Appalachian Trail

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.

Endless Queen Anne’s lace

Endless Queen Anne's lace

Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut.

We went on our regular flat hike on the Appalachian Trail from Cornwall Bridge south toward Kent. We passed by a number of fields before the trail hugs the bank of the Housatonic River. The last two fields were completely covered with Queen Anne’s lace. There was so much of it exposure was difficult: the center of the frame was washed out white while the edges were under exposed. Very much like shooting a waterfall on a dark background. Spot metering usually solved this and sometimes creative use of exposure compensation.

All of my macro shots of the structure of this magnificent weed turned out blurred, less from movement in slight breeze, more from the Ricoh’s less than wonderful macro mode which after so many years of struggling with it one would think I’d avoid by now. Sigh.

Dense forest on the Appalachian Trail

Dense forest on the Appalachian Trail

Between Sage’s Ravine (CT/MA border) and Mt. Race.

I hiked the section of AT that I’m responsible to maintain in Massachusetts to clip brush and check for problems. The largest “bubble” of thru hikers is about to come through so I put some time in on both of my sections to make sure things are ready.

This is such terrific section, with dense forest and great views on the south shoulder of Mt. Race. It’s a joy to hike it.

Met about a dozen thru hikers today, some of whom I met down in Connecticut last week on my section there.

Note: I set the Fuji X70 to black and white with a red filter. This is straight out of the camera. I’m impressed with what this camera did.

Pine needles and leaves

Pine needles and leaves

Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut.

We hiked south (then north) on the Appalachian Trail, from Cornwall Bridge to Kent and back. I almost always stop in a small pine grove to look for shots straight up the various white pine trees.

Today there was too much flare from the sun directly overhead so I looked down. Good thing, the needles and leaves were interesting.

Bear Rock Creek

Bear Rock Creek

Sheffield, Massachusetts.

This creek crosses the Appalachian Trail about four miles north of the Connecticut/Massachusetts border. It’s a beautiful spot although most hikers pass by it without stopping here. Just above this small waterfall are a series of pools that are great for cooling off in in summer, behind me is a large waterfall.

We were up here today digging leaves out of a drainage ditch that runs along the trail. This winter was so dry that the leaves never got washed away and are causing flooding on the trail. This is another section of the AT that I maintain so un-clogging this drainage ditch was on my list of pre-summer chores.

I took a number of shots here standing in the middle of the stream and and while I didn’t see it as I shot it, I like the right side of this image. The contrast in the rock, trees, and grass is interesting. Also, the lichen on the rock on the left didn’t stand out to me as I was shooting.

Race Brook above the falls

Race Brook above the falls

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts.

This is a small waterfall on Race Brook with the large waterfall (Race Brook Falls) behind me.

I took a similar shot with my Ricoh GR with a wide angle adapter near this spot when the brook was running higher but the symmetry and accessibility of this small waterfall makes it a nice feature to shoot. Plus, the forest behind it adds a lot of depth to the scene. The Fuji X70’s articulated LCD makes a shot like this fun and easy.

I continued the hike up to the top of Mt. Race which I’d not visited since last year. I was the only one on the mountain and it felt great to be up there again.

Two tulip trees

Two tulip trees

Appalachian Trail near Kent, Connecticut. This is a repeat of a group of trees I’ve photographed a lot as they’re quite spectacular. I wanted to try them with the Fuji X70 and that’s what’s used here.

There are two groups of tulip trees in this area and this is two separate trees close together. I’ve also shot another single tree with three trunks that’s about 20 feet to my right as this picture is taken.

The Fuji X70 makes this kind of shot easy and fun with its articulating LCD screen. I continue to be very pleased with the camera. I updated my copy of Lightroom so it can read X70 RAW files and this is a converted RAW file. Frankly, the Fuji X70’s JPEGs are of such high quality I probably won’t shoot RAW all that much unless I know I’ll be in an artificial light situation where I’ll need to adjust white balance.