Mountain Laurel

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

Mountain laurel

Mountain Laurel

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts. The blooming of mountain laurel in late June is one of the yearly attractions hiking along the Appalachian Trail in New England.

On this hike I climbed the Race Brook Falls Trail (the trail I oversee) and then south up Mt. Race on the AT and then back to the col and north up Mt. Everett, then back down the falls trail. The white mountain laurel were on Race, the pink on Everett (further north by a mile). The bloom is working its way north.

By the way, I’m having a bit of a rough time with the AF on the Ricoh GR, maybe time to read the manual.

Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel

Mountain laurel on Bear Mountain

Mountain laurel on Bear Mountain

This was shot with my iPhone 4S and Instagram on climb up the rocks on the north side of Bear Mountain in Connecticut.

This is an odd year for mountain laurel after last year’s kaleidoscopic explosion of blooms. I don’t know if it was the lack of snow and rain over the winter or what, but some plants have no blooms, others have peaked already. I’ve only been aware of mountain laurel blooms on hikes for a few years now so we’ll have to see what the long term trend is. We look forward to these blooms, they’re extremely photogenic and stopping to shoot them is a nice break on longer hikes.

Mountain Laurel on Guilder Pond

Mountain Laurel on Guilder Pond

Mt. Everett, Massachusetts. I took my wife Anne on a walk around Guilder Pond on the shoulder of Mt. Everett before the mountain laurel went by. I took my Canon 5D and a few lenses because the walk was short. Glad I did, the flowers were in perfect bloom and the light was great.

The tension between ease of use, low weight, and speed on a hike and wanting to get better images is meaningful. I usually hike with a Canon S90 and it suits me.

I don’t like to take much time to shoot when on a serious hike and when on a serious shoot I like to take all the time I want to get a single image. So, maybe best to keep the two kinds of tools separate. I’m not looking for a single camera that will do it all, but I’d consider something like the Fuji X100 if I thought it wouldn’t get in the way of fast hiking.

It remains an interesting conundrum and one that I’m enjoying considering as I continue to hike with my S90 and occasionally bring the 5D on short photo walks when no one will mind me taking my time in shooting.

More ice-coated mountain laurel

Dripping with ice

Bear Mountain, Connecticut. Hiking around the back side of Bear Mountain we encountered more mountain laurels coated with ice. The hike was both wonderful and terrible: under two feet of snow was running water from rain and melt off and every now and than we’d break through the crust and get soaked in the “stream” under the trail. The pleasures (tortures) of spring hiking…

Coated with ice

Mountain Laurel on Paradise Lane

Mountain Laurel on Paradise Lane

Bear Mountain, Connecticut. The mountain laurel was in full bloom last week so we hiked up Bear Mountain by way of Paradise Lane where we knew there was a load of it. I’m hoping the rain we just had hasn’t knocked the buds off, I’d love to return just to walk through it all again.