Winter Swans

As a change of pace I went to the Connecticut river, just north of the Middletown bridge. The last few days were spent in local marshes photographing frozen landscapes. Well, taking pictures of ice really.

I had hoped to get shots of some Wood Ducks, or Mergansers.  None were around.

There were a pair of Swans hiding along the shore, geese, and of course the ever present gulls.  Swans make great subjects so most of my time was spent following them. I did not ignore any of the others either.

The lighting was a challenge today. Ice and water, full sun, then no sun, etc. Typical New England.

Frozen Winter Marsh

This week I walked through the fresh water marshes that sit between the Mattabassett and Connecticut rivers. I had thought to photograph local wildlife.

What I found was a cold and uninviting landscape. Few birds were here and no other wildlife. However, I did see another side of land along the rivers.

Invasive plants have taken the place of native reeds and brush. The reeds on the shore have given shelter to the swallows and other water fowl. Inland I’m not so sure.  The vines have made the brush thick and difficult to navigate.

Shooting in Black and White seemed appropriate for this place and time of year. I’ll visit again in the spring and probably get a completely different perspective.

 

Following RR Tracks Along Connecticut River

These shots were from a couple of weeks ago, before the big freeze. I may have put some on Facebook at the time. Not being sure what goes where I have placed a few here.

Rail Road tracks run along side the Connecticut river. Where they actually start and end I’m not sure. Part appear to be very old, a few spurs may have a small train come by a few times in the summer months.  Sections are maintained and that keeps me looking over my shoulder! There are a few places I don’t want to find out a spur is in use.

A previous post, ‘Connecticut Foundry’, was taken on part of these tracks. If you have not seen it take a look. Shot in B/W to fit with the abandon buildings.

These images are on part of the same line. Several ponds, a rushing stream, and water falls made the walk more interesting.

UCONN, Animal Science

Last weekend, in spite of the cold weather, I visited the Storrs campus of UCONN. The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources has a farm there with a small herd of horses. Each year the school has a horse auction also.

There were several fences between us, but they seemed happy to have some company.

Frozen Connecticut River, January 2015

It seems a little early, however, here it is. The Connecticut river frozen across.

This image gallery was shot on Saturday, January 10, 2015. It was also cold, temperatures around 15 – 18 degrees.

Several images view the river north towards Hartford, CT, the others are facing east to Glastonbury.

The Swan added a nice touch to a few pictures. I have no idea when he got there. One shot I took was of the open area with gulls, I turned shot north, then back facing east. Just a few steps and turning. Suddenly a Swan was in my view finder.

The Swan flew in, landed, and started to trumpet in a matter of seconds! Never saw him coming.  I sure would haved loved to capture his landing in that puddle. But that is how photography is. A bunch of frustration, and a few nice shots.

Harkness Mansion, Connecticut

IMG_0452

The mansion was formerly Eolia, the estate of Edward Harkness, heir to a fortune initiated by his father Stephen V. Harkness’s substantial investments in John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, who purchased the mansion in 1907.

From 1918 to 1929, extensive improvements were made by landscape designer Beatrix Jones Farrand. Eolia was left to Connecticut in 1950 and became part of the State Park system in 1952.

Eolia mansion always reminds me of the 1920’s. You half expect the Great Gatsby to arrive.

The grounds have large open fields, salt marshes, rocky shores, and even a small beach.

The marsh is home to Osprey in the spring, other water fowl all year long.

The following shots were taken from spring of 2014 through year end.

Just Ducks, and a few friends

I have received some jokes over time about how I tend to have more shots of ducks than anything else in my general photos.

Male Mallard
Male Mallard

But really… they walk funny, talk funny, even crash land in the water funny.

Who doesn’t like ducks (and their friends).

TPJ Photography