Wednesday, October 22, 2014

American Alligator

American Alligator

This Alligator was photographed at Largo Nature Park in Largo, Florida. I was there with some friends from our Meetup Group. You can find a different Gator in a previous post from the same nature park.

People who live in places like Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, basically from Texas east to South Carolina, see these creatures every day. We are used to living with them and know their behaviors. To a Northerner, this is one of the scariest creatures alive. Yet, Alligators are really very docile.

There are two kinds of Crocodilians in the United States; American Alligators, who are typically docile except when there are young around (as with any animal), Crocodiles are more aggressive. The strange thing about this statement is that of the two, the Alligator is the largest. Strange, isn't it?

Alligators prefer fresh water and swamps; it has a broader snout with overlapping teeth and darker coloring than Crocodiles. Crocodiles can tolerate salt water better than Alligators because they have salt glands in their mouth that excrete excess salt. Crocodiles can be found in coastal areas throughout the Caribbean and in Southern Florida.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tobacco Barn

Tobacco Barn

One of Connecticut's chief industries used to be shade grown tobacco. It seemed as soon as you left the city, you could see miles and miles of tobacco fields.

Most kids started to work on tobacco as soon as they turned 14. It was the only time 14 year-olds could were legally allowed to work. Nearly all CT high school kids worked in the tobacco industry at one time or another. In the summer, they picked tobacco. Today, there is not enough demand to be profitable for farmers to continue to grow tobacco. These sheds are now few and far between.

I told my son that I thought it was tobacco drying season, which is why we went out to look for a tobacco farm. We finally found this one in Bolton near the horse farm pictured in a previous post. You can see the tobacco hanging inside the barn door.

It's strange, I grew up in tobacco growing country, now I live near Tampa where they roll cigars. It seems I can't get away from tobacco.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dahlia

Dahlia

This was taken at my son and daughter-in-law's house in their back garden. They have many different gardens on their property, each with its own theme. Visiting them and walking around the yard is like walking around botanical gardens. This one was one of my favorites.

There are 42 species of Dahlias, along with many hybrids. This particular species is called, Dahlia (Dahlia rosea) because of its red color. Some are round, some flat, they come in different sizes, shapes and colors. They are native to Mexico and have been used as a source of food. Their hollow stems were used to make water pipes, and they've been used as medicine, specifically to treat Epilepsy.

I especially like this particular variety because of its pom-pom shape.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sandy Bay, Rockport, MA

Rockport, MA Sandy Bay

Another image from my trip to Rockport; this one is looking across Sandy Bay. The Granite Stone Gazebo on the jetty is used for weddings and event photos. You can see some of the houses and lodgings in the background. I have a larger photo of the gazebo that I will post at a later time.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

View Out my Window

I've posted this one before on Facebook, but I wanted to post it on my blog as well so, some of you may have already seen this.

This shot was taken out of my living room window during blue hour. It was the day I bought my new camera, a Canon 6D. I just wanted to try it out and loved the results. It's true, it's not the camera that makes the image; it's the eye behind the lens; however, it doesn't hurt to have good tools to get the job done. I bought the camera because I felt that I had outgrown my old one. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with Canon's 40D, but I wanted something newer that could handle noise levels better and to give me a larger photo to work with.

There are times I need or want the crop factor of the 40D for the extra range, especially when I'm shooting birds, so I'll still be using that camera as well. But for now, my go to camera with my new 28-300mm Tamron lens will be my main walk-around lens.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Salvia

Row of Salvia

While driving around in South Windsor, my son and I spotted this row of Salvia on the side of a farm house. I love the color and that splash of pink in the tree in the background.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ghost Tree
While my son and I were walking around in his backyard, he showed me this tree. I thought it would make a great shot for Halloween. I know it's a little early, but I couldn't wait to post it.

Most of my friends on Facebook, Flickr and in my meetup groups know I have a fascination with trees that have faces on them. I have so many of these. It's sort of like people that see things in cloud formations.

