Walking Pictures - 6/1/2014 - 6/30/2014

A continuation of my Walking Pictures page just because the original was getting too big. I fairly often take 100 pictures a day or so and only a small fraction of those make it even this far. I got my current camera 10/23/2013 and by 5/31/2014 I'd taken 5000 pictures with it.

Prints of these are available, made on a color laser printer from the full resolution images. alan01346@gmail.com I hope to sell them in local stores, don't have any shopping cart set up for buying online. Paypal accepted by prearrangement.

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NameFromToCount
Original 11/7/2013 12/21/2013 96 pictures
2014a 12/25/2013 2/6/2014 77 pictures
2014b 3/31/2014 4/30/2014 73 pictures
2014c 5/1/2014 5/31/2014 101 pictures
2014d 6/1/2014 6/30/2014 72 pictures
2014e 7/1/2014 7/31/2014 90 pictures
2014f 8/1/2014 8/31/2014 110 pictures
2014g 9/1/2014 9/30/2014 118 pictures
2014h 10/1/2014 ? ?
dscn5027.jpg I was headed over to Christian Hill in Colrain, someplace I haven't been many times in my life but not far away, 6.4 miles as the crow flies from where I live. This is Branch Elementary School (on the way) where I went through grades 1-3 in 1960-63. There were 3 classrooms and a cafeteria plus odds and ends. It hasn't been used as a school in many years, it was rented out as a house and somebody lived there for a few years. The current Heath Elementary School is within a mile. 6/1/2014

These next 3 are in a little valley in Heath I had in mind. A guy I used to know from Branch grew up here, he was killed in a farming accident a few years back somewhere on this farm. His impatience got the better of him and they found his body pinned between a trailer and a tractor. I used to work for an uncle of his. Looking on topo maps this area and Christian Hill have contour lines close together which means steep hills.

