Dave shooting a reflection on the Appalachian Trail north of Sheffield, Massachusetts. The light and sky were perfect for shooting reflections on streams and swamps yesterday and we spent a lot of time doing it. Sometimes still water makes interesting images, sometimes a bit of wind rippling the water and distorting the reflection makes interesting images but either way we saw and shot a lot of them yesterday and it made a great hike even better.
This is the same image Dave was shooting (shot by me with my camera). I used to think a sun hot spot was something to be avoided but I’m liking what a “sun ball” does to a brooding sky. Mostly I position the sun behind trees but sometimes I let it shine through repeating the shot with each of the S100’s three light meters to make sure I get it.
Mt. Everett Reservation, Massachusetts. We hiked up Everett and then around Guilder Pond and I caught Dave out on a cliff shooting an island in the pond. Everett isn’t a hard hike although it’s the second highest point in Massachusetts. Guilder Pond is a jewell that makes the entire hike worthwhile.
Behind Mt. Everett, Massachusetts. Dave was out hunting wild orchids in a meadow he knows they grow in. This is the flower he’s hunting with him shooting another one behind.
Walking through the meadow they all looked like weeds to me until he pointed them out. This one’s called “lady’s tresses” or something like that. I have no idea how he remembers these things.
Schaghticoke Ridge, Kent, Connecticut. I caught Dave using his Canon G11 to get a closeup of a colorful luna moth caterpillar. What a beautiful animal. We picked it up and moved it off the trail so it wouldn’t get stomped on.
Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts. We hike Greylock quite a bit but we’d not done this particular trail which was wonderful. About 12 miles on varied terrain; up the Hopper trail, over the top, down the Appalachian trail, then connecting to the Money Brook trail through Money Brook falls and the switchbacks (this shot) and the ravine. Very nice hike and we had a nice time.
Schaghticoke Ridge, Appalachian Trail, Kent, Connecticut. We’ve been hiking this section of the AT between Bull’s Bridge and Rt. 341 for three years now, done the hike dozens of times all year round and have never seen a single rattlesnake. This ridge is sometimes called “rattlesnake ridge” because of the number of snakes on it. Everyone seems to see snakes but us.
Well, today we saw one and not anywhere near where we thought we’d see one. Dave came close to walking into it and backed off as it rattled. We took some pictures and it crossed the trail and went into the woods. I’d say it was between 3 and 4 feet, Dave thinks maybe a two year old animal.
It scared the shit out of both of us.
New Preston, Connecticut. We’re incredibly lucky to have this piece of the Steep Rock Preserve right down the road from us with four miles of trails that in winter, are excellent for snowshoeing. Behind Loren and Dave is Lake Waramaug (in the distance).
Catskill Mountains, New York. Dave and I did a 5 mile (r/t) snowshoe hike up Slide Mountain, the highest "peak" in the Catskills. You may think a 5 mile hike isn’t much but gaining 1700′ on snowshoes is, in a word, breathtaking. It was a great hike with fantastic views.
Washington, Connecticut. At the start of a short winter hike up to the Pinnacle Dave and I got distracted by Queen Anne’s lace with snow cones on them.
The flip out LCD on the G11 meant that Dave probably didn’t have to break his back for this shot; he could have swiveled it to allow him to stand up strait and use it like a vertical viewfinder.
Fun experimenting with the G11 meter to best catch the plant and the sun going down.
We stayed out on this field shooting plants a bit too long, the temperature dropped fast as the sun went down and after I took this we headed for home.
Bull’s Bridge to Kent, Connecticut. Dave and I hiked a rugged 7.5 mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail from Bull’s Bridge to Kent. There was 3" to a foot of snow on the ground and it was rough going although it’s one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done yet.
It took us about 5.5 hours and halfway through it we looked at each other thinking "what the hell have we gotten ourselves into." It’s a tough walk in clear weather, in snow it’s a challenge. Many hills, up and down, very rocky and in summer an oasis for rattlesnakes. I knew there was a good reason for us to have done it in winter.
Me and my shadow.
Dave photographing the NY/CT sign
Tough going on a cliff in snow.
Two more hills to go, Kent in the distance.
Slogging with Housatonic valley in background.