kinds of critters … but I try not to think about that!). Still, nothing quite thrills me as much as seeing the results of my efforts. Oftentimes I can’t shoot some of the best webs I find. Either they’re out of my reach or I can’t get myself (and my gear) in the right position where the light will allow them to show up. Or sometimes the background is just too obnoxious. The photo below is an example of that.

I found this wonderful web suspended between two old coneflower plants, but the background was really tough. Because the fog was so dense, I tried to position my tripod so I could shoot the web against the backdrop of the tree. Otherwise, the web wouldn’t show up and would vanish into the background fog. Unfortunately, this meant I had to have the distance between my camera, the web and the tree just so … which proved to be nearly impossible. Mind you, I was standing in the middle of a very dense, wet garden and trying not to trample too much in my quest to get things just right.

I finally got a couple of decent frames … not exactly what I wanted, but I was running out of time. So I did my best, then headed back inside to feed the dogs and get ready to scoot out for a riding lesson. Later, when I finally had a chance to download what I’d shot I was (somewhat) disappointed that I didn’t manage to capture the entire web against the backdrop of the tree. However, upon closer inspection I discovered a butterfly in several of the shots. When I was shooting I never got close enough to the coneflowers and web to actually see the butterfly. In fact, I think at the time I just thought the thing on top of the flower on the right was a dried leaf. (Age and bad vision … Ug!) But here’s the proof: it was a butterfly!  A special little treasure, hidden in the frame!


I Don’t Get It


I took this photo one early morning as the sun was starting to cut through the heavy fog. When I first saw this scene all I could think was, “Huh?” There sat this ginormous house right smack dab between two very old tobacco barns. How did that happen? The austere barns and the ornate McMansion are so diametrically opposed in appearance that it’s almost comical. It looks like one of those “what’s wrong with this picture” puzzles.

This is what happens when the wealthy want to live in the country. They have enough money to buy anything they want, but they don’t think about the consequences of plunking their big new house smack dab in the middle of a tobacco field. I wonder how they like it when the dust from plowing and harvesting is wafting through their windows and coating their clapboard? Or at six AM., when they’re awakened by the sound of tractors working in the surrounding fields? How about when they spray pesticides on the tobacco or spread fertilizer in the spring? Do they like it then? Does living in the midst of prime farm land make them feel more “in touch” with the land, or did they just build their house there because they could? I mean nothing says “look at how much money I have” than buying prime farm land (in spitting distance from the Connecticut river, I might add) and raising up a house that sticks out like a sore thumb.

Yeah. I’m impressed …. NOT! But it makes for an interesting photo, don’t you think?



What a difference a day makes! Yesterday’s dew point and humidity had quite an effect on the light … versus today! (Below)



When shooting some subjects I actually prefer the conditions in the first photo  …  it’s probably more forgiving … or something.



Ride or shoot? That’s been my conundrum the last few mornings. Sadly I can’t do both, and with the recent hot and humid weather I have to weigh the options and decide pretty early in the day. I was out on Dharla quite early the last three mornings and so as I made my coffee I seriously considered giving her a morning off. My camera was vying for my attention.

One of the hardest things about outdoor photography is learning what conditions are most likely to produce which results. For instance, this web shot. Last summer I got lucky and captured about 200 web shots in one morning. I didn’t have the foggiest idea what I was doing at the time (hence, the luck part), but the conditions were ripe when I accidentally stumbled on a smorgasbord of webs. I grabbed my camera, shot like mad and about twenty minutes of frantic shooting resulted in maybe a dozen or so good shots of several different webs.

At the time I didn’t know it, but that day last summer the conditions were perfect for shooting spider webs. In fact, they were so good that I had more webs available than I could shoot while the light was just right. Daylight is constantly changing and spider webs are very light sensitive; they can be perfectly visible one minute and totally gone from sight the next. Also, it was very dewy that morning which helped the webs stand out from their background. But dew dries quickly in the morning sun and once that happens a web will start to vanish or get much harder to photograph.

Last but not least, that morning it was muggy and STILL. Uncomfortable for me, but not a breath of air moved. That’s so critical when shooting a delicate spider web. Most of the webs I shot that day were strung in bushes and trees. All it would have taken for the webs to move is a faint current of air. That further complicates a shot. So yes, I got very lucky that day and I came away with plenty of pictures.

This morning was a bit different … as they all are! I had a feeling the conditions were ripe for web hunting. There was a heavy blanket of mist in the air and it seemed quite still. I took my mug of coffee and walked outdoors to scout about. I didn’t have to go far before I spied several nice webs. I literally ran inside (no dogs out to mow me down), grabbed my tripod and gear and headed back out to try my luck at shooting some new webs. Unfortunately, there was just enough of a gentle current to make things pretty challenging. Sometimes I can simply wait until I get a slight break in the breeze, but with the light conditions rapidly changing that wasn’t a good option.