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Finally in Colrain, a garden about ready to plant. I hit 3 different roads closed which really messed up my plans. I was planning to go over through the Colrain Forestry (officially HO Cook State Forest) then come home through the valley above. I don't remember exactly where this is. 6/1/2014 dscn5052.jpg
dscn5057.jpg A few thousand dollars worth of solar panels sitting here with no house around. I don't know what they're connected to. 6/1/2014
A classic farm, silo and everything. Probably not the one I was looking for: people don't put names on mailboxes over here. The Colrain pictures were all taken while sitting in the car. The only place I got out was at a road closed sign when I turned around. 6/1/2014 dscn5058.jpg
dscn5066.jpg This was on Christian Hill, I'm fairly sure. To me this looks like a golf course in rural central Pennsylvania. Ever see Bill Cosby's estate? This looks like money, and I didn't have an invitation or know exactly where I was going. The woman who described this area as "amazing and beautiful" grew up in Greenfield where there's not much that's beautiful. I like Heath better from what I've seen. Rowe's nice too. 6/1/2014
A pony in a back yard. He agreed with me that he doesn't get many visitors out here. 6/1/2014 dscn5068.jpg
dscn5069.jpg Some Holsteins having an afternoon cud chew and watching the silly tourist. Plenty for them to eat in this pasture on top of a hill. Bad place to be in a thunder storm and cows aren't usually smart enough to know that. I like the colors in this, the grays and browns of the rocks are a nice addition. Maybe I'll come back in a few months when the roads are fixed. I think my next sunny day outing will be Burnt Hill in Heath. There are even some ruins over there that may date back to Druid times but they're hard to find. Standing Stones, like Stonehenge. I need a motorcycle again. 6/1//2014
This is in Shelburne on "four mile square". When we were in high school a friend of mine was being chased by the cops one night on his street motorcycle and he escaped by coming over this bridge and up the trail, which ends somewhere on Catamount. Looks like nobody's used it in a long time, and I wouldn't trust the bridge either. It's called "four mile square" because cross country teams used to get sent up here from Mohawk in training, this is just off Route 112 near Shelburne Falls. 6/1/2014 dscn5077.jpg
dscn5080.jpg Some Mountain Laurel in the back yard I've been keeping an eye on for a couple days, waiting for it to open. 6/2//2014
I didn't ask what this is because I wouldn't remember it anyway. 6/2/2014 dscn5093.jpg
dscn5127.jpg Something that's almost a buttercup but not quite. It's about the same size and color but the petals aren't shiny and the body of the blossom isn't quite as deep. I remember from elementary school somebody holding a buttercup up to somebody's chin and if it reflected yellow onto their face then supposedly they liked butter. Arlene Giard, my first ever girlfriend from first grade, whatever happened to you? I associate buttercups with you for some reason. Focus is funky because I was trying for the best compromise in getting 4 flowers in focus. 6/3/2014
Haying has begun in earnest, both sides of the road. My grandfather used to think he was doing well if he got the first cutting in by July 4. 6/6/2014 dscn5192.jpg
dscn5203.jpg This is a rotary tedder which throws the cut hay up in the air and lets it fall in a different position so it can dry faster. The teeth are mounted on springs and that disk back there spins, picking up hay in front and throwing it out the back and sides. The old ones were horse-drawn and used a bunch of forks to do the same thing. This is much simpler. 6/6/2014
2 hay wagons ready to bring in bales of hay, there's another parked up by the house being worked on. 6/6/2014 dscn5232.jpg
dscn5176.jpg View of the back yard where I live, I even mowed the lawn a couple days before. Most of the lawn here only needs mowing about 3 times a year, the part up on the bank and betweeen the trees is a nuisance. 6/6/2014
A purple version of one of these. I tried opening the petals on the top but they resisted like they weren't quite ready for that. 6/6/2014 dscn5181.jpg
dscn5242.jpg A Mountain Laurel in the back yard, under cloudy conditions. 6/6/2014
Mountain Laurel more fully open. The blossoms are like pom-poms. There's an autofocus mode on this that you can steer where in the picture it focuses on from 99 areas. Manual focus would be good but in bright sun you can't always see either viewfinder well enough. Never had a problem with my 70s Yashica because it was completely optical, when it was brighter outside the viewfinder was brighter too. 6/10/2014 dscn5329.jpg
dscn5334.jpg From the side, irises or something and daisies behind them. 6/10/2014
And while I was standing there quietly a couple of Monarchs showed up. Best shot of the day. 6/10/2014 dscn5341.jpg
dscn5345.jpg For a while it was action photography trying to follow them with the camera while standing still to not scare them off. I've rarely been able to walk close to a Monarch but that Mourning Cloak was oblivious. 6/10/2014
A blackberry blossom. Really nasty thorns on these, I never seem to mow past them without getting an arm or a leg snagged and bleeding. 6/10/2014 dscn5361.jpg
dscn5372.jpg Daisies and clover having a reaching contest (they're over 1 foot high). Saturation is artificially boosted because it was cloudy, didn't notice the weird ring effect on the daisy above the clover until afterward. 6/10/2014
A composite made from the best 6 pictures of the Monarch. The individual selections could be better, I could spend hours fixing that, but I just wanted to see if this worked. Each was selected and copied, saved as a file with transparent background, and also pasted into the main background image as a layer. Some were resized smaller, mostly the ones that were blurred or out of focus. For Maria. 6/11/2014 butterfly composite
dscn5410.jpg After about 3(?) days of rain the tall grass is all knocked down with water droplets clinging to it, the visibility is down to about ½ mile in fog. 6/13/2014
I had planned this sunny day to go driving around some higher parts of town but the brakes went on the car so I trudged around and around the lawn for exercise instead. More depth of field experiments (trying to get everything in focus). f/5.9 1/200 sec, focus probably on infinity, aperture priority. Silk purse out of a sow's ear, trying to make the front yard interesting. I find myself using point-n-shoot with autofocus less and less. 6/14/2014 dscn5454
dscn5464.jpg The Charlemont windmill from Heath at about 8 PM. There's a newish (2 months?) cell phone tower to the left of it. Wonder if there's 4G on that? I think as many people like windmills as hate them so maybe it's like a bell curve where the outliers are the likers and haters and most people don't care. I'll take windmills over cell phones any day. Odd place to put windmills and antennas, way down there in the valley. 6/14/2014
View at 8 PM with long shadows and shifted emphasis. 6/14/2014 dscn5470
dscn5491.jpg Thought at first this was wild because I found it beside the road but on second glance it looks like stuff we've got in the back yard. Tried a big focusing experiment which in theory should have worked but I got about 50 useless pictures for my 1 mile walk. Too tired to do it all again right now. 6/15/2014
There was haying going on and a pair of hawks were out catching mice that were running away. I could only catch one at a time because they were rarely together in the sky. 6/16/2014 dscn5532
dscn5538.jpg Haying the modern way (with old tractors). Some years they've wrapped these in white plastic that makes them weatherproof and they look like giant marshmallows. 6/16/2014
Just an area I like, little apple trees and woods behind them. No horses showed up today. 6/16/2014 dscn5552
dscn5559.jpg Haying the old fashioned way across the road. Don't see the new dual axle hay wagon in use, but there's another one over by the house that seems to be broken down. 6/16/2014
Bird on a wire. I told him to hold still and he did. I took several pictures and walked away, then he flew away. 6/16/2014 dscn5568
dscn5581.jpg Haying on a hillside, but it's all hillsides around here. When they used to wrap these in plastic one time one rolled downhill and smashed against a tree, but I suspect it had help. Those things must weigh half a ton (1000 lbs) at least. Focus set to infinity, let the camera have its way otherwise. 6/16/2014
Out shooting butterflies again. It takes good aim because they move around and once you get zoomed in it's hard to find them again. Zoom and autofocus both seem slow when they're flitting around. I haven't seen any orange Monarchs this year at all. 6/17/2014 dscn5615
dscn5648.jpg Devil's Paintbrush. I remembered these from a few years ago as being interesting inside but I forgot just what was in there.

