Category Archives: Hiking

Race Brook reflections

Reflections in Race Brook

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts. Anne and I hiked up to Mt. Race via Race Brook falls today and it was extremely hot and buggy. I took these reflection shots along the way as we stopped for water and to put on more bug spray.

I remain extremely happy with the Ricoh GR although I don’t really use it the way many other people who like it do. This camera is the ultimate street photographer’s camera in that it operates very fast and its controls are easily adjusted on the fly. I bought it because I wanted a simple camera with a big sensor so that I could shoot mostly daylight shots like this but have enough resolution to crop and still have enough image for a fine art print. For my purposes this camera is perfect. I rarely zoomed my Canon S100 longer than it’s 24mm widest angle setting, nor my Sony RX100 off of its 28mm widest setting. So, a fixed 28mm f/2.8 lens is fine for me.

Rippled and reflections in Race Brook

Sage’s Ravine

HipstaPrint

My friend Gary Sharp took this picture of me on our epic hike from undermountain trail, over Bear Mountain, down into Sage’s Ravine, then up the Appalachian Trail to Mt. Race, over Race and down the Race Brook Falls trail. It was epic because it was long (12 miles) and we ran into a fierce storm cell just after going over Mt. Race. We got hailed on and completely soaked going down the Race Brook Falls trail. We still had a great time.

iPhone 5 and Hipstamatic.

Along Schaghticoke Ridge

Tulip tree and canopy

Kent, Connecticut. Hiking south along the Appalachian trail on Schaghticoke Ridge we crossed Thayer Brook and came upon a small grove of large tulip trees. This is a single tree with three trunks close together.

I decided to set the Ricoh GR to record both jpeg and RAW files and the jpegs I set to “regular” black and white (as opposed to high contrast). I must say, seeing a monochrome image on the LCD viewfinder is extremely useful in composing these kinds of images and while I don’t think the jpeg had as much information in it as the RAW, I decided to use it here.

Thayer Brook

On an extremely hot day like yesterday (and today) a brook is a godsend as a head dunk makes all the difference in the world.

Thayer Brook

Bonnie in Sage’s Ravine

Bonnie in Sage's Ravine

Southwest corner of Massachusetts. Here my younger stepdaughter Bonnie is on a ledge overlooking the creek in Sage’s Ravine on the Appalachian Trail. Spectacular spot, we loved it.

Gary, Nora, Bonnie and I hiked over Bear Mountain, down into Sage’s Ravine, and up over Mt. Race and down the Race Brook Falls trail today. This is a serious 12 mile hike in great conditions but today was hot and humid going up Bear and by the time we got up to Mt. Race a big thunder cell was moving in. Just after we got over Mt. Race it started raining, hailing, with big lightning and thunder. We made it back safely but drenched.

This was Bonnie’s third hike and first big one and she did great, even with the bad weather. We remained safe and upbeat the entire day, including while being pelted with hail.

Now, showered, beered up and fed, the entire day seems rather dreamy.

Bubbles on Paradise Lane

Bubbles on Paradise Lane

Salisbury, Connecticut. Gary and I hiked up to Bear Mountain yesterday and while it was hot and humid there was still plenty of water running in streams including this small one on Paradise Lane.

I noticed some nice bubbled patterns as we cross the stream on slimy rocks and so, took my pack off and pulled out the GR to see if I could capture a few shots. The sun was in an odd place and there were hot spots everywhere and I worked hard to try to avoid them. Silly me, I love the hot spots in these images. Live and learn.

Bubbles on Paradise Lane

Mt. Race panorama

Mt. Race panorama

Standing on the very summit of Mt. Race in Massachusetts I decided to try the panorama feature of my iPhone.

To the north we have Dave and Cathy with Mt. Everett behind them and panning east then panning south we have Gary and Bonnie (my younger stepdaughter) with Bear Mountain behind them. The pan was a full 180 degrees.

The image isn’t great but this is a lot of fun and the iPhone makes it quite easy. More experimentation is in order.