When I come across these, I am compelled to photograph them. What do you think about my ghost tree?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mums

Mums at a Nursery in Bolton, CT

While driving through Bolton, my son spotted these pots of Mums and thought they would be neat to photograph. I saw something different. I saw layers, lines and beautiful color. We talked about it a bit, and I decided to go with the pattern shot. So, here it is. Hope you like it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

First Congregational Church, Rockport, MA

First Congregational Church, Rockport, MA


As soon as we parked in Rockport, less than a 1/2 block away, we spotted this typical New England Church on School St and churches are one of my favorite subjects to photograph.

When I used to work for the Manchester Herald, one of my jobs was to photograph the churches in their coverage area for the Sunday Newspaper. Since then, I've always been interested in photographing churches. I love the old churches with steeples and the old Gothic churches the best. I guess it's because I am from New England and that's what I'm used to seeing.

This one was organized in 1755 by Rev. Ebenezer Cleaveland and ten members. The cornerstone of the present building was laid in 1803. The church was dedicated in 1804, and Rev. David Jewett was its first pastor.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Goose Gourd

Goose Gourd Bouquet
During our road trip through Bolton, CT, my son and I spotted an off road farmer's stand on the other side of the street. It had several vases of floral arraignments visible from the road with a sign that said $6.00. We stopped and thought it would be nice to bring flowers home to Donna. My son, Joe, got out of the car and walked over to the stand to see what they had. He had bought flowers from this farmer before and knew they were honest and reasonable. Way in the back of the shelf, he spotted this bouquet.

He came back to the car empty handed and told me he saw a beautiful arraignment for $20.00 and he had to get more money. I gave him $10.00 and he had $10.00 in his pocket. He came back to the car with this heavy gourd in both hands. It was comical to watch when he tried to open the car door all the water poured out on his shirt. Of course, once I stopped laughing, I got out to help him.

I never expected anything like this! There was a little note attached to this bouquet saying that when the flowers go bad, the gourd is edible. It is called a Goose Gourd; the photo shows why. Needless to say, his wife, Donna, loved this little surprise.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Kress Building, St Pete, FL

Architectural Detail on the Kress Building in St Pete, FL

Yesterday, I took part in the Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk. This is one of the shots I took while on that walk. I've always been fascinated with this building. It has mixed architecture styles and I love how ornate it is.

If you'd like to know more about it, you can check out this link: http://www.stpete.org/historic_preservation/historic_landmarks/local_landmarks/docs/Kress_Building.pdf

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Farming in Broad Brook, CT

Farming in Broad Brook, CT


After posting last night's shot of this tractor, my son let me know that this was not actually Bolton, CT. Since he was the one driving, and I was doing the shooting, I hadn't been paying attention to where we actually were. We were in Broad Brook, CT on East St. My apologies for any confusion and for my error.

As you can see by the dust this farmer is kicking up, he was going at a pretty good clip. I'm not sure what he's doing, but maybe one of my readers can tell me.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Farming in Bolton CT

Hard at Work

While on vacation, my son, Joe, and I also took a road trip around Bolton, CT. I saw this farmer working and panned just a little to be able to catch this shot. He was driving pretty fast. It was getting a little late in the day, and I guess he just wanted to get done.

I must admit, I know absolutely nothing about farming; even though I come from a long line of farmers from my grandparents generation and back. The only farm machine I know is the tractor, so as far as what this guy is doing, I have no idea. I do know, however that they work very hard and their day starts really early.

I'll be posting more farming photos in later posts. Maybe one of you readers can enlighten me.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sunset in a Rockport Cove


The End of a Perfect Day


One of the last stops in Rockport, was at this little cove. We were on the way out of the town center, when we came upon this place. Had it not been for a few teens practicing their yoga on this beach, we may have never have spotted it. There was also a couple snorkelers just coming out of the water. I'm assuming they must've been a couple of the girls' boyfriends.

