So far we have not had ideal conditions for ice bells on the Mousam River here in town, but I did find these while out looking for Eagles the other day. 🙂 And they have a festive look for Christmas morning. A very Merry Christmas again to all. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. I used TouchRetouch to remove an obtrusive foreground branch. ISO 160 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Common Merganser: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — As soon as there is ice on the Mousam River below the rapids we are likely to see Common Merganser (and, vary rarely, Hooded). This is my first of the season…a lone bird, pushing its way up against the current. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. You can just see the orange feet under the bird in the clear water. ISO 640 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
We were up in the 70s on Saturday…a real Indian Summer. I did a bit of research on the term “Indian Summer”…to see how much cultural baggage it might carry…but its origins are hazy at best, and it seems never to have had a negative connotation. It…a warm dry spell in October or November…is called different things in different cultures. It is “old woman’s summer” in German speaking countries, “poor man’s summer” in slavic countries, “gypsy summer” in the Balkans, “little summer” in South America (where it happens in May), and “little autumn of the geese” in Gaelic. Many people name it for one of the Saints whose Saint Day falls in late fall…though the particular Saint varies by region. At any rate, I don’t feel too guilty calling it Indian Summer. To celebrate I got my ebike out and took a ride. I was arrested by this scene as I crossed the bridge over the Merriland River in Wells on my way to Laudholm Farms. Sony Rx10iv at about 135mm equivalent. Program mode with auto HDR. Nominal exposure: ISO 640 @ f4 @ 1/320th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
This is along the Mousam River in Kennebunk Maine, at Roger’s Pond Park. Slipping on into the very end of fall. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. Program mode with HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f2.8 @ 1/250th.
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.
Another landscape to celebrate the season of fall foliage. This one is the Kennebunk River at the Walsh Preserve (Arundel Land Conservancy) off river road in Kennebunk (or Arundel perhaps 🙂 The preserve is just a narrow strip between residential properties on the road and on the river, but provides rare access to the river and a couple of restful benches for contemplation. Sony a6500 with the ultra wide lens combo (16mm f2.8 plus ultra wide converter for an equivalent focal length of 18mm). Program mode with HDR. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f8 @ 1/250th. -1EV to hold the sky, program shift for greater depth of field. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I wrote about this female Common Eider a few days ago. I watched her catch crabs just off the bridge near our beach where it crosses Back Creek for half an hour the other day, and watched her repeatedly avoid having her catch taken by a predatory gull. Her technique was simple. She took the crab where the gull could not go…back under water. This sequence catches the action. It reads as text would, left to right and down line by line.
Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro, and assembled in Frame Magic.
Sometimes ice bells (see my previous post) overlap to form extended structures…natural ice sculptures in the abstract mode. They can get quite complex, as you see here in this image from the Mousam River at Roger’s Pond in Kennebunk Maine. They have a beauty all their own.
Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program Mode. F4 @ 1/250th @ ISO 200. Processed in Polarr on my Android tablet.
For those who were mystified by my reference to “ice bells on willow wands” last week, here is an ice bell on a willow wand. When willows grow close enough to the stream-bed so that they dip their branches or tender shoots in the water, and when it gets cold enough (it was 3 degrees when I took this photo), and when the willow is placed just so, so that the current can keep dipping it under. and when it is just stiff enough to keep popping back up…well, then ice bells form at and just above the surface of the water. We are deep in the polar vortex at the moment. It was 10 below last night…just the weather for ice bells to form on the Mousam River. Unfortunately the water is still high from the rain we had last week, and the willows where I go to photograph ice bells have been cut back away from the water (to accommodate the fly-fishers), so the crop so far this year has been meager. I was blessed to find this one. I will check again today, and I might even look for a more likely spot (though access to the river is limited here.)
Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ f4 @ ISO 400. Cropped and processed in Polarr on my Surface Pro 3.
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.