April 12, 2018

Partly Cloudy, 42 Degrees, South Winds 5 – 15 mph.

This is the first morning in I don’t know how long when it has felt genuinely mild and spring-like. I am wearing no hat or gloves, and my lightweight down jacket is too warm for the conditions, but I haven’t dug out a lighter coat yet, so I wear it anyway.

It is damp and a bit breezy as Jamie and I head out. It rained last night and the clouds are just beginning to clear as we leave. I am feeling at a loss as to what I will photograph today. I have a couple of ideas, but I can’t decide on what lenses to carry so, in the end, I take the Sony because I can carry the two lenses I need in my pocket. It is a pretty dull day, and unfortunately it shows in the pictures.

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After carrying the tripod the last couple of days, I’m not feeling like being so tied down, so I leave it. At the woods, I take a few road shots. With the longer lens, I can get really tight on the end of the road and the branches overhead, so I try a few different compositions that way.

In the clearing I shoot a few of the clearing clouds. They’re making kind of cool shapes, and I need to shoot something besides bare branches and brush. I don’t expect a lot from these shots, but it’s something different. I am fascinated by clouds and I’d like to shoot more of them this summer when they are most interesting.

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I didn’t notice the bird in the tree at left until I edited this shot. It’s a Cardinal that always sings at the top of this tree.

I try a few tight compositions on the way down to the woods, but I don’t see anything wonderful there. Too many bare branches and tree trunks. When I get down to the woods, I put on the wide lens just as the sun is coming out from behind a cloud. It looked nice to the naked eye. We’ll see if anything looks good from the camera.

At the marsh, I realize that the spring peepers are out for the first time. April 12th. It’s a landmark in the year, much like the arrival of the first Robin. There’s a high chorus of chirping that might be birds if I didn’t know better. I’ll be hearing them for some time now. I’ll have to make a note of when they stop. I’m just curious. The sound is so familiar that it’s as if they have been there before, but I don’t think they have.

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I try a handful of shots at the marsh, but nothing looks wonderful, so I move on back up toward the road. I try a few more road shots there. I’ve really been enjoying these the last several days. I think that if it weren’t my local road, I’d consider it a real find and print some of the images. Maybe I should. They are beautiful and so varied through the year. I could see some kind of collection of them at the end of the year.

Just the variation in snow and rain and fog and light has already made a big range of images from the road. Wait until we have leaves, and then the fall color. It will be quite a capsule of the year’s work.

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A little sunshine brightens up the day.

Back at the house, I take a few shots of the Magnolia buds again. The leaves are growing incrementally. I probably could wait longer until they really start to make a visible difference, but I like seeing every little change.

Tomorrow might be a day to shoot buds again in the woods. I want to see exactly how the buds open and the leaves emerge, and of course see any little flowers that might be there. I want to catch the whole process because it’s something I don’t fully understand.

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Not much change here, but things are coming slowly. This tree will be an absolute mass of color when those big buds bloom.

I also take a few shots of Jamie lying in the back yard. On days like this, in fact on almost every day, he lies in the back yard as much as he can. He gets a different look on his face when he’s relaxing and the sun is warming him. He isn’t all the way there when I take the picture, but you can get an idea. Contrast this with his ecstatic face when he’s running, and you can see the difference.

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Here’s Jamie with the sleepy look in his eyes that he gets when lying in the sun. He looks a little more like a hound here, than a pit bull.

I have a couple of other shots I want to post here, but I can’t seem to find them. He’ll lie on the wet ground, just as the snow melts. He doesn’t care as long as there’s sun. If there’s no sun, he wants to lie out there anyway. I check on him periodically to be sure he’s okay. He’ll stay out there even when he’s shivering from head to toe. I have to go out and physically bring him into the house or he’d stay out there and freeze.

 

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