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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NOTHING TO COMPARE

Autumn Leaves – Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?


This morning ... our early autumn woods.

This morning … our early autumn woods.

Talk about mixed emotions. I love autumn, by far my favorite season. The color. The smell of the air with that tang I can’t even describe. The sun changes to amber and the entire world glows. Of course, here in New England, foliage rules. In a good year … I hope this will be one such … it is incomparable. Magnificent.

But Autumn also comes bundled with its own sadness. Always there is a melancholy overtone to remind us this is the end of the warm time. The finish of a cycle that began when the ice broke at the end of last winter. Now, the visible shortening of days begins and the chilling of nights.

In our latitudes, snow will follow. Snow, ice, bitter winds will blow. We will hunker down, locked in our houses and wait for spring.

Note: I took all the pictures this morning, between writing the first paragraph and publishing the post. Hot off the presses.

THE FARM AND THE HOUSE

cows in the pasture

The cows are happy. The chickens are happy. The corn is growing, joyously absorbing sunshine and rain. Three generations live on the farm … and the land has been in the family as long as anyone can remember.

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The farm-house

The work is hard, season after season. But the people … they look happy too. Maybe it’s living with the soil and the animals. Letting the seasons dictate what there is to be done.

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Corn is ready

Autumn is coming. The corn will be gone, the cows will no longer graze and sleep in the green pasture along the river. Ice and snow will cover the ground. Even the chickens will huddle in their coops. Everyone and everything will wait for spring to come again. Fortunately, it always comes.

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SILHOUETTES AND BACKLIGHTING

Silhouette

Creating a silhouette is an easy technique to learn and useful in a lot of different situations. For obvious reasons, it doesn’t work well if you are trying to create a portrait … but in nature and architecture, you can create a little bit of magic with very little effort.

Silhouettes may make photographs appear “black and white” even though they are in color. The effect is easily achieved with the light source behind your subject.

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dreamcatcher silhouette

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All you need to do to get a silhouette is take your light reading on the brightest part of the scene or object. The dark part will got even darker and you can slightly increase contrast in post processing if you want to make it a true silhouette with no detail.

Voila! Silhouettes!