Thursday, June 30, 2011

Putnum's Wolf Den

More from my son's and my post card project.

This is the site of Israel Putnum's Wolf Den in Pomfret, CT. It was here that Putnum killed the last wolf in CT in 1742.

As you can see from my photo, it hasn't changed that much over the years. The site was added to the Historic Register in 1895 and has been maintained by the State of CT as a state park ever since.

If you'd like to know more about this story, you can find the information here:

For a closer look, just click on the photos.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Pier

Last Saturday, I attended a workshop with Manny Pontoriero, "Get the Picture" blog, and a follower of this blog.

This particular workshop was a test demo for a pilot he's planning for a TV show.

We were given assignments to shoot whatever we wanted at each location, then Manny would critique the image we created. We would then try the shot after his critique. It was a very interesting workshop and a lot of fun. Manny picked the locations. Lucky for me, they were right near my home, so I didn't have to travel very far.

The top photo is one of the ones I shot, the bottom shows Manny's change after his critique. His feeling was that I really wasn't showing my subject in my shot. He couldn't figure out what I was photographing, so he suggested I use framing to show just the pier eliminating the boat in the foreground. That way, the "subject" was clearly defined.

For a closer look, just click on the photo and it'll bring you to a larger version.

Let me know if you all agree or disagree. I'd be most interested to know what you all think.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

American Alligator

This 'gator was in the process of turning around when I spotted him. Lucky for me, I was able to pan with him to capture him sharply.

Many people who know nothing about these magnificent reptiles think they're pretty scary and panic at the sight of them. Actually, Alligators are pretty docile and won't attack humans unless they feel that they're in danger. This happens when they're surprised while basking in the sun, or when they're nesting. Floridians know enough to leave them alone during 'gator nesting season. Other than that, we can get fairly close to them for a good shot.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Black Skimmer

Black Skimmers have a unique way of fishing. They fly really fast skimming calm water with their lower beak, then circle back and pick up the fish. They are amazing to watch. This one has a snack in his mouth. For a better look, just click on the photo.

I've been to Sawgrass Lake Park in St Petersburg more times than I can count. Until last Monday, I had never seen Skimmers there. They are usually around Ft Desoto in Tierra Verde. There is a whole colony there that nest on North Beach.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Most people in Florida don't like these birds because of their ear-piercing wales all night long. They can be heard all over the neighborhood.

For some reason, I really like them. I don't mind their calls at night. I've learned to ignore them. My ex-roommate, on the other hand, couldn't stand them and would always come out and chase them away. A couple of them chose our trees for a roosting place.

Limpkins feed nearly exclusively on Apple Snails and prefer fresh water. When their nesting, their nesting places are easy to find because of their habit of storing Apple Snails. They pile them up in a pyramid to feed their young and themselves.

Limpkins are fairly large birds. They stand a little more than 2 feet tall and have long legs for wading.

To see more detail, just click on the photo for a larger version.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Post Office, Plainfield, CT

These are one of the photos from the post card project my son and I did the other day.

It's funny that we were able to find these, since neither of us know this area very well. This particular one was hard to find and just as we gave up, I noticed it.

We were sitting at a red light and I said, "maybe we should concentrate on the house next door. Look at that bay window. There can't be many bay windows on the side of the house, they're usually in the front of the house". Just as I said that, I looked up and said, "that's it! Right in front of us". Sure enough, that was the old post office. The owners added a second floor, but the posts for the fence are still there. We were so excited to be able to cross another one off our list. Check out the post card below.

The picture on the post card was made in 1898. Not too much difference other than the second floor and the tree on the right.

To get a better view with more detail, just click on the photos.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

C&M Corporation Pano

This photo is a must see at full size. While I couldn't post it full size, I posted it pretty large. You can see it by clicking on the photo.

Yesterday, my son came over with a photo project. Since it was one of the 2 days that hasn't rained since I've been here, and my son-in-law was home to take care of my daughter, we went out to start on his project. We had a blast together.

He proposed an interesting project. He scanned some old postcards from the late 1800's and early 1900's of this area. He thought it would be fun to go out and try to find the same places depicted in the post cards and try to duplicate the photos from the same angle. We got all of them except 7 that we couldn't find or had been torn down.

This is one of them. This factory started out as a small building around the turn-of-the-century. it's been added on and added on until it's the size it is today. It also is in a horse shoe from the back and as long as the front behind it. (Does that make sense?)

I didn't have a tripod, so I tried to line up all my shots as best I could by using the windows as a guide and took 17 photos swinging my body at the hips. I told him it probably wouldn't come out; but lo and behold, it worked like a charm!

I only did an auto tone in Lightroom on them, then brought them into PhotoShop CS-5 to create the panoramic view. It took nearly an hour to process in PhotoShop, but it worked the first time. I used the Auto mode to create it.

I was really surprised it turned out so well.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

More From Creamery Brook Bison Farm

Lucky for me that I thought to bring my trusty long lens. I haven't used that lens in ages because it doesn't have IS (image stabilization). All I can say is, "Good thing I thought to bring it".

The first image is cropped and I wish I could've got more of his nose and mouth in the picture, but he was too far away and in the dark shade. I had to open up my lens by a stop and a half to get this shot.

The next Bison was way out in the field, but this shot is not cropped. I wanted to show the distance and the landscape of the farm.

The horse was in the enclosure next to the first Bison. Since I don't know much about horses (I'm a city girl), I won't even try to make a guess as to what his breed is. I think the markings on his face are really interesting, though.

I took a few more photos of the Bison, but most were the same--far away and most didn't show their faces. They were grazing.

