Tag Archives: landscape

I Prefer My Mansions Haunted

The Harkness Mansion in Connecticut is an incredibly beautiful building. There are also large Victorian style gardens, open fields, marsh lands, and it’s topped off with rolling waves on a  rocky beach. Something for everyone. This is all part of the Harkness state park we photographed a few months ago.

I visited this time on a bright and sunny winter day. However there were a few shots that just seemed to need a different presentation. So here I have tried to have a ‘haunted’ mansion feel.

Harkness Mansion Connecticut
Click To Enlarge

 

Harkness Mansion Connecticut
Harkness Mansion Connecticut

 

Lately I’ve been slowly adding the short lens back into my photography.  Like the shots here, it is back to the basics. Compose the picture, set the camera, use multiple shots and exposure, then process back in the office.

Typically I have myself set up with a long telephoto lens, mounted on a monopod, and a sling pack of misc. stuff. I photograph anything that blinks!

Part of me likes how much more territory is available in the view finder. How lightweight everything is and there is no mad rush to get the shot right.

Still I am positive a once in a life time wildlife picture, say an Eagle in a top hat riding a Moose in  pajamas, will present itself and I will not be ready.

Beach Of Shells

Last week we went to the Connecticut shore with the idea of getting different types of photographs.  With all the snow piled on the roads I found myself going to the same locations too often.  With spring coming it won’t be long until we need to change our style of images. Trees will have leaves hiding wildlife and bushes will block views.

Ice Connecticut Shore
Ice Connecticut Shore
Connecticut Beach Of Shells
Connecticut Beach Of Shells
Connecticut Shore Gull
Connecticut Shore Gull

While sitting and resting awhile I noticed large parts of the beach had no sand at all. Snow was melting and as far as you looked the ground was covered with small shells. It’s easy to assume a beach with sand when looking at photos. Here, millions of tiny shells with different shapes and colors.

Beach Of Shells
Beach Of Shells

I find the most amazing things while holding the camera and looking for the next shot.

 

Mystic Ship Yards

Those of us who live here, in Connecticut, visit Mystic and the Seaport often.  The town main street has all the usual shops selling upscale tourist trinkets. It is also the home to one of the last sailing ship repair and restoration organizations. Shipwrights trained in the traditional building techniques maintain ships owned by the Seaport Museum as well as other historical vessels from around the east coast.

Since we have many regular viewers from across the US and around the world I thought these photographs of the ships and docks in winter might be interesting. When warm weather arrives I will revisit the shipyard and museum.

Mystic CT Sailing Ships
Mystic CT Sailing Ships

Mystic was a center of ship building from the 1600s until the early 1800s. Ultimately the steam ship and the industrial revolution centered in New England changed that. Ship building ended and factories opened.

Mystic CT Sailing Ships
Mystic CT Sailing Ships

The Mystic Museum and Seaport opened in 1929. The Preservation Shipyard owns the last wooden whaler sailing ship, Charles W Morgan. Also they are responsible for 16 unique sailing ships. Currently the Mayflower II is in port for a 2 year restoration.

Mystic CT Sailing Ships
Mystic CT Sailing Ships

These shots were taken looking up the Mystic river, from near town center, towards the narrows where the ships dock and shipyard buildings are.  The river itself is small and shallow. Most ships are towed up river.

Mystic CT Sailing Ships
Mystic CT Sailing Ships

One last piece of vital information, or movie trivia, there really is a ‘Mystic Pizza’ as in the famous Julia Roberts film. But no, she doesn’t work there.

Respectful Snow

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

The following is presented with my utmost respect and gratitude.

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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

 

Connecticut River Railroad Bridge

For some time now I have wanted to get a closer look at the ‘swing’ railroad bridge that crosses the Connecticut river between Middletown and Portland.

The Providence and Worcester Railroad Bridge is a swing truss bridge. I looked that up online.

Providence and Worcester Railroad Bridge
Providence and Worcester Railroad Bridge

The bridge is used by the Providence & Worcester Railroad to serve two customers in Portland. Since the bridge is usually left open, it appears to be inactive. However, trains do cross the river carrying paper products and demolition debris.

Providence and Worcester Railroad Bridge
Providence and Worcester Railroad Bridge
Providence and Worcester Railroad Bridge
Providence and Worcester Railroad Bridge

I have never seen a train cross this bridge. I think the middle section will swing closed and connect each side of the bridge. It looks rusty, ancient, and generally from another era. The frozen river ice and snow made the bridge even more interesting to me. The colors from the river and snow just push the rust and old wood shades from the bridge structure.

Having no mechanical apptitude at all I find the whole thing fascinating. I have no clue how it works, but there is a small wooden hut attached to one side. I assume someone climbs in there and runs the thing when a train is scheduled. How they get in that little shack is a mystery.

Again, from another era.