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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Chittenden Reservior and Lefferts Pond

Day four of Foliage Trip:

On day four we left my house in Barton at 5:15 AM and drove down to Killington to visit my friends M1, M2, and their friend Patty who I blogged about the other day. We met them at Kent Pond in Killington at 7:30 but it was very windy and there were no reflections, so we then immediately headed to Chittenden which was the next stop of the morning on our itinerary. It was a smart move, as this area is low lying and protected from the wind.

Here is Chittenden Reservior. I was hoping for some morning fog but there was none on this particular day.

As you can see, although not yet peak, the colors in this area were much better than the colors that we had been seeing thus far up in the Northeast Kingdom.

Just a quick walk past the reservior you will find Leffert's Pond. This was the best color we had seen all week.

From here we went back to M and M's rental home and had some delicious homemade scones. I'll write about our next adventures of this day on the next blog post.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Beaver Brook Falls, Colebrook NH

On day three we decided to take a ride over to photograph Beaver Brook Falls in NH. We drove through Victory Road, which is a dirt forest road that runs from East Burke VT to Guildhall VT. The foliage color was not particularly great along this road but we did stop for a few photos along the way when we did find some color.

We then stopped at the Guildhall grist mill, where I have photographed before on several occasions. This time I decided to photograph the photographers.

We then headed North/Northeast up to Beaver Brook Falls in Colebrook NH. This is usually a thundering waterfall, but with the lack of recent rain, it looked like Beaver Brook Trickle from the parking lot! But it was a good opportunity to make some intimate flowing water shots.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Burke Mountain, Sentinal Rock Park, and more

More from the Vermont Foliage Week........

Monday Oct 2:

This was the only truly foggy morning we had all week. I LOVE foggy mornings, as they provide some wonderful photo opportunities. Here is the sunrise over Crystal Lake in Barton that I shot from a pullout over Rte 5.

From here I went to May Pond in Barton where I was able to capture these two Mallard Ducks doing a morning fly over the foggy pond.

After a delicious breakfast at Parsons Corner in Barton, we drove to the base of the Toll Road at Burke Mountain in East Burke, where we met up with some good friends of mine who have a Killington rental home each Fall. M1 and M2 are such a wonderful couple and I always enjoy meeting up with them. This year they were accompanied by their friend Patty who is a very talented landscape photographer and it was a pleasure to meet her. This was her first Fall trip to VT and I was happy to be able to show her around "My" area of the Northeast Kingdom.

Once we drove the toll road to the top we wandered around and decided the chair lift area was a cool place to take some photos.The two "humps" in the background of this shot are The Willoughby Gap......Mount Hor and Mount Pisgah.... with Lake Willoughby laying between the two mountains.

M's beautiful dog Corby enjoying the view from the chairlift.

From here we headed back to my home in Barton to meet up with my friend Rhonda (and my tripod!)  our next stop was to photograph along Shadow Lake Road in Glover where I took this farm image.

We then drove to Westmore to see Lake Willoughby. This was Patty's first time in the NEK and no matter what the foliage conditions, Lake Willoughby is a must see spot and I didn't want Patty to miss seeing this gorgeous location. I actually didn't even take any photos on this visit as I just wasn't "feeling it". I've been spoiled by photographing here so many times in the past with ideal conditions.

From here, they asked me if we could head up towards Bloomfield to search for the elusive moose. We arrived in the area about 35 minutes later and as has been the case over the past several years, we didn't find any moose. The hillsides were past peak in some areas, and still green in other areas. I know.....sounds like a broken record! While wandering around waiting for the moose who never arrived, I decided to take a few shots of things I found to be rather interesting.

From here we said goodbye to M1, M2, and Patty who headed back to their base home in Killington. My companions and I went to Sentinel Rock Park in Westmore and photographed the most beautiful sunset of the week.

The almost full moon rising in the sky opposite the sunset....

It was a wonderful day with friends, and despite the lack of decent foliage colors, I was still able to come away with a few photos that I am happy with.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

As I mentioned in my previous post, the foliage in New England has been very quirky and unpredictable this year. You will see the proression, and sometimes lack of progression of the colors in this post and the following several posts.

Oct 1, 2017........After we ate breakfast at the Cog Railway base station in Bretton Woods NH, we hit the road hoping to find some decent color. Here is a shot I took after leaving the base station. As you can see, there is some color in the lower elevation, but it is still mostly green, which is a little late for this date.

We then stopped along a dirt side road and wandered around looking for some color. There was nothing too special to photograph, but we liked the look of this post.

We then drove through Crawford Notch NH and were pretty disappointed in the lack of color. This is a small pond in Crawford Notch. Notice how the tree in the forefront has lost most of it's leaves, and the remainder of the leaves on the tree are dry and crunchy. Then look at the mostly green hillside.

We then headed ti Dixville Notch NH. The colors were really disappointing up there. There were patches of bare trees and past peak colors on some hillsides, and others still had a lot of green. There was no rhyme or reason.

The Balsams Resort is closed for renovations. If you notice in the photo, all of the mid levels reds are past peak and the trees are bare, but the rest of the trees are still green.

