Ricketts Glen

March 2, 2011

It was a fine day. Well, any day we get out to photograph is a fine day. Dave Cohen and I had a late start and planned on --actually our plans were rather weak considering we didn't know where we were headed when we got in the car. We sort of sat back and let the car take us to Ricketts Glen, since it always seems to head that way when there is indecision at the wheel. Dave was spending his day with the 70-200mm lens and his results can be seen on his Zenfolio site.

The Falls Trail was still closed for the season, but we figured we could get quite a bit out of where we were allowed to go. We intended to start at the bottom lot on Route 118, get some of the lower creek and Adams Falls, then head on up to Lake Jean. As soon as we got out of the car and started getting our gear together for the walk we realized we had forgotten our spikes. There was no way we'd be able to get too far walking without them. In fact, we quickly gave up the idea of taking the short hike down to Adams because even though it was a short distance, it was a dangerous idea without adequate footing.

The first 8 shots in the gallery were forced from the relatively low area of Kitchen Creek near the lower parking lot. The next 8 were from the top of the park at Lake Jean. The wind at the top was freezing our connection with creativity and setting up the shot was a challenge. My favorite of the day is number nine. I was drawn to it as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. After a shivering test of zoning in on the composition and checking the exposure I finally pushed the shutter. Since all 3 of my remote releases are not working, I had to rely on the 2-second timer on the camera. Just after I committed to the shot, a swirling gust of wind swam across the puddle. I hoped that maybe the ripples would improve the photo, but I took another just in case. Number 9 is the other.

The last six photos in the gallery were not actually taken in the park. They are from one of the many creeks that run near the Ricketts Glen Natural Area.

Lobsta Tulips


March 12, 2011

What's this world of paternal societies coming to? Dave's wife bought him yellow tulips and a macro lens for his birthday. My wife Barb is always buying me flowers, too. From the 3rd through the 11th of this month I took 236 exposures of 6 tulips whose petals reminded me of lobster. This gallery narrows that number down to 50.

Since there was a half dozen of these beauties, it seems I unconsciously used the human predilection for odd numbers to almost hide one tulip in each of the group shots. (Only four group photos made it to the gallery.) Although accenting the odd number was not "intended" by me, it's one of those cool things in photography that are often revealed upon later inspection of the final results. It is one of those humbling moments that reminds us that there is more to us than we know. It is, perhaps, also interesting that all but one of these 6 tulips had 6 petals. The odd one had an even eight.

Throughout the experience I really enjoyed the peek-a-boo poses that were often presented. From the little petal stubs criss-crossing a peek inside to the occasional drooping petal revealing the inner workings of the flower each opportunity was worked to my limited capabilities. That's why it's often fun to see how others would approach the same booty of photo ops. My friend Dave Cohen was happy to oblige with his new macro lens. His work, as always, can be found on his site, Dave's Views.

The streaky background in several shots is our refrigerator while the flowers were on a nearby countertop. I also changed the background on many photos. The last five in the gallery are of a petal that was dropped in front of my lens and later carried to the den for setup. The background for them is a blanket my wife particularly enjoys by the fireplace; the last photo shows the blanket flipped to its underside--my grateful farewell to a wonderful and cooperative subject.

Seven Tubs


March 16, 2011

For now Dave Cohen & I try to get out either Wednesday or Friday every week, and try to allow the weather to make the choice. These restrictions should be somewhat reduced later this year. On this particular Friday we got another later start so we chose somewhere close, The Seven Tubs Natural Area. Unfortunately the park was closed. We parked near the gate and walked along the nearby creek and railroad tracks to see what was offered.

One of the reasons we chose Friday this week was because Wednesday's conditions were so bad. Friday wasn't much better. Dave was working with his new macro lens so overcast could have been best, except for the lack of subjects, although I found what appeared as a large cat's footprint near a deer leg that was hanging in a tree (see photos 17 & 18).

Tulip Madness


March 20, 2011

My third set of tulip photos is named after the annual college basketball tournament, March Madness.

Frances Slocum


March 23, 2011

This is the first gallery with photos taken exclusively with the Olympus E-PL2 PEN four thirds camera. On Sunday the 20th Barb and I picked up our friends Mary & Jim and went to Frances Slocum for a walk. It was finally showing signs of spring and nearly all of the snow was gone. Barb, after having surgery on her foot just a few weeks earlier, was hoping to walk a mile. We parked by the fishing pier and walked along the flat area around Horseshoe Lake. Barb had her pedomter, and I figured if we walk out to the point and back it would be about a mile of flat, off-pavement walking. Barb was feeling great when we arrived at the point (which was almost 4 tenths of a mile), and decided to continue uphill through the forest --the long way back.

I brought the PEN because I wasn't sure I'd even take a shot, since the intent of the day was to test out Barb's foot. Although it was supposed to be a stroll, I really couldn't keep the casual pace, often walking ahead or off to the side and back to the group. It wasn't long before I got the urge to make a photo, but I resisted. Eventually I had to give in.

When Barb reached the parking space just behind our car, she said, "Here is a mile!" I facetiously told her to stay there and I'll back up to pick her up.

As mentioned, the snow was practically gone when we strolled Slocum, but the next morning we were covered again. It also snowed again on Wednesday the 23rd. On my way to work I pass by the other side of Slocum along Carverton Road. After the snowfall the whole area was beautiful with thick snow clinging to limbs, but I would have been late for work had I given in to the muse. Still, I left early and at 2 o'clock there was still some interesting scenes, so I stopped to capture a few.