Gary on Bee Brook

Gary on Bee Brook

Washington, Connecticut. Our friend Gary Sharp is visiting and we took a walk in Macricostas Preserve, including a detour down into my favorite little grotto on Bee Brook. While my wife Anne waited patiently, Gary and I hiked up and down the bank taking pictures. In the heat of the day this little place is a welcome respite and the images coming from visits there have been consistently good over many years of shooting.

Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts. The blooming of mountain laurel in late June is one of the yearly attractions hiking along the Appalachian Trail in New England.

On this hike I climbed the Race Brook Falls Trail (the trail I oversee) and then south up Mt. Race on the AT and then back to the col and north up Mt. Everett, then back down the falls trail. The white mountain laurel were on Race, the pink on Everett (further north by a mile). The bloom is working its way north.

By the way, I’m having a bit of a rough time with the AF on the Ricoh GR, maybe time to read the manual.

Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel

Bee Brook

Bee Brook

Washington, Connecticut. We took a walk in Macricostas Preserve and passed by my favorite little grotto on Bee Brook. It was oppressively hot and humid today and this little spot was a respite from the sun and heat. It had the feel of a lost world and I halfway expected some prehistoric beast to wander into the scene.

Race Brook Falls

Race Brook Falls

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts. I’m a “maintainer” of this blue trail connecting Rt. 41 to the Appalachian Trail and I have to hike it regularly to make sure it’s clear. We had and are having some severe weather in New England at the moment and I needed to get up on this trail to see if trees had come down.

This day Race Brook was as high as I’ve ever seen it and the two crossings were very tough. The base of this waterfall is another crossing and I took this right in the middle of it. The spray wasn’t too bad and it was a beautiful, clear day so the Ricoh GR wasn’t in danger of getting wet.

I’m very pleased with what the bigger sensor on this camera delivers in terms of details. Also, the controls continue to amaze me as beautifully designed for qjick access. I had to change meters for this shot or else the waterfall would have been blown out, and that task was a snap.

I have yet to do a lot of shooting with the new camera but each time I use it I marvel at both its design and the quality of the images such a small, light camera can produce. I’m sure that as I shoot more I’m going to get some great images out of it.

Race Brook Falls

Race Brook Falls

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts. I’m a “maintainer” of this blue trail connecting Rt. 41 to the Appalachian Trail and I have to hike it regularly to make sure it’s clear. We had and are having some severe weather in New England at the moment and I needed to get up on this trail to see if trees had come down. One tree had come down across the trail below this waterfall and it will be cut up on Saturday.

Because it was raining today I was reluctant to pull out my new Ricoh GR camera but in the shelter of trees took a few pictures of the waterfall to see how the camera worked. I love this camera: it’s a joy to handle and use, the controls are excellent, and the image quality is also excellent.

This image required a change in meters so as not to blow out the waterfall and doing that on the GR is a snap as is changing aperture. It has the best controls on a compact camera I’ve ever come across.

I haven’t shot enough with it to really know it yet but my first, from the hip impression is that it’s a fantastic camera that will work well for me and the kinds of photography I do.

Today I hiked up to the intersection of the Race Brook Falls trail and the Appalachian Trail which is the section I’m responsible for. I’d have continued up onto Mt. Race but the weather was worsening and I was already soaked. Crossing Race Brook (four times) was “exciting” in such high water. Thank god for hiking poles.

Moss

Moss (polytrichaceae)

New York, Connecticut border south of Kent, Connecticut on the Appalachian Trail.

This moss was on some wet rocks in a small stream that was a great provider of ice shots a few months ago.

I’m really liking the variability in this particular moss and if I can hold the camera still enough I can catch some of its amazing detail.

Tree reflections distorted by ripples

Tree reflections distorted by ripples

West of Gaylordsville, Connecticut. We hiked from Bull’s Bridge south on the Appalachian trail over Ten Mile Mountain (ugh) and this small swamp/pond was right next to Rt. 55 on the southern end of our hike.

