Jun 302014
 
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Mozell’s Water Llilies at The Rockery Pond

This afternoon I led a photo walk at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield. This image called “Mozell’s Water Lilies” is at the Rockery Pond. We were entertained by a beaver who swam repeatedly around a giant snapping turtle — whacking his tail, while the turtle spun around in the water as if struggling with its dinner. Quite a show

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Jun 232014
 

Old Academy Building, New Salem, MA built in 1838

About 20 years ago I was bicycling around the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts and stumbled across the tiny village of New Salem. I found a long town green lined with mature, old trees, surrounded by 18th and 19th century homes and buildings. There was no sign of a traffic light, convenience store, gas station, or of any modernity what-so-ever. I felt as though I had stepped  through a window in time to the year 1830.

I half expected to see a movie crew  appear from behind the false facades of each of the buildings. But, these building were real on my first visit, and just and fantastic today when I returned to New Salem on the way home from a photo shoot in Hadley, MA about 15 miles away. A sign indicates that this is indeed an historic district.

It is so important to preserve windows in time like New Salem. I imagine that each of the 50 US states has precious little villages like this one, seemingly unaffected by the giant footprint of development and economic growth. I’ve felt the same sense of wonder and excitement while “discovering” a silver mine in Colorado, the remains of a logging camp in Maine, and a farm valley in Rochester, Vermont known as North Hollow.

If you know of secret little villages like New Salem, please let me know. Maybe this will the beginning of a photo essay or book!

 

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Jun 182014
 
A mother robin pauses after feeding her chicks in the nest.

A mother robin pauses after feeding her chicks in the nest.

I’ve been watching this little family for some time. When Mom is away at the Worm-o-Market the kids pass the time by arguing and tussling a bit and grooming easy other. Every once in while, one little one will make some practice wing flaps. Mom returns from the hunt and lands or a nearby branch, scanning the area for predators and photographers. She deftly lands in her nest and hands a worm or bug to one of the kids. How does she choose who gets fed?

She hangs around a bit, scolding and teaching, then decides to take a rest and plops her plump body protectively on the babies. Some time passes and she flies off again, searching for another juicy morsel. The lives of robins in the spring.

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May 262014
 

This evening I returned to a favorite freshwater marsh at the Ipswich River Wildlife Refuge. Back in the digital darkroom I made 2 versions of the same scene. Which do you prefer and why?

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Ipswsich River Wildlife Refuge, Topsfield, MA – color version

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Ipswsich River Wildlife Refuge, Topsfield, MA – monochrome version

These files are available as fine art prints and also licensed for commercial use. Contact me to learn more.

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May 222014
 

Today I photographed the Saugus River in Massachusetts from the air. The river meanders 13 miles from its source in Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield through the towns of Lynnfield, Saugus and Lynn  to Broad Sound in the Atlantic.052114-174

I enjoyed several flights in a single-engine, top-wing Cessna over the past few years. On this occasion the pilot was very specific in his instructions to me. He said, “If something were to happen to me, please take the controls and land on the nearest flat surface. It doesn’t have to be an airport. If we are near Logan airport just follow their instructions. Push this red button so  you can talk to them. If we need to land in the water we will probably flip over. You’ll need to unlock the door before we land so we can open it after hitting the water. Can you swim? The barf bag is here. And, if you would like to drive a little while on the way back that would be fine with me.” I did, but not very well.

 

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