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.

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.

Trees and leaves

Trees and leaves

Appalachian Trail, between Bull’s Bridge and Kent, Connecticut.

We hiked Schaghticoke Ridge yesterday to remove two trees (blowdowns) that had fallen across the trail. My next piece of work will be to re-blaze the inner section of this ridge (3 miles) . AT blazes are white paint, 2″ wide by 6″ tall.

This brook was completely dry most of this past winter which is unusual, it’s usually the source of lots of ice photography. Because we’ve had such a weird winter with little rain, there is an abundance of leaves everywhere: on the trail and in streams. I shot about ten reflection images from different vantage points in two pools on this stream and while I’d usually attempt to just catch the surface (pure trees) it seemed like it might be nice to get leaves in the shot which give the reflection another dimension.

I have to say, all of my images taken this day with the Fuji X70 turned out extremely well. I like the richness of the Fuji files and I’m shooting JPEG only as I don’t have a RAW converter yet for the camera. The camera’s controls, like the Ricoh GR’s are completely useable with thin gloves on and it feels like a very well made, sturdy tool in my hands.

Birch covered with oak

Birch covered with oak

Hidden Valley Preserve, Washington, Connecticut.

Went on a short walk in this wonderful preserve along the Shepaug River. Most leaves are down now and things are a bit bleak but there are always interesting things to see.

This birch tree’s roots were nicely framed by oak leaves. No doubt this tree’s leaves are buried as they came down a few weeks ago.

Birch leaves with water droplets

Birch leaves with water droplets

Race Brook Falls Trail, Sheffield, Massachusetts.

I got word that the campsite on one of the trails I maintain needed attention so I hiked up there yesterday to check it out. The weather was mixed and by the time I got up to the campsite it was raining hard. It didn’t last and I was able to get my work done.

On the way down I got interested in the water droplets that had formed on the various leaves on the ground (of which there were many). All of these images are primarily of birch leaves with some oaks and occasional maples behind them.

Birch leaves with water droplets

I was using a new Ricoh GR II which I got because the price has come down considerably. But, I noticed that the movement of the lens during auto focus created a grinding noise. When I got home I listened to this noise and it was disturbing considering my two original GRs don’t make a noise like this when the lens extends during power up or down or during AF.

I returned the camera to B&H and will be in New York on Tuesday so will go to the store and listen to the GR II there. If the noise is in all copies, I’ll buy it again. If not, I’m concerned that quality control on this camera may be an issue.

I do like the images it made though and that’s what counts in the end.

Birch leaves with water droplets