Appalachian Trail

Star moss with grass and more

Star moss with grass and more

Schaghticoke Ridge, Appalachian Trail, Bull’s Bridge, Connecticut.

Did a short hike to check on a section of the AT I maintain that had a recent fire on it (250 acres burned). It was mostly a leaf fire and burnt the understory but most of the trees were spared. And, now, a few summer months later, things are growing back.

This star moss was right on the edge of the fire and somehow survived.

Swamp reflection

Swamp reflection

Appalachian Trail, Merwinsville, Connecticut.

We hiked the first section of the AT in Connecticut (over Ten Mile Hill) and this swamp is right off Route 55. It always seems messy and uninteresting until you look closer and then interesting photographic possibilities open up.

This image was processed with Apple’s Photos application in macOS Sierra. This version of Photos isn’t very good and I’m no expert on using it but the Photos upgrade coming in the next MacOS update (High Sierra) looks excellent and I’m hoping its good enough at doing what I like so that I can move away from Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom is a great application that I’ve used since it came out but Adobe is moving away from stand-alone desktop applications and I don’t want to subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud. Time will tell…

Bear Rock Creek

Bear Rock Creek

Bear Rock Creek crosses the Appalachian Trail two miles north of the Connecticut/Massachusetts border in Massachusetts.

I was inspecting one of the two sections I maintain on the Appalachian Trail and since I had my new Fuji X100F with me I decided to try out its ACROS filter on the falling water on this creek.

I’m still getting used to the camera but I do like it and while it’s bigger than the others I prefer to carry on hikes, it’s possible to carry it in a padded bag on one of my pack’s shoulder straps.

These images are almost straight out of the camera; I pulled the highlights down a bit to show more detail in the white water.

Bear Rock Creek

Leaf carpet

Leaf carpet

Schaghticoke Ridge, Kent, Connecticut.

Post winter, the Appalachian Trail is, in places, covered with leaves that have remained in place since last fall through the winter. Once it snows on them and then melts, they get matted and almost stuck in place.

They’ve been walked on and broken up but not much, the trail doesn’t get as much use in winter as it does in summer. In the next three months thousands of people will walk over the 5 mile section of trail that I maintain in Connecticut (I maintain another 5 miles in Massachusetts) and the leaves will be gone; pushed off the side to continue decomposing in the woods.

Then fall will come and we’ll start all over again.

Fields along the Appalachian Trail

Desiccated Queen Anne's lace

Desiccated Queen Anne’s lace

Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut.

We took a hike south on the Appalachian Trail and it runs across a series of fields which in spring were loaded with Queen Anne’s lace (a weed). Those plants remain standing as dried out skeletons.

Field "potatoes"

Field “potatoes”

The fields we walked across next to the Appalachian Trail were farmed for many years. When farmers plow fields, they collect the rocks that come up and toss them onto walls that separate fields. This is one of those walls and these rocks came out of the field behind the rock pile. This is less a wall, more a rock pile that is well over 100 years old.

Field "potatoes"

Field “potatoes”

Psychedelic foam

Psychedelic foam

Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut.

Tom and I hiked south along the Appalachian Trail next to the Housatonic River after voting. We saw a very mature (and large) American bald eagle less than 50′ away on a sycamore tree branch. It was exciting and while it would have been fun to attempt to photograph it, we just stood there in awe, admiring this incredible animal.

We’re in a drought here the northeast and the Housatonic River is moving very slowly. The slowness of the river is allowing foam to gather along the banks in interesting ways as it interacts with branches and rocks. I spent a good amount of time photographing this particular foam pattern; it was changing right before my eyes and how it interacted with the rock at the top of the frame was fascinating.

I would have posted this yesterday but I’ve been extremely shocked, embarrassed, and ultimately depressed about the US. election. I’m very sorry for what my country has done.

Oak leaves in turbulent reflection

Oak leaves in turbulent reflection

Sage’s Ravine, Sheffield, Massachusetts.

Tom and I just finished re-blazing the first few miles of the Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts and we were resting at Sage’s Ravine before turning around for home.

The fall colors were spectacular and I took a few reflection shots of the canopy in the still water of Sage’s brook when Tom’s small (and very cute) dog Scout started splashing around upstream. Initially I was irritated that my glassy reflection was ruined but then realized that the ripples would add a nice, psychedelic touch to the seen.

Forest primeval

Forest primeval

Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut.

We went on our regular flat hike on the Appalachian Trail from Cornwall Bridge south toward Kent.

This small nicely-lit piece of forest was further down the trail, maybe half-way to Kent. I’m always looking for these pockets of forest with the possibility of this kind of light to make things look interesting and even at mid-day when light is less than ideal the forest is dense enough here so that this kind of shot is possible.