Connecticut

Hosta

Hosta

Warren, Connecticut.

Our hostas seem to be going by right now but I found this amazing plant over at a friend’s house. I love hosta leaves, they’re voluptuous.

Update: I’ve replaced the original image with a new one. In printing the first version the slightly sepia color didn’t look great and I went with a more standard monochrome processing. I hate to replace an image after people have commented on it, my apologies if this messes anything up.

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.

Algae, leaves, goose feathers, and me

Algae, leaves, goose feathers, and me

Lakeville, Connecticut. We were visiting a friend and walked down to a lake near her house. Across the lake were dozens of squawking geese and the dock we were on was surrounded by green algae, leaves, and goose feathers (no doubt plenty of goose poop too). It looked like the type of mess one might find at an oil spill although in this case, it was an interesting natural development.

Out came the camera and between the feathers and leaves and striations of the algae I was having fun. But then I saw my shadow and oh boy.

Algae, leaves, and goose feathers

Algae, leaves, and goose feathers

Gray fox kit

Gray fox kit

Warren, Connecticut. We have a gray fox adult who comes through our yard from time to time, probably lives on the hill behind our house. He or she is a spectacularly beautiful animal. Two weeks ago this “kit” appeared under one of our bird feeders by the kitchen and stayed for a few days.

This kit was born last spring so is about 4-5 months old and is no doubt venturing out into the world to figure things out. It had no problem with me moving around inside the kitchen window and even looked up at me a few times. Maybe a bit too comfortable with humans but no doubt time and learning will iron that out. It spent the majority of the day in one of our firewood piles and was only under the feeder, looking for voles and mice in the morning and at dusk.

I so much wanted to have a longer lens and to have not shot through a dirty window but alas, this is what I got.

We have many red foxes around and they’re quite common here, but this little kit and its parent are the first gray foxes we’ve seen.

Spectacular animals.

Mountain Laurel on Paradise Lane

Mountain laurel on Paradise Lane

Paradise Lane Trail, Bear Mountain, Connecticut. Gary and I hiked from Undermountain Trail in Connecticut to the Race Brook Falls Trail in Massachusetts along the Appalachian Trail a few weeks ago (I’m behind in my photo editing).

This was not a good year for mountain laurel and these blooms along Paradise Lane were the best ones we saw on this hike. I liked the way the Ricoh GR made them look in high contrast but these are the GR’s RAWs processed in Lightroom. I liked the extra detail the RAW files gave me.

The color images are done with the Sony RX100 III and show the wonderful colors of this state plant of Connecticut.

Mountain laurel on Paradise Lane

Mountain laurel on Paradise Lane

Mountain laurel on Paradise Lane

A collection of pardoned turkeys

A collection of pardoned turkeys

Warren, Connecticut. I was peeling potatoes (almost always the guy’s job) and watching a flock of cowbirds eat the feed that falls from the bird feeder and up walks a herd of wild turkeys. These dudes were fat, no doubt smart enough to survive the local hunters who like to bag their holiday meal outside of Costco. I ran and got the camera and shot this through a dirty window but there it is. Our Costco turkey was less lucky, he or she is cooking away.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it, and happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate it. For the rest of you, have a nice day.

Bill Lauf at Milton Hall

Bill Lauf at Milton Hall

Milton, Connecticut. Our good friend and neighbor Bill Lauf has a “day” job that pays the bill and keeps him on the road more than he’d like. He’s also a fine musician/songwriter and every fall for the past 37 years he’s been doing a concert at Milton Hall, a small gathering place in a small town near Litchfield, Connecticut.

My wife Anne was at the very first one in 1976. I didn’t start attending until I met her in 1989 but I’ve been going every year since and Bill has become a good friend of mine.

In the past I’ve been tasked with getting some decent shots of Bill playing for album covers and liner note photographs and I’ve brought bags of DSLR gear to this concert. This year I was free but brought the Ricoh GR (my only camera aside from my iPhone) to see what it might do in the tough lighting conditions of Milton Hall. I had to get close (no zoom, 28mm lens) but was able to get a few decent shots where the audio mic wasn’t covering his face. I love this camera, it’s a masterpiece of simple design and high usability, a nearly perfect balance of form and function.

There are many things that are great about Bill’s concerts: certainly his music is at the top of the list, it’s superb and he’s continued to grow as both a songwriter and musician over the many years I’ve known him. But, the cast of characters in the audience, some of them our neighbors, some of them familiar faces to us only from this yearly event, is fine as well, and as word spreads about Bill’s concerts more people come and he now has to book the hall for both Friday and Saturday nights. The other “character” that’s in the background but an important part of the mix is Milton Hall and the town of Milton. There’s a reason Bill chooses this venue year after year: the hall has a warmth (heated by a big old wood stove that we had fired up last night) both visually and acoustically that adds character to a folk concert like this and last night there was light snow and it was cold so the place to be was inside the hall, listening to Bill.