Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy #Caturday

Buster yawning. His teeth aren't the best but he manages in spite of that.

Our late cat Sam, a fine cat. Buster never accepted him as a friend. Wandered off to an unknown fate.

Our late cat Pickles,  one of the toughest cats we have ever had. He came as a stray and was impossible to keep indoors. Oblivious to weather he would bring us dead rodents daily. He tangled with animals and had his share of scars and even a missing fang.

Buster was afraid of him, but he was gentle with the family. He was a Samurai cat.

Sadly something must have got him in his journeys but we know he went down with a fight.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Flowers for #FloralFriday

Star Magnolia  - April 27, 2011

Helleborus - April 21, 2008

Eastern Pitcher Plant flowers (Sarracenia purpurea) - Jun 2, 2011

Thistle flower - Unknown date
Scanned transparency (also qualifies for #FilmFriday)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

First snow of the 2011 winter season

October 27th 2011, the first visible snow of the fall-winter season. At this point it is not yet a nuisance, just a interesting mix of fall colors with a white tinge.

There is a bit of danger to plants that have not dropped their leaves. This is a wet heavy snow.

Summer persists as long as it can. This climbing hydrangea still has green leaves. This shot was taken beneath pine trees which tend to be warmer, thus the lack of snow.

Highland Light for #LighthouseThursday

Highland Light
Highland Light in Truro, MA on Cape Cod

Highland Light in March of 2004

My Uncle Henry at Highland light  circa 1930s

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lowell Folk Festival for #WeLoveMusicWednesday


The Lowell Folk Festival is an amazing FREE event featuring musical and dance performances. On a side street   I stopped and listened to these street musicians playing my favorite genre of music.

The festival will be held from July 27th to July 29th in 2012 in downtown Lowell, MA.

Man in window for #WindowWednesday


I have a vague idea about the details for most of my slides, but this one baffles me. It may be a shot taken in Spain in 1971 or '72. I really don't know.

Needless to say, having photos in the digital medium has solved a lot of problems with keeping track of time and place.

This is my choice for #WindowWednesday. Thanks for viewing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chinese train for #TransportTuesday


I'm having fun with these daily photo themes on Google+. I usually find that I have a photo or two for each category.

In 1985 I traveled to China to do some work for Digital Equipment Corporation. I needed to travel between Shanghai and Wuhan and I was lucky enough to trail via rail.

What amazed me was the sight of so many coal driven steam engines in operation. In the states they are more of a tourist attraction. One night in Wuhan I heard one whistle screaming as the train went over the Yangtze River Bridge. It reminded me of every train song I have ever heard that  has a lonesome whistle lyric.

The photo was scanned from a 35mm slide, shot with my old Nikon. This explains the dust marks. The film was developed in China with some questionable quality standards and color balance.

Goodbye old friend for #TuesDecay


This barn  had become too dangerous to enter. It had shifted off it's stone foundation, had gaping holes a buckled floor. A chain was attached to a support beam and pulled by a tractor. At first the beam popped out leaving the barn unscathed.

A few more attempts (and beams) and the old girl lurched over in a cloud of dust and escaping bats.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Two bug shots for #MacroMonday

One of the good guys in the bug world. One of the fastest insects in the world. Predators of mosquitoes and deer flies. I love them.

Multicolored Asian Lady BeetleHarmonia axyridis (Pallas) - "Halloween Ladybug"

A bit of a pest in my estimation, they are everywhere in October. They have displaced the native ladybugs. They are beneficial because they eat aphids, but are a bit disgusting for home owners. They nip just enough to be felt, gather in every crevice in your house, and reflexively bleed a smelly liquid.

A-4 Skyhawk for #MilitaryMonday


Silhouette of an A-4 Skyhawk fighter taken aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) in 1970. This shot was scanned from a 35mm slide (Nikkormat FTN - 50mm f1.4 Nikkor lens).

I was stationed at Ream Field at Imperial Beach, CA with the HC-1 Helicopter squadron (Detachment 3). We deployed to Vietnam in 1970 aboard the "Bonnie Dick".

While researching this photo I came across some photos taken by a photographer's mate and posted on Flickr under the username of exENRON.

His album may be seen here.

He sent me a nice email:

I was the last photographers mate to leave the ship on decommissioning at Bremerton and I rescued many photos on their way to the dumpster. I will try to dig through them and sort out a few of the HC-1 helo shots. Many of the photos that I have were taken by PH2 Crouse and PH2 Lowry on HC-1 ships. Thanks for your support of OP division operations. Also do you recall on that cruise when three Chinooks landed on the aft flight deck and unloaded some VC and NVA POWs?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Some selections for #SacredSunday

I found it a bit ironic to see this broken headstone at a Mason, NH cemetery.

