Sunday, February 28, 2010

Two down, ten to go

It appears I've successfully made it through another month of this project. Once again, I want to thank everyone who's taken the time to stop by and check out this blog—your words of support and encouragement, both here and in other venues, are appreciated more than I can say.

And now, on to today's photos...

First up, I thought this was an unusual arrangement of living and dead trees, to say the least:

I photographed this bit of spalted wood again because of the way the damp areas of the wood affected the overall visual:

A couple of close-up shots of my mom's orchids:

I really liked the way the light from the window illuminated these blossoms that were facing away from the room and toward the outside:

Finally, Kaylee ended up having a pretty busy day today: she went out with me to get donuts; went on a long walk with Greg; and then went on another walk with Greg, our neighbors, and her buddy Robbie. So by the time mid-afternoon rolled around she'd pretty much crashed next to me on the couch. And who could resist photographing this face?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Winter Wonderland 3: This Time It's Personal

Guess what it did here overnight? Yeah, the subject line kind of gives it away. The good news is that it was an unbelievably picturesque snowfall—I could have closed my eyes and shot pictures at random and still gotten gorgeous results:

Kaylee was as interested in this fallen pine branch as I was, so I had to work fast to get the shot I wanted before she managed to dislodge the snow:

A bit of fungus that also caught my eye:

Later on in the morning I noticed a lot of blue jay activity around the feeder, and managed to snag a shot of this trio:

The downy woodpeckers were my target here, so capturing the departing titmouse was a nice bonus:

When I was refilling the feeders this morning (prior to taking those last two photos), a chickadee landed on the house-shaped one as I put seed in the other not a foot away—I'm not sure which of us was more startled. Afterward I decided to go back out with my camera and stand in the same spot, just to see if I could get lucky again. Naturally, it started precipitating again about 5 minutes later. I'm not sure how long I was out there either listening to the birds come close and then fly away or watching them land on the other side of the feeder (I could almost hear them saying "neener neener neener:), but eventually a couple became daring enough to alight where I could see them. This one was even obliging enough to stay for more than a half-second, giving me a chance to get some very nice shots:

The texture of the snow around my parents' place caught my eye when Kaylee and I were out at lunchtime. I have no idea what atmospheric and temperature conditions combined to produce it—all I know is I thought it was pretty interesting:

Finally, since I took this at 10 a.m. I consider it proof that it's hard work having to supervise me while I'm out taking pictures:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy accidents

As I uploaded the photos I'd selected for posting today, I realized they all had something in common: they all arguably came out better than the picture I'd been trying to take.

I'd certainly describe this first image as the result of intent and dumb luck. Intent in that I was trying to capture the color and texture of the bark; dumb luck that the mossy tree behind it, which I didn't even notice, ended up providing such great contrast:

More dumb luck—this chickadee moved just as I took the photo, giving me a nifty action shot:

When I got home this evening it was snowing pretty hard. As I was throwing Kaylee's rubber stick for her to chase, I thought I'd see if I could get a picture with some of the falling snow in focus. So I did a focus capture on one object, then took the actual picture with the lens aimed at a different spot where whatever was in the frame was further away. It didn't even remotely work. But fortune once again smiled on me, as I still ended up with an interesting picture anyway:

And of course, Kaylee. I took the first one this morning as she stood on the back porch gazing at something out in front of the house:

And one taken inside a few minutes later, when Kaylee was so eager for me to put the camera away and give her her treat already that she climbed up in a chair and alternated between staring at me and pawing at my pocket:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.

Today's subject line courtesy of Mark Twain, because truer words were never spoken.

The rain's been falling steadily since late yesterday afternoon, making today the kind of raw and dreary day where all you want to do is sit at home drinking hot chocolate and watching movies. So, just a few pictures today.

I took this first one right at the edge of my parents' property as Kaylee and I headed into the woods for a walk; I really liked how the curved, dark tree looked against the straight white birches:

The redness of the branch ends on this lilac bush in my parents' yard caught my eye, especially with the added contrasts of the water droplets on the branches and the rain-darkened trees in the background:

The same photo as above, cropped to provide a more detailed view:

Finally, our daily Kaylee pic. I decided to bring her in to work with me for the morning, where she got a chance to play with both Bear and Sammy for a while. When I decided to try and take a picture of the trio, my boss did her best to help out by holding up a treat to direct their attention. Despite that incentive, though, getting them all to sit still at the same time proved to be about as easy as herding cats—especially as it seemed like every time we came close to achieving this goal Kaylee would start scooting closer and closer to make sure she didn't miss out on any food. Still, we persevered until, at long last, I got a picture with the three of them in focus and in the frame:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winter Wonderland 2: Electric Boogaloo

So, it pretty much didn't stop snowing from early afternoon yesterday to early afternoon today. Which resulted in more than a foot of snow on the porch and even more where it drifted in the woods—there were spots where I'm certain I'd have sunk in to my mid-thigh if I didn't have snowshoes on.

Starting things off, a look at the birdfeeders when Kaylee and I first went out this morning—somehow I managed to catch a chickadee on its way in as well as the one on the top of the hook:

A shot of the woods:

I liked the effect here of the contrast between the snow and the branches:

This one... I can't even begin to explain. Just about every tree had at least an inch of snow stuck all along one side, as you can see with the others in the shot. Some had areas where a portion of the snow had been knocked off by the wind, birds, or other branches, but for the most part the snow looked like it'd been laid down with a caulk gun. But I don't have a clue as to how this straight sapling ended up with snow spiraling along its length—especially when it's not even touching the tree in one area:

A few shots where Kaylee assists in indicating how deep the snow was in the woods...

...on the porch...

...and where it'd been left by the snowplow after the driveway had been cleared:

The temperature rose in the afternoon, which resulted in the precipitation changing over to the classic "wintry mix" and the trees losing most of their snow cover. Naturally the trees got very wet, enabling me to get this nice bit of contrast between the leaves, snow, and darkened trunk:

Finally, two pics of Kaylee I couldn't choose between. I liked the mood of this one:

And the cuteness of snow-covered Kaylee in this one:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The calm before the storm

Winter returned to Vermont with a vengeance this afternoon, so tomorrow's pictures will undoubtedly feature lots of the white stuff. This morning, though, it was overcast but not yet precipitating, enabling me to photograph some stuff that I suspect won't even be visible tomorrow.

First up, some more spalted wood:

Yet more fungus. In the first image, I liked how the white growth stood out so sharply against the darkness of the bark:

I don't even want to know how many times I walked past this without noticing it:

While eating breakfast this morning, I managed to take this shot through the sliding-glass door of a squirrel scratching an itch:

This is what it looked like behind the museum when I left work at 5; all of the snow you see on the trees accumulated in a bit less than four hours:

Finally, Kaylee surveys the landscape:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Seeing the forest and the trees

Because I worked a week ago Saturday I got to take a different day off to balance things out; I opted for today, giving me a 3-day weekend. So for the third day running I was able take my time and look around when Kaylee and I were out walking. And as happened Saturday and Sunday, the result is a broad assortment of pictures. To start things off, a couple of examples of spalted wood:

Some more fungus pics:

Vermont's version of driftwood:

Looking up at a dead tree just in back of my parents' place:

A stump with a truckload of shoots growing around the edges:

I liked the effect of the red branches of the brambles crisscrossing the landscape:

Finally, Kaylee waiting patiently for me to stop taking photos and catch up to her: