Most of the articles lately have been about the more dramatic Connecticut river locals. Eagles, Coyotes, and Hawks are not the only residents.
Before winter is gone I hope to add a few more series of photographs with the white stuff as a back drop.
A few days ago after photographing landscapes several miles down river we made a quick stop closer to home.
It was the end of the day and there was a chance of an Eagle sighting before dark. I hoped to get a few more good images before they move to the island nesting areas.
No Eagles, however 2 Coyotes were walking down the frozen river.
I walked along the same path, on the bank, photographing as we moved down stream. Even though they knew we were there they ignored me paying more attention to anything behind them. I got the impression they were being followed. I didn’t see anything and maybe they were just being Coyote cautious.
This pair have a routine I think. Like the previous meeting the larger dark Coyote climbed the bank and walked through the woods. The smaller stayed in the open.
I went as far as I could and finally just watched as they tried to find ice thick enough to stay on the river. It looked like they were also heading towards the islands down river.
It was a great way to end the day.
March is turning out to be a lot like February. Today was the exception since yesterday’s snow became today’s rain and fog. The first real rain I have seen in months.
I knew the ice and water would be causing a problem somewhere around the house so I had to talk myself into getting out for some photography. I always keep my pack full, but it’s heavy and the big lens clumsy, and the photo guy getting lazy.
Turned out this morning was a banner day for Eagles on the Connecticut river.
I took a shortcut to the river and didn’t even get to stop the car. I had planned on a hike, however at the first open water I found a mated pair finishing what appeared to be a deer carcass washed down with the current.
Bald eagles mate for life, but when one dies, the survivor will not hesitate to accept a new mate. During breeding season, both birds protect the nest territory from other eagles and predators. Within days this pair will be hiding on one of the islands down river.
They watched me for awhile, ate, had a fight, and finally ‘made up’ with each other. It was what I would call a National Geographic moment.
After a short while they seemed to have had enough of my company a flew down river towards the islands. There is no access to any of these islands down stream which will give them a private place to hatch their eggs.
It was above freezing with just a slight drizzle by the river. This was warm compared to what we have had so the original idea to walk along the river still seemed like a good one.
At the next open water free of ice I found a single adult sitting in a tree that hung over the river. I have noticed the Eagles I have found along the river here all roost in a particular type of tree. I won’t be able to identify the trees until they leaf out. But every photo taken along this part of the river have the same branch and buds.
Most days I don’t get more than a few opportunities for a good photograph. Today was a good day.
The Hartford skyline has a unique feature, the Colt Manufacturing Onion Dome. Yes, the ‘gun that won the west’.
Samuel Colt manufactured the Colt 45 here, as well as many other pistols and rifles. The factory was active for over 100 years. At one point all the major U.S. firearms companies were within a 50 mile radius of Hartford.
The dome unfortunately sits atop the closed, and rundown factory building. Just recently the area received the status of a National Historic Landmark and will be renovated soon.
Just a note about the area. Coltsville was a small self reliant city inside the city of Hartford. Housing, schools, and stores were provided by Colt. Some housing is still in use.
Colt was also responsible for building a large flood dyke to stop the Connecticut river from flooding the area. It is still used and has saved the Coltsville area of the city from many dangerous floods.
I just don’t have enough stature around here to have the state capital building closed down for a photo shoot. I wanted to have minimal cars and people so a cold weekend day was my other option. This meant outdoor photos only, but I can come back.
Even though I have lived here for quite a long time this was my first time actually having the Capital building as my destination, not something viewed as I pass by.
In fairness I’m getting better. It took me 15 years, after I left NYC, to visit the Statue Of Liberty. To this day I have only been to the 12th floor of the Empire State Building.
Click any image to enlarge and zoom
The building was completed in 1878, with the first state meetings in 1879. This is the third capital building Connecticut has had. Starting with the revolutionary war the cities of Hartford and New Haven were both used for state government (politics hasn’t changed much I guess). After the civil war state government moved to Hartford full time. Please view the buildings history here.
The carvings and statues are not the centuries old Gothic ones seen in France or Germany. However, the quality, detail, and numerous types are pretty impressive. The cost of this building, right after the civil war, was enormous. No state government could ever consider anything like this today.
The flowering trees and bushes here and across the street in Hartford’s Bushnell park will make this a spring and summer repeat trip.
We found a new place in the northeast part of Connecticut to explore by chance. Driving along small local roads has been the source of several great finds. The Joshua land trust is one.
The Joshua’s Trust land trust has over 4,000 acres of protected land in Connecticut. This non-profit organization protects the land, maintains trails for the public, and offers educational outreach programs. Connecticut has over 130 land trust organizations, 3rd highest in the US.
Joshua was the son of the famous Mohegan chief Uncas (see James Fennimore Cooper’s book ‘The Last Of The Mohegans’). Land grants of the early settlers were provided by Uncas and his heirs in this area of Connecticut. The trust was named in honor of Joshua. Attawanhood was his Mohegan name. He died in 1676.
As usual it was cold, deep snow, and this day some wind. Nothing moved around the lake or woods. In the distance a large woodpecker beat on a hollow tree. Absolute quite otherwise.
Black and White seems appropriate here.
Snow and country barns. What is more New England. This is actually my second series of barn photographs this winter. A ‘Red Barn‘ article was the first.
I have to assume that we should have some sun and warmer weather in the near future. So, here are a few more snowy country barns from around the Connecticut River valley.