SOMEWHERE IN SUTTON

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Kaity and I went shooting today. We haven’t done that in a long time and it was a pleasure spending time with this young woman who is my granddaughter.

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It was not quite as bright and beautiful as it had been earlier in the week … but it was neither raining nor snowing.

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At this point in the seasons, a day which isn’t bitterly cold and when precipitation isn’t falling from the sky, is a good day to be out and about.

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Monday Garry and I are off again. Me to Amherst to stay with friends, he from there to Amherst to Long Island, then back to pick up the luggage (me). And home.

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I’ll try to get some pictures while I’m out in the western part of our lovely commonwealth.

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These pictures were taken somewhere in Sutton. A farm, a pond, a few bright leaves.

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We met a big (probably) Greylag (domestic, not wild) goose who was taking a break from the farm and failed to read the signs reminding us not to feed the geese. I hoped I was seeing a rare goose, but suspected, when he walked out of the water and stood there looking cute, he was probably domestic.

I have dogs. I know begging when I see it.

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WATER BIRDS AT LACKEY DAM

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I haven’t seen any swans around here at all in months. The local ponds, rivers, waterfalls were all  dry, with their muddy bottoms showing.

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Kaity tells me she’s seen a lot of swans, but not in the usual places. I assume they went to deeper water. Before the rain started in October, you could walk across Whitin’s Pond.

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The ponds are full again. Full of water, full of ducks. I’ve never seen so many ducks. And today, down by Lackey Dam, one swan … and a lot of ducks. The leaves around the pond are dark red to bronze and so, by reflection, is the water.

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A fine day for waterfowl.

GOLDEN AFTERNOON

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When Garry said I should come out and grab my camera, I wasn’t as thrilled as I usually am. Mid November is usually drab, vying with early March for nothing special to shoot. Nonetheless, I went. I haven’t taken any pictures for over a week and my camera was lonely.

Mallards golden november at the dam

As we left the house, the sun came out. I noticed more than a bit of autumn foliage. Most of the trees are half bare. Naked branches cluster right, left, or center … but the rest of the tree is still clothed in golden leaves.

November Mallards dam blackstone

Our first stop was Whitins Pond. The last time we were there, it was mostly muddy bottom. No birds and not enough water to float a canoe. Today it looked normal. The mallards I saw were too far away to shoot, but I was glad to see them swimming lazily on what may be the last warm day of this autumn.

Mallards November Mumford

Garry suggested we check out the dam in the middle of town. When we got there, it was after three … late afternoon since the clocks were turned back. The light was golden and so were the trees along the Mumford River. The angle of the sun and the trees turned the river to gold.

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We were above the dam and a whole flock a mallards were enjoying an excursion. There were males with their bright teal heads, females and adolescents — full-grown, but not yet wearing their adult feathers.

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It was gorgeous. These pictures are not processed. This is how it looked in the lens. No special effects … or any effects … were used. Just a little cropping. A drab day turned into a miraculous day.

November Mallards golden Mumford

AT HOME AND BY THE DAM – AUTUMN LEAVES

First, a little music … Edith Piaf and Yves Montand singing Autumn Leaves. Just for you. Why does everything sound better in French?


 

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The Mumford is barely a trickle of its former self, but it’s still beautiful. The trees are turning, brighter every day.

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The leaves reflect in the water and the sky is cloudless and blue. Autumn is our best season, when New England takes her fanciest clothing out of storage and steps out. The trees and the grasses glow with color. The air is amber and everything is beautiful.This is the season I wait for.

I hope it’s a great one. An epic Autumn.

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May it rain every night, but clear by morning.

AUTUMN — HERE AND GLORIOUS

It still hasn’t rained. Rain is in the forecast and maybe it’ll be enough to make a difference. There’s more predicted for next week, though I have no idea how accurate prediction for 10 days from now can be. We can certainly hope.

On the up side of the drought, the foliage is glorious.

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Autumn is our finest time, when New England shakes off her drab old clothing and puts on her coat of many colors. It’s a party for nature and it’s special and gorgeous. A simple ride to the grocery store is breathtaking.

I think it’s heading for an epic-level Autumn. But I’m still hoping that after the leaves have peaked, perhaps Mother Nature will take pity on us and send the rain.

MY BLUE HERON

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I needed an airing. My cameras needed exercise. So, finally, I got my act together and we went out to take some pictures. Where to go?

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Sometimes, the path of least resistance works out best. We went into town, parked and walked to the Mumford River and the dam. With trepidation. I didn’t know how bad it would be. As it turned out, better than I had hoped, at least for photography.

Because there, right in front of the dam where it used to be deep with a powerful current, stood a blue heron. So still he might have been a statue. Garry spotted him and we dove for our cameras.

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We had nothing to fear. He stood there, unmoving, for so long I thought maybe there was something wrong with him. Then, he started to move. Walked over to the spill way … and grabbed a fish. And swallowed it. Then, in his new position along the side by the spillway, he again went still. I guess he was waiting for another fish. He was still standing there when we packed our gear and headed home.

Mr. Heron catches a fish.

Mr. Heron catches a fish.

The Mumford is very low. It’s no more than a few inches deep, but at least it’s wet. I guess, from the heron’s viewpoint, it’s better this way. Because when the river was “normal,” a wading bird couldn’t fish there.

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