Yesterday I biked down to the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters trail to check on the Pink Lady Slipper orchids, which were just budding out the middle of last week, several weeks late. There is a large patch on the inside (land side) of the trail right behind the buildings, and there is a small patch below one of the overlooks where they maintain an opening onto the marsh view. The ones on the inside were still in bud, but at least two of the flowers on the sunnier marsh side had opened. There are more to come, clearly, in both spots and if we get a few warm days here they will all be open. The first blooms to open this year are pale compared to other years. Only time will tell if that is the trend this year, or just characteristic of the early bloom. The Lady Slippers are wonderful, ornate, delicate blooms…endangered due to habitat loss, and protected. I know of a few other more isolated spots where they bloom in the area, but the ones along the headquarters trail are certainly the most reliable and accessible. Sony RX10iv at 365mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Polarr.
Looking from the hill where the faithful believe the angle of peace appeared across the little valley to the Basilica at the site of the apparition of Mary in Fatima. The Hungarian Pilgrim way runs from there to here. The Basilica is just to the right of the trees on the left. Sony a5100 in-camera HDR. 16mm prime with UWA converter for an 18mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Polarr.
Pic for today: Lisbon Looking out over Lisbon from the highest view in the city. We took a toktok tour after the rains yesterday. I certainly could not have walked up here 🙂 St. George Castle on its own hill on the left. The Tagus in the mid-ground. In-camera HDR. Sony a5100 with 16mm prime and UWA converter for an 18mm equivalent filed of view. Processed in Polarr.
In case you did not get the memo, I am in Portugal for the next 12 days. Two nights in Lisbon, and a visit to Fatima for Carol, then 3 days of birding and photography in the Tagus River Estuary, four days in the Alentejo and the steppe county of Castro Verde, and then three days in the Algarve, and back around to Lisbon for one more night. This is our Lisbon Hotel, the Hotel Zenit Lisboa. Note the tile work…Lisbon is famous for its tile and has been for several hundred years. We tried to walk to the old town center, about 20 minutes down hill from the hotel, but it was just misting too hard to be enjoyable, so we did not make it. We are now resting after our 30 hours in airports and airplanes yesterday into today. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Polarr.
Among the whole wonderful display of desert wildflowers at Anza Borrego Desert this season…at least a mini super-bloom year, and perhaps a full blown super-bloom…the Desert Lily is among my favorites. This is the image I imagined when I ordered the ultra wide landscape kit last month (among others). Off SR22 in the Anza Borrego badlands east of Borrego Springs. In-camera HDR. Sony a5100, 16mm f2.8 pancake with the Ultra Wide converter for 18mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Polarr.
Fall has produced an abundant crop of interesting scale fungi on the fallen limbs at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. There is a beauty in the patterns and the shapes, at least to my eye. Sony RX10iv at 489mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Polarr.
There are few places stranger than
the pine plantation at Alwive Pond.
The trees all of a kind and all of an
age…my age…or a few years younger,
planted in the early 50s to fill in
for the fires of 47. And today, in
a January thaw, the trees stand stark
in the filtered light, unnaturally even,
holding high a fragile roof against
the winter sky. The hush is so profound
it is a presence, behind you, a cowled
multitude, breathing reverence in
perfect rhythm to your breath.
Sony Rx10iii in-camera HDR. 24mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro for a somewhat high-key effect to bring out the geometry.
This week’s Supermoon (the last for this year) caused exceptionally high tides all along the coast here in southern Maine. This is Branch Brook at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells Maine, a good mile inland from the sea. All about color and clouds and reflections.
Sony RX10iii at 24mm equivalent field of view. In-camera HDR. Nominal exposure: 1/1000th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr on my Android tablet.
We went walking at Arroyo Hondo Open Space on the southeastern edge of Santa Fe yesterday morning. While the more vigorous hikers did the loop down toward the stream, I took the trail that stops gently up to the top of the hill, and was rewarded by a flock of 30-40 Cedar Waxwings. They circled around the hill several times, just close enough to see what they were, and then settled in interior of a large bushy pine. They remained there, buried in the foliage, but I was able to walk up relatively closely and catch them through the branches when they perched in slightly more open spots. There are 4 in this shot.
Sony RX10iii. 600MM equivalent field of view. In-camera HDR. Processed in PhotoShop Express on my Android tablet.