River Coyotes, A Second Meeting

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.

IMG_7014I 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.

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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.

Geese Of A Different Color

Winter is a challenge to photograph. Color is lost with light glaring on the snow and ice. Add water to the mix and a camera will see things very different than your eyes.

A flock of fast moving geese with little color becomes a different subject entirely when done in black and white.

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Black and White Geese Formation – Click To Enlarge

 

 

Bald Eagles Must Like Rain And Fog

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.

Pair Of Bald Eagles Click To Enlarge Image
Pair Of Bald Eagles Click To Enlarge Image

 

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.

Bald Eagles Click To Enlarge
Bald Eagles Click To Enlarge

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.

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As expected I was only tolerated a short time.
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Most days I don’t get more than a few opportunities for a good photograph. Today was a good day.

 

Colt – The Gun That Won The West

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.

IMG_6658 Until then it remains as the photo above. A rusty hulk and nothing like the huge facility it had been in the 1800’s.

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.

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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.

 

Connecticut Capital

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

Connecticut Capital Building
Connecticut Capital Building

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.

Connecticut Capital Building
Connecticut Capital Building. Main Entrance.

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.

Connecticut Capital Building
Connecticut Capital Building. Side Entrance Columns and Lighting.
Connecticut Capital Building.
Connecticut Capital Building. Back Entrance.

The flowering trees and bushes here and across the street in Hartford’s Bushnell park will make this a spring and summer repeat trip.

Winter Hike Black and White

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.

Path at Joshua Trust
Path at Joshua Trust

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.

Path at Joshua Trust
Path at Joshua Trust

 

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.

 

Connecticut Country Barns

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.

Country Barn
Country Barn

 

TPJ Photography