Recently, I photographed the removal of the first of three earth and stone dams from the Hamant River in Sturbridge, MA. A project 7 years in planning is the result of collaboration between the town conservation commission, Massachusetts Fish & Game, and other groups. The restored free-flowing river will support the spawning of brook trout and the growth of native plants.
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!
Over the past couple of years I’ve learned to appreciate the great outdoor spots within 30 minutes of my home. The other night I returned to the Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary on the edge of the ~20,000 acre Great Marsh. Right on queue it seemed, the long rays of the fading sun turned to gold. The folks who have homes on the distant shore in Newbury get to see this every night (along with the mosquitoes). If you love this shot it is available as a print or a licensed image for commercial use.
This has been a great autumn in eastern Massachusetts. A short slide show of images made today within ten miles of my home.
Today I explored some favorite locations in Essex County, Massachusetts, chasing the afternoon light and a painterly effect. This view is from The Hamlin Reservation managed by The Trustees of Reservations. This wetland is drained by The Labor-In-Vain Creek. Love that name! The image maximizes tonal range by combining three separate exposures.
Tonight I watched a group of eight white-tails feasting on late summer greenery. I walked slowly, tripod in hand. The two fawns, still with white spots, seemed more trusting of my presence, while the largest doe watched me carefully—guarding the little ones. As darkness wrapped the rich blue sky, the wildlife around me emerged for an evening of hunting, gathering and playing. A beaver splashed its warning in the Pond, small green frogs retreated from the trail to the safety of the marsh, a downy woodpecker beat rhythmically on a birch and ducks flew overhead. Learn about my new Nature Photography eBook here
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