Gorham Bridge has always been my favorite, in part because I used to cross it to and from work most days. I’d drive slow – slower than the already low speed limit – with the windows down so that I could smell the scent of the wood, the scent of the river below. It was a visceral pleasure on a day that was otherwise spent in a climate-controlled building and a moment I always looked forward to.
I’ve shared my visits to West Rutland Marsh over the past few years and talked about how wonderful this location is, so unlike any other place I’ve found, with it’s boardwalk out into the marsh itself providing a unique and intimate access to an environment that is almost impossible to reach otherwise. Even in the winter, when I have little expectation of finding much wildlife, I still return to the marsh so that I can walk out over the frozen channels, amid the fallen reeds, and watch the warm colors of sunrise spread across the landscape.
My second morning in Vermont was the only one with a clear sky, although it was still mostly overcast as I dragged myself out of bed and bundled out of the house. It was 11 degrees when I started the Jeep and let it warm up, and when it reached the marsh it was only 9 degrees, although there were still birds at the marsh feeders, and the sky was quickly clearing and beginning to glow with sunrise.
It was snowing steadily by this time, big flakes that showed off their intricate designs against the black fleece of my gloves, and I wished for about the hundredth time that I was able to capture them in a photo (another project for another day).
I drove to Vermont for Thanksgiving this year, timing it just right so that I spent the first four hours of my evening journey covering 2.5 hours worth of highway in the midst of a heavy snowstorm. Fun times! (Eventually I gave up and finished the journey the next morning, which was definitely a smart choice.)
In the weeks leading up to this trip, I kept hoping that Vermont would have snow on the ground – a white Thanksgiving was all I wanted, so that there’d be both opportunity and subject matter for some morning photo outings. Well, I got what I wished for, and so the morning after Thanksgiving I set out early, under thick overcast and a trickle of snowflakes, for a visit to Kent Pond.
As I mentioned in my Ralph Stover State Park post last week, I went on a weekend trip south to Doylestown over a year ago and somehow never got around to sharing the photos. Which is strange, since some of them – and especially some of the ones in this post – are my favorites for the year. It seems that every time I sat down to write about them, I ended up with writer’s block.
So without any further delay, here are the shots from my sunrise visit to Nockamixon State Park which is, if you want the short version, a very cool place!
I spent some time down in the Delaware Water Gap in late-October, meeting up with a photography friend and his wife whom I don’t get to see often. And not only was it a chance to see someplace new and spend a little time out in the autumn landscape with the camera, but it was also a good reminder that sometimes it’s nice to go shooting with other photogs!
Sunrise at Minsi Lake with my friend Mike and we walked out on an earthen fishing pier near the boat launch. It was the perfect vantage point from which to shoot the sunrise, which spread across the mirror-like surface of the lake. The pier – and I know that’s not the correct term, but I don’t know what else to call it – is very similar to the one at Fords Pond back home, thanks to the consistency of the PA Fish and Boat Commission, who manages both sites.
This particular spit of land was blessed with these large stones at the end, right near the water’s edge. I don’t know how they got there, but they were the perfect element to help anchor the foreground, and the sunrise light hit them perfectly as it cleared the trees to the east.
It’s that time of year. Actually, just over a month ago, when this photo was taken, it was already that time of year – by now we’ve moved on to the part where there’s snow all over the place. (I know – I drove through a blizzard last week.)
Of all the signs of a fading autumn and impending winter, I think there none as iconic as the V formations of geese and ducks flying south. Usually you hear them just before you can see them, a honking signal between airborne members that may help them maintain their positions. In this case, I was able to grab a shot just as they came over Minsi Lake at sunrise.
They didn’t land, which may be just as well – there were at least two duck hunters hidden among the reeds down one branch of the lake.
We have so much to be thankful for. (Well okay, maybe not this guy – he’s about to be dinner!) But I think that it’s somehow easy for us to lose sight of that, at least sometimes. So having a day set aside where we can remember to remember all that we have in our lives is a good thing.
We are artists, in a society that supports the arts, amid a culture that appreciates arts in a wide variety of forms. That right there is worthy of celebration. We have amazing, fantastic tools at our disposal, at price points that are affordable to the great majority of us, and with a selection that is, frankly, staggering. We have the technical ability to make images that could never be made before. And we have the connections to share them, to learn from one another, and to share our vision with the world.
It’s really just amazing, when you take a moment to really appreciate it!
I know that I’m thankful, for all of these things. And even more so, I’m thankful for so many pieces of my life on a personal level. So today I’ll be celebrating that and, amid the gluttony, I’ll be taking a moment to say a silent thanks to the universe.
Here’s wishing you all the happiest of Thanksgivings, filled with good friends and family and warm spirits!