We then explored Dixville Flume and although I didn't have my tripod with me on day one......ugh.......I was able to hand hold some 5 second exposures that are acceptable. I had forgotten my tripod in the back of a camera club friends car on Thursday. I *thought* it was in the back of my car where it belongs. After tracking it down, another camera club friend picked it up at her house, brought it to another friends house, who brought it up to me in VT the very next day. It takes a village!!!!! (She was coming up anyway by the way)

More from day two's adventures coming in the next blog post.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Cog Railway Mt Washington NH

Hello!!!!! I am home and decompressing after a fantastic week of shooting the foliage up in Northern New England. Mother Nature sure was fickle this year with the colors, but she finally gave us the colors we were craving by the middle of my trip. The first four days the colors were drab and mostly green. I was wondering if the entire season was going to be a bust due to the unseasonable warm temperatures we had experienced throughout most of September. But as you will see in furture blog posts, the colors came on strong and I was doing the happy dance.

Our first stop of the week was to the Cog Railway in Bretton Woods NH. This little train chugs all the way up to the top of Mount Washington. The only train that uses the steam engine was leaving the station at 8 AM.......which meant I left my house in SE MA around 4:30 AM to get there in time. The other trains are all run by biodiesel engines, and I wanted to see the steam rising from the steam engine.

****As always, click images to enlarge****

With a few blows of the whistle, she was off and began her long journey up the mountain.

I particularly like this shot, as you can see the tracks leading up the mountain in the top right side of the image.

Once the train got higher than this it was shrouded in steam and was not visible anymore. What an awesome sight this was to see and capture with my camera. Afterwards we had our breakfast at the base building and headed North for the day to look for some color. There was little to be found that day.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Milky Way Barton VT

I shot the Milky Way over my barn in Vermont last week. It was the easiest shoot ever. I set my camera on my tripod in my kitchen, and put it on manual focus, manual exposure, set the ISO and my exposure, walked out the door, planted the tripod where I wanted to shoot from, took five shots, went back in the house. Done!

I'm heading back up this weekend for a week and am planning n buying a big pumpkin to set in front of the barn. Hopefully will have a clear sky and be able to take this shot again.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Beaver Pond and Sugar Hill New Hampshire and Stannard VT Fall Foliage

I took a three day weekend trip up to VT this past weekend. We drove up Rte 93 North and took exit 32 in Lincoln NH. From here we took Rte 112 West from Woodstock NH. Rte 112 West runs through Kinsman Notch and it's always a pretty drive. Along the way I stopped to photograph at Beaver Pond. The foliage colors are still early in this area, but they look promising. We are waiting for a cold front to come through the end of this week. This cold weather is what the leaves need to get the colors to "pop'. It is incredibly unseasonably HOT here in New England right now.

From here we headed back along Rte 112 West. Fall colors in this area are still early, but they are coming along nicely. We then turned onto Rte 116 towards Sugar Hill NH. There were some very nice colors along this road. Lots of reds. We then took Toad Hill Road which also had some very nice early color.

St Matthews Church Rte 117 Sugar Hill NH:

We then had breakfast at Pollys Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill and then headed North to Vermont. We took some back roads out of Lyndonville. Colors still Stannard Mountain Road which brings you up and over to Stannard VT. Stopped at Flagg Pond. Colors here are coming along but look rather dull. I'm hoping they will get more vibrant when the cold snap comes along.

From here went to one of the best breweries located along a remote country road. Hill Farmstead Brewery was rated number one brewery in the world on a few years ago. From here took Rte 116North from Greensboro to Barton, The colors along Rte 116 are looking pretty good with lots of reds. Just waiting for the cold snap to get them kick started.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Crystal Lake fog Barton VT

A fisherman heads out in his skiff as the sun is breaking through the early morning fog on Crystal Lake in Barton

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ebook: Photographing Vermont's Fall Foliage is Available

Cover of the Ebook which I am happy to tell you that I have co-written!

In 1973, photographer Arnold J Kaplan wrote a pamphlet type book on photographing scenes in Vermont------where to find the iconic scenes. This book contained locations of many of Vermont's scenic places. These locations to this day are still referred to as "Kaplan Scenes". My friend and fellow photographer Andy Richards has spent a lot of time photographing Fall foliage scenes in VT, and relied heavily on using the booklet written by Kaplan. (I also have a copy of this booklet myself that I have used over the years) During Andy's travels, he realized that many of these scenes were no longer viable due to changes in the landscape, deforestation, tree growth blocking the view etc. so Andy began taking his own notes.

By the time Andy and I met Arnold Kaplan, he was in his 90's. Andy formed a friendship with him, and before his death in 2013, Arnold wrote the forward to Volume 1 of this book......and basically handed the baton to him to carry on with his legacy of  his Vermont Booklet.

Andy published volume 1 in 2012. A year and a half ago he asked me to co-write volume 2 with him. How could I say no? I'm thrilled to tell you that the Ebook is available to purchase as of today on

 It will be released on Apple ibookstore, Barnes and Noble, and Baker and Taylor within the next few weeks.This book contains directions to each local, and oftentimes the GPS coordinates as well. We also give suggestions on where to safely park your car, and the best time of day to photograph, as well as an example photo for each location that one of us has taken. My passion is photographing the Vermont landscape, especially in Autumn. I'm thrilled to be able to share my favorite landscape locations with other photographers.......and not just photographers as this book is the perfect guide for "leaf peepers" as well. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tangerini's Spring Street Farm Apple Picking

Today is all about my grandson Stevie, as it is his first birthday!!! We went apple picking at Tangerini's Farm in Millis MA on Friday and I took his one year old photos while we were there.

The apples we picked are absolutely delicious. This is the same farm where I took the sunflower photos and it is turning into one of my favorite farms to visit.

Here is Stevie......

We had a delicious lunch after the apple picking. The food there is all fresh farm to table and it's delicious. We ordered the hummus and veggie platter. It was yummy.