There is apparently also a plant called Indian Paintbrush that's similar but different. The blossoms don't seem to have any central "clump", there are just spikes radiating outward. Those are found out west, like Utah. I thought they were the same thing but they aren't. It's like telling red and white oak apart: white oak has rounded points on the leaves, red is sharp. White resists rotting better. 6/17/2014
Closer up. There are sparklies and little curly things and everything. (No idea what they're called, I didn't like Biology.) This reminds me of climbing down inside a fractal then not being able to go farther. Looking at this weed leaves me filled with awe and wonder. 6/17/2014 dscn5651
dscn5652.jpg Not sure what these are, I saw some yesterday beside the road but these came out better. As usual, not one flower picked for these photos. 6/17/2014
I've been taking pictures of butterflies and in some cases extracting them from their backgrounds so I could paste them into another scene. It's a tedious process but this one came out pretty nicely. It's on a transparent background here (scaled down). It was taken from about 8 feet away with a zoom lens and I've got a good image that's 2728 x 2817 pixels. It took me about 2 hours to work around the edge isolating it from the background. This could probably sell as a stock photo and earn me 25 cents. 6/17/2014 transparent butterfly
dscn5739.jpg Common buttercup, my best of close to 100 pictures. I have issues with some of the designed-in features of this camera (Coolpix P520), it's not a malfunction. There's nothing concrete in manual focus like being able to set it at 2 inches then bracketing the camera forward and backward until the subject is in focus, there aren't any distances at all. There's no split image or ground glass to tell when you're in focus. Everything relies on being able to see the viewfinders well, which is impossible in bright sunlight. Autofocus, even in macro mode, is unpredictable and often gives up. This is the closest I could get to these and have the camera autofocus (and this is cropped down). It's OK unless I want a full-frame flower to give me over a certain minimum pixel size. I keep finding these little shortcomings, but it's mostly a good camera. It's a "consumer grade" Nikon, not one of the pro models that can cost $2000 or more.

