Bicknell Feb 4, 2016

I spend a few hours at Bicknell Brook yesterday.  The water was running full after a day of rain. The trail was very icy, but microspikes worked well.

I made a number of large panoramas.  Here is one.

EG947--Ice-at-the-First-Falls---Pan-(11)

But I liked the small scenes too.

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EG950--Stranded-Ice-on-Bicknell---Pan-(4)
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EG956--Patterned-Ice-over-Bicknell---Pan-(3)

Here are a baker’s dozen other photos from the morning.

Sunsets, three nights in a row

I’ve been fortunate to be able to photograph three nice sunsets over Vermont the last two days of January and the first of February. If we get another nice one tonight I might add that to this blog.

I’ve edited the images both straight and with several grayscale/sepia treatments. A brief slide show follows. The peak on the far left is Ascutney. The one with the ski trails in two of the images is Okemo.

SRKG hike to Lucia’s Lookout January 23, 2016

A group of nine hearty folks led by Tom Lawton hiked to Lucia’s Lookout, stopping at the Franklin Pierce Lead Mine along the way. This was a graphite mine operated in the nineteenth century by Benjamin Pierce and later owned by his son, U.S. President Franklin Pierce .  “Lead” refers to pencil lead, one of the products made from graphite. Below is a photo of the group near the exit of the mine.

This is an 8-shot panorama. It is certainly far from the sharpest I have ever made, but you can double click on the image to zoom in and use the left mouse to pan around. You can also use the + and – keys to zoom and the arrow keys to scroll. Please wait for the resolution to download.

Two hours and 10 minutes after starting out, we reached Lucia’s Lookout, hiking three mostly uphill miles. Here is our group at Lucias.

EG858--Group-at-Lucias-Lookout---Pan-(5)

Below is a short slide show of some of the other photos from this hike.

Shrew and sunflower seeds

Yesterday I again observed “our” wasteful chickadees tossing 2 or 3 sunflower seeds on the ground for every one they carried from the feeder. Normally this makes our resident grey and red squirrels happy, but since the snowstorm, they have been hiding out somewhere and didn’t take part of the bounty.

So I decided to take the feeder inside late afternoon and let the chickadees, nuthatches, and goldfinch clean up the several hundred seeds that were on the ground. They diligently applied themselves to this work as you can see in the two photos below.

EG831G,H,K,T--Feeding-on-the-Ground

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If you examine these photos, you can see an animal has cleverly made its home under the endless supply of food. Note the tunnel hole at the top right. Perhaps a mouse? I was determined to capture it on film.

The afternoon progressed to dusk. Finally around 5:40 the animal emerged, quickly grabbed a seed, and almost instantaneously disappeared back into its hole. I got a number of photos at ISO 3200, f/5.6, 1/60 sec. Two are below. Turns out it was a Northern Short-tailed Shrew.

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This shrew moved fast. To give you a feel for how fast, the slide show below shows a sequence with less than 1/2 second elapsing from the first to the last shot.

This morning I found lots of tracks in what was untrampled snow the evening before. Seems other critters were enjoying the bounty. Can you identify the tracks? If you can, please send me an email.

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By 8:45 American Goldfinches were still cleaning up the mess. Soon thereafter I replaced the feeder so the adventure could start anew.

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