If you want to see more detail in these photos, just click on them to make them bigger in another window.

I hope you've enjoyed my trip to the Bison Farm through my pictures.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Creamery Brook Bison Farm

My granddaughter took me to Creamery Brook Bison Farm here in Brooklyn, CT yesterday. We couldn't stay too long because I didn't want my daughter to be alone.

The farm is right down the street from my daughter's house and they have about 100 head of Bison, horses, cattle, and birds. These are a couple photos I took there. I'll post more a bit later, so be sure to check back.

As always, to see more detail, just click on the photos and they'll open up in another window larger.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Oxeye Daisy Close-up

Sometimes showing less is more. This Oxeye Daisy (to me) lends itself to a close-up study of the center button. I like the detail and the pattern formed by the rays.

To me, it looks like the sun and rays against a sunseting sky. I've done this with several types of flowers, but these Daisies and Sunflowers seem to look their best when photographed like this. I've also tried photographing them from the back. The details are so intricate and sometimes we just pass them and don't give it a thought. Next time you're out with your camera, try checking out all the parts of a flower. You might be surprised.

To see a this image in more detail, click on the picture.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pale Beauty Moth

The Pale Beauty Moth, a.k.a Fringed Looper, (Campaea perlata) can be found in almost all of North America including Western Artic, except in Texas and its bordering states. One can find them in coniferous, mixed, and deciduous forests and shrubby areas; adults are nocturnal and come to light, but in the arctic where summer nights are short or absent, adults fly during the day.

I spotted this one in the early morning on the side of my daughter's house. He appeared white at first, but after I saw the photo, I saw the pale, emerald green color. The same afternoon, I found him resting in the grass. The funny thing is that he appeared dead, but when I went to pick him up, he hung on tightly and I spotted him moving his antennae. I've never been able to touch a moth before when they are resting (although I admit I've never tried). I find this fact pretty interesting.

For a closer look, click on the photo.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


It's surprising what you can come up with when you're out walking around on your own property, or any place for that matter. All you have to do is look.

I came across this bud on a weed along the driveway at my daughter's house. I have no idea what it is; I don't even know if it's going to be a flower.

The pattern it formed is what caught my eye. Lucky for me, I had my trusty Tamron 90mm lens on my camera at the time.

For a closer look, just click on the photo. Does anyone have any idea what this is? Please let me know in your comments.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fancy Iris

My daughter has planted some fancy Irises in one of her gardens. We've been waiting for more than 2 weeks for these to finally bloom. Unfortunately, with more than 260 varieties, I'm not able to identify the name of this one. If anyone out there knows what variety this one is, I'd sure appreciate it if you could put it in the comments.

I photographed this particular bloom because I like the way it looks with the boulder in the background. It looks like I used a Photoshop technique called Selective Color. However, I didn't have to use any Photoshop on this shot.

For a better look at this shot, just click on it and a larger version will come up.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Venusta Orchard Spider

I know not many people like to look at spiders and insects, but what amazes me are the beautiful colors. When we look at them with our eyes, all we see is a black tiny creepy crawler. As you can see by looking closely with a macro lens the colors are amazing.

I am especially proud of this shot. I've been trying to capture one of these spiders for over ten years. The Florida sun is too strong and these cunning little spiders (less than 1/4 inch) seem to always build their webs in the sunlight. I had to come to CT to find one that was not in the bright sun. I still want to capture one in Florida because I can't stand it if I can't do something, but I'm happy with this one for now.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rain Drops

I'm still in CT taking care of my daughter, so I'm limited--or should I say I have the opportunity to photograph only what I can find in her yard, since I can't really leave the house.

While watching the tornado warnings on TV on the 30th, I was waiting to see if we were going to get hit. Both tornadoes were heading this way, but I took the opportunity to get in some shooting anyway. It was pretty scary, but as long as the thunder wasn't getting too near, I continued to photograph what I could find to keep my mind off the imminent danger.

We got very lucky here at the house, but my son-in-law was driving home in the thick of it. He started out on I-91, only to find cars and trucks getting flipped, so he re-routed to I-90 and the tornadic activity was even worse there. He jumped onto I-84 and managed to stay right behind the devastation, all the while hearing the ping, ping sounds of hail hitting my daughter's brand new car. Luckily, he made it home safe and sound. Thank God!!

So, during all that, I took my mind off it by photographing rain drops in between the showers. These drops were on one of her many fir trees, this one pretty young in the front of her house in one of her gardens.

Click on the photo to enlarge it, and study the drops. You'll see secondary images in many of them. Photo made with my Tamron 90mm Macro lens.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Blue Flag Iris

My daughter and I have been waiting patiently for her Irises to bloom. Everyone else's in town are in full bloom and this is the only one that's bloomed so far--and this one is wild!

I picked this shot today because I love the bokeh and the way it compliments the colors of the Iris.

This flower only lasted 2 days and we're still patiently waiting for her others to bloom. I checked them this morning, and the purple is just peeking out so we won't have much longer to wait to see and photograph them.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth

The Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth is in the Lasiocampidae family and it's Scientific name is: Malacosoma americanum.

This moth was on the window that leads to the deck at my daughter's house in Brooklyn, CT. It was great because I was able to photograph him from the back, then the front, and then a macro of his face. How lucky is that? You just don't get this lucky when photographing nature--especially bugs and butterflies.

I love photographing bugs, butterflies, and moths. Their faces are so interesting. Just check out the closeup here. He reminds me of ZZ Top with the dark eyes that look like he's wearing sunglasses and the long beard. What do you all think?