I had the bright idea to get some ripples going by tossing a stick in and at one point had two sets intersecting. I guess this is considered “moving the pyramids” but hey, I’m not selling this as “natural” to National Geographic and here I am giving you full disclosure.

Tree reflections distorted by ripples

Tree reflections distorted by ripples

Bubbles in motion

Bubbles

New York, Connecticut border south of Kent, Connecticut on the Appalachian Trail. This small stream that was a great provider of ice shots a few months ago is now a great provider of foam/bubble shots.

I returned to the same spot and lo and behold, a similar bubble island was spinning under a small drop. A lot more movement this day but sometimes movement is good; I like the movement in the individual bubbles although didn’t see it until I got home and looked at the images on my computer.

Bubbles

Bubbles

Ice on Race Brook

Ice bubbles and metamorphic fragments

Ice bubbles and metamorphic fragments

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts. Dave and I are the “maintainers” of this blue trail connecting Rt. 41 to the Appalachian Trail and we have to hike it regularly to make sure it’s clear. It’s about 2 miles of steep switchbacks from the parking lot to the AT intersection. This was our first hike this spring and I was surprised to find some decent ice to take pictures of on Race Brook and in puddles off to the side of the trail.

Metamorphic ice fragments

Metamorphic ice fragments

Metamorphic ice fragments

Metamorphic ice fragments

Frozen foam

Frozen foam

Frozen foam

Frozen foam

Frozen foam

Frozen foam

Ice layers and bubbles

Ice layers and bubbles

Ice bubbles and frozen beech leaf

Ice bubbles and frozen beech leaf

Reflection and snowfall ripples

Reflection and snowfall ripples

West Cornwall, Connecticut. We hiked up to Pine Swamp yet again in light snowfall. It’s one of our favorite short hikes on the Appalachian Trail. The falling snow pretty much wrecked every shot I got except this one. I did clean up some of the bigger flakes that were in this shot and I almost tossed it but I like the ripples interacting with the tree reflections.

Ice on Bear Mountain

Mt. Everett and Mt. Race from Bear Mountain

Mt. Everett and Mt. Race from Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain, Salisbury, Connecticut. Dave and I hiked up Bear Mountain and this is the view north into Massachusetts to Mt. Race and Mt. Everett. The Appalachian Trail runs from the left edge of this image over the tops of those two mountains to the left side of this image (we’ve hiked that section dozens of times).

We could see the ice on the trees from the road on the drive up so we wanted to do this hike to get some shots of the ice which can be pretty fantastic.

Turned out it was a great day to be out, not too cold and while the snow was deep and drifted in places it wasn’t too tough to walk in without snowshoes.

Mt. Frissell and Round Top from Bear Mountain

Mt. Frissell and Round Top from Bear Mountain

This is on the south ridge of Bear Mountain looking west into New York state. The top of Mt. Frissell is actually in Massachusetts but the south shoulder of it is the highest “point” in Connecticut. Bear Mountain, which we’re on is the highest “peak” (so to speak).

Dave photographing ice on a pitch pine

Dave photographing ice on a pitch pine

We spent a lot of time attempting to photograph the ice on various trees. The pitch pines were the most interesting although there was ice everywhere.

Pitch pine ice

Pitch pine ice

You can see which way the wind was blowing by how the ice is deposited on the needles.

Pitch pine ice

Pitch pine ice

Ice on a leaf bud

Ice on a leaf bud

Here, again, you can see how the wind was blowing as the freezing rain/snow was coming down.

Ice on branches and buds

Another example showing the ice on the downwind side of branches.

Rock, snow, lichen, reflection

Rock, snow, lichen, reflection

Salisbury, Connecticut. We cross this little “streamlet” on the Undermountain Trail on the way up Bear Mountain.

This small pool is usually crying out to be photographed because it catches great reflections from the trees and rocks around it and I particularly like the reflections, like this one, where the biggest boulder has a layer of snow on it that shows up in the water.