Tracking fox

Our wild neighbors.

Another snowstorm, on Sunday through Monday, left about 6-8″ of fresh, powdery snow across the fields and forests around us. On Monday morning I headed across the street and into the forest behind the house, as I have done so often over the years, bushwhacking up the steep hill through the woods. The forest is relatively young and open, having been logged periodically and well managed for a variety of species – pine, fir, hemlock, oak, maple, and more. I enjoy rambling through these woods, following the fading trails left by loggers, especially in winter – because the snow exposes stories of the wildlife that live here. It’s hard to see in the photo below, but the deer walked this path earlier than me, this morning.

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Sticky snow

Overnight transformation.

On Friday we had a lovely snowstorm that brought us only a couple of inches of snow… but it was fairly wet snow. It stuck to every twig and leaf, and there has been absolutely no wind… so the forests are now a beautiful palette of white, brown, and green.

Snow on the bushes and trees of Lyme Hill.
Snow on the pine trees of Lyme Hill; deer tracks show recent passage.

Another snowstorm is due tonight… I’m hoping we’ll get a substantial snowfall that will provide deep powder for snowshoeing and skiing!

Trail signs along the Appalachian Trail to Holts Ledge, passing Trapper John shelter.

River ice

Let’s get winter going… please?

Back here in New Hampshire, it has a been a gray and drizzly week. So it was with great pleasure that today dawned sunny and cold – well below freezing, as it should be for January. (We’re still facing crazy conditions, though, with nights below freezing and days above freezing, a major confusion for the maple trees who think spring has already come!)

The Connecticut River is wide open – it can’t freeze over in these conditions. The water lapping at the shore’s edge, though, can produce some entrancing patterns where water meets rock in freezing temperatures.

Ultra-thin ice forms along the shore of the Connecticut River.

This photo spans only one or two feet across, and the water has receded somewhat… leaving ultra-thin sheet of ice high and dry. Beautiful!

Kiawah

Photographic opportunities.

We spent the holiday week on Kiawah Island, outside Charleston South Carolina. As in much of the U.S. it was an unusually cold week; here, where winter temperatures rarely dip below freezing, we had several days where the thermometer never rose above freezing. Nonetheless, it was clear and sunny and beautiful, and I managed to explore and capture some fun photographs – of a beautiful sunset and some of the island wildlife. Check out the gallery!

Sunset from Captain Sam’s Spit at the western end of Kiawah Island.

Top 12 photos of 2022

It’s hard to pick just twelve.

I enjoyed photography in 2022 and decided to share my pick of favorites. It was not easy! 12 photos for 12 months – not one per month, but just the twelve that I felt were especially beautiful or interesting. See the full gallery – where I recommend clicking the “play” button to see them as a slideshow – and read on for some commentary about each one.

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Snowstorm!

Several days without power, but with snowy beauty.

A large snowstorm passed through New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday. At our house, snow fell for about 26 hours. It was warm (33º), so the snow was wet and heavy, accumulating to a depth of 8″ … but I just know that higher elevations would have seen fluffier snow that got much deeper. Can’t wait for a chance to get out and hike some mountains!

Home, during a heavy, wet snowfall.
Snow on the solar tracker.

Unfortunately, the weight of all this snow caused many trees and branches to fall, blocking roads and knocking out power and Internet across the region. We are fortunate to have battery backup – which lasted for about 17 hours, fed in part by our solar tracker soaking up the post-storm sunshine. In turn, the batteries can be refilled by a propane generator. (The relationship between the two is complicated and buggy, but that’s another story.)

I took the opportunity to ramble around the backyard – local authorities asked everyone to stay off the roads unless necessary – and try to improve my ability to find interesting compositions and to expose properly for snow. Check out the gallery; at the end is a bonus: bald eagles spotted high in the trees during my afternoon walk, including a short video of two eagles taking off to fly across the river and greet a third bald eagle in the trees over there. (Apologies for the low-res iPhone photo and video… it’s all I had with me.)

Snow on the backyard fence.

P.S. Grid power is back! After about 39 hours.

December Green

A beautiful time of year.

The Hanover Green is particularly beautiful in December, especially now with the renovated Dartmouth Hall and Baker Tower illuminated, along with the annual Christmas tree. The gallery includes more scenes with fresh snow.

Christmas tree and illuminated Dartmouth Hall, Hanover.

Seattle scenes

Scenes from a ramble about town.

A quick post to share a few photos from my visit to Seattle earlier this month. As you may recall, I arrived on a weekend in time for a short hike in the woods at Tradition Plateau. Later, I rambled around Pike Place and out by the Space Needle before a dinner at Chihuly Gardens. The gallery includes a few snapshots.

Sign at Pike Place fish market, Seattle.

Big Tree at Tradition Plateau

A walk through Pacific Northwest forest after a recent snowfall.

Today I had the opportunity to visit Jon, a friend and former student, after arriving in Seattle late last night. We drove east of the city to a natural area called Tradition Plateau (and also, it appears, Tiger Mountain). It snowed a little yesterday, so the trails and surroundings were covered with a thin layer of wet and crunchy snow. The verdant forest I so associate with the Pacific Northwest was still evident, as were the incredibly tall and thin cedars and firs of the sort we just don’t see out East.

Snow-covered forest around Tradition Lake, east of Seattle.
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CR3 vs DNG

No more DNG for me.

[Time for another photogeek blog post!] 

I’ve been using a DLSR camera since 2008 and have been photographing in Raw since 2012, after I finally realized the benefits of camera-raw over jpeg.  In 2012 I also started keeping my entire photo collection in Adobe Lightroom, allowing Ligh​​troom to convert any Raw photos to DNG (‘digital negative’) files at the time of import.  Why?  Because I was convinced by books and bloggers that DNG is The Right Way to store images.  Today, ten years later, I’ve changed my mind.  In this post I explain why.

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