It was definitely the end of a perfect day. I love how the the sun was starting to set through the trees.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pigoen Cove, Rockport, MA

Pigeon Cove

From a distance and from street view, these buildings appear to be built right into the rocks. Of course, at a closer spot, it is apparent that they are not. Either way, I liked the lighting; it seemed the late day sun added just enough of a warm glow to make this view stand out.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rockport (MA) Inner Harbor Wide Shot

Wide Shot of Rockport Inner Harbor



My son and daughter-in-law are so good to me. I go to visit to CT once a year, and they always seem to plan something nice to do while I'm there. This year was no exception. Donna asked me if I'd ever been to Rockport and I told her no. She said, "Well this year, that's where were are planning to go. We'll do a day trip. It's beautiful and I'm sure you'll enjoy it". As you can see from the photos I've been posting and I'm not done editing them; I really enjoyed it.

Thank you, Joe and Donna. You are too good to me and I appreciate it.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Rockport, MA

Rockport Inner Harbor

All along Rockport Inner Harbor in the Bearneck Skin area, are many private residences, lodging places, stores, etc. Everyone of them have beautiful side gardens.

I particularly liked this one. Bearneck Skin is the main "tourist area". There are so many things to see and buy. It makes for a shopper's paradise.

If you've never been there, and you get to the Rockport area in Rockport, MA, check it out!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Yellow-crowned Night Heron



This Yellow-crowned Night Heron was just posing there at Largo Nature Park waiting to be photographed. There were three or four of us just snapping away and he didn't move a bit.

Several people from one of my Meetup groups were going to a shoot at this park, and since I haven't shot any nature photos with my new camera and lens, I thought I'd tag along. It was lucky that we came upon this usually very skittish bird.

We had a great time with the exception of the Mosquitoes. None of us thought to bring bug spray. Well, I had some in the car, but didn't want to loose track of the crowd and it was a long walk back. It was kind of foolish that we didn't think of it, especially when we all knew that the area was flooded. Tampa Bay had 2 weeks of bad weather and the ground is soaked. That'll teach us!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Another View From the Porch

Another View From the Porch

Earlier, I posted a vertical view from my son and daughter-in-law's home from their upstairs porch. That view showed the top of their shed. For a different perspective, I zoomed out and got this image.

Click on the image to see it larger.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Rockport, MA Breakwater

Sandy Bay Breakwater in Rockport, MA

"ROCKPORT HARBOR   Rockport Harbor is located in Sandy Bay on the northeast side of Cape Ann, about 32 miles northeast of Boston. The town of Rockport is popular with tourists, and the harbor is used extensively by recreational boaters, fishing craft, and charter boats for excursions and sport fishing.
The earliest work in the harbor dates back to 1839, when two breakwaters were constructed, one on each side of the harbor entrance. In 1905, the Corps rebuilt the two breakwaters to a height of 18.5 feet. The northern breakwater at Bearskin Neck is 900 feet long, and the southern breakwater at Norwoods Head is 200 feet long. The Corps also removed principal rocks in the harbor.
The most recent work in Rockport Harbor was completed in July 1987 as a small project under Section 107 of the Corps’ Continuing Authorities Program. This work included the construction of:
  • A 10-foot-deep channel, 80 feet wide, extending 1,100 feet from deep water outside the breakwaters to the town wharf in the center of the harbor.
  • Two eight-foot-deep outer anchorage areas on either side of the 10-foot-deep channel. The north anchorage, about 3.5 acres in area, extends from the Bearskin Neck Breakwater to the town wharf. The south anchorage, about 2.7 acres in area, extends from the Norwoods Head Breakwater to the town wharf.
  • Two eight-foot-deep inner anchorage basins on either side of the town wharf. The north anchorage is 1.7 acres in area, and the south anchorage is 1.2 acres in area.
PIGEON COVE   Pigeon Cove in Rockport is located in Sandy Bay, about 1.5 miles north of Rockport Harbor. It is home to a vibrant commercial fishing industry. Corps’ work in Pigeon Cove consists of:
  • A 10-foot-deep channel, 75 feet wide, extending 550 feet from deep water outside the existing breakwater, across the southern part of the inner cove, to the public pier; and
  • A 3.4-acre anchorage area, eight feet deep, throughout the rest of Pigeon Cove’s inner section.
Completed in July 1987, Pigeon Cove is a small project, constructed under Section 107 of the Corps’ Continuing Authorities Program." - info directly copied from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Navigation/Massachusetts/RockportHarbor.aspx