Appalachian Trail

Reflection

Reflection

On the Appalachian Trail, Gaylordsville, Connecticut.

A few weeks ago we had a day of high winds in western Connecticut and because this area is pretty rocky and trees aren’t deeply rooted, wind can uproot and knock over even very large and old trees.

The section of Appalachian trail between the New York/Connecticut border and Bull’s Bridge is called “Ten Mile Hill” and it’s a very nice four mile hike. The recent wind took down over 20 large trees on this section and we had a big crew of “sawyers” and “swampers” to clean it up. It was a lot of work and I was pretty sore when I got home (nothing beer and ibuprofen won’t fix).

Toward the end of the day I took a few shots of a nice reflection on a small swamp. I was so tired my hands were shaking and I was pretty sure none of the shots would turn out but thankfully a few did.

Wolf tree

Wolf tree

South Egrermont, Massachusetts.

We snowshoed from Jug End east on the Appalachian Trail toward Sheffield. This large oak tree (sometimes called a “wolf tree” as it prevents other trees from growing up near it) is a thing of beauty, with some of its branches actually growing underground. There are a number of magnificent trees on this section of trail although this was the only one we had the energy to get to as the snow wasn’t great and the trail was unbroken.

We couldn’t get closer to this tree because of an electric fence. Too bad, closer framing would have been better.

Ice in a rut

Ice in a rut

Southwestern, Massachusetts.

I did some shooting with my iPhone 8 on our hike the other day. This is a small rut on the trail with some rather large ice crystals growing in it.

As most folks know, modern smartphones have excellent cameras in them and I’ve seen some amazing images coming from iPhones of all vintages on Flickr and elsewhere. I’ve had an iPhone of one sort or another for years but I’m still not as comfortable as others in using it as a primary camera. Not sure quite why that is, it sure is convenient and easy to carry.

Abstract expressionist leaves and ice

Abstract expressionist leaves and ice

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

We haven’t gotten out all that much recently so we took a relatively short hike up onto Schaghticoke Ridge, which I maintain for the Connecticut AMC.

The snow is gone and there are pockets of ice in low and shady spots. Ice and leaves always makes for interesting photography so I tried a few shots.

Sun rays on Twin Lakes

Sun rays on Twin Lakes

South ridge of Mt. Race, Massachusetts.

I took a hike along this great ridge to inspect a section of the Appalachian Trail that I maintain. Not much work to do this day but the views were terrific. This is looking southeast back into Salisbury, Connecticut and Twin Lakes.

As I got out onto the exposed part of the ridge the sun was breaking out and the sun rays looked like they might make a nice image. It’s tough to process sun rays in a way that doesn’t kill the rest of the image. I tried using Apple’s Photos but Lightroom did a much better job so this is processed with it.

Reflections in Sage’s Ravine

Fall colors reflected in Sage's Ravine

f/8.0

Sage’s Ravine, Connecticut/Massachusetts border.

We took a nice hike down Sage’s Ravine and up onto Mt. Race. The water in Sage’s creek was low but there was a nice reflecting pool and I stopped and took a number of pictures at different apertures, less because I knew what I was doing, more because I’d forgotten which apertures I liked the effects of water ripple/reflections taken at. So, when in doubt, shoot a variety.

The problem is, I like the ripples at f/3.5, f/8, and f/11. They’re all interesting. So, I’m posting examples taken at each.

Fall colors reflected in Sage's Ravine

f/3.5

Fall colors reflected in Sage's Ravine

f/8.0

Fall colors reflected in Sage's Ravine

f/11.0

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…