snowshoeing

Macricostas field

Storm coming

Macricostas Preserve, Washington, Connecticut.

An old friend who hasn’t been on snowshoes in many years and I took a lap around this big field. What looked like a fast approaching storm ended up being nothing. Great to be out though and snowshoeing is a lot of fun.

This image is looking west, the next one is looking back this way from the other side of the field.

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Next time we’ll go up the hill at the back of this image. My wife and I broke the trail up and over it a few days ago. The back-left of the hill is called “Waramaug Rock” and it looks out over Lake Waramaug which is about 3/4 mile to the left edge of this image.

This image is looking east, the previous one is looking back this way from the other side of the field.

Ice synapses

Ice synapses

Appalachian Trail, south end of Schaghticoke Ridge.

Nora and I used micro-spikes to hike three miles up the south end of the ridge to a small stream I’ve photographed ice on before, hoping to get a few ice shots this year. The hike was great although we had to push it because of the incoming snow storm. And, the stream did not disappoint; it was loaded with ice formations and I took over 100 shots which will take a while to sort through.

Beech on snow

Beech on snow

Appalachian Trail, Kent, Connecticut.

There are a few beech trees next to Thayer Brook and they tend to hold at least some of their dried leaves all winter. When those leaves fall on the snow they look quite nice and while it might have been interesting to leave the light tan color in this, I liked how the leaf looked in monochrome with the reflective snow, almost translucent.

The tree that probably dropped this leaf is big enough so bears climb it for nuts in season. We call trees with bear claw marks on them “bear trees” and always inspect any beeches we see near the trail for bear claw marks. Of course, always good to look up to make sure the bear isn’t still up there.

Waterfall on Thayer Brook

Waterfall on Thayer Brook

Appalachian Trail, Kent, Connecticut.

Snowshoes south on the AT for a few miles to one of my regular destinations looking for ice and/or falling water. Great day to be out and we’ve had so much snow that even with the recent melt there was still a two foot base on the trail. And, the trail was well packed and almost glazed so my MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes bit into it like crampons. Fun going.

Tough to cross the brook on snowshoes so the majestic tulip trees that are right behind this waterfall will have to wait a bit for their regular photo-op.

Approaching the AT

Approaching the AT

Southwest Massachusetts.

The ridge line coming down from left (north) to right (south) is the Appalachian Trail coming off of Mt. Race. It’s a section of AT that I maintain so I know it well.

However, yesterday there was close to four feet of snow on the ground here and no one had snowshoed these trails since the last time we were here in December. So, I had to break trail through here and while it was a beautiful day to be out, it was hard work.

We had planned to get down into Sage’s Ravine and I was hoping to do some shooting down there but my partners ran out of steam just shy of there. Maybe I’ll get back there tomorrow to finish breaking trail down to Sage’s to see if there’s something to shoot.

It’s amazing to consider that in 3-4 months hundreds if not thousands of thru hikers will traverse this frame (from right to left) going north to Maine and Mt. Katahdin.

Macricostas moonscape

Macricostas moonscape

Macricostas Preserve, Washington, Connecticut.

Anne and I went out on another snowshoe hike in this great land trust down the road from us. Wet snow made it rough going but the large field we go around before going up the “mountain” was untouched and the light was flat enough so that it looked like the moon. The clouds gave it some nice contrast. I took a few images here, that was it for the entire hike.

More snowshoeing at Macricostas

Looking down the unbroken trail

Looking down the unbroken trail

Macricostas Preserve, Washington, Connecticut.

I shot these a few days ago with the Ricoh GR after the last semi-big snowfall that filled in the trail my wife and I made here. Breaking this trail solo was a lot of work but also, a lot of fun.

And, on the back side of the hill the light was low so I got some nice long shadows from trees (and me).

Washed down a few ibuprofen with beer on returning home. And, went out again yesterday to do the entire loop again with my wife, who I think is now hooked on snowshoeing.

Deer tracks and long shadows

Deer tracks and long shadows

Long shadows at Macricostas

Long shadows at Macricostas

Long shadows at Macricostas

Bee Brook frozen over and filled with snow

Bee Brook frozen over and filled with snow

Long shadows on the big field

Long shadows on the big field

Long shadows and me

Long shadows and me

Snowshoeing at Macricostas

Snowshoeing at Macricostas

Anne coming up a steep section of trail, Sony RX100 III

Macricostas Preserve, Washington, Connecticut.

My wife swore she’d never hike in the snow or go snowshoeing. But, over the past year she’s been hiking a lot in this great place right down the road from our house. So, what better way to get her to experiment with snowshoeing than to do it at a familiar place.

I figured we’d walk around the hayfield there but we made it all the way to the top. Not a long hike and one she’s done dozens of times before, but in snow it’s a bit tougher. She did very well and I hope she’ll continue with this.

Snowshoeing at Macricostas

Anne on top of Waramaug Rock coming down to the edge for a better view, Sony RX100 III

Ice and tree patterns

Ice on the Appalachian Trail

On the Appalachian Trail between Hubbard Brook and Rt. 7 near Sheffield, Massachusetts.

Great snowshoeing on the AT through a great section of southern Mass. Many small stream crossings, all frozen and snow-covered so very little ice. This patch was at the bottom of a deep well of snow so I had to contort myself to get in close. A zoom lens would have been nice.

I took a number of shots with both the Ricoh GR and the Sony RX100 II, all of this same pattern, all at the same distance. I processed them all the same way and culled them down to the best Ricoh and the best Sony. Then I used Lightroom’s X/Y comparison tool to look closely and while this is not a scientific study or comparison, the Ricoh image had quite a bit more detail. Naturally, it has a larger sensor but it has less resolution so I figure it’s close to a wash. None of the images was perfect but this one was the best of the lot.

Pine grove looking up

This is a great pine grove that’s fun to shoot so I gave it another go with the Ricoh GR and liked the results in high contrast JPEG but after processing the RAW decided I liked the detail in it better.

Mt. Race, south ridge (again)

Mt. Race, South Ridge (again)

Southwest Massachusetts.

Dave, Cathy, Nora and I snowshoed up onto Mt. Race, the same hike we did last week (sans snowshoes). We had over a foot of new snow since and the going was tough. Cathy led and broke trail the entire way (thank god).

This is looking south down the Appalachian Trail toward the Connecticut border and Bear Mountain (just off frame to the right). You can just sort of make out Twin Lakes and Salisbury, Connecticut in the back-left of the frame.

Another fantastic day: great conditions, great company, great time.