Steep Rock

Cedar bark

Cedar bark

Steep Rock Preserve, Washington, Connecticut.

We took a short walk along the Shepaug River, attempting to avoid ice and finally gave up and called it quits. Without spikes on hiking boots it’s nearly impossible to walk on the trails around here right now.

There’s a large cedar tree in the parking area and its bark is amazing so I took a few shots near the ground. This tree is at least 100 years old, maybe older.

Cedar bark

Looking up at white pines

Looking up at white pines

Hidden Valley Preserve, Washington, Connecticut.

Went on a short walk in this wonderful preserve along the Shepaug River. I found a trail I’d not been on in a while through a large white pine grove and once in the middle of it had to look up to see how all of those crowns looked against the overcast sky.

Whenever I find a grove like this I try to do a shot or two looking straight up because the trees are usually so densely packed and so straight that if I can make a decent exposure (it can be tough to meter this) I might get an interesting image.

I had to pull the trees back out of silhouette in Lightroom so I didn’t really nail the exposure this time but I do like the shape of these trees.

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.

Macricostas Preserve

Broken beaver dam on Bee Brook

Broken beaver dam on Bee Brook

Macricostas Preserve, Washington, Connecticut.

Bee Brook starts in a swamp toward the back of this frame and there are numerous beavers living in it up here. This is one of their dams that the land trust has breached to avoid flooding. A few miles behind me Bee Brook empties into the Shepaug River.

Sun rays over Litchfield

Sun rays over Litchfield

From the top of Waramaug Rock you can see east toward Bantam and Litchfield. The storm that’s coming up behind us hasn’t quite covered that area with cloud and the sun is breaking through.

Storm approaching Lake Waramaug

Storm approaching Lake Waramaug

We could see the wind picking up on Lake Waramaug and the temperature dropped quickly while we took in the view. It never rained and we had a nice walk back down.

Macricostas hike

Frozen Lake Waramaug

Macricostas Preserve, Washington, Connecticut.

Loren and I took a short hike on compacted snow and ice around the Macricostas loop using micro spikes. It’s fantastic to have a nice hike like this so close by (ten minutes down the road from my house).

The “summit” of Waramaug Rock affords a nice view of Lake Waramaug and this day it was completely frozen over with lots of ice fishermen out.

Bee Brook ice locked

Bee Brook ice locked

Ice on Bee Brook

Bee Brook was also quite photogenic although it was tough to get down near the water because the snow and ice would collapse under our feet and going into the brook wasn’t something we wanted to do on a cold day.

Needle ice on the trail

Great needle ice in patches on the trail. All in all a very nice hike and much needed after lazing around Los Angeles in relative heat.

These are high contrast JPEGs right out of the Ricoh GR. Very little processing. Every now and then I prefer these to the RAWs.

Reflections on the Shepaug

Reflection on the Shepaug River

Steep Rock Preserve. Washington, Connecticut. This is a great spot to shoot reflections. Almost any time of year the river is still here and the trees and rocks on the other side are interesting. Fall colors make things even better but I’ve shot here in the dead of winter and it’s great.

Reflection on the Shepaug River

View of the Hauser Bridge on the Shepaug River

Just starting out walking around “the clamshell” and looking back down at the Hauser suspension bridge over the Shepaug.

Morning on the Shepaug River

Morning on the Shepaug River

Steep Rock Preserve, Washington, Connecticut. For the past few summers I’ve been leading photo walks for the Steep Rock Association. For this walk (which took place in early August) we walked down the Shepaug River to the Hauser Bridge, crossed it, and walked back on the other side. The object is not hiking but taking photographs so we stop often and when appropriate I attempt a bit of photography instruction.

I was pleased with this shot of one of our group shooting down river. Got a bit of the early morning light and dampness and the stillness of the river in this spot. The Ricoh GR’s APS-C sized sensor can record quite a bit of detail and I’m extremely pleased with that. A bit of chromatic aberration in the high contrast of the tree branches against the sky but it’s not much and no doubt a better post processor than I could kill it easily.

Trees reflected on the Shepaug River

Looking across the Shepaug River at a stand of trees and rock.

Ferns

The ferns along the trail are dense and beautiful and again, I’m very pleased that the Ricoh GR’s sensor can pick up as much detail as it does.