Fringed Polygala and Trailing Pine, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Kennebunk, Maine. — Sometimes nature arranges the most wonderful still-lives. This juxtaposition of color and texture certainly looks intentional…artistic in every sense. Nikon B700 (which I bought as a backup camera for trips and for a knock-about camera on my trike adventures, and with which I am having a lot of fun) at about 500mm equivalent. Program mode. Still experimenting with Picture Control modes for the best results with this camera. This was shot in Vivid, with Active-D lighting set to low, and -.3 EV exposure compensations. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
It is, at long last, Lady Slipper Orchid season here in southern Maine. I have been watching my spots for two weeks waiting for the bloom. Last year a gentleman I met walking pointed me to the most amazing spread of Orchids that I have ever seen…several hundred plants, at the very least, spread along a hillside in the woods above a stream. The exact location will remain undisclosed as some Lady Slippers were dug up nearby last year. Lady Slippers are almost impossible to transplant, as they rely on a symbiotic fungus in the soil, but it does not stop people from trying. So, despite my broken wrist and various deep bruises and a well tweaked back from my walking encounter with a truck on Saturday, I went out with three cameras to see how they were doing this year. I was not disappointed. The shot above is with my go-to Sony Rx10iv at 31mm equivalent. (Program mode for ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/250th). The following shot is with my new Nikon B700, which I bought as a back-up camera to carry on trip (and which might become my preferred dragonfly camera). I am reacquainting myself with the Nikon way of doing things. It was also taken in Program at 68mm equivalent with macro engaged, ISO 100 @ f4.1 @ 1/1000th, -1 EV.
And finally here is a shot with my iPhone SE2020, the Moment thin case, and the Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens. Standard Camera app on Auto. I really like the “in context” effect of the ultra-wide perspective.
Trout Lily (aka Adder’s Tongue): Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport, Maine, USA — I rode my eTrike out to Emmon’s Preserve on Monday, in part to see if the Trout Lily was in bloom. I have always called this early spring flower of the Maine woods Trout Lily, but a few years ago, I found that it has another, maybe more common name…Adder’s Tongue. By whatever name, the drooping yellow and orange blossoms above the dark spotted green leaves are one of the first delights of spring in Southern Maine…but, you have to be on your toes to catch them. Two weeks ago, the leaves were not even showing above ground. 5 days ago, I only found a few unopened buds. Yesterday, two favored patches in sunny spots in the forest were in full bloom. Some of the more shaded clusters are just poking up, but as the weather is staying above 50 degrees for a few days, they will quickly develop flowers and bloom…and then there well only be the clusters of patterned leaves close to the ground (marked like a trout) for the rest of the summer. Sony Rx10iv at 78mm equivalent. Full time macro on the ZEISS lens got me to within inches, and the flip out LCD allowed me to shoot from ground level looking up at the drooping flower. For a shot like this the movable spot focus is ideal as I can just tap the touch LCD over the flower and get precise focus. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. As you see, this shot was taken in the natural dappled shade of the forest floor. ISO 100 @ f3.5 @ 1/250th.
What makes fall fall is not only the color of the maple and oak leaves, it is the feel and texture of them underfoot…the carpet. Not so good when it covers your lawn, but it certainly gives the fall forest its character. Sony a6500 with 18mm equivalent ultra wide combo lens set. Program mode with auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine.
It takes a while for fall to work its way through a forest, and it always starts at the outside edge, where colder air reaches ground level. That produces some beautiful tapestries of color. This shot is on Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge land along Route 9 near the Mousam River bridge in Kennebunk Maine. Sony Rx10iv sweep panorama in portrait mode at 24mm equivalent. +1 EV (necessary on this camera in panorama mode.) Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure ISO 100 @ f6.3 @ 1/250th.
Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine, USA. I try to remember to do at a least a few vertical framings on every outing, just for the difference in perspective. This is a shot with the Sony a6500 and the 18mm equivalent ultra-wide combo lens (16mm f2.8 plus Ultra Wide converter). Program mode with HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Fall is passing rapidly in Maine…I think the last of the maple leaves came off the trees in our yard during the storm on Friday, but we are still at the point where there the forests and wooded neighborhoods are alive with color. So much beauty. I don’t know where to look. 🙂 That might be the theme of this photo as well. I am sometimes accused of taking photos of nothing…or photos with no “center of interest”…but the truth is, I like photos where the photo itself is the center of interest…not photos of some “thing” but photos that attempt present the scene as it is seen…with all the clutter, color, texture, detail that fascinate the eye…or at least my eyes. This is a scene from the woods at Laudholm Farms, in Wells, Maine, along the trail at the south edge of the property. Sony a6500 with the 18mm equivalent ultra-wide lens combo. Program mode with HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
We are into our second day of pretty constant rain here in southern Maine…and we certainly need the rain. I went to Emmon’s Preserve on the Baston river in Kennebunkport, Maine, to see about some fall foliage shots with running water…but there was, for the first time in my memory, no water running down the ledges between the pools on the river. That is low water! You can see the standing water mark on the bolder, and the high water mark. Way low. Still, the pools were beautiful with the fall leaves. Sony a6500 with the 18mm equivalent ultra-wide combo. Program mode with HDR. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f7.1 @ 1/100th. -1EV in an attempt to hold some detail in the overcast sky, and Program Shift for depth of field. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
We have lost the sun this week as we move deeper into fall. We need the rain, so I am trying hard not to begrudge the light 🙂 You can see the sea mist coming up and inland at the end of this marshy isle where a little stream flows through. Highly atmospheric. Fallish indeed. Sony a6500 with 18mm equivalent ultrawide combo. HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I have been seeing Tiger Swallowtails in the forest for several weeks now, and not been able to get one to light long enough for a photo. I have pretty much stopped chasing them. Yesterday, this one was sipping minerals on Gravely Brook Road near Emmon’s Preserve in rural Kennebunkport. I have had success in similar situations in the past, so I stopped my ebike and, with patience, caught it several times in several different poses. Since we are here in Maine, at the northern edge of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail range, and the southern edge of the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail range, it is impossible for me to tell which it is. It might be possible for someone who really knows…but not for me. Canadian is supposed be, on average, smaller than Eastern…but with a single specimen size is hard to judge. All I know is that it is big and bright and beautiful! Sony RX10iv at 1200mm equivalent (600 optical plus 2x Clear Image Zoom). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.