In the end I did manage to get some nice photos, but not as many as I would have liked. I tried to concentrate my efforts on just four webs instead of running to and fro and trying to shoot several more. It’s still early in the summer and I suspect there will be more opportunities to get web shots this summer.



This time of year it starts to feel like I live in a jungle. It’s a constant battle, keeping the invasive stuff from taking over. The humidity is high and the morning air thick and hazy, but that makes the color in the garden pop.




One of my favorite flowers, one of my favorite subjects to shoot.


I can’t believe it was 10 degrees this morning when I headed out to the barn. That’s January weather and it’s downright annoying now. Even the horses had the “Enough already!” look on their faces when I got out there. Beanie is shedding like a banshee … hair everywhere. At the ripe old age of 27 he grows a winter coat like a Woolly Mammoth. If I work real hard I might have him totally shed out by September, whereupon he’ll promptly begin growing his winter coat for next winter. Gotta love Mother Nature!


I want to wish my sister a very happy birthday! I have so many fond memories of our birthday rituals when she lived in Connecticut. We both used to take the day off from work and go shopping, then go somewhere fun for lunch and just have a great time hanging out together and being friends. I miss doing that, but hope she has a nice day with her family … it’s not the same thing, but I’m pretty sure it runs a close second! 😉


Sept 13, 2010 8:03 AM EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 400, 50mm, 1/200 sec, f/5.0

Lens: Canon 50mm

Lightroom3: Crop, brightness adj.


Winter Weary



I’m getting anxious for the snow to melt. The dogs and I have been limited to walking the same few paths and the driveway since early Jan. While I’ve tried to keep the dogs exercised and happy, it’s been one of the worst winters for getting out and about since I’ve had them. They’re starting to pester me to death. There’s only so much you can do with two herding dogs when you’re cooped up in a small house. Same with the horses too. We had to pile the snow up against the fence and it reduced their paddock area significantly. It seems like every time I look out they’re pestering one another. Not in a bad way, but they’re like two little boys who’ve been stuck inside for too many days in a row and can’t keep from poking each other.


Nothing would thrill me more than a mild March. Hey, I can hope, right?



Oct 28, 2010. 7:53 AM EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 100, 50mm, 1/160 sec, f/2.0

Lens: Canon 50mm

Lightroom: Crop, brightness adj.


Filtered Light

A typical morning sunrise in my back yard.



Oct 28, 2010 8:30 AM. EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 100, 1/100 sec, f/5.6

Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Adobe Lightroom 3: Minor contrast & brightness adjustment.




It’s a foggy, warm January morning.  The snow from our “major” blizzard (not) is melting quickly and the ground is a muddy mess. Kids in this neck of the woods go back to school tomorrow. (Yay) Remember when Christmas vacation seemed like it would last forever? Now it’s over in the blink of an eye. The hard thing to remember is that this January thaw is just a tease. Winter will come back again, and probably with a vengeance. But it’s nice to pretend the hibernation is over. So with that thought in mind I dug out a picture of a spider web, which reminds me that being temporarily suspended in time isn’t always a bad thing.


Oct. 28, 2010. 8:29 AM EST.

ISO:100, 50mm, 1/160sec, f.3.5

Lens: Canon EF 50mm 1.4 USM

Editing: Lightroom3: minor brightness & contrast adjustment.

Misty Mornings



Looking through my pictures makes me miss the misty mornings when I would head out to the barn early, then with camera in hand spend an hour or so meandering around the property in search of the right light and something interesting to shoot. My farm is tucked in the ‘elbow’ of a small valley, which means that I get some pretty interesting light when the sun breaks over the ridge. The magic doesn’t last very long, but I’ve learned where I need to be when that happens. Unfortunately, there isn’t always something exciting to shoot, though on this day something caught my eye at just the right moment.


I’m watching another cold, crisp, dull sunrise. It’s amazing how the light changes in a month or two. Fortunately, the misty mornings will come back again soon!


Oct. 28, 2010. 8:32 AM. EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 100, 50mm, 1/160 sec, f/2.5

Lens: Canon EF 50mm 1.4 USM

Diffused Light

Taken on one of those mornings when the mist and the sun both vie for center stage.

Big Red


My big red handsome boy on a foggy fall morning.


Early morning sunrise on a lake.

Timing Is Everything!

Early morning, just before sunrise …


and an hour later!