Tibetan monks constructed an intricate sand mandala at the Mariposa Museum in Peterborough, NH

Detail of Mandala


Monks would chant before and after a day of constructing the mandala.

At the conclusion of the manadala construction, the sand is swept up and dumped into the Contoocook River at Depot Park in Peteborough, NH. This is representative of the transient nature of things, even things of great beauty.

Star trails 101

I have been wanting to try to photograph star trails for some time. Ideally pointing the lens at the North Star to get a series of star streaks as the earth rotates.

It's not as easy as leaving the camera shutter open for a long time. That might have worked with film, but with digital cameras the sensor heats up and adds some ugly colored noise artifacts that mess up the black sky.

The workaround is a technique of taking multiple exposures with a "cool down" interval. Using software the images are stacked together to form a composite shot.

The sky was clear on Saturday and it was the peak of the Orionid Meteor shower. I was HOPING for a shot of star trails intersected by a fireball preferably exploding in the middle of the shot. Alas it was not to be.

Setup was more complicated than I thought. I opened the lens to f2.8 (which was max for this lens), set an exposure length of 60 seconds, manual focus to infinity. I have an interval shutter release (cheap Opteka OP-02) that I set to fire off every 3 minutes.  As you can see in the photo, that was too long, the trails are dotted lines.

My battery drained a lot sooner than I expected. I need to learn how to turn off the review display. I retrieved the camera after only 28 shots (it was getting late) and discovered a nice heavy dew on the lens. It didn't seem to blur the stars which was nice.

Getting those 28 images merged was more of a challenge than I thought. I have Photoshop CS5 but this is not an easy product to use. I also have access to Google search and that provided the help I needed.

Google pointed me to a Star Circle Academy  blog posting. They provided  a free CS5 action that does all the heavy lifting for multiple image processing, along with instructions on how to use it.

The site has great photography and tons of interesting information.

Keep watching the sky and bring your camera along.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out

The worm factory is a system of interlocked bins. When the top "working bin" is full, I empty the lowest one and place it on the top. It then becomes the active bin. The worms do their part by munching and migrating upward. They are wonderful and amazing creatures. There are some focus issues with this short video and I may post one for the next bin rotation cycle. Thanks for viewing it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dog Tired on #FidoFriday


I am more of a cat person, although for the life of me I don't know why, since most of the time I'm trying to stop them from damaging something. Dogs are great because they are ALWAYS happy to see you, they make you feel special. Cats are happy to see you because you amuse them with your human antics, such as cleaning up broken dishes, vomit and dead rodents.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Portsmouth Harbor Light for #LighthouseThursday


Portsmouth Harbor Light in Portsmouth NH. I added grain and split tone coloring with Adobe Lightroom. I was looking for an old postcard appearance. This is my submission for #LighthouseThursday curated by
Heiko Köster

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday's photo theme is #WildlifeWednesday


The Miss Kim Korean lilac is very attractive to butterflies. This a June shot of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail taken in New Ipswich, NH

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My tree choice for #TreeTuesday

One of the photo themes for Tuesday is #TreeTuesday curated by Christina Lawrie an Arizona photographer and stormchaser. (Check out her shots of lightning strikes).

This is my choice, an apple tree in an orchard in Mason NH. Taken in April of 2011


Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday is #SacredSunday

One of the most beautiful views of Mount Monadnock can be seen from the grounds of Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge, NH. This is a truly spiritual place and good choice for #SacredSunday Here is a view of the altar of the nations with Mount Monadnock in the background VietnamVetsBikeRun_20110529_1343

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Paris poses for #Caturday

Saturday's photo theme is #Caturday. Paris assists in the preparation of supper. Help not asked for or appreciated.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Barrett Mansion for #FallFriday

My choice for #FallFriday is a shot of Barrett Mansion taken on Oct 23, 2010. Sadly the foliage in 2011 doesn't seem as vibrant as it was last year. Maybe the lack of a hard frost?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chickadee for Wildlife Wednesday

Taking a cue from Twitter, a number of photographers have started to add hash tags to their photos based upon the days of the week. For example #MountainMonday and #ToyTuesday.  These tags can be searched from Google Plus and I believe a similar project is underway at Facebook.

The themes are curated by Google Plus users which give them a bit of structure. #WildlifeWednesday is curated by Mike Spinak.


Sunday, October 09, 2011

Milford Pumpkin Festival

I can attest that a  pumpkin can penetrate a camper after seeing the "American Chunker" in operation at the Milford Pumpkin Festival.


The "Chunker" is an impressive machine, The firing is actually quite quiet, more of a hiss, but the pumpkin flies out at an impressive speed.


Friday, October 07, 2011

Friday picture of the week

Russ Gebhart is a violin maker who lives in New Ipswich. The finish of his violins is set by exposure to ultraviolet light. It's an interesting "fruit" to see.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Tuesday, October 04, 2011