No, I don't have a stock of pet ants, I just keep finding them. 6/18/2014
Butterfly composite 2, most of the original cast with improved images, 3 of the Mourning Cloak as well. 6/18/2014 composite 2
butterfly tiffs thumbs I've got probably 100 Monarch pictures now, these are among the best that I chose to put transparent backgrounds in. The process takes 1-3 hours, longer if it's higher resolution, and I've probably done enough for this year. The first number in the filename is the sequence number that the camera assigns, the second is the final width in pixels. I did the bee just because he showed up and posed. 6/21/2014
Fleurs for Lorraine's birthday, some roses in the front yard. The most memorable thing about them to me is that I have to mow between them and dwarf apple trees on the other side, which is usually painful. 6/21/2014 dscn5961
dscn5847 A single blossom from above. 6/21/2014
Reading a photography text, trying to convey a mood. The camera has no soul (I think I knew that). It was starting to sprinkle. 6/24/2014 dscn6017
dscn6007 Taken 10 minutes before the picture above. I liked how that came out so I went back 10 frames and looked for others. There wasn't any circular movement out there and no thunder. The text I'm reading is by Alain Briot and he says to look around the sun when there's a weather disturbance. I took it so I think of it as a cloud over the house, but other people might see it differently. To me there was no real danger beyond getting wet. Nothing exotic in the least. 6/24/2014 & ½
So I'm out there with my camera on a tripod, reading glasses on, LCD viewfinder open taking rose pictures and I hear this noise that sounds like a tractor coming. They've been haying for weeks so I didn't think anything of it. I looked up when I figured it was about mid-field. Camera back off the tripod, glasses off, back to the normal viewfinder and I just got one out of focus shot before it went out of sight to the north. Student pilot out of Westover no doubt, he turned and headed east, I was hoping he'd circle. 4 engine prop plane: not big, not quiet (but I thought it was a tractor). I guess they're starting to use prop planes again because they're a lot more fuel efficient than jets. Once when we lived at Riddles several helicopters (Army) landed in this field because they had some minor breakdown. 6/25/2014 dscn6033
dscn6046 These roses are starting to be past their prime and I haven't been able to get one really good shot of the bushes. The Alain Briot book (PDF) says cloudy days are good for higher color saturation but I like sun better. 6/25/2014
Reverse view, the retaining wall in front of the house which I think my grandfather built. He and the owner used to be in the same deer hunting gang (me too, briefly). The driveway and patio are at the level where the big stones end and small ones start. 6/25/2014 dscn6049
dscn6052 The picnic area out back. The sticks on the table are potential walking sticks from this year's branch drops. It takes me half a day every spring to pick up before I start mowing lawn, I always save the ones that are solid (not rotted). Anything I can't break I save. These are all red oaks. 6/25/2014
Briot's definition of an artist is someone who can portray an emotion through some medium. I can't draw but I've been using cameras for 50 years. When I set up a shot I have a pretty good idea how it's going to turn out, that's just learning to use the tools. This is my attempt to portray loneliness. All tripod shots for the rest of the day, this was using the WiFi remote too. 6/26/2014 dscn6072
dscn6107 Windmill in near-sunset light. I never seem to get tired of taking pictures of it. 6/26/2014
Tragelly's with a twist. I took the picture near sunset, then in The Gimp (think Photoshop) I selected the area of the farm and measured the level corrections needed to stretch the endpoints on the histogram. Then I unselected the area and applied the correction values to the whole picture. The foreground is pushed into black, the effect on the background isn't as noticeable. Most of the time at this distance there's a lot of haze which the level correction takes out but there's still a certain graininess. I finally Googled them but it seems like they're out of business: http://www.tregellysfarm.com/ Somebody else's link describing the farm: getoutsidenj I just wanted to email them a picture taken from over here across the valley, I've never been there. 6/26/2014 dscn6111
dscn6124 Looking at near-sunset light on the hills. 6/26/2014
Clouds at sunset. The sunset itself was nothing special, these are to the south. 6/26/2014 dscn6138
dscn6149 Windmill again, later in the same sunset. I managed to catch a blink of the beacon light. It blinks, the blades pass in front of it, and I'm using a 2 second timer in the camera so everything had to be just about right. 1 shot out of 4 worked. 6/26/2014
Getting ready to run this rake over the dirt road (Bassett Road). I was just reading about color saturation and this showed up so I grabbed it. The camera was on a tripod with the sun behind it so it was pouring down on this tractor which looks freshly repainted. Cropped a bit tight because once again the camera was tilted and I had to rotate the picture (tripod problem). 6/27/2014 dscn6165
dscn6199 Another nothing special sunset, just "practicing". There was barely a cloud in the sky, and those are what's needed. There's this wonderful red light but if it can't hit something there's no way to see it since it's mostly horizontal and miles up. Whenever it hits even small clouds they look interesting but not spectacular. We just had about 3 inches of rain a couple nights ago, most of the moisture must have condensed out of the sky. You can see a red haze up there if you look for it. 6/27/2014
I had to go back and shoot this again because it's just so orange. It's not my favorite color or anything, it was just so saturated with the sun hitting it directly. The Gimp says 86-89% saturation depending on where I sample it but the photo doesn't reproduce how vivid it was. They apparently parked this here Friday intending to use it Monday. 6/28/2014 dscn6202

I was out feeding the mosquitoes again. I was out there about 21 minutes and could have stayed longer but it was getting less interesting and the bugs were worse. These are in order taken and if you compare the 3 wide shots (1,3,5: look at the trees for reference) it looks like the sky is getting bluer. What happens though is that the white goes away. This is the best of the 3 nights I've been taking pictures but far from the best I've ever seen.

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These literally popped up in a house plant. They look like some ceramic decoration but they're real. No idea what they are, I hope I don't get busted because I put a picture of some illegal hallucinogenic mushroom on the web. 6/30/2014 dscn6283
dscn6323 Not a great sunset but something more than clear nights at least. There's a second bunch of red to the north in here. 6/30/2014
I had to resort to diving into the red to get anything interesting at all, and I stayed out there until I needed to use a 1 second exposure because the red area gets bigger as the sun goes down. 6/30/2014 dscn6330

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