Archive for the ‘Macro’ Category

In The Merry, Merry Month of May: Day One

10 May 2009

The area around New York City is beautiful in early May: everything seems to be blooming at once. That will not be reflected in this post.

I just got back from my nominally annual trip to NYC to visit my sister for her birthday. We took a hike in a different part of Westchester County each of the three days I was there. On the first day, we went to the Cranberry Lake Preserve. While the gardens and grounds of the homes in that area are beautifully landscaped, not much seemed to be blooming in the woods.

This was one exception:


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Wild Geranium [Geranium maculatum]


A Jack-in-the-pulpit is a Jack-in-the-pulpit, right?

Ha! Apparently, there are three types of Jack-in-the-pulpit, and I didn’t have my book with me to make a positive identification. But this looks like the variety sometimes known as Indian-turnip:


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Northern Jack-in-the-pulpit [Arisaema stewardsonii]


We never did make it to the second lake, because the trail markers for one whole end of the preserve were nonexistent. They ran out at the same place on two different trails: the old quarry left over from the building of the Kensico Dam. The one quarry pond we found was a nice place to have lunch, though.


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Quarry pond at Cranberry Lake Preserve


There was lots of wildlife. At the quarry pond, we spotted a water snake I was too slow to capture with my camera. We also saw what might have been a redheaded woodpecker, although it was too distant for positive ID. Later in the hike, my nephew with the young eyes spotted this guy sunning himself beside the trail:


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Northern Black Racer [Coluber constrictor constrictor]


Despite not getting to see the whole preserve, we had a pretty good outing. Next up: Day Two.

Update: I’ve added a link to the Cranberry Lake Preserve’s website (just click the name of the preserve either here or at the top in the original body of this post). Not including it earlier was an oversight on my part, now corrected.

Is It Safe To Come Out Of The Storm Cellar Yet?

4 April 2009

Another day, another excuse from the guy who has over 1100 of my dollars for a new cap for my new truck. He still hasn’t driven down to Massachusetts to pick it up. The upside is that I now have the time to post some stuff I shot a few days ago.

I think I’ve figured out why I get so depressed in March. That’s when, at the end of a long, hard winter, I figure out that I still can’t afford to retire to Florida and I’ll have to spend next winter here, too. Even with that in mind, this past one was particularly bad. Several injuries have left me limping and depressed. In the midst of it all, the 95-year-old whose property I maintain fell and broke his hip. Between hobbling to the hospital every day with his mail, trying to shovel snow using only one arm, and watching my retirement fund fly out the window for a new truck after the old one died of cancer, I’ve been functioning at a very low level.

The good news is that most of the snow has melted and the temps have gotten high enough that I can put out the garden hoses and start spring cleanup. A few days ago, as I was surveying the damage to the trees out back, I came across a little patch of color in the woods. As I couldn’t decide which shot to post, you get two.


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Crocus, unknown species or cultivar.


These crocuses were poking their heads out of the mess of leaves on the far side of my canoe. The colors remind me of a children’s book I had when I was a kid, “The Color Kittens.”


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Same crocuses, different shot.


I didn’t even notice that I was crawling on my belly in the mud until I brought it into the house with me.

And a couple of nights ago, as I was walking home, I thought the fog rolling in to Memorial Field was pretty neat. But by the time I got my camera and got outside, the fog had completely rolled in and there was no contrast between clear air and fog. Some interesting shots, anyway.


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Deering High Memorial Field at night in fog.


The lacrosse players were taking a break on the left side of the picture. They’re pretty hard to see.


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Deering High Memorial Field at night in fog. This view is from ground level.


Back to working on my attitude…

Update: Well, crap. I just noticed that for the last few posts, Worpdress hasn’t been automatically making each image a link to its full-size self. Now I gotta go in and hand-edit all the images. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Update 2, now with more bookly goodness: Here’s the cover from the book. I found it at Wikipedia.


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The Color Kittens


That takes me back about sixty years. That’s scary. And sad.

Cram It!

26 September 2008

My bookmarks file is a bloated two megabytes. I save bookmarks that look interesting, and then forget them. A few days ago, as I was browsing some of the photography-related links, I found some good stuff.

One of the links was to NatureScapes.net. I originally found the link at Reflections By Kris, but this time I took the time to read it.

I found a link there to an article by a Michael Brown, titled “The Art of Abstract Macro Photography.” I haven’t been a big fan of macro photography, mainly because my attempts have turned out to be mostly boring. In the article, he discusses a technique he calls the “Cram It” method. It looked interesting, so I tried it out.

Some of the stuff I got was pretty crappy, some of it was okay, and some of it I really liked.

This rose wasn’t, strictly speaking, “crammed,” but I like it anyway, so I’m including it here:

Rose <em>Carefree Beauty</em>

Rose Carefree Beauty

Some of them came out looking like the sorts of things Georgia O’Keeffe obsessed about:

New Guinea Impatiens

New Guinea Impatiens

Some were, indeed, filmy and abstract:

New Guinea Impatiens

New Guinea Impatiens

Pink Petunia

Pink Petunia

Rose <em>Carefree Beauty</em>

Rose Carefree Beauty

And some were so vague as to defy analysis:

Purple Petunia

Purple Petunia

I really like this one:

Rose <em>Carefree Beauty</em>

Rose Carefree Beauty

I